Environmentalism has gained an unlikely ally: Christian Evangelicals. Historically dismissive of the “green” political agenda of ecological stewardship, many evangelical leaders are advocating a thaw in their stance on the issue.
The Leiberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007 was notable for its support from National Association of Evangelicals president Richard Cizik.
Traditionally, Christian Evangelicals have ignored issues like climate change because of their theology, says Sojourners Magazine Editor-in-Chief Jim Wallis. The idea that the earth is expendable extends from the belief in the imminent return of Jesus to earth
Adds Cizik, “The early church fathers opted for a Neo-Platonist view where spirit matters and matter doesn’t.” Later church reformers such as Martin Luther saw the earth as merely a staging ground for a great battle between good and evil.
This departure from a long standing alliance between evangelicals and the Republican Party has its critics. Older evangelical leaders such as NAE member Bishop Harry Jackson warns against “alarmism,” and alliances with abortion proponents.
Some claim that as much as 40% of republican voters hold evangelical views. Richard Cizik predicts that dissatisfied evangelicals will vote differently as they leave the confines of abortion and gay marriage and move in new earth-friendly directions.