Even as the science for apocalyptic, human induced global warming continues to implode, the Religious Left is keeping faith. Episcopal Church activists last month gathered in the balmy Dominican Republic to tout a “carbon tithe” by the world’s wealthy nations. This “tithe” would transfer billions of dollars to ostensibly victimized countries of global warming, where no doubt the windfall would help third world regimes about as much as the Great Society’s transfer payments elevated America’s inner cities. But the Religious Left always has faith in “things unseen,” despite all evidence to the contrary.
These particular Episcopal global warming fear-mongers came from the north and the south and the east and the west, as though in fulfillment of the biblical end times. Or more specifically, they came from South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and the U.S., including the bishops of California, who no doubt would be piously loath to miss any global warming guilt-fest.
“We have lost a sense of connection with the world, and have become dominators rather than ‘good gardeners;’ over-developed countries have given themselves over to the sin of consumerism,” a fretful statement by the group intoned. “This sin, as sin always does, has clouded and distorted all our relationships: between people, with the Earth, and with our creator God.” The Religious Left sometimes, a little pantheistically, likes to speak of “relationships” with inanimate objects, like “the Earth.” For them, sometimes “the Earth” displaces a higher authority whom believers better merits a “relationship.”
The Episcopal group met around the theme of “climate justice” December 7 – 10, 2010 in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic at the Bishop Kellogg Retreat Center, intentionally overlapping with the United Nations’ climate change meeting in Mexico. For the Religious Left, the UN carries almost transcendent authority, though perhaps not so much as “the Earth.”
The meeting originated out of a companion diocese relationship between the Episcopal Diocese of California and the Anglican Diocese of Curitiba in Brazil.
“We’re hoping to change the conversation in the church from one of climate change to climate justice,” the Rev. P. Joshua “Griff” Griffin, environmental justice missioner in the Diocese of California and one of the conference’s organizers, told Episcopal News Service.
Participants originated from the Episcopal Dioceses of California, Central Ecuador, Colombia, Connecticut, Dominican Republic, Haiti, New Hampshire, New York, Olympia, and the Anglican Dioceses of Cuba, Cuernavaca, Curitiba, Guatemala, and Panama. The participating Anglican provinces were Brazil, Central America and the mostly U.S. Episcopal Church (TEC). All three provinces are closely related, with the Brazilian and Central American Churches having originated from the U.S.-based Episcopal Church. Unlike most conservative Global South Anglicans, most of the small provinces of Latin America are tightly wed to the U.S. Episcopal Church and influenced by its leftward drift. Some Latin American dioceses are actually a part of the U.S. Episcopal Church.
Including the “carbon tithe,” the global warming Anglican group adopted five commitments “to each other, to the Church, to the Earth and its peoples, and to God.” Among them were to “incorporate the issue of climate justice, and related themes, in educational programs, at all age levels and venues, within and outside the Church,” and to support initiatives aimed at the reduction of climate emissions by “overdeveloped nations.” The Anglican activists seem not to have defined the term “overdeveloped.” It’s doubtful that many Anglicans or others in the impoverished Global South view their own under development as a blessing. But liberal church elites in the U.S., from the comfort and security of their own wealth, warily tut-tut over poor nations potentially sharing in their own standard of living, allegedly increasing global warming After all, what would “the Earth,” as the chief victim of “overdevelopment,” say?
The Anglican global warming group also committed to “recruit and empower a core of missionaries from the global south” to come to the United States, “in a ministry of accompaniment and consciousness-raising about the effects of climate change.” Traditional Christians understand missionaries as proclaimers of the Gospel. But the Religious Left has mostly reinterpreted redemption to mean conformity to its own political agenda. Its “missionaries” declare the Good News of reduced political and economic liberty in service to statism and international regulation.
“What’s the difference between the strong attention climate change and climate justice get from much of the developing world, and the lack of attention and even denial of the challenge the issues receive here?” California Bishop Marc Andrus querulously asked in a blog posting leading up to the event in the Dominican Republic. “The answer lies at the heart of the definition of climate justice: it is where poverty is most intense, and thus where people have few resources to protect themselves, that the worst environmental abuses occur.”
Yes, wealthier nations, less distracted by the struggle for survival, can afford to guard their own environment better. Perhaps poor nations, and the environment, would benefit from economic growth, rather than global warming induced repression of growth, along with enervating, guilt-ridden “tithe” transfer payments from wealthy Western nations.
According to the Episcopal News Service, about 30 attended the Anglican global warming jamboree, including seminarians from Berkeley Divinity School, Yale Divinity School and several Latin American institutions. No doubt all were suitably enraged when told about repeated instances of “climate injustice” such as the consumption of resources “at such a frantic rate that we are stealing from the future generations of the Earth.” Participants complained about rising water levels “displacing entire island populations,” deforestation, the “decimation” of indigenous peoples, and degraded rivers affected by toxic runoff and human waste. All are the sinister products of global warming, the organizers insisted, having largely replaced the concept of divine judgment with apocalyptic environmental scare scenarios.
“Our hope is in God … who does not forget the covenants made with the Earth, and our hope is in our capacity to love,” the Anglican/Episcopal statement decreed, without citing a Scriptural reference for where the Almighty ever made agreements with “the Earth.” But as devoted servants of “the Earth,” the Episcopal Church segment of the Religious Left no doubt will persevere in its increasingly dubious global warming crusade, perhaps relating to a lonely Noah when he built the ark, and no doubt hoping for eventual vindication.