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Creation Care

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004185/00001

Material Information

Title: Creation Care The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Toner, Chris
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2009
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Evangelicalism
Environmentalism
Social Movements
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: As climate change becomes a serious political issue in recent decades, dialogue concerning how to address the problem has intensified. The evangelical community has made a surprising entrance into this discussion. Evangelicals have traditionally fought for conservative social causes, and environmentalism has been stereotyped as liberal and secular. The manifestation of an evangelical voice in the discourse has heavy implications for the future of environmentalism and governmental approaches to the issue. However, there has been considerable debate over how �dominion belief,� anthropocentrism, and theological and political conservatism affect environmental attitudes. In the context of this debate, then, what obstacles had to be overcome for this "evangelical environmentalism" to emerge? This thesis looks at one of the more recent and major groups at the head of this social movement, the Evangelical Climate Initiative. Backed by major evangelical figure, the ECI has created a social and political space within hich evangelicals can redefine environmentalism through a Christian theological perspective. In order to successfully create an evangelical environmental movement, the ECI has bridged the gap between environmental attitudes and evangelical beliefs. By utilizing frame alignment theory, the organization's methods of constructing an evangelical voice around the issue can be better understood. My findings show that there are several major themes evident within the ECI literature that help overcome barriers between evangelicals and ecological concern.
Statement of Responsibility: by Chris Toner
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2009
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Brain, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2009 T6
System ID: NCFE004185:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004185/00001

Material Information

Title: Creation Care The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Toner, Chris
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2009
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Evangelicalism
Environmentalism
Social Movements
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: As climate change becomes a serious political issue in recent decades, dialogue concerning how to address the problem has intensified. The evangelical community has made a surprising entrance into this discussion. Evangelicals have traditionally fought for conservative social causes, and environmentalism has been stereotyped as liberal and secular. The manifestation of an evangelical voice in the discourse has heavy implications for the future of environmentalism and governmental approaches to the issue. However, there has been considerable debate over how �dominion belief,� anthropocentrism, and theological and political conservatism affect environmental attitudes. In the context of this debate, then, what obstacles had to be overcome for this "evangelical environmentalism" to emerge? This thesis looks at one of the more recent and major groups at the head of this social movement, the Evangelical Climate Initiative. Backed by major evangelical figure, the ECI has created a social and political space within hich evangelicals can redefine environmentalism through a Christian theological perspective. In order to successfully create an evangelical environmental movement, the ECI has bridged the gap between environmental attitudes and evangelical beliefs. By utilizing frame alignment theory, the organization's methods of constructing an evangelical voice around the issue can be better understood. My findings show that there are several major themes evident within the ECI literature that help overcome barriers between evangelicals and ecological concern.
Statement of Responsibility: by Chris Toner
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2009
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Brain, David

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2009 T6
System ID: NCFE004185:00001


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CREATION CARE: THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN EVANGELICAL ENVIRONMENTALISM BY CHRIS TONER A thesis Submitted to the Division of General Studies New College of Florida In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. David Brain Sarasota, Florida May 2009

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Acknowledgements Throughout this ordeal, I have been given much support and encouragement, and it is at least worth mentioning those who have helped me so much along the way. My mother has consistently given me confidence in my work and myself, even when things were lowest. My advisor Dr. David Brain has shown infinite patience with me as I have slowly tried to meet deadline after deadline. Without his generosity I would never be in the position I am now. Professor Seales has repeatedly been there to help me through the complexities that is American Christianity, and his encouragement over the last two years worth of tutorials is greatly appreciated. Professor Pittman took time out of her busy schedule to push me past a rut without any knowledge of my work or sense of necessity to assist me. I could not have gotten back into thesis mode without he r. And, of course, Professor Bob Johnson, who agreed to sit on my baccalaureate comm ittee at the last minute, even though his schedule was already swamped. I am forever indebted to his willingness to help a student he barely knows. I would also like to take a quick opportunity to thank a few close and important friends: Meg, Pat, TM, and Leah. I went through several personal collapses through my thesis process, and all of them have been there time and again to pick me back up on my feet and support me when I was at my lowest. Without their love and concern, I could not have made it through this semester successfully. I would also like to acknowledge our fa mily friend Clint. He passed away this semester at the age of 32, and his absence is very salient. I miss him dearly and hope that he knows he will always be remembered for that genuine smile and wonderful sense of charity and merriment. C. Toner ii

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Acknow ledgements...ii List of Figures...iv Abstract..v Section I Historical Overview of Christ ian Relations to Nature.1 Dominion Belief, Anthropocentric Salvation, and the Defeat of Animism .............5 The Political History of Evangelicals in America .11 Empirical Studies: The Ambiguit y of Christian Attitudes Section II Methodology Ecological Crisis as a Moral, Theological, or Biblical Issue ...29 Personal Responsibility .30 Hesitantly Favorable Outlook Towards Government Regulation .31 Reconceptualization of Nature and Anthropocentrism .33 Results.35 Section III Discussion: Overcoming Evangelical Barriers40 Ecological Crisis as a Moral, Theological, or Biblical Issue ...40 Personal Responsibility .43 Hesitantly Favorable Outlook Towards Government Regulation .47 Reconceptualization of Nature and Anthropocentrism .49 What Does This Mean For Creation Care? ..52 Conclusion and Future Research..56 Bibliography............................................................................................................59 C. Toner iii

