God is Green: Evangelicals Embrace the EPA

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 Worshipers gather inside Christ Episcopal Church, which was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and rebuilt, April 17, 2011 in Waveland, Mississippi.
From and

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency wrapped up two days of public hearings on its proposed climate rule that would curb carbon emissions from the nation's powers plants.

The comment sessions drew an audience more diverse than the usual make-up of energy executives, coal lobbyists, and environmental activists.

Among the crowd, and included as speakers, were a surprising number of faith leaders, Evangelicals and conservative Christians who were there not against, but in support of the Obama Administration's position on climate action.

Brandan Robertson is the Founder of The Revangelical Movement and a representative of the growing number of those in the religious right who also see environmentalism as a religious and civic priority.

"Many conservative Christians pegged the issues around climate change as something that only liberals did or something that was actually opposed to the Christian message," says Robertson. "This was mainly because conservative Evangelicals and Catholics tended to have a human-centered view that saw the Earth as an object that humans have been given to dominate and exploit for our own benefit. When it was all used up, Jesus would return, destroy the world, and take Christians to heaven. That is, of course, an oversimplification."

Robertson says that a new wave of conservative Christians and religious organizations have begun taking leadership roles, adding that the views of climate change denialists are inadequate, destructive, and even "unbiblical" in some senses.

"Throughout The Bible, there are clear passages that describe the sacredness of the Earth," says Robertson. "The Bible paints a picture at the end that says humanity will actually exist on our planet forever."

Nowadays, Robertson says that environmental conservation is more in line with the Christian faith, adding that statistics show that the new generation of younger Evangelicals are changing politically.

"For instance, on June 2nd when the EPA released a proposal to reduce carbon pollution, many conservative Christians saw that as a no-brainer," he says. "Yes, [President Obama's] proposal had a price tag of $150 billion, but the price tag that will cost if we don't get to work on these issues is far higher. As we look at Jesus and examine our Bibles, we're becoming increasingly less concerned with personal wealth and economic growth, and more concerned with caring for our whole planet. It seems to us like the more Christ-like thing to do."