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[greenyes] Creation Care


NEW YORK TIMES
March 10, 2005
Evangelical Leaders Swing Influence Behind Effort to Combat Global Warming
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

A core group of influential evangelical leaders has put its considerable
political power behind a cause that has barely registered on the evangelical
agenda, fighting global warming.
These church leaders, scientists, writers and heads of international aid
agencies argue that global warming is an urgent threat, a cause of poverty
and a Christian issue because the Bible mandates stewardship of God's
creation.
The Rev. Rich Cizik, vice president of governmental affairs for the National
Association of Evangelicals and a significant voice in the debate, said, "I
don't think God is going to ask us how he created the earth, but he will ask
us what we did with what he created."
The association has scheduled two meetings on Capitol Hill and in the
Washington suburbs on Thursday and Friday, where more than 100 leaders will
discuss issuing a statement on global warming. The meetings are considered
so pivotal that Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, and
officials of the Bush administration, who are on opposite sides on how to
address global warming, will speak.
People on all sides of the debate say that if evangelical leaders take a
stand, they could change the political dynamics on global warming.
The administration has refused to join the international Kyoto treaty and
opposes mandatory emission controls.
The issue has failed to gain much traction in the Republican-controlled
Congress. An overwhelming majority of evangelicals are Republicans, and
about four out of five evangelicals voted for President Bush last year,
according to the Pew Research Center.
The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals,
an umbrella group of 51 church denominations, said he had become passionate
about global warming because of his experience scuba diving and observing
the effects of rising ocean temperatures and pollution on coral reefs.
"The question is, Will evangelicals make a difference, and the answer is,
The Senate thinks so," Mr. Haggard said. "We do represent 30 million people,
and we can mobilize them if we have to."
In October the association paved the way for broad-based advocacy on the
environment when it adopted "For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical
Call to Civic Responsibility," a platform that included a plank on "creation
care" that many evangelical leaders say was unprecedented.
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_________________________
Peter Anderson, President
RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address
web: www.recycleworlds.net

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