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism List of Figures Overall Theme Frequencies Breakdown of Theme Subcategories and Literature...37 C. Toner iv

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Abstract As climate change becomes a serious political issue in recent decades, dialogue concerning how to address the pr oblem has intensified. The evangelical community has made a surprising entrance in to this discussion. Evangelicals have traditionally fought for conservative social causes, and environmentalism has been stereotyped as liberal and secular. The ma nifestation of an eva ngelical voice in the discourse has heavy implications for the future of environmentalism and governmental approaches to the issue. However, there has been considerable debate over how dominion belief, anthr opocentrism, and theol ogical and political conservatism affect environmental attitudes. In the context of this debate, then, what obstacles had to be overcome for this evangelical environmentalism to emerge? This thesis looks at one of the mo re recent and major groups at the head of this social movement, the Evangelical Climate Initiative. Backed by major evangelical figure, the ECI has created a social and political space within which evangelicals can redefine environmentalism through a Christian theological perspective. In order to successfully create an evangelical environmental movement, the ECI has bridged the gap between environmental attitudes and evangelical beliefs. By utilizing frame alignment theory, the organizations methods of constructing an evangelical voice around the issue can be better understood. My findings show that there ar e several major themes evident within the ECI literature that help overcome ba rriers between evangelicals and ecological concern. C. Toner v

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism C. Toner vi

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Historical Overview of Christian Relations to Nature In a meeting with Congress, James Watt, S ecretary of the Interi or under the Reagan Administration, expressed a be lief regarded by some as representative of the American Christian stance on the envir onment. Concerning the environmental disregard in natural resour ces policy of the Reagan ad ministration, Watt declared that I do not know how many future genera tions we can count on before the Lord returns.1 This example illustrates the anthropocentric nature of Christianity that some scholars such as Lynn White argued have helped construct the ecological crisis. Though certainly not representative of reactions against Christian relations to nature, Whites paper, The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis blamed Christianity for its role in the ecological crisis and sparked a controversy that invigorated research into the Christians relation to the natural world. With a strong focus on mans salvation, the mindset of in-this-world-but-not-of-it, and anthropocentric attitudes, how exactly does the Christian understand nature? How deep does Christian influence run in modern treatments of nature? Where does this antipathy to the environment stem from? How has modernization and globalization affected the spread of thes e ideas, and which trends ha ve shaped Christian thought? Though all these questions are intimat ely linked, they are well beyond the scope of this paper; rather, I will explor e the historical construction of Christian apathy towards environmental care and how Christian social organizations have attempted to overcome these stereotypes duri ng the past several de cades. Creation care is the manifest form of Christ ian environmentalism, specifically the 1 Marsden, George, Pg. 328 C. Toner 1

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism conservative evangelical for m. Creation car e maintains a belief in stewardship, that is, the conviction that God commanded mankind to care for His creation rather than exploit it for use by humans. Stewardship relates to, but stands distinct from, theologically liberal creation spirituality and mainstream attitudes of ecojustice. Creation spirituality is a Catholic movement started by ex-Dominican priest and theologian Matthew Fox. This belief sy stem fundamentally reworks the whole Catholic perception of reality by trying to infuse Catholic beliefs with Native American and new religious practices, and even some pagan rituals. Creation spirituality thus has importance for liberal Christian relations to the environment as it instills some forms of sp irituality into the natural wo rld. Eco-justice proponents focus their attention on how the ecological crisis will affect the poor and needy of the world. The idea of eco-justice argues th at environmental degradation manifests most strongly in poorer sections of the globe, and thus Christian morality demands action to curb the effects of the ecological crisis. Stewardshi p stands apart from these other Christian movements because it is a specific imperative from God. The ecological crisis is yet another moral issue where Christians can serve God and repent their sins. Christianity is an extremely wide -ranging and complex religion, and as such, this study must limit its focus to a specific segment of Christian thought. Liberal and mainstream denominations more easily assimilate new social movements into their theol ogy; evangelicals, on the other hand, are traditionally linked with long-standing social issues such as gay marriage and abortion. Environmentalism has not been one of thos e causes that concerns evangelicals for C. Toner 2

