Many leaders of the Evangelical movement came together this week to stand up for the environment. Though not all evangelicals agree with their stance, the leaders cited Bible verses for the change in their position, and are urging government, businesses and individuals to cut emissions to combat global warming.
It's a shame then that President Bush does not share the views of the majority of his proponents. Despite the fact that the President just recently promised in his State of the Union address to help to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and pledged more research money for alternative fuel sources, his proposed budget revealed only days later, tells a different story. Environmental causes on the whole were slashed by 13 percent. Now, this may not seem terribly significant, but when you consider the fact that our natural environment is teetering on a ledge that we may never be able to retreat from, it becomes more significant. And instead of getting the additional funding needed to reverse the trend, budgets are being cut despite Bush's recent promises.
The Evangelical leaders are also asking politicians to draft legislation mandating emission reductions in carbon dioxide, but President Bush opposes these mandatory reductions, insisting they will hurt the economy. And instead of funding energy conservation programs, the cheapest way to increase supply of energy sources, Bush's 2007 budget calls for an 18 percent cut to energy efficient programs. As the final kicker, as reported just today, President Bush proposes selling over 300,000 acres of National Forest to fund rural schools. I've got a better idea: let's do away with the tax break to the wealthiest 1% of the nation, or better yet, increase the tax on the oil companies, who have enjoyed their heftiest profits ever, while middle to low-income families, and are taking it in the wallet. There would be plenty of money to fund schools, combat terrorism, and save the forests, and hopefully reverse global warming.
The commands of Jesus in the Bible are clear. We are to "love our neighbors" (Mark 12:30-31), "do unto others as we would have them do unto us" (Luke 6:31), care for "the least of these" (Matthew 25:40-45), and be proper "stewards of His creation" (Luke 12:42-48). It's nice to know that Evangelicals are holding themselves to these standards. If only President Bush and Congress would take these views into consideration and stop carrying out the usual Conservative agenda. After all, as a poignant bumper sticker pointedly asks, "What exactly are Conservatives conserving?"
It's high time to do away with political labels and stereotypes and come together as Americans, as humans, as "stewards" of the earth. I'm pretty sure it's what Jesus would want us to do.