Don't waste your time on the environment

…there’s no need for the church of Jesus Christ to be wasting its time gullibly falling for all of this global warming hocus-pocus. We need to give our total focus to the business of reaching this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and stop running down meaningless rabbit trails that get our focus off…

…there’s no need for the church of Jesus Christ to be wasting its time gullibly falling for all of this global warming hocus-pocus. We need to give our total focus to the business of reaching this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and stop running down meaningless rabbit trails that get our focus off of our heavenly purpose.

So says Jerry Falwell, the ‘nationally recognized Christian minister and television show host’. Some of you are sceptical, I can tell. But it is OK, he has been ‘intently studying this subject’ and has amassed evidence and ‘has proof to back up his claim’. Take for example the fact that ‘in November, for the second consecutive month, temperatures across the continental U.S. were cooler than average’. Sounds convincing to me.

Apparently ‘the Bible teaches that God will maintain the Earth until Jesus returns’, so we don’t need to worry. There is a TV news report about this here, but you might have to watch a 15 second TV advert about SUVs first. Another of the quotes above was from this brief report.

This is, I think, quite good news for those who care about environmental things. Falwell saying these things will hopefully help convince people that the opposite is true. Perhaps.


  1. Well, of course. If you really love God you will do your best to trash everything he made and grab your share of the goodies. Stands to reason.

    And the Gospel has nothing to say to the contrary??
    What Bible does he read??!!??

  2. where do you find these people!?

    what i particularly liked was the fact that in the middle of his rant is a bunch of google ads for preventing global warming! presumably google thought that someone talking about global warming would be interested in that kind of thing……

  3. Ruthe, it would be fairer to say that George W. Bush is sponsored by Jerry Falwell. The Christian Evangelical Right now forms the “base” of the US Republican party, and has been avidly courted by Republican presidential candidates since Ronald Reagan’s days. Cause and effect can be hard to disentangle, however. It may well be that the powerful oil and gas interests who have contributed heavily to the Bush-era Republican party simply have instructed the Religious Right on this issue. In any case, US conservative Evangelicals almost uniformly doubt the evidence for global warming. They are instructed from the pulpit that there is no such phenomenon.

  4. I don’t doubt that God’s going to maintain the world. I’m just not sure the Bible specifies that God’s going to maintain it in a condition where we can live here comfortably. Or, live here at all… Jerry causes me to have disconcerting temporary cranial disconnects. I try to avoid him.

  5. He sounds like a strange man. Has he got shares in open mountain topping coal minning? I am not sure he understands that God is expecting his earth to be returned in tip top working order – Oh dear!

  6. It’s not hard to have this outlook and I think we should be gentle to correct, and not come down too hard on such types (at least their followers). Of course it is wrong to see ecological issues as “a distraction” and to some Christians it has become that, but for us Anglicans and anyone else who takes mission seriously it is one of 5 “marks of mission”, and therefore fairly important. The difficulty comes when we assign a grading – it often comes out lowest. We are generally much happier to buy the biggish shoes or give a meal to a starving child than we are to make a compost bin in our 2×2 “garden”. Obviously doing both is preferable, but most of us will have a priority list of some sort.

    The first of the 5 marks is your basic evangelistic goal, to make disciples and preach the good news. The ACC makes it clear that this is the most important of the 5, but should lead into the rest. Mr Jerry Falstaff is just focussing on the first – or he just sees trying to sort out the world as futile and likes seeing results.

  7. Pity that Falwell can’t see that concern about the environment feeds evangelism, rather than being a distraction from it. He should see it as a golden opportunity.

    I say this as a former environmental campaigner, now a Christian campaigner, so think I may know what I’m talking about, for once.

  8. Worth looking at for all the adverts on the site: ‘Retire and still make a six-figure income’; where to read Chuck Norris on the web, a pill to ‘repair your entire body’, ‘eliminate shyness’ and, my favourite, ‘the Conservative Book Club’!

  9. It is significant that his main objection to the Kyoto agreement is that it will cost America money and adjust the trade balance between it and Russia, India and China. In other words it is a distraction from his church’s mission of making as much money as possible.

    There is extra irony from another page on the site claiming that global warming “hysteria” is a money making communist plot.

    US money making = good
    Anyone else = evil

    I just pray that his attitude is confined.

  10. And there’s more: subscribe to the magazine covering these stories and get a free book about when it is alright to shoot people.

    The Christian Right is neither. ~Anon

  11. I’d like to make a couple of points. Apologies in advance that this is a bit long!

    Preaching the good news vs helping the poor

    If we claim that God loves people, they’re going to find this message a little trite if we don’t care for their physical needs (see James chapter 2), and if they’re physically suffering they’re unlikely to be very receptive anyway.

    Similarly, treating “preaching the good news” as purely something involving telling people about Jesus via a mini-sermon or whatever takes away a lot of the dynamism and vitality out of that good news: it often makes a lot more sense expressed via our actions! (The St Francis quote “preach the gospel at all times, use words if necessary” is always mentioned in this sort of context, but it’s a good point!)

    The environment and the poor

    A point which cannot be emphasised enough is the connection between care for the environment and care for the poor. It’s particularly apparent with climate change:

    1) Climate change is going to hit the poor hardest. This is partly because they don’t have the resources to put counter-measures in place (e.g. flood defences), but mainly because it will further existing problems. For example, if current carbon emissions are not cut rainfall across southern Africa is predicted to have declined by two metres a year by 2080.

    People are already dying from climate change: 160,000 per year according to the World Health Organisation.

    2) Climate change is going to undo decades of anti-poverty work. For example, the benefit of new doctors funded by debt-relief in Africa will be undermined by increasing disease.

    3) Climate Change is an issue of social justice. Put simply, poor countries aren’t the ones responsible for climate change but they’re going to suffer the most from it.

    It’s quite right that we as Christians should promote environmentalism in the context of the world being God’s creation. However, we should also engage with environmentalism because we should share God’s concern for the poor, and because we should want justice and fairness.

    We shouldn’t worry that working on environmental issues will cause us to lose our focus on the poor, we should instead worry that not working on environmental issues will make our anti-poverty work useless!

    Climate change is a major example of self-centredness in rich countries causing suffering in poor countries. That fact on its own should stir Christians into action (we are supposed to put others’ needs ahead of our own…)

    (There’s more information about how climate change and development are related at

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