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism several reasons. It is necessary to defi ne evange licalism in relation to the wider spectrum of Christian belief. However, it is crucial to at least create some definition of evangelical. Evangelicalism is a complex social movement making it difficult to unambiguously define relative to an exclusive church or denomination with roots in the Great Awakenings of the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, evangelicals represent a wide-range of beliefs and social conservative activism, but five broad principles are essential to evangelicalis m: the Reformation doctrine of Biblical authority, faith in salvation th rough the redemptive work of Christ, the historically accurate accounts of Gods work in the Bible, an emphasis on Christian proselytizing and mission work, and the im portance of a spiritually transformed life.2 Why are environmental concerns not traditionally shared by evangelicals? Historical and political cont exts offer clues that may he lp explain why evangelicals keep a distance from the environmental movement. Most salient may be the perception many evangelicals hold of the environmen talism movement: liberal nature-worshipping almost to the point of pagan animism. Our understanding of climate change (and its consequences) is also grounded in complex scientific models, and Christians (evangelicals in particular, as the ensuing historical discussion will highlight) have long held feelings of distrust towards science. Finally, evangelicals typically hold pro-bus iness and free market attitudes, and environmentalism is seen as an impediment to the mechanisms of the capitalist market system, creating unnecessa ry legislation that hinders the private sector from solving the problems of th e ecological crisis through its creative ingenuity. 2 Marsden, George M C. Toner 3

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Evangelicals are a powerful political force in modern America, and as such, their relationship with nature and ability to address the problem of climate change is vital for how politicians seeking the ev angelical vote approach environmental issues. Christians also still hold strong influence in shaping Western thought and principles, and thus it is of great impor tance to understand how Christians (and evangelicals, in particular, who compri se the largest and most conservative American Christian sect) communicate abou t and interact with the natural world. Much scholarly work has been done on the anthropocentric atti tude the Christian religion holds and their general lack of care for nature (Nash 1990; Kaufman 2000; Jenkins 2008); however, recent decades have witnessed the emergence of many evangelical and other mainstream/liberal Christian environmental organizations. Evangelicals have entered into the environmental i ssue full force, engaging individuals, businesses, and governme nt officials about climate change. Many different organizations have surfaced since the early 90s, such as the Evangelical Environmental Network, Co rnwall Alliance, the What Would Jesus Drive? Campaign, and the Noah Alliance not to mention the multitude of mainstream and liberal Christian organizati ons that have been formed. One of the largest and most recent groups is called th e Evangelical Climate Initiative (ECI). What separates the ECI from other evangeli cal groups is its explicit mission to gain the support of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the largest evangelical umbrella organization that co mprises more than 60 denominations and 45,000 churches. This objective motivated the creation of a counter-organization the Cornwall Alliance to speak out agains t the claims of the ECI and argue that C. Toner 4

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism evangelicals do not share consensus over th e p roblem of climate change, solidifying the importance and influence of the ECI. Th e ECI also sits poised at a great turning point in politics: the Moral Majority and Republican coalition is slowly disintegrating, environmental concerns are a serious polit ical issue in the latest elections, and conservatives struggle to harness trepidations over climate change and transform them into political power. The ECI is consequently a very appropriate evangelical or ganization to study. Identif ying and analyzing how the ECI frames the ecological crisis and th e natural world, then, will reveal how evangelicals are beginning to rethink the material world and the implications this has for environmentalism and future political coalitions. In orde r to scratch at the environmental and political ramifications of the ECI, it is essential to sketch a brief history of Christian attitudes toward natu re and the recent evangelical political alignments with the Republican Party. Dominion Belief, Anthropocentric Sa lvation, and the Defeat of Animism Traditional interpretations of Genesis I reveal some evidence supporting the hypothesis that Christians ar e distant from nature. God gives man reign over the physical world, an idea come to be known as dominion belief as cited in Genesis 1:28: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the C. Toner 5

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.3 How dominion belief has been interprete d, though, is a matter of debate and something groups like the ECI are working hard to overcome. Some have taken this to simply mean humans are atop th e hierarchy of the material world, while others have considered this a license to exploit natural resources for the benefit of the human race. However, evangelicals are increasingly recognizing the Divine command of stewardship, pivotal to the ideology of creation care. Support for this position is riddled th roughout the Bible, from Le viticus through Ezekiel and Luke. This quote from Ezekiel 34:18 is perhaps most telling of the stewardship principles: Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? Dominion belief is more than just the reign of mankind over Gods creation; to stewards, it is about care a nd close guardianship of the earth, animals, and plants. Calvin DeWitt former director of th e Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies and devout evangelical breaks dow n this Scriptural ba sis for stewardship into three main principles: earth-keeping, fruitfulness, and Sabbath. Earth-keeping derives from Genesis, where Adam is co mmanded by God to serve and protect the garden. Man has a responsibility to till the Earth in a manner respectful of Gods creation. Fruitfulness is a ve ry tangible principle for contemporary resource policy. This tenet allows man to use natural res ources for benefit under the condition that 3 Genesis 1:28, King James Bible C. Toner 6

