Christian Right Missing Biblical Command For Earth Stewardship
By James Donahue
In their rush to dismantle US environmental laws and allow big industry to exploit and pollute the planet unchecked,
the extreme right-wing Bible thumpers in Washington are illustrating their ignorance when it comes to the contents of the
book they flaunt.
While this writer in no way condones Christianity, he knows what is in the Bible. It contains a commandment by God in
Genesis 2:15 to “dress and keep” the garden, which was the Earth as it originally existed.
Some Christian environmental groups are well aware of the commandment to be good stewards of the Earth, and they share
our concerns about the reckless way the government has been turning its back on this covenant on behalf of the greed of big
The Bible teaches that the covenant was between man and an external God-creator looking down from the clouds. The text
was written a very long time ago and eventually found its way into the Hebrew books that became part of the Old Testament.
The commandment was a logical warning to mankind, however. We needed to care for the great Mother Earth from where we came
and from whom we receive our daily sustenance for life. Failure to do this threatens our lives and even our possible extinction.
The Christians also have added a deadly dooms day scenario that predicts the
so-called Savior Jesus coming down in the clouds at the last moment to rescue all of the “believers” and
take them safely up into Heaven. Consequently, many of the fundamental Christians are not as concerned about the issue of
Earth stewardship as they are in getting prepared for what they believe will be a looming ascension with Jesus into a new
Earth that is magically repaired.
This seems to be the mind-set behind the misdeeds occurring these days in Washington. Our legislators are slashing
government funding for environmental safety law enforcement and seem willing to allow industry to run amuck with its unbridled
coal fired furnaces and disposal of toxic waste. Consequently our seas, our air and our land is so polluted the planet is
no longer able to provide the healthy ingredients we need for our very survival.
We are breathing toxic air. We are running out of clean water to drink and enough food to feed an overpopulated
world. But why worry, the Christians ask. When Jesus comes, everything will be just fine.
But what if the Jesus story has been a hoax? What if there is no savior coming down out of the clouds to save
us from ourselves?
It is interesting to note that even Christians are beginning to see that something is radically wrong with the
extreme right wing cult that appears to have taken over Washington.
The National Association of Evangelicals, an organization of 45,000 churches representing an estimated 30 million members,
circulated a draft of a policy statement in 2005 that urged lawmakers even then to reinstate laws placing mandatory controls
of carbon emissions on industry.
Since taking office in 2001, George W. Bush set about systematically scrapping these controls, either through executive
order or by encouraging legislative action. He used natural disasters like Gulf hurricane damage to push urgent bills through
the two houses designed to help oil and gas companies repair their plants and get the carbon-based fuels flowing again at
Bush also turned his back on the international Kyoto Agreement, forged in Japan, that would require participating nations
to force industry to roll back greenhouse gas emissions. Bush argued that the agreement would be unfair to U.S. industry which
competes in a global market because not all countries are participating. China and India are among the larger nations that
were not involved in the agreement. Overall, and probably because the United States refused to participate, the Kyoto treaty
never was much of a success.
By his actions, and the actions of the elected legislators who have since followed Bush in lock step, there
seems to be a total ignorance in Washington of the Biblical teachings requiring humans to be good stewards of the earth.
While President Barack Obama has taken steps to put new teeth into the Environmental Protection Agency and bring new
life into the federal environment laws, he has been hampered by a financial crisis that has stirred a movement to cut federal
spending in nearly all departments except the military. While we are raging constant warfare, and not worrying about the mega-billions
spent for defense, nobody in Washington is putting a priority into saving the planet that sustains us.