What Fundamentalists Believe About… Global Warming
Welcome to the first of a new series. It should more accurately be called What I Used To Believe About… but that wouldn’t be as good for SEO. Fundamentalists can’t be lumped into one big group. Aside from a handful of core tenets (Jesus is the Son of God who rose from the dead, the Bible is inerrant), you can’t say “This is what all fundamentalists believe” with any authority.
Of course, as I’ve already argued, the fact that fundamentalists claim to take the Bible literally, yet can’t agree on the interpretation of all but a few points, should shoot the whole thing down before we start. But that doesn’t seem to put them off, so we’ll fight on.
I’m going to tell you what I believed, and I’ll cite books and videos where I got my ideas, to prove I wasn’t the only one.
Recycling and the Christian Right
Doesn’t it seem odd to you that the Christian Right is strongly associated with climate change denialism? How does this square with God’s command to replenish the Earth? You would think, would you not, that the proper Christian response to environmentalism would be that, as good stewards of God’s Creation, they should do all within their power to save the earth. In fact, that’s not what we see.
There are three reasons for this. Two you might be able to guess, and the third I can almost guarantee you hadn’t seen coming.
1. Jesus Will Come Back Before Anything Bad Happens
The Christian Right is expecting the Rapture any minute now. If you’re lucky enough not to know what this is, they believe that’s when all True Christians (ie, them) will suddenly disappear into heaven. Most non-fundamentalists are hoping for a sudden disappearance of the Christian Right too, but so far no luck. They believe this rapture will precede a seven year tribulation, a time of the most unimaginable suffering when the wrath of God is poured out upon those who rejected Him, before the end of the world. This is when the Antichrist will come to power and the whole world will be one big Iron Maiden video.
At the end of the tribulation, there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). So what does it matter if the Earth is in bad shape? It’s going to be rebuilt anyway! Luke 21:25 is also interpreted by many believers as an indication to expect freak weather patterns in the Last Days. So when climatologists tell us that hurricanes and tsunamis could be related to global warming, it’s all part of the Divine plan.
For these fundamentalists, predictions of fossil fuels running out make total sense. It shows God’s infinite wisdom! He put just enough resources in the ground to last until the end of the Age. If we’re running out of oil, that’s just more evidence that Jesus is coming soon.
2. Fundamentalists Are Used to Denying Science
Those scientists! They’re always indulging in conspiracies. For example, they’re always suppressing the evidence for Creationism. Creationists seriously think that evolution is shaky at best, but there’s a big effort by Science to hush up all the problems with it so they won’t have to believe in God. Climate change is just another example of scientists silencing the evidence that disagrees with them, in order to promote their agenda. Denying climate change is a logical step from Creationism. In fact, in their minds, it bolsters their argument.
3. Ecology is Part of the New Age
Particularly in the late 80s, but continuing through to today, there is a great deal of hysteria in the fundamentalist church about the New Age Movement. This is linked to everything from Satanic Ritual Abuse to the United Nations. The New Age Religion, they say, is a front for everything from devil worship to a conspiracy for One World Government (on which more in a later post). The New Age Movement, argues Pat Robertson in his book New World Order, can “syncretise with any religion except Christianity.”
Because the New Age movement is an amorphous body of inclusive beliefs, it is anathema to Christians who hold that Jesus is the only way to God!!!!!! These Christians argue that the New Age Movement’s agenda is to destroy Christianity.
Frank Peretti, for example, is the bestselling fundamentalist author; he almost single-handedly launched the genre of Christian fiction. In his bestsellers This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness (3.5 million copies sold), New Age conspirators threaten to destroy the church through universities, governments, and schools. The stories are told on two levels: You see the interaction between the human characters, as well as a battle between the unseen forces of angels and demons.
In This Present Darkness, a pastor preaches about “saving the whales” and condemns cruelty to animals. This pastor turns out to be the villain. He is part of a group of Satanists trying to take down the church from the inside. In Piercing the Darkness, another bunch of Satanists again take on the church, and they have a “religious devotion to Mother Earth.” At their headquarters a man gives a talk on “Ecology: The Merging of Earth and Spirit.” A good thing, right? Not exactly:
“The demons among them were enjoying it as well. Such worship and attention as they were now receiving was like getting a good back rub.”
I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah, but Peretti was writing fiction.” Yes, but it’s marketed as plausible. The dust jacket on my edition describes them as “chillingly realistic.” And every Christian I knew read them.
Carman is one of Christian rock’s biggest selling artists, and he holds the record for the best attended Christian outdoor and indoor concerts (80,000 and 72,132 respectively). In the 1990s, his Time 2 TV show ran on TBN in the US and the Christian Channel Europe (now the God Network). There’s a genius episode called New Age: The Deadly Deception, which you can buy on his site, in which he gathers the Christian Right’s leading experts on the New Age to explain the conspiracy.
Johanna Michaelsen tells us “What they’re seeking to do is bring about a One World government. We hear about the New World Order.”
Paul McGuire chimes in: “The downside to a New World Order and One World government is that Christianity will be the enemy of the Superstate.”
Chilling stuff. And then Carman’s voice intones, “Every day you are invited to join them, through seemingly noble and innocent causes.”
How exactly? Bill Honsberger explains: “Much of what goes on [at] the recycling plants here is all part of the New Age… One can begin to worship ecology. And much of the reward, if there is monetary reward, goes to help their causes.”
So there you go. By recycling, you’re putting money in the pockets of organisations which are a front for devil worshippers and which seek to destroy Christianity. It’s a conspiracy promoted by atheist scientists, and anyway Jesus is coming back later this year, so it’s irrelevant anyway.
Not to panic you or anything, but people who believe this stuff help fund the Republican party. And while they’re much quieter in the UK, there’s evidence they’re on the move here too.