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Christians in Conflict: Greens vs. Contractualists

Written by Gary North on October 23, 2012

The Greens have recruited an interfaith council of liberal Jews, liberal Protestants, liberal Orthodox, and Liberal Roman Catholics. These people have formed an organization to make big civil government even more intrusive in our lives. This is The National Religious Partnership for the Environment.

There is a rival organization of conservative, Bible-believing activists, whose economics is tied to the principle of voluntary association and whose worldview is shaped by what the Bible says about personal responsibility. It is The Cornwall Alliance.

First, the Greenies. Here is what they have done.

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Public Policy Initiatives

The Partnership has undertaken local and national public policy initiatives. In so doing, it has sought to present moral principles, beyond political partisanship, to help guide action for the common good.

NRPE led the effort to address the needs of developing countries (known as international adaptation) in US climate legislation

  • Interfaith Global Climate Change Campaigns have been established in 20 states, and an Interfaith Climate Change Network has recruited 25,000 individuals as advocates for national climate policy.
  • The U.S. Catholic bishops published a pastoral statement entitled “Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good.”
  • 40 senior religious leaders composed “Let There Be Light,” a religious reflection on energy policy.
  • Evangelical Christians were widely credited for having helped prevent rollback of the Endangered Species Act.
  • The Jewish community enacted a two-year campaign to prevent deforestation.
  • A delegation of Christian and Jewish leaders met with officials from Ford, General Motors, and the United Auto Workers to deliver an “Open Letter to Automobile Executives” and held substantive discussions on fuel economy.
  • Regional environmental justice projects were initiated in Catholic dioceses on the issues of sprawl (Los Angeles and Connecticut), sustainable agriculture (Iowa), transportation equity (Detroit), and water (Florida).
  • Hundreds of people of faith signed a prayer petition sponsored by the National Council of Churches calling on political leaders to honor God’s command to tend the garden and commit to being better stewards of America’s air, water, wild lands and wildlife.

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The rival organization, the Cornwall Alliance, has a very different agenda.

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  1. We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.  Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.
  2. We believe abundant, affordable energy is indispensable to human flourishing, particularly to societies which are rising out of abject poverty and the high rates of disease and premature death that accompany it. With present technologies, fossil and nuclear fuels are indispensable if energy is to be abundant and affordable.
  3. We believe mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, achievable mainly by greatly reduced use of fossil fuels, will greatly increase the price of energy and harm economies.
  4. We believe such policies will harm the poor more than others because the poor spend a higher percentage of their income on energy and desperately need economic growth to rise out of poverty and overcome its miseries.


  1. We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.
  2. We deny that alternative, renewable fuels can, with present or near-term technology, replace fossil and nuclear fuels, either wholly or in significant part, to provide the abundant, affordable energy necessary to sustain prosperous economies or overcome poverty.
  3. We deny that carbon dioxide—essential to all plant growth—is a pollutant. Reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures, and the costs of the policies would far exceed the benefits.
  4. We deny that such policies, which amount to a regressive tax, comply with the Biblical requirement of protecting the poor from harm and oppression.

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Take your pick.

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6 thoughts on “Christians in Conflict: Greens vs. Contractualists

  1. Victor Barney says:

    Again, Revelation is perfectly clear when YOU ONLY READ IT through scientific deduction as commanded in it(2 Peter 1:20). So-called Christians are judged first by the two-witnesses of Revelation, chapter 11 & when our Hebrew-inspired(not even Greek inspired) Jewish Savior returns(Yahshua, meaning in Hebrew: Yahweh(YHWH) means salvation), chapter 18, Revelation is clear that Our Savior immediately destroys Babylon & Islam upon his RETURN. Just saying what's actually written in it, not what people say is written in it and actually in not written in it at all(i.e., following the traditions of man, also as written in it).

  2. Delmar Jackson says:

    if I talk to a greenie and they do not agree we in the west should reduce massive immigration, then I realize I am not talking to a person that undrstands how to reduce damage to our environment and are using environmentalism as a cover to destroy the west via massive 3rd world immigration.
    If i talk to a greenie that wants alternatives to fossil fuls that produce greenhouse gases and they refuse to look into liquid thorium reactors which are stable, have no waste and use cheap and plentiful thorium as a fuel, then i know I am talking to someone that has a closed mind and I stop wasting my time.

    Why haven't we heard about the safety and low cost of thorium reactors?

  3. The “The National Religious Partnership for the Environment” is not a Christian group, it is a Progressive, partisan group. They filter their membership (a little) to enable the “religious” label, but the only god they actually serve is the god of Progressive ideology. Like the communists from the 1930 through the 1960s, modern Progressives deliberately dress themselves up to look like anything that will give them an advantage in some setting, but it is only a surface dressing. Modern Progressives behave like the earlier communists because that’s what they are — slightly updated communists.

    The Cornwall Alliance is also not a Christian group, it is an American conservative group. It has the virtue, unlike the Progressive group, that its members probably do serve the Christian God in their private lives, but in fact it is still a partisan, political group. The group probably formed explicitly to counter the false “religious” claim of the first, Progressive group.

    The message Christians who actually love Christ should take is that false prophets will attempt to borrow Christ’s name for their own purposes. There is no theological requirement for Christians to believe either position, or any position in between; like everything else in America, we have to determine the facts for ourselves.

    My examination of the facts leads me to understand that the economic progress of the West, modified by recognition of our neighbors’ needs, has lifted billions of people out of poverty without significantly harming the planet for which we are responsible, and that so long as we remain aware of possible problems we might create, that progress should be encouraged. The claim that we’re disastrously warming the planet with our progress has been discredited as a political hoax; the science behind the claim is virtually non-existant.

    If you’re a Christian like me, I’m asking: what’s your understanding?

  4. "My examination of the facts leads me to understand that the economic progress of the West, modified by recognition of our neighbors' needs, has lifted billions of people out of poverty without significantly harming the planet for which we are responsible, and that so long as we remain aware of possible problems we might create, that progress should be encouraged. The claim that we're disastrously warming the planet with our progress has been discredited as a political hoax; the science behind the claim is virtually non-existant.

    Read more: http://teapartyeconomist.com/2012/10/23/christian

    This is perhaps the most intelligent, balanced thing I've ever read on the whole matter.

    Both sides have very valid points, and neither must be ignored to make sure we don't screw up anything- economic or environmental, beyond recovery.

  5. adamenochnoah says:


  6. Re the greens: If anyone has traveled extensively over much of the world, as I and my wife have, he/she will know that North America, which according to green doctrine is a wasteland raped and pillaged by man's greed and selfishness, is actually a beautiful pristine garden. There is really no place in the world like North America. Parts of Europe are nice too, e.g, Germany, but every tree there has a serial number on it. The deserts of the American Southwest are beautiful gardens compared with places we've seen. There is absolutely no place on earth like the American Northwest and western Canada. I've been to countries which haven't had trees on their mountain slopes in millenia, in high precipitation areas. Every time it rains it's a disaster with floods and mudslides wiping out whole villages. The only reason silly Americans buy what the greens are selling is because they've never been anywhere else. We take FAR better care of the land than anyone else, anywhere else. Here's a for instance: Pennsylvania, which has 12 million people in only 44 thousand square miles, is still 65% FOREST. NO PLACE ELSE IN THE WORLD has anything like even Pennsylvania, and we normally don't think of Pennsylvania as being anything out of the ordinary! Think about it.