Religious Climate Rage – by Mark D. Tooley

Mark Tooley is President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (www.theird.org) and author of Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Follow him on Twitter: @markdtooley.


floating-head-of-canterbury

The international Religious Left is grieving over the Copenhagen climate summit’s failure to mandate sweeping restrictions on capitalism and massive global redistribution of wealth.

“With a lack of transparency, the agreement reached this past week by some countries was negotiated without consensus but rather in secret among the powerful nations of the world,” bewailed the World Council of Churches’s climate change spokesman.  He further denounced the summit as a “strong strike against multilateralism and the democratic principles in the U.N. system.”

Hopes among the numerous religious activists in Copenhagen had been feverishly high.  Global Warming alarmism combines so many of the Religious Left’s favored fetishes, hopes and fears:  hostility to free markets and economic growth; cravings for wealth redistribution; Western guilt; veneration for the earth at the expense of humanity; and aspirations for global governance.

Most prominent among the religious prelates in Copenhagen were Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who solemnly told religious activists at a rally that an unidentified 300,000 people were “dying as a result of the poverty caused by all of the emissions coming from the rich countries.”  Lest anyone misunderstand his target, Tutu pleaded:   “Hello, rich people. Hello there, hello America.”  Tutu did not mention how many hundreds of millions of people are alive and living with greater health and wealth because of Western industry.

At a candle light vigil, Tutu almost incoherently squealed:

“If you are responsible for most of the emissions, which are—look—look—look at the ozone layer. People are now suffering from all kinds of skin diseases, because we are thinning the ozone layer. Whoa! Whoa-ho!”

Getting more straight to the point, Tutu importuned the wealthy West to fork it over:

“For your own sakes, rich people, please, for your own sakes, for your children’s sakes, for the sake of our world, be nice. Be nice, and pay up. Pay up, please. Please, for your own sake.”

At an ecumenical church service attended by Denmark’s queen that was somewhat more decorous than the street rallies, Rowan Williams intoned:   “We cannot show the right kind of love for our fellow humans unless we also work at keeping the Earth as a place that is a secure home for all people.”  The Lutheran cathedral was adorned with a massive banner demanding: “Time for Climate Justice.”

As my colleague Jeff Walton reported, Williams apocalyptically sermonized against “a world of utterly chaotic and disruptive change, of devastation and desertification, of biological impoverishment and degradation.” He waned of a “downward spiral of the greedy, addictive, loveless behavior,” and worried that “we have not yet been able to embrace the cost of the decisions we know we must make. We are afraid because we don’t know how we can survive without the comforts of our existing lifestyle.”

Claiming that the Global South is poor because the West is rich is the constant refrain of the Religious Left, which rehashes the theme from the secular left and adorns it with sanctimonious guilt.   “How shall we build international institutions that make sure the resources get where they are needed – that, for example, ‘green taxes’ will deliver more security for the disadvantaged, that transitions in economic patterns will not weigh most heavily on those least equipped to cope?” Williams asked.  Naturally, the prospect of international “green taxes” excites the Religious Left almost to a quiver.

Much of the Religious Left inclines to at least a soft pantheism that venerates Mother Earth and bewails the traditional Christian and Jewish understanding that God created the world for the benefit of humanity.  “We have a bad habit, a belief in a theology of dominance that humans rule over the earth,” averred Canadian church official Joy Kennedy, a climate change activist with the World Council of Churches (WCC).  “Well, I have to tell you, sisters and brothers, it is past time that we confess that.”

Summoning sinners to the mourners’ bench, Kennedy continued her jeremiad.

“And if we believe the planet is just a natural resource bank, there to be exploited, excavated, extracted, dumped on, then we will treat it that way.  But if we believe we are part of a sacred creation dependent on its gifts for our very survival and for life, then human activity requires responsibility and we will act differently because we love and serve and protect our home.”

She implored that “we need to find ways to replace greed with an economy of enough.”

Urging people of faith to deny themselves and live abstemiously would be laudable.  But the WCC and other Religious Left climate activists are not so much interested in voluntary Christian asceticism as they are mammoth and coercive international regulation that would forcibly repress economic growth in the West while transferring enormous wealth to Third World kleptocratic elites.  Meanwhile, the Third World’s poor would suffer further while forever deprived of Western style access to carbon-producing luxuries like electricity, lest they too become guilty of carbon sins and “dominance” over the Earth.

In a formal appeal to the Copenhagen summit, the WCC pleaded for “worldwide actions to save our planet from the catastrophic and suicidal consequences of climate change.”  The WCC pleaded for a “global agreement” on carbon emissions that would supposedly transform the world.  “Do not deceive us,” they warned.  “It will be a sign of hope for the future, and it will bring peace on earth to people of good will, today and for the years to come. We are all members of one family living together, breathing together, and dreaming together.”

