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Re: [greenyes] Evangelicals - Threat or Promise

At 03:43 PM 4/25/2005 -0400, Doug Koplow wrote:
It is a gross simplification to say:

"Now we are at war over oil. People are dying so that we can drive our SUVs 85 mph."

Perhaps so. But it is a valid enough simplification--the people are just as dead as if the argument were more complicated.

May I propose that we once again try to refocus the list on things more closely linked to recycling?

Personally, I think the inability to achieve a widespread and serious commitment to sustainable waste management is very closely related to the matters Peter and David are bringing up. If one's mind set or belief system or whatever does not emphasize responsibility for the consequences of ones actions then the giant SUV, the garbage dump, the incinerator .... all seem a lot more acceptable.


-Doug Koplow

>>> David Biddle <Dbiddle@no.address> 04/25/05 02:57PM >>>
Goodness Peter, I couldn¹t disagree more! (my apologies to those of you who
are quick to take offense and/or simply looking for ways to make a greener

First of all, the so-called ³evangelical right² did not ³win². The
Republican Party did. It is made up of dozens of special interests and
points of view of which the religious component is a piece.

Second, this notion that the secular and the religious are somehow opposed,
reeks of ignorance (not yours, just everyone who would see it that way). The
two are parallel processes within all cultures. There is the life of human
beings and the life of the spirit. One of the main tenets of modern
society*especially our own*is that neither process may cancel the other one
out. The biggest danger of the ³evangelical right² is that it is actively
seeking to create this opposition. In the media and in what you have
written, it would seem that this is already being done. (I write this as a
Quaker who believes in social justice and intelligent decision
making*emphasis on intelligence).

Finally, the notion of turning the other cheek can only go so far. How long
does one turn the other cheek? This country developed a phenomenal level of
energy awareness that had the potential to move us far from our dependence
on foreign sources; that all collapsed by 1983. Now we are at war over oil.
People are dying so that we can drive our SUVs 85 mph.

Today, we have the technology and skills to solve most of our environmental
problems. Indeed, most of these problems are social and cultural, not
technical and economic. Commitments to energy conservation, renewable
resources, environmental management, and sustainable development are all
positive economic development strategies. Dinosaur industry could be laid to
rest, the phoenix of creative enlightenment should be rising. And yet...the
³evangelical right² is making value judgments and acting as if these
judgments are truth. Much of the rest of the world sees us as silly at best,
but dangerous for the most part. I really don¹t have a lot of patience
anymore for screwing around with people¹s lives!

Finally, and I don¹t want to go into it very deeply, but the basis of the
³evangelical right¹s² way of thinking is that God has pre-ordained
everything. This is very troubling. If ever there was a tautological
dilemma, that is it. You can¹t fight your way out of such a box. The only
freewill you have, according to this way of thinking, is to submit to what
people tell you is the will of God. Ahem. I don¹t think so...

To my mind, we are allowing ourselves to be drawn into an abyss that is as
dangerous and potent as the abyss of Europe in the 1930s. Turn the other
cheek? Forget it...


on 4/25/05 1:38 PM, Peter Anderson at anderson@no.address wrote:

> [I suppose that the intent of this article is to arouse the secular left to
> fight back with renewed rigor. But, three things intertwine with the
> question of what is the best approach. First, the two divirgent groups have
> swung back and forth in ascendancy since WWII with no clear winner. Second,
> the secular left lost in 2004 notwithstanding the fact that it had equal
> financial resources and maximum grassroots work, because there were more of
> the evangelical right. Third, much of what is good in the evangelical right
> is, at heart, not inconsistent with a better world. Perhaps, this is the
> time for the secular left to see the power of what Christ did say about
> turning the other cheek. - peter]
> ROLLING STONE - 4/7/05
> The Crusaders
> Christian evangelicals are plotting to remake America in their own
> image
> It's February, and 900 of America's staunchest Christian fundamentalists
> have gathered in Fort Lauderdale to look back on what they accomplished in
> last year's election -- and to plan what's next. As they assemble in the
> vast sanctuary of Coral Ridge Presbyterian, with all fifty state flags
> dangling from the rafters, three stadium-size video screens flash the name
> of the conference: RECLAIMING AMERICA FOR CHRIST. These are the evangelical
> activists behind the nation's most effective political machine -- one that
> brought more than 4 million new Christian voters to the polls last November,
> sending George W. Bush back to the White House and thirty-two new pro-lifers
> to Congress. But despite their unprecedented power, fundamentalists still
> see themselves as a persecuted minority, waging a holy war against the
> godless forces of secularism. To rouse themselves, they kick off the
> festivities with "Soldiers of the Cross, Arise," the bloodthirstiest tune in
> all of Christendom: "Seize your armor, gird it on/Now the battle will be
> won/Soon, your enemies all slain/Crowns of glory you shall gain."
> Meet the Dominionists -- biblical literalists who believe God has called
> them to take over the U.S. government. As the far-right wing of the
> evangelical movement, Dominionists are pressing an agenda that makes Newt
> Gingrich's Contract With America look like the Communist Manifesto. They
> want to rewrite schoolbooks to reflect a Christian version of American
> history, pack the nation's courts with judges who follow Old Testament law,
> post the Ten Commandments in every courthouse and make it a felony for gay
> men to have sex and women to have abortions. In Florida, when the courts
> ordered Terri Schiavo's feeding tube removed, it was the Dominionists who
> organized round-the-clock protests and issued a fiery call for Gov. Jeb Bush
> to defy the law and take Schiavo into state custody. Their ultimate goal is
> to plant the seeds of a "faith-based" government that will endure far longer
> than Bush's presidency -- all the way until Jesus comes back.
> "..
> "...
> "...
> "..."
> player=true&version=
> _________________________
> Peter Anderson, President
> 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:
> This message, and all attachments thereto,
> is covered by the Electronic Communications
> Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C., Sections 2510-2521.
> This message is CONFIDENTIAL. If you are
> not the intended recipient of this message,
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> and then delete it.

David Biddle, Executive Director

P.O. Box 4037
Philadelphia, PA 19118
215-432-8225 (mobile)


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