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism they not destroy the ability for the Earth to produce. As capitalism and globalization spread to ever y sector of the globe, pump ing oil wells dry, polluting rivers and arable land, and warming the climate to the point where trees cannot perform the basic function of respiration, the idea of fru itfulness is a very palpable necessity. The final principl e that of the Sabbath may not seem to have explicit relation to the ecological crisis. However, the notion of rest can be applied to many problems faced by the modern world. Sustainable farmers have long used the idea of Sabbath to give fields a rest on ce every 7 years to ensure productivity is maintained. As DeWitt argues, everything should have its time for rest, and not be relentlessly pressed.4 Despite the growing popularity of stewardship, evangelicals have still inherited the historical cons truction of nature within Christian thought (as will be discussed), which has the pot ential to be problematic in trying to construct an environmental ethic. This may in part derive from the relationship between Christianity and pagan animism. Pagani sm infused the material world with a spiritual quality, leading to concern for the world because of this very sacredness. A binary split exists within Christianity that separates the supernatural from the natural. This binary has a complex history, having roots within the rationalist systems of the Greeks, but in the context of this thesis, it is pertinent to look at the construction of the two realms by both St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine. These two theologians have some of the most profound and lasting impact on modern Christian thought, and a quick ove rview of their philosophies will help frame Christian reflection on the natural world. 4 Grist Magazine Calvin DeWitt Interview C. Toner 7

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Aquinas followed in the philos oph ical tradition of Aristotle.5 Without delving too far into the philosophical deba tes of the Greeks, a quick sketch is necessary to highlight the differences be tween Aristotle and Plotinus to help understand the theological tradition that influenced the emergence of Protestantism. Aristotles predecessor Plato hypothesi zed that reality was composed of particulars concrete appearances in the world that are based off of universals which exist in a world of forms. This dichotomy between particulars and universals can be compared to the theo logical distinction be tween the realms of God and man. Aquinas utilized this distin ction to separate the natural from the supernatural: The Fall of Adam and Eve ruptured Gods realm, through which man falls from the realm of the spiritual to the material, in a sense. Aristotle disagreed with Plato, however, on the fact that these universals exist as a separate realm called the World of Forms. For Aristotle, universals exist within each particular, which is reflected in the theology of Aquinas. Aquinas argues for a doctrine called cocreation that creates a bridge from the wo rld of man to the Kingdom of God. This bridge gives nature some importance: th e Christian can understand the supernatural through the natural realm, and consequently, nature is not valueless. Catholicism inherited this lineage from Aquinas, and this may help explain why Catholics are more prone to developing an environmental ethic than Protestants. Augustine followed in the footsteps of Plotinus and the neo-Platonist tradition, maintaining the noti on that universals are uninsta ntiated in the physical realm. Augustine thus has a similar id ea of separate realms, but without the 5 Oelschlaeger, Max. The Idea of Wilderness From Prehistory to the Age of Ecology C. Toner 8

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism concession of a bridge li ke Aquinas had developed.6 Rather, Augustine focused heavily on the Fall and the inability of man to produce his own salvation without Divine intervention. In City of God a response to pagan critics of latin Christianity, Augustine develops an image of the world of Man disconnected from the world of God. Humans seem to have an inability to connect with the supe rnatural of their own volition. I argue that this disconnect leaves little value for the creation for it offers nothing of use to Christians who follow in the tradition of Augustine. If mankind cannot produce their own salvation by merely following the will of God, then the most a Christian can hope for is to live a moral, Biblically defined life and hope for the grace of God to save his soul. Caring for the environment has little importance for the Christian because God is not revealed through nature (such as in Aquinas conception of co-creation), but rather the Bible. Humankind cannot be saved by protecting the Creation; only through Gods grace can man have any chance to reach union with the Divine. Aquinas heavily influenced modern day Catholicism.7 Catholics utilize the Church as the conduit for bringing the Ki ngdom of Heaven to Earth. This belief leads to the emphasis Catholics place on doing good works in the world. Faith and following the Bible are not the only me thods of salvation; co-creation unites the idea of salvation with creating good in the world as God intended. The practice of good works internalizes a sense of duty to God within the Catholic tradition, and this internalization can more easily align with environmen tal protection. If creation is a product of God, man has a duty to uphold it and protect it ra ther than exploit 6 Augustine. The City of God against the Pagans 7 Curran, Charles E. Catholic Moral Theology in the United States C. Toner 9

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Nature. The theology of Augustine leaves little room to develop an ecological awareness because good works are not a method for the Christian to serve God. Only faith and grace as described with Scripture offer a route to salvation. Though Augustine established the Catholic Church as the City of God, similar to Aquinas, his theology played an important role in the Reformation that split from Catholicism. Among other things this theological transformation centers Christianity almost explicitly on the salvation of man through the five solas The five solas were believed by Luther to be esse ntial to the Christian faith. The solas consisted of: sola scriptura (by Scripture al one), sola fide (by faith alone), sola gratia (by grace alone), solus Christus (by Christ alone), and soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone). In c ontrast to Aquinas, the five solas show an affirmation of the importance of mans salvation in the world; it almost seems as if the world was created solely as a mechanism for man s salvation. Soli Deo gloria and sola fide, however, are most pertinent to th e current study. Glorifying God alone (as opposed to Gods creation) hinders Protestantism by creating an obstacle to the development of an environmental ethic, and justification by fa ith diminishes the importance of charity and good works in the Catholic faith. The ensuing development of Protestantism consequen tly followed the emphasis on salvation through divine intervention. This may be evidence for Whites assertion that the natural world can be seen as no more than an object for Protestantism: Despite Copernicus, all the cosmos rotates around our little globe. Despite Darwin, we are no t, in our hearts, part of the natural process. We are superior to nature, contemptuous of it, willing to use it for our slightest whim. The present C. Toner 10