So naturally, the WCC and other Religious Left activists in Copenhagen were devastated when the summit yawningly agreed to unspecified carbon reductions and not the shut-down of global capitalism for which the WCC had been praying.  Specifically, the WCC had wanted a draconian 40 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2020.  “Copenhagen was a missed opportunity by the industrialized countries to lead by example” tut-tutted one WCC climate advocate.  “Most of the industrialized countries didn’t show the needed commitment to lead the whole world in an effective way to address the challenges of climate change.”

Another WCC official promised that the “struggle continues” even though the WCC and the “whole civil society” had been “betrayed” by Copenhagen’s failures.  “We need to build on the incredible mobilization by churches and the civil society over the next year, with prayers, bell ringing, and advocacy action, to reach a fair, ambitious and binding deal in Copenhagen which was not achieved because of the unwillingness of most of industrialized countries.”

The Religious Left can go on ringing the bells of its mostly empty churches.  But no amount of religious noise pollution is likely to persuade most of the world to shut down its industries and quietly accede to perpetual poverty while relinquishing humanity’s “dominance” over a liberated Earth.

  • jccorcoran

    Peace on Earth???

    Aren’t humans amazing Animals? They kill wildlife – birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

    Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative – and fatal – - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

    So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions of more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

    Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

    Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and once a year send out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”

    ~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coates~

    Check out this informative and inspiring video on why people choose vegan: http://veganvideo.org/

    Also see Gary Yourofsky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bagt5L9wXGo

  • robertmcclain

    Look, Jesus had much to say about the so-called Religious Left. He called them wolves in sheep's clothing. The RL takes on the appearance of spirituality but denies the power thereof. Most do not believe in God–not the God of the Bible, anywise. So, if you're truly a Chrisitian, there is nothing to see on the left side of the spectrum excepts goats.

  • http://www.simplestdtesting.com/ Mandy Martin

    thanks for this wonderful post. really enjoying reading it. ^_^

  • evergreen78

    I find this very disturbing. I've been “lapsed” from church for several years & was checking out the website of one of the local ones for a Christmas service when I saw this thing about “bell ringing for global warming” or some such & a link to uri.org, whatever that is. Good Grief. I finally decide to try to recapture the “religious” part of my faith (which I happen to like, by the way) & now I find that the Church is part of the PROBLEM. I repeat: This is VERY disturbing.

  • 2maxpower

    lol ….vegan diet is the most un-natural of all diets. I understand that is how you wish to eat and that is fine. but to attack the rest of the world for their natural eating habits is absurd.

    vegans are a very small group for many natural reasons.

    one question since I am curious, where do you get your B12 ?

  • http://twitter.com/Fed_Republic Federated Republic

    Morons and idiots abound on the left while pinheads on the right ignore the danger of these climate crack pots who are whipping up more hatred of America by the ignorant masses in the turd world!!!

  • Gamal

    Tooley wrote “But no amount of religious noise pollution is likely to persuade most of the world to shut down its industries and quietly accede to perpetual poverty. The Obama administration is a big exception to that.

  • http://twitter.com/Fed_Republic Federated Republic

    More Junk science from the pinhead fringe! Eating MEAT does NOT cause all the ills to which JC ascribes here. The facts are these: Carbohydrates and excessive sugar through JUNK FOODS causes more problems than any MEAT consumed. Fats produced from said JUNK FOODS is the worst artery clogger of all!

    I was on a so called vegetarian diet and still had to get a bypass. Why, because I was not having any balance in my human diet that included the necessary proteins and other nutrients that can only be gotten from meat or meat products. period!

    Any vegan or vegetarian that tells you other wise has a shellfish agenda and is lying to you! Here is an example. Asians I have worked with have awesome diets, a wonderful tasty plethora of meats and vegetables, yet they smoke like a train and drink like a fish and yet have NO serious health problems! Genetics? maybe, I strongly suspect though it has a whole lot to do with their native diet, period!

    Asians on the other hand who have adopted the American JUNK FOOD diet have all sorts of obesity and health problems!!!! Wake up and smell the KIMCHEE. ya'll;-)

  • jackbelias

    This tired old religious democratic dogma will get you nowhere. Humans have eaten other animals throughout the entire evolutionary process. We are omnivores by natural design.

    People in third world countries arent going hungry because livestock eats, they starve because they are failing to establish reasonable families and clinging to destructive religious doctrines. If American women had 6 kids by the age of 19 on average we would be a starving nation too. We also dont allow god to determine our destiny, rather we allow man to demonstrate his ability to invent.

    Yes indeed we kill, this is yet another natural occurance found throughout the evolutionary process.

    Your war on nature is absurd. You cant win as all of your goals are anti human. You would be better off climbing down from that high holy horse of yours and joining the rest of the species.

