With each warmer day, with the growing clarity of the impact of Global Warming, Evangelicals are turning to environmentalism.
As one considers the mandate to be stewards of the Earth, it seems logical that an E2 alliance would be a natural relationship — evangelicals and environmentalists. For too long, in the United States, too many in the two communities have been ‘at odds’, seeking — it seems — differences rather than commonalities.
Truth be told, there have always been highly ecologically conscious religious people. Could we mention St Francis of Assisi? And, there have been highly religious environmentalists. Again, this is two ‘communities’ that have core shared sensibilities, values, and concerns.
In core Evangelical America, environmentalism and environmentalists have been viewed as enemies by too many. This has been changing. See, for example, this short discussion of religious movements and environmentalism, “A Global Warming Turning Point?”, from last December.
Today’s Washington Post provides another indication of the move toward an E2 partnership in trying to create a better future for all: Warming Draws Evangelicals Into the Environmental Fold.
The article opens with an Evangelical Christian woman in a white suit sorting trash for recyclables,
Her conversion to environmentalism is the result of a years-long international campaign by British bishops and leaders of major U.S. environmental groups to bridge a long-standing divide between global-warming activists and American evangelicals.
Notice that this is not an accident. There is a real, concerted effort to bridge divides, to educate, to communicate.
And, change is not unidimensional.
The emerging rapprochement is regarded by some as a sign of how dramatically U.S. public sentiment has shifted on global warming in recent years. It also has begun, in modest ways, to transform how the two groups define themselves.
The zeitgeist around Global Warming is changing, perhaps in time to stave off catastrophic climate change. And, well, American Evangelicals could turn out to be a critical pat of the coalition to achieve that change.