By B. D. Zaleha, A. Szasz | September 1, 2015
American Christians have become increasingly polarized on issues of climate change and environmental regulation. In recent years, mainline Protestant denominations and the Roman Catholic Church have made explicit declarations of support for global climate action. Prominent Southern Baptists and other evangelical Protestants, on the other hand, have issued statements that are strikingly similar to the talking points of secular climate skeptics, and have attempted to stamp out "green" efforts within their own ranks. An analysis of resolutions and campaigns by evangelicals over the past 40 years shows that anti-environmentalism within conservative Christianity stems from fears that "stewardship" of God’s creation is drifting toward neo-pagan nature worship, and from apocalyptic beliefs about "end times" that make it pointless to worry about global warming. As the climate crisis deepens, the moral authority of Christian leaders and organizations may play a decisive role in swaying public policy toward (or away from) action to mitigate global warming.
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Issue: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Volume 71 Issue 5
Keywords: Christians, Southern Baptists, climate change, evangelicals, stewardship