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Governor of California, like myself a churchman but less troubled than I, spoke for the Christian tradition when he said (as is alleged), "when you've seen one redwood tree, you've seen them all." To a Christian a tree can be no more than a physical fact. The whol e concept of the sacred grove is alien to Christianity and to the ethos of the West.8 Nature only has value as a utility, and although this perspective could work to construct a cost-benefit environmental ethic, it has also been translated as a license to dominate the natural world when coales ced with anthropocentric values. Unlike paganism that realized the sacred in th e material world, Protestantism infuses no such spirituality into nature. The condemnation of animism by Christianity has had disastrous consequences for the environment.9 Though most, if not all, Christianity denounces animism, the Protestant pe rception of salva tion through divine intervention has particular salience for this study as it leaves Protestants with little theological grounding for interpreting the ecolo gical crisis in a wa y that could lead to the development of an environmental ethic. The Political History of Evangelicals in America The salvation of the indivi dual took on central importance in American Christianity, particularly in the evangelical moveme nt: stepping outside of the social and political situation they f ound themselves in, evangelicals could focus on personal salvation rather than this-world issues. Yet this salvation was not isolated from material circumstances. In other words, Pr otestant salvation has historically been 8 White, Lynn., Pg. 1206 9 Oelschlaeger, Max. The Idea of Wilderness From Prehistory to the Age of Ecology C. Toner 11

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism interconnected with the moral co m pass of the American nation.10 Though America was founded as a place for freedom of religion, the discour se around religious freedom has been dominated by Christians. For centuries after the first Protestants landed on Plymouth Rock, Christian organizations have attacked immorality and sin, forming social movements to address these issues in the nation. However, as secularism gained strength in Ameri ca towards the middle to end of the 19th century, conservative Christian sects began to pull away from society, most explicitly seen in the evangelical (and th e more extreme fundamentalist) movement. The in-this-world-but-not-o f-it trend which describe s the evangelical attitude that they are physically present within the material world but detached from the political and cultural contexts that shape society of evangelicalism continued for several decades until the Vietnam War protests and counterculture caused a backlash within the conservative community.11 When the Republican candidate Rich ard Nixon ran for President in 1969, he called on the silent majority for support. Though not explicitly Christian, the silent majority represented those who did not voice opposition to the Vietnam War or join the counterculture the minority in America whose voice was overshadowed by this overriding liberal minority. This stirred a reaction within conservative circles and laid the ground for a re-eme rgence of evangelicals in the political sphere. In 1979, Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority Coalition. This coalition was a break from the Baptist beli ef in separation of religion and politics, for, as Jerry Falwell claimed, believing the Bible as I do, I would find it impossible 10 Hammond, Phillip E. The Protestant Presence in Twentieth-Century America 11 Marseden, George. Fundamentalism and American Culture C. Toner 12

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism to stop preaching the pure saving Gospel of Jesus Christ a nd begin doing anything else including fighting Co mmunism, or participating in Civil Rights refor ms.12 Falwell saw the moral deterioration of America as a vital issue for evangelicals to fight against and reclaim a Christian Ameri ca; the lack of an evangelical voice in politics, however, posed a problem. The Moral Majority sought to fix this, and became the largest evangelical conservative political action committee in history. It also formed a new alliance between evange licals and the Republican Party, what is commonly labeled the Christian Right. Though the Moral Majority dissolved in 1989, the Christian Right persevered as a st rong political force, influencing and shaping the political landscape. These political alliances have pa rticular importance for this study on evangelical relations to the environmenta l movement. Conservatives are typically pro-business and proponents of the free ma rket; environmentalism seeks regulation that could potentially disrupt the activities of both business and the market system. Evangelicals have picked up on this polit ical labeling of the environmentalist movement, and combined with the stereot ype that environmenta lists are animists, the Christian Right approach es the issue of the ecological crisis with much unwillingness. This is not to mention the scientific basis for climate change. Evangelicals have a long histor y of distrust of science particularly considering current debates over evolution and intelligen t design and the scientific and secular grounding of climate change does not make it any easier for evangelicals to bridge these gaps of understanding. 12 Patrick Allitt C. Toner 13

