NAE Leader on Environment
(Interview with Richard Cizik from
the New York Times Magazine, 4/3/05, p. 17)
"As a leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, you
are going up against tradition by trying to persuade your 30 million
members to care about pollution, global warming and environmentalism
"The Scriptures themselves, right in Genesis 2:15, say watch
over creation and care for it. The air, the water, the resources -
all have been given to us by God to protect. ... Environmentalist
have a bad reputation among evangelical Christians for four reasons.
One, they rely on big-government solutions. Two , their alliance
with population-control movements. Three, they keep kooky religious
"What is your idea of a kooky religion?
"Some environmentalists are pantheists who believe creation
itself is holy, not the Creator.
"And what's No. 4?
"There's a certain gloom and doom about environmentalists. They
tend to prophecies of doom that don't happen. Love at the movie 'The
Day After Tomorrow,' in which New York City freezes over.
"Talk about gloom and doom! What about evangelicals like Tim
LaHaye, who discourage Christians from worrying about the
environment because the earth will just be destroyed in the Second
"I don't agree with that.
"Do you believe in the Rapture?
"Yes, I believe thazt will be a Second Coming of Jesus Christ
and the believers in Christ will rise to meet him in the air. The
dead first, and then those who are still living. ...
"I would think you do have a disagreement with the
administration, The president is under constant pressure from big
business to roll back environmental protections.
"If the evangelicals can't convince the president, then no one
"Why would President Bush give evangelicals more say than he
gives the business community?
"Look, the big corporate interests have an undue say in party
policy. And into this reality come the evangelical Christians. And
when confronted with making a choice, this administration will
compromise. Because about 40 percent of the Republican Party is
represented by evangelicals. They wouldn't want the two major
constituencies of the Republican Party at war with each other."