Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council wants to enlightens us on climate change. Little did we know that those who seek to address global warming are secretly promoting abortions and same-sex marriage. There is good news. Perkins believes ignoring global warming will hasten our chances to meet our maker.
Commentary By: Daniel DiRito
I’ve long believed that religious fanatics have the willingness and the capacity to justify any behavior or action they feel will further their agenda and solidify their authority over their minions. The evidence supporting my belief just grew exponentially.
In the following video, ABC News explores how global warming is viewed by a number of religious leaders and their denominations. The report stems from the declaration signed by current and former leaders of the Southern Baptist Church in which they assert that they have been too timid on addressing global warming. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council disagrees with this position. Instead, Perkins argues that those who favor a reduction in global warming are actually seeking to promote abortion and same-sex marriage. Perkins contends that limiting population is an element of climate control and is therefore contrary to the promotion of life and procreation. Rather than focus on Perkins’ absurd conflation, I think it makes more sense to explore the motivations that in all likelihood underly it.
After assailing abortion and the gays, Perkins pivots to make the argument that people would be better served to put their energy into preparing themselves spiritually for the end of the world (the rapture or the end of days) instead of championing climate control. I guess Perkins sees humanity like an ant colony in a jar – if our willful actions lead us to outgrow and destroy our planet, the masses should simply soldier on like tireless worker ants.
I find his logic problematic (OK, what logic?) because it suggests that God gave us a brain and the ability to build all that exists in this world…but not the good sense to be prudent stewards in order to preserve and protect it. So I’m left to wonder how we’re supposed to know when it’s time to stop using our brains and drive the humanity bus willy-nilly off the cliff?
However, if God decides when to end the world, why would we suddenly determine that we knew it was coming and therefore elect to throw caution to the wind? Isn’t that rather presumptive and arrogant on our part? What if we’re wrong? Isn’t it possible that God would see our carelessness as a sin? Further, what right do we have to destroy his creation…on our own timeline?
People like Perkins like to hear themselves pontificate but they rarely take the time to think through the significance of their proclamations. Is God going to reward those leaders and industries that ignored global warming in the pursuit of profit since their efforts will have helped facilitate the end of days? Will Al Gore and those who sought to save the planet be banished to hell because they opposed unbridled profits at the expense of extinguishing the planet?
If so, wouldn’t that mean that those who chose to give, like the woman in the parable of the widow’s mite, were being punished…while those who chose to take, like the tax collectors seeking to amass more wealth, were being rewarded? How could that be God’s plan?
The answer may be found in what has come to be known as the prosperity doctrine, prosperity theology or the prosperity gospel. Essentially, those who promote this version of faith (and there are many well known ministers) argue that God wants his believers to be successful in all they do…including the accumulation of wealth.
I don’t know if Tony Perkins is a disciple of this thinking or not; but the contradictions found in his position on global warming better align him with prosperity theology than with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Taking it a step further, I doubt Perkins plans to suffer in the days that precede the end of the world; otherwise he would have already diminished his focus on the material world in order to allow time to prepare his own soul for the impending rapture.
You see, I contend that men like Perkins have no intention of suffering…though they make their living asking others to do just that…especially if it means pledging to donate a greater share of their income. Men like Perkins worship money and the spoils of capitalism above all else. They view climate control as an impediment to the pursuit of wealth…though they couch their opposition to it as the promotion of life.
Yes, all too often, the lives of Perkins and his ilk are steeped with worldly treasures. My cynicism tells me they are the equivalent of modern day snake oil salesmen. They travel from this conference to that speaking engagement…preaching their version of values…while separating as much coin from the congregation as is humanly possible.
I question the sincerity of leaders who lecture their flocks ad nauseam on the importance of sacrificing for the afterlife in order to receive its many rewards…particularly when they insist upon rewarding themselves handsomely in the here and now…as if there were no tomorrow.
Perhaps I just don’t know my commandments…especially the one that states – Thou shalt use the name of the Lord thy God when one taketh without guilt.
The following video clip includes the original ABC report along with several insertions of commentary in the form of text added by the individual that uploaded it to YouTube. It is somewhat distracting but it doesn’t prevent the viewer from following the original ABC News report. Perhaps as payment for enduring the editorializing, they include a snippet from the TV show Family Guy at the end of the clip. I thought it was funny so hopefully it will make you chuckle.
ABC News Video – Global Warming & Evangelicals
Cross-posted at Thought Theater