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Christianity is not fundamentally incompatible with pro-environmental attitudes, as the next section will show. What affects evangelical attitudes are political affiliations and stereotypes, al ong with over a century of apprehension about science and secular cult ure. Interviews with Rich ard Cizik, one of the leading figures of the evangelical environmentalist movement, cited later in this thesis help shed light on these relationships between evangelicalism, politics, and science. What instruments does the evangelical have inside his cultural toolkit? A cultural toolkit, according to Ann Swidler, is a set of symbols, rituals, and world-views, which people may use in varying configurations to solve different kinds of problems.13 Laurel Kearns assert ed that Christian ecology represents a re-tooling of their relationship to th e natural world as conditions have changed based on growing secular environmentalism and current Christian cultural patterns are no longer effective at handling this crisis. If this is true, K earns continues, then bursts of ideological activism th at attempt to retool cult ural patterns should emerge.14 Liberal and mainstream Christian sects have long tried to retool Christian belief to acknowledge environmental attitudes (Matth ew Fox created crea tion spirituality in the late 70s, before environmentalism had become a mainstream concern); so why are evangelicals lagging behind their fellow Christians? The following section will examine the empirical data over Christian beliefs and their effect on environmental attitudes. This will culminate in a content analysis of the official literature of the ECI to understand how this social moveme nt frames creation care to overcome existing stereotypes and what this mean s for the future of environmentalism. 13 Swidler, Pg. 273 14 Kearns, Pg. 65 C. Toner 14

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Empirical Studies: The Ambiguity of Christian Attitudes Lynn Whites article sparked considerable interest in the relationship between American Christianity and the enviro nmentalist movement (Santmire 1985; Boyd 1999; Northcott 1996; Kanagy and Nelsen 1995) Empirical research seeking to further understand how Christian beliefs aff ect environmental attitudes began in the early 1980s. The complexity of American Ch ristianity has not made this research straightforward, though. As a case in poi nt, Christian Smith has spent countless pages across many books and articles tryi ng to understand and define the elusive culture of evangelicals. Even as a self -defined evangelical who specializes in evangelical studies, Smith still has difficultly trying to characterize all the traits and qualities that define what exactly an evangelical constitutes. American Christianity has a vast multitude of de nominations, subcultures, and political alliances. Christian beliefs can range from postmillennial to premillenial, strict Calvinist to liberation theol ogy, and even existential to traditional. Politically, Christian beliefs carry a similar breadth. Denominations vary in opinion across the political spectrum, and individual att itudes can even vary within singular denominations. These empirical studies initially c onsidered Christian beliefs as one homogenous entity; in other words, the researchers hypothesized that some essence shared amongst all Christians could a ccount for a decreased concern for the environment. Most environmental researchers seem to presuppose that anthropocentrism is one of the chief founda tions of anti-environmental attitudes: human-centered social needs trump the needs of nature, and only by placing C. Toner 15

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism ourselve s back within the natural proce ss can environmentalism effectively combat the deleterious effects of the modern world (Purser et al 1995; Hayward 1997; Norton 2003). With complex ideas like salva tion and the distinctive role of humans play in the natural universe, it seems much easier to isolate such anthropocentric beliefs within Christianity in order to compare its relation to environmental attitudes. This may explain why th e relation between Christianity and environmentalism is of such interest to researchers over the last few decades. The first studies to analyze the rela tionship between Chri stianity and antienvironmental sentiment did strict compar isons of environmental attitudes between Judeo-Christians and non Judeo-Chris tians. Hand and Van Liere analyzed differences in attitude toward nature amongst Judeo-Christians and non-Judeo Christians in 1984.15 Specifically, they sought to analyze how mastery-over-nature convictions (their description of domin ion belief removed of overtly religious connotations) reproduced an ti-environmental sentiment, and whether JudeoChristians were more likely to embrace mastery-over-nature beliefs. Hand and Van Liere used two items from the New Environmental Paradigm Scale to demonstrate mastery-over-nature. The two questions mankind was created to rule over nature and plants and animals exist primarily to be used by humans were measured on a Likert scale. They al so split Judeo-Christians into specific denominations to address how denominati onal differences affect environmental concern. They measured church attendance amongst these denominations to address Whites assertion that higher re ligious salience and adherence to JudeoChristian beliefs should decrease environm ental concern. They found considerable 15 Carl M. Hand and Kent D. Van Liere (1984) C. Toner 16

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism evidence that not only w ere Judeo-Christians more likely than non Judeo-Christians to accept mastery-over-nature beliefs, but that they also had less environmental concern than non-Judeo-Christians. Hand and Van Lieres results also supported a denominational diversity model that approaches the relationship between Christianity and environmental concern by studying theological differences. Their study showed that future research may want to flesh out differences between theologically liberal and conservative sects. A few years later Shaiko (1987) also st udied the schism in environmental attitudes amongst Judeo-Christians and non Judeo-Christians.16 Studying member activism within environmental groups, Sh aiko discovered that Judeo-Christian members were more likely than the non J udeo-Christian members to hold masteryover-nature beliefs. Shaiko hypothesized, how ever, that these mastery beliefs did not necessarily correlate with lack of environmental conc ern. Shaiko proposed that while some Christians could infer a mastery-over-nature principle from Genesis other Christians could develop stewardshi p principles and a sense of ecological concern from Scriptural interpretation. Though Hand and Van Liere mentioned that theologically liberal deno minations had the potential to cultivate stewardship principles, they ultimately reinfor ce the argument that Western religious organizations continue to promote dominion belief that is consequently harmful to the development of environmental concer n. Shaiko, however, hints at a deeper explanation for how dominion belief is expr essed, and further rese arch is necessary to grasp at this problem. 16 Ronald G. Shaiko (1987) C. Toner 17

