Saturday, March 10, 2007

Can I Get an Amen?!?!?

From today's NYTimes editorial page:

For a couple of years, there have been encouraging signs that conservative Christians are starting to take environmental matters seriously -- especially global warming. But in a recent letter, several of the most prominent leaders of the conservative Christian wing of the Republican Party, including James Dobson, Gary Bauer and Paul Weyrich, told the policy director of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Rev. Richard Cizik, to shut up already about global warming.

This was not a huge surprise, but it was a sad reminder of how a radical agenda, like the brand of conservatism these men preach, can overshadow everything else.

In the letter, they argue “that Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time.” To Mr. Dobson and the others, the great moral issues include homosexuality (and gay marriage in particular), abortion and, more broadly, sexual mores among young people.

Whether or not you agree with them about, say, homosexuality and abortion -- and we emphatically do not -- it is antiquated to limit the definition of morality to the way humans behave among humans.

Those days have been over ever since it became apparent that humans -- busy thinking only about their own lives -- had the power to destroy huge numbers of species, whole landscapes of habitat and, in fact, the balance of life on earth. The greatest moral issue of our time is our responsibility to the planet and to all its inhabitants.

Speaking of Evangelicals, Mrs. F and I finally got around to watching the documentary, Jesus Camp, last night. Wow. I was slack-jawed through much of the "indoctrination" (brainwashing, I say) of these kids to a mindset far away from the Age of Reason (from rejection of any notions of science to encouragement of speaking in tongues -- that's something this mainline, formerly Episcopal/Lutheran boy has never seen, but Mrs. F tells me she's experienced this down in the South). I'd say it's a very balanced movie, giving the folks from the camp more than enough time to argue their case, and I'd imagine they'd have no problem with their portrayal.

They're countered by the viewpoints of Mike Papantonio, who's a host of Air America's Ring of Fire program, and while he talks a lot of sense with his own radio monologues in the film, it would have been nice to have him speak more to the camera than just record him talking to his studio microphone.

Anyhoo, it's very worth your time. Here's an ABC News feature on the film, followed by a couple of scenes from the movie:


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