  • robertmcclain

    First, humans are not animals–amazing or otherwise. Man was made a little lower than the Godhead (not the angels as was miss worded by the KJV translators). We are given animals to use for food, clothing, and yes, medical science. There is no moral equivalence between man and animal. Those who think so are simply wrong.

    You may have the right to be wrong, but you cannot–and will not–impose your vegan lifestyle on me and my family.

  • jccorcoran

    As a 22 year vegan turning 60 soon, I'd be willing to challenge any of you to a strength or stamina test anytime. Your war like killing ways have failed throughout history. It's about time you tried something new!

  • 2maxpower

    just because a lot of people have an “imaginary friend” doesn't make it true.

    until I see one itty-bitty evidence of a deity I will continue to go with the humans as animals. (that doesn't mean moral equivalence with animals …false argument)

    the fact that there are a lot of unexplained things is no proof of a god. just a lack of understanding.

    if you were not indoctrinated with some religion in your upbringing would you chose to believe in man made god and if so which one?

  • http://twitter.com/Fed_Republic Federated Republic

    Lets face it and tell the truth about organized religion! It all about social controls! Control, control control, period! It's like having another set of laws to abide by IF you want to be part of THE group.

    This sort of religious control is exactly what JESUS was diametrically opposed! Yet we have crackpot religions running rampant around the world proclaiming they are the TRUE religion and everyone else is NOT! Much of the death and destruction throughout history is based on differences of religious belief. Such religions CLAIM to be peaceful and all other sorts of feel good rhetoric that while sounding good to the target audience, is really rooted in hatred and evil!

    What we have today with the Muslim fakirs and fanatics is really off the hook and is definitely rooted in evil, just like the right wing religious kooks who believe God's justice can only come through a violent religious revolution! May they all fall into the fires of perdition!

    All religions should be carefully watched in my book! Especially if they start preaching they are right and everyone else is wrong, then watch out!

  • http://twitter.com/Fed_Republic Federated Republic

    Get real dude! Quit comparing Apples to Oranges here. You obviously exercise and and have a healthy lifestyle. That has nothing to do with meat consumers who do not exercise and have a healthy lifestyle. What about the meat consumers who do exercise and have a healthy lifestyle, you think you can put them down just because YOU chose YOUR version of what is good based on YOUR inculcated leftist perceptions.

    By your rhetoric you have identified yourself as a leftist! So what about the WARLIKE killing ways of the left, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, Che, Pol Pot, the list is long and tortuous of leftist murders of the most heinous variety! We fought and fight wars and spent BILLIONS to STOP these murdering scum, yet you wanna label us as the bad guy!

    Get a grip on reality and quit pandering to leftist loutish rhetoric and get educated to who the real bad actors in the world are, it IS NOT the United States of America!

  • 2maxpower

    those war like killing ways got you to the point you can be a vegan.

    …never seen a vegan in a poor country. (unless they were tourists)

  • TedCan

    Jc quit killing vegetables

  • robertmcclain

    I am a former a-theist, Max. And an ex-Marxist. There is far more evidence of a Creator than proof of materialistic origins. As my late father (an ex- a-theist since 8 February 1986) once said, “If God did not exist, man would invent one.”

    “True, Dad, but on the other hand, if man did not exist God would invent one.”

    Sorry, Max, but a-theism is irrational and intellectually bankrupt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629967502 facebook-629967502

    Jccorcoran:

    We are amazing animals. So amazing, in fact, that 1 human being is of greater value than every chicken ever slaughtered by KFC. We kill them, and all animals, by the billions because they taste good. Because they let us live longer (contrary to your silly remark about eating them killing us. Please explain how we live longer now than we did when we had less meat in our diets). Because they cure our diseases. And because we like to keep warm. And despite all our killing, they're still here

    Socialism and backwards 3rd world dictators are the reason so many people are dying of malnuitrition. It has nothing to do with the food we use to fatten up the cow I'll be eating in 2 hours. TO make up for your vegan lifestyle, I will be eating 2 steaks tonight. Peace!

  • 2maxpower

    don't be sorry. but your non argument is just that a non argument. invent away, but don't tell me that is evidence of anything.

  • Jason

    What a hilarious comment. Your fear of “organized religion” means we should be carefully watching them? As in spying on, monitoring, wiretapping, etc? So because you're afraid of them wanting to control you, you want to put controls/monitoring etc you don't want for yourself?

    Organized government is the biggest killer in human history. Anyone who can actually read already knows this. Religion is only used as an excuse. Believe me, we don't need help creating those.

  • Jason

    Yea, like eating vegans!

  • robertmcclain

    You're right, FR!

    Jesus gave a man, blind from birth, sight for the first time. The religious elites erupted in rage because Jesus healed the guy on the Sabbath.

