According to an email press release I got yesterday, the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) is opposed to legislation dealing with global warming. And just listen to their reasoning (You’re gonna love this!):
"It would be unwise for evangelical churches to repeat the mistakes of liberal-led mainline denominations by adopting specific assessments - usually the most alarmist assessments - of the environmental situation and then lending their blessing to particular policy prescriptions - often statist and costly prescriptions. Churches should be reluctant to attach the name of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to contemporary political agendas that lack a clear scriptural mandate and consensus among the faithful."
So says IRD interim president, the ironically named Alan Wisdom.
Furthermore, apparently the IRD has determined that the science of global warming is a little fuzzy. They don’t see global warming as a “consensus issue,” because of the ongoing debate as to its “causes and origins.” And since we don’t know for sure, the church shouldn’t take a stand one way or another. To do so would be to “politicize” the Gospel, which IRD thinks is a bad thing.
Now, any of you who have read Enter the Rainbow for any length of time know where I am going with this - straight at the heart of IRD’s hypocrisy. For this little exercise, global warming will be the issue on the one hand and homosexual rights will be the issue on the other hand. Okay, ready? Let’s play.
- On the one hand, we should not adopt specific alarmist assessments of the environmental situation. On the other hand, IRD’s assessment is that gay marriage is such a dangerous threat to straight marriage that it must be immediately banned.
- On the one hand, we should avoid blessing particular policies, especially “statist” (what in the world?) and expensive ones. On the other hand, IRD is actively campaigning to amend state constitutions all over our nation to limit the rights of homosexual people, and spending a lot of money in the process.
- On the one hand, we should hesitate to associate the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a political agenda regarding the environment. On the other hand, IRD has built its entire anti-homosexual political agenda around the notion that the Gospel of Jesus Christ condemns same-sex relationships.
- On the one hand, a stance against global warming lacks a clear scriptural mandate. On the other hand, a smattering of tangential Bible verses will suffice to support the vehement anti-homosexual ideology.
- On the one hand, the church needs to refrain from taking a stand on the environmental issue until the science behind it is worked out. On the other hand, IRD takes its unambiguous anti-gay stance in spite of the fact that science cannot now and will never be able to fully explain the intricacies of sexual attraction.
Mmmm … I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning! It may be that I am comparing apples with oranges here, but that is not the larger point of my argument. I think the IRD blew it on this one. If they were to apply the same reasoning they are using for their global warming position to the issue of homosexual rights, then they would be forced to take a non-stand on that issue, also. But their stand on homosexual rights is crystal clear. (Hint: they are not favorable). I sure hope somebody with more clout than me calls them on this.