Friday, March 02, 2007

Sometimes, It's Just Too Embarrassing...

Honestly, I don't know how much longer I can continue to use the "e" word. You know the one. Evangelical.

In recent years I've used it less and less to define my particular expression of faith, even though in good conscience I could sign any evangelical statement of faith—and have. But my expression of faith is larger than a statement of faith, and these days, that expression extends beyond the e-world.

Right now my disenchantment with some evangelicals—and a small minority at that—is the amazing and continuing controversy over the issue of global warming. My dismay had already been heating up, so to speak, but still, I kept finding it hard to believe that otherwise intelligent Christians (no, that is not an oxymoron) were adamantly refuting the evidence presented by so many experts. And then, I read this excellent entry on Jim Wallis's God's Politics blog. James Dobson, whom I credit with helping to save my sanity as a young mother all those years ago, and a few other evangelical leaders not only dispute the reality of global warming but also are calling for the resignation of NAE executive Richard Cizik, who has called much-needed attention to the issue. You really have to read Wallis's post to get the skinny on their efforts, which most assuredly do not reflect the thinking of the evangelicals I know.

Here's the thing. Like the vast majority of people in the world, I have to rely on the findings of the scientific community on issues like this, which, by the way, I consider to be moral and not political, regardless of how politicized this particular issue has become. And I have to ask two basic questions, the answers to which lead to a third:
  • If Al Gore and company are wrong, what's the worst that could happen?

  • If Al Gore and company are right, what's the worst that could happen?

  • What on earth are Dobson and company thinking?

Wouldn't it be great if global warming really was a myth? But on the off chance that it isn't—just in case the thousand or so undisputed studies confirming the existence of the global warming phenomenon are valid and legitimate and correct—wouldn't it, um, be to our advantage to conserve energy as individuals and as a nation? I don't know. It sure seems like a no-brainer to me.

In the meantime, as Dobson et al continue to besmirch the "e" word, can we please come up with a substitute descriptor? Maybe something like "Product of Intelligent Design—Honest."


GreekGeek said...

This is great to see someone else writing this (I haven't written on it, just mused about it with friends)! Some friends and I mused whether, since we were being classed as post-moderns, whether we would or no, maybe we were also post-evangelicals? But then we decided neo-evangelicals was better... Or green-evangelicals, or... you get the point. Evangelical can no longer stand alone in our self-definitions, sadly.

Marcia Ford said...

Neo-evangelicals. Yeah, I like that. I've also played with liberangelical or evangeliberal, but the word I really want to use is reasonable. There you go.
We're the reasonables.