“Creation care”: a wedge to split the GOP coalition?

When the National Association of Evengelicals considers a call for limiting carbon emissions, Democrats face an opportunity and Republicans a potential nightmare.

Groups of evangelical Christians zre now organizing around the idea that the Bible commands that humans be good stewards of the Earth. The slogan is “Creation care,” and one of the proof-texts is Gen. 2:15:

And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Apparently this isn’t just a fringe: the National Association of Evangelicals is circulating a draft statement calling for controls on carbon emissions. Naturally, the Republicans on the Hill, and in particular Sen. Jim Inhofe, are furious. If the environment becomes a wedge between the Christian Right and business interests, that could put a hard-to-repair crack in the GOP’s governing coaliton.

One of the points Wesley Clark made last week in L.A. was that Democrats need to learn to challenge Republicans for the votes of those who consider themselves Bible Christians by pointing out the ways in which their policies are, and their opponents’ policies are not, consistent with Biblical injunctions.

Amen, brother.

Let’s hear it for the extension of multicultural tolerance and understanding to one of the largest minority cultures in this country. The stench of corruption and lying now rising from the White House, the Republican Congressional leadership, and the associated lobbying/fundraising machine ought to be especially offensive to the evangelicals, as long as they’re not presented with Democratic candidates who seem disdainful of their beliefs and concerns. We don’t have to carry the evangelical vote: increasing the Democratic share of it, and demobilizing some of Republican-oriented evangelicals, would be triumph enough.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com