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism These studies focus on the distinction between tw o groups Judeo-Christian and non Judeo-Christian and how theological differences affect environmental attitude. Yet neither Hand and Van Liere nor Shaiko flesh out political differences amongst Christians. Greeley (1993) was one of the first researchers to examine how Christian political belie fs affect environmental attitudes. Using the 1988 General Social Survey, Greeley analyzed Christian attitudes toward government environmental spending.17 Government environmen tal spending is a loaded concept: issues of where that money is spent and attitude s toward government spending in general obscure true environmental concern within the study. However, the importance of this work is in Greeleys attempt to understand how different political and theological de nominations of Christianity shape environmental attitudes in its constituents. Greeley analyzed what he defined as m oral rigidity, a concept associated with harsh narrative images a nd traditional values, as well as a strong belief in the inerrancy of the Bible and faith as oppos ed to more open interpretations of the Bible and faith. He hypothesized that more conservative denominations would have higher levels of religious rigidity, and that these higher levels of rigidity would affect an individuals support of environmental spending. Greeley also created a Grace scale which addressed the degree to which a denominations perception of God was gracious or unfrie ndly. Greeley conjectured that an image of a more benign God would induce environmental symp athies. All of these notions stem from his understanding of religion as a so cio-cultural narrative th at symbolizes and explains the nature of human reality ( 19). Formulating his conception of religion 17 Andrew Greeley (1993) C. Toner 18

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism within Geertz outlook on cu lture and sym bols, Greeley argues that environmental attitudes are shaped by images of God and rigidity not Genesis or anthropocentrism as White and others have claimed and that all other tangential beliefs are superstructures upon this founda tion. Using regressi on analysis, Greeley finds that biblical literalism or denomi nation does not account for environmental attitudes in and of itself, but rather rigidity and on es image of God. Liberal Christians who reject many of the levels of rigidity and have a more benign image of God, such as Catholics, are almost if not equally as likely to support environmental spending as non Christians. Greeley began to analyze how political differences affect ecological compassion. Though his focus was on moral rigidity and images of God, Greeley did lay the gr oundwork for future analyses of political affiliations affecting environmental concern. However, his biggest contribution was a hypothesis that went for the most part untested: perhaps fundamentalists and evangelicals reject environmentalism, not on the basis of mastery-over-nature or anthropocentrism, but because of the historical connec tions environmentalism has had with a liberal political agenda This hypothesis will be important in the analysis of the ECI literature. A few years later, Guth and several other researchers expanded on Greeleys attempts to differentiate amongst political affiliations of American Protestantism.18 They attempt to understand traditional prac tices of the different denominations, analyzing such variables as religious salience, conservative eschatology, and church attendance in producing environmental atti tudes. Religious salience and church attendance have previously been identified as influe ncing factors in reducing 18 James L. Guth et al (1995) C. Toner 19

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism environm ental concern, but Gu th et al find little signi ficance in their regression analysis. The largest signif icance of church attendance relative to their study was its conservative effect it had on even liberal traditions; c onsequently, church attendance itself is not a significant predictor of environmental attitudes, but it gains significance in relation to c onservative eschatology. The strongest indicator in constructing environmental attitudes is relig ious tradition, and Guth et al find that evangelicalism is the least conducive for fost ering environmental concern. Guth et al also find that liberal denominations and Catholicism are more prone to developing pro-environment theologies and social activism. Though this study analyzes theological differences and beliefs across the Christian spectrum, the most important finding deals with political differences amongst Christians. Guth et al suggest that political differe nces are strong indicators of environmental sympathies, with those Christians identifying as politically liberal (whether theologically liberal or not) harboring the stronge st concern over ecological issues. The study declares that identifying which variables are most salient to developing environmental attitudes is extremely complicated; however it is already clear how conservatism in both the theological and political sens e has great substance for this study. Eckberg and Blocker (1996) also expand on Christian denominationalism, analyzing self-recognized religious e xperiences in liberal Protestants and conservatives including such groups as fundamentalists, charismatic groups, and evangelical Protestants.19 Compensating for differences in social backgrounds, Eckberg and Blocker find th at literal belief in the Bible representative of fundamentalists and evangelicals account s for moderately si gnificant attitudes 19 Douglas Lee Eckberg and T. Jean Blocker (1996) C. Toner 20

