Who knew?

The Christian Right discovers that environmentalism is paganism. Or something.

I’ve always wondered what Bible translations the Christian Right is operating from; clearly, they have versions that omit the Commandment against false witness, for example, and the one about not oppressing aliens. Turns out their Bibles also tell them that any failure to wreck the planet would be displeasing to God. The reasoning seems to go something like “Pagans worshipped nature-gods and nature-goddesses. Therefore, worrying about the ecological impact of human activity is idol worship, if not Devil-worship.”

Naturally, the usual energy-industry suspects (Exxon-Mobil and the Koch Brothers) are helping to pay the tab.

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

14 thoughts on “Who knew?”

  1. Well, the planet might be wrecked, and look like a post-apocalyptic hell-hole, but at least they aren’t handing the country over to atheist technocrats who want to gay up the place with solar powered weenie cars.

  2. It’s been clear for a long time that the “Christian Right” isn’t interested in what the Bible says.

    I have yet to find a translation that says “The love of another person of your sex is the root of all evil.”

    Ditto “it’s easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a liberal to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

  3. Mark,

    This is one of the primary reasons US politics seems to be constantly inching (if not lurching) to the right.
    The right has a hard core batch of fiery fundamentalists they can count on to pound the ball upfield…
    What does the left have at its core? Nothing akin for sure. Gaia perhaps? Oh shush…
    The left seems to have no god or ideals at its heart worth dying for.

    All the zealots are all on the right.
    What is murder to the left, is passion for Christ on the right.
    They’ve got folks who could shoot an abortion doctor in the back and feel God owes them 40 virgins for doing it…

    You see that irrational passion with the RBC commenters who would abolish schools and send kids into the mines again in a wink…
    How do you argue with people that both begin and end there? You don’t.
    And so it comes to pass that today the lefty-compromiser chicken Dick Durbin looks for a warm place to roost between wolf Ryan and the kit-fox Obama.

    Another primary reason for the country’s steady rightward drift:

    Experiments have shown people tend to favor their dominant side as “good.”
    And most people are right handed. Ergo everything that is good gets scaled to the “right”.
    Consider the implications of this: Dislike for the ideas from the “left” are built into the country’s physiology.
    At best, this is just more built-in inertia for the the left to overcome…
    At worst? Your guess is as good as mine.

    You want to know what’s wrong with Kansas?
    It’s filled with right-handed people and a small core of hard core fundamentalists.
    Throw a little Koch money in there to stir the wrath…
    And there you go. They’ll cut off their Social Security to spite your Medicare….

    Against all this the left contends in vain.


  4. Is it really necessary or useful to bash the Christian religion during their holiest weekend of the year?

  5. Kleiman is not bashing the Christian religion. He is not even bashing Christians.

    “Christian” = followers of Christ

    “Christian Right” followers of Christ

    There is no trace of loving your neighbour in what they do.

  6. Bux, you mean like that nasty guy Jesus who took on the money lenders in the temple and decried the hypocrisy of the Pharisees?

    Mark’s not bashing Christians, he’s calling on people to examine, in the tradition of a long line of prophetic voices, whether the behavior of a set of people who call themselves “Christian” is consistent with the religion they claim to follow.

    A perfectly appropriate activity for Holy Week.

  7. One problem doretta, the long line of prophets you speak of were members of the faith community themselves and thus could speak legitimately to the purety of the faith. As far as I am aware, Mark does not claim to be a Christian. His interpretation (and the other comments above) reveal a lack of understanding of the Bible messsage. A misinterpretation of the Bible message by a non-believer is disappointing to read on Easter weekend. This would be like me calling on all Jews to act like real Jews during Yom Kippur.

  8. Bux, as soon as there is an equivalent Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish left, have at them. As an atheist, feel free to criticize me 365 days a year. 🙂

  9. “His interpretation (and the other comments above) reveal a lack of understanding of the Bible message.”

    How can the holy word of gawd be misinterpreted? It’s holy, isn’t it?

    Christ on a crutch, you moron, words have meaning! Why don’t you share your interpretation of the Bible message w/ us, Mr. Know-It-All?

  10. Bux, the two passages I referred to are from the Hebrew Bible. I hope you won’t object if I claim the right to read and interpret that text, and to challenge its interpretation by others.

    But I agree that it would be better for wicked folly offered in the name of Christianity to be criticized by practicing Christians. Be my guest. But be prepared to have corporate shills accuse you of idolatry and Devil-worship.

  11. Those responding to Bux have it wrong…

    Bux has not mistakenly misinterpreted Mark, rather he has willfully misinterpreted him. Keep in mind that Kleiman has a public persona. By claiming the professor is “bashing Christians” on the “holiest weekend,” Bux looks to be feigning injustice and angling for a place to angle a social lever.

    Of course that might not be very Christian of Bux; but hey, if he can paint a liberal public professor as a Jesus hater, that works for him and his ilk. Which is all to say: If Mark’s post is the pudding, Bux’s first post is its proof.

  12. Good Easter morning, everyone. As a Christian, on this most holy day, I would like to thank Mark for calling out the so-called “Christian right” for obscene and selfish waste and disregard of the handiwork of Almighty God, the Creation that God lovingly made and called good, which we are so fortunate as to inhabit, which is a testament to God’s glory, and which we are commanded not to diminish.

  13. I really don’t see why “Six degrees of the Koch Brothers” has gotten so popular with liberals.

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