    God instituted the Sabbath for man. Religion co-opted the Sabbath as a means of control.

    We have freedom in Christ. Religion is dictatorship.

    All religion–including the AGW true believers–want to exercise control over everyone else.

    Be wary of them all.

  • USMCSniper

    Keep your religious eco-psycho-babble. All organized religion is a blatantly dishonest attempt to arrive at a comprehensive view of the universe and our place in it as a species. The late George Carlin knows:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o

  • 2maxpower

    thanks for the non argument.

  • dinamcclain

    One of the great things about America is that we do have the right to make our own choices in life. When I was with the military in Germany (83-86), I lived on the economy (with the Germans), and I noticed immediately that they did not have the same freedoms we have here in the USA.

    I'm thankful for our choices, and I'm concerned at the growing hatred in this country for Christians — the same people who founded the US. God gives freedom, man only removes it by implementing rules that are mostly to keep good people in check and make our lives more difficult.

    Crime was much lower when there were public hangings in the town square. But man, in his need to be in control of his universe, declared capital punishment a heinous crime.

    10 years ago, a 10 year old girl was kidnapped from her yard in Kansas City, Kansas. He then took her across state lines where he tortured, raped, and murdered her in Kansas City, Missouri just outside of Blue Springs. There was much argument over which state would prosecute. Let me tell you, every parent was cheering when Kansas was chosen because they DO have capital punishment. Missouri does not which is why the man took her there.

    And this country has been spiraling downward for over a hundred years. Morality is at an all time low. Crime is so rampant that rapists are serving months instead of years.

    We are to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. Loving our neighbors and praying for our enemies.

  • CowboyUp

    I'm an omnivore, it's a survival trait. Take away machine and/or chemical technology, and you'd be back to eating whatever edible you could get your hands on to survive, like most of the humans that ever walked this earth.

    There's a place for all God's creatures, for the tasty ones that's right between the mashed potatos and collards.

  • 2maxpower

    it (religion) is after all a human defect

  • HelgaF

    Thank you “facebook”…great rebuttal to jccorcoran….I can't decide…is all this hollow sermonizing from the moral Himalayans really funny or really annoying…a combo of the both,I guess….and I'll take my steak well done,thanks!

  • Matt

    “We are all members of one family living together, breathing together, and dreaming together.”

    If that is the case, why is half the world at war at any one time? I can't see how cutting emissions and living like cave men will fix it.

  • bushlikesdick12

    agree

  • robertmcclain

    Ditto to your non-argument, as well.

  • 2maxpower

    yes …but then I am not the one trying to prove a fable.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    Personally, I believe in the existence of G_d because we humans are self aware, that is we have a self -conscious view. For example, we have knowledge of both good and evil whereas animals don't. However, that's just my opinion.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    “People in third world countries arent going hungry because livestock eats, they starve because they are failing to establish reasonable families and clinging to destructive religious doctrines. “

    Actually, famine often occured in despotic countries, such as the Soviet Union, Red China, Mengistu's Ethiopia, Pol Pot's Kampuchea, Bashir's Sudan. So people going hungry can in many cases by considered a form of democide.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    George Carlin called former First Lady Laura Bush “the Silver Douche Bag”. He's full of it.

  • 2maxpower

    the bigger issue for me is “I don't know if there is a god, but I will not
    pretend there is one without proof.” and as far as I am concerned I haven't
    seen any proof. there are things that we cannot explain but that isn't proof
    of god.

    self awareness isn't proof of anything but the evolution of the mind/brain.

    more importantly I would not expect you to believe I am god yet millions of
    people accept that what another man said is true. as of today god (the one
    all religions say is god) is entirely man made.

    if the belief helps you that is ok with me. the problem is when I am forced
    to do things as a result of someones belief that I am not ok with. and
    people are directly or indirectly forced to support the beliefs of others.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    Myself, I believe in hedging my bets and beliving in G_d anyways, just in case. If I'm right, I won't be dissappointed, and if I'm wrong, then it won't matter. You have the right to believe or not to believe what you want as well. I'd never take that away. But please try to refrain from bashing one's beliefs. Do you see anyone bashing atheism here?

  • 2maxpower

    actually there are lots of people bashing atheism …yours is
    a veiled bashing.

  • AbdullahtheButcher

    I'm not bashing. You're mistaken. If I sounded bashing, I did not intend to. However, I suspect that nowadays people are quick, maybe too quick, to suspect hostility where there is none. Let's respect each others beliefs and leave it at that.

  • http://www.CornwallAlliance.org E. Calvin Beisner

    For a Biblically, scientifically, and economically well-thought approach to global warming (largely denying that it's significantly manmade and challenging the assumption that greenhouse gas emissions reductions would be a wise response), see http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-… and http://www.cornwallalliance.org/docs/a-renewed-ca