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Ecological Catastrophe and the Uneasy Evangelical Conscience

Ecological Catastrophe and the Uneasy Evangelical Conscience” by Russell D. Moore:

Someone once described Roe vs. Wade as the ​“Pearl Harbor” of the evangelical pro-life conscience. Pearl Harbor is an apt metaphor. Before that date of infamy, foreign policy isolationism seemed to be a legitimate American option. The ​“America First” committees and some of the most influential figures in the United States Congress argued that Hitler’s war was none of our concern. We should tend to ourselves, and we could deal with whomever won in Europe and the Pacific when all the dust had settled.

After Pearl Harbor, the shortsightedness, and indeed utopianism, of isolationism was seen for what it was. After Roe, what seemed to be a ​“Catholic issue” now pierced through the consciences of evangelical Protestants who realized they’d not only been naïve; they’d also missed a key aspect of Christian thought and mission.

For too long, we evangelical Christians have maintained an uneasy ecological conscience. I include myself in this indictment.

We’ve had an inadequate view of human sin.

Because we believe in free markets, we’ve acted as though this means we should trust corporations to protect the natural resources and habitats. But a laissez-faire view of government regulation of corporations is akin to the youth minister who lets the teenage girl and boy sleep in the same sleeping bag at church camp because he ​“believes in young people.”

The Scripture gives us a vision of human sin that means there ought to be limits to every claim to sovereignty, whether from church, state, business or labor. A commitment to the free market doesn’t mean unfettered license any more than a commitment to free speech means hardcore pornography ought to be broadcast in prime-time by your local network television affiliate.

Via Rod Dreher


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