Evangelical Christians Confront Climate Change : Rough Translation What if more evangelical Christians in the United States fought climate change with the same spirit they bring to the issue of abortion? We go back to a surprisingly recent period when that happened.
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The Loneliness Of The Climate Change Christian

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The Loneliness Of The Climate Change Christian

The Loneliness Of The Climate Change Christian

The Loneliness Of The Climate Change Christian

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/923715751/923787830" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Richard Cizik poses for a photo for Vanity Fair, part of a feature on pro-environment leaders from various backgrounds. Mark Seliger hide caption

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Mark Seliger

Richard Cizik poses for a photo for Vanity Fair, part of a feature on pro-environment leaders from various backgrounds.

Mark Seliger

With Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearings underway, some are hoping — others are fearing — that her political and religious beliefs as a conservative Catholic might influence her decisions as a Justice. Her critics and supporters alike seem to take it for granted that religious values have a profound influence on the landscape of American politics.

Few religious interest groups have wielded as much political power in the United States over the past few decades as white evangelical Christians. They focused their attention at first on family values, abortion, and same sex marriage, but have since expanded to global geopolitics and climate change.

But just as their religious values have changed U.S. politics, U.S. politics have influenced religion. Conservative political priorities around climate change have trickled down to church sermons, and exhortations from the pulpit guard against the "blasphemy" of environmentalism.

In this episode, we take you back to a surprisingly recent period of time before environmentalists were painted as agents of the devil, and when lots of people felt that environmentalism was the issue that might bring Christians and scientists together. We bring you the story of someone who spent years trying to find the right words and right language for both Christians and skeptics. Until, one day — he said too much.

Additional Context:

  • According to a study from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, among Christians, evangelicals are most likely to believe that God expects humans to be good stewards of nature. But the same study shows that evangelicals are least likely to believe that climate change is real and human-caused.
  • "The Evangelical Vote" from NPR's Throughline podcast explores the history of the American evangelical voting bloc, and how it became so deeply intertwined with conservative politics in the United States.
  • After separating from the National Association of Evangelicals, Richard Cizik founded his own faith-based organization, the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

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