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism against environm ental causes. Those surv ey subjects they found that were more active in religious environmentalism whether donating, participating in a movement, or simply sympathizing with such causes typically belonged to liberal, non-fundamentalist, free thinking, non tr aditional Christian groups who also interpreted Scripture non-literally. De spite these findings, Eckberg and Blocker have trouble identifyi ng the exact causes of why fundamentalism and biblical inerrancy breeds anti-environmental attit udes. Though their results show that political affiliations have lit tle affect on environmental at titudes, they still cannot help but conjecture that the pol iticization of green issues may have an affect that their findings did not pick up. They do gran t that theology [is] so intertwined with politics in the present climate that relig ious conservatives often view liberal environmentalism with suspicion; consequently, the politicizati on of environmental issues cannot simply be ignored in relation to evangelicals. As these empirical studies show, dominion belief is ambiguously correlated to anti-environmental attitudes. Depe nding on region, social background, political affiliation, religious salience, church attendance, and biblical literalism, environmental attitudes across American Ch ristianity can have a diverse array of beliefs. These variables all have differi ng effects on personal belief, and it is difficult to draw any solid conclusions from this research that has been conducted. Theological analysis of the di fferent subcultures may reveal structural differences in ideology, but as stated earlier, that is not the pu rpose of this thesis, nor within the breadth of its analysis. With the surge of evangelical environmental groups since C. Toner 21

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism the 1990s, it becom es quite important to understand how these groups formed within such hostile stereotyping of Christian environmental attitudes. In an interview with Grist magazine, Bill Moyers renowned PBS journalist and environmental Christian claimed th at reality has undermined ideology, and even theology.20 This simple statement reveals deep social interactions amongst belief, social forces, institutional factors, and reality. Climate change was once an abstract concept that few were affected by; now events like Hurricane Katrina leave climate change a powerful force that must be addressed. Even Pat Robertson, once steadfast against the authenticity of climate change, can no longer ignore its impact and has become a believer, citing record -high heat levels in recent summers as the cause for his conversion. Evangeli cals are quickly adopt ing attitudes of environmental concern. Evangelical chur ches across America are actively engaging the issue by organizing constituents, raisi ng awareness about climate change, and framing the crisis as a moral issue. Organizations like the Evangelical Environmental Network have tried to form ulate an evangelical environmentalism since 1993, campaigns such as What Would Je sus Drive? have raised awareness in the evangelical community over the harm ful effects of car emissions on the environment, and churches such as the Boise Vineyard Church encourage active engagement of their members with the su rrounding landscape, picking up litter and hosting a recycling center within th e confines of the church walls. The task is difficult. Many conserva tives still politici ze environmentalism as a liberal cause, and the fact that cl imate change now rests on a complex science creates barriers that must be broken down before change can happen or at least a 20 Grist Magazine Bill Moyers Interview C. Toner 22

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism route m ust be found around those barriers. Furthermore, the Cornwall Alliance was founded to eliminate much of the progress that groups like the Evangelical Climate Initiative have achieved. Their first official document is called A Call to Truth and directly challenges the as sertions made by the ECI in their founding document, A Call to Action The Cornwall Alliance speci fically addressed the National Association of Evangelicals, claiming that climate change is not a consensus issue among evangelicals, and that the NAE s hould refrain from supporting the cause. This document has signatures from many h eavyweight evangelical leaders such as Dr. James Dobson (President of Focus on the Family) and Dr. Chuck Colson (Chairman of Prison Fellowship ministries). Politics and historical relationships between evangelicals, liberals, and science stand in the way of an evange lical environmentalism gaining a strong foothold in America. The Evangelical C limate Initiative and fellow creation care supporters must retool not only how conservative Christians perceive secular environmentalism, but also dominion belie f and mankinds relationship to nature. Based on the long theological history of Ch ristian anthropocentrism, it is unlikely that evangelicals will (or successfully c ould) give up their place atop the natural hierarchy; however, the rhetoric surrounding nature must change if evangelicals are to implement responsible stewardship ra ther than domination practices. How do these environmental evangelicals avoid nature-worshipping, an accusation that unconverted evangelicals charge to secular environmentalis ts and even their liberal Christian counterparts? Even more importantly, how does the ECI frame stewardship to build base support without alienating conservative evangelicals C. Toner 23

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism fearful of the connotations su rrounding environm entalism? In order to answer these questions, I will perform a content analysis on the official literature of the ECI and use interviews and speeches of promin ent members as complimentary support for my evidence. As evangelicals are trying to understand their relation to nature and construct a new space of shared meaning where the environment has significance because of its relationship to God, this an alysis will inevitably utilize the frame alignment theory recently popularized in recent social movement literature. C. Toner 24

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Methodology Evangelical environmentalism has many hur dles and stereotypes it must overcome before it can become a powerful, influential discourse. For evangelicals in a general sense, environmentalism conjures up prevailing stereotypes: liberalism, anti-business practices, and paganism. On the other side of the spectrum, many environmentalists regard evangelicals as anthropocentric and focused on personal salvation, creating a mindse t directed beyond this world to the supernatural. Research has shown that evangelicals have trouble socially and spiritually with the demands of the ecological crisis