Wealthy and religious individuals are ignoring the environment because they believe Christ is returning, says the recipient of Harvard Med's 2004
"Global Environment Citizen Award." In his acceptance speech he recalls past and present politicians who have not only admitted to this sort of
belief, but actively seek out destroying the environment to bring about the rapture. He sheds light on an interesting American sub-culture that is
actively trying to usher in the end of the world. He also discusses the difficulties he faces as a journalist in trying to bring news to a society
that is either unaware of the stress we place on our planet or simply doesn't care.
As difficult as it is, however, for journalists to fashion a readable narrative for complex issues without depressing our readers and viewers,
there is an even harder challenge: to pierce the ideology that governs official policy today. One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime
is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the oval office and in Congress. For the
first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington. Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true;
ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their
offspring are not always bad but they are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike, oblivious to the facts.
Remember James Watt, President Reagan's first Secretary of the Interior? My favorite online environmental journal, the ever engaging Grist,
reminded us recently of how James Watt told the U.S. Congress that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of
Jesus Christ. In public testimony he said, "...after the last tree is felled, Christ will come back."
Beltway elites snickered. The press corps didn't know what he was talking about. But James Watt was serious. So were his compatriots out across
the country. They are the people who believe the bible is literally true -- one-third of the American electorate, if a recent Gallup poll is
accurate. In this past election, several million good and decent citizens went to the polls believing in the Rapture Index. That's right -- the
Rapture Index. Google it and you will find that the best-selling books in America today are the twelve volumes of the "Left-Behind" series written
by the Christian fundamentalist and religious right warrior, Timothy LaHaye. These true believers subscribe to a fantastical theology concocted in the
19th century by a couple of immigrant preachers who took disparate passages from the Bible and wove them into a narrative that has captivated the
imagination of millions of Americans.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
This explains a lot to me about some environmental policies. Even when you do believe the end is near, does it still make sense to say "god created
this, so lets destroy it and not take care of anything?"
The bible also says nobody will know when it is coming, so why do we have people so set on it being immanent and predicting the apocalypse? It is
believed Jesus even preached the end was near and he was a bit off so why does W think he can predict much better? Is this really why we need the oil,
so we can use it up to usher in some new age?
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[edit on 7-12-2004 by blanketgirl]
[edit on 12-7-2004 by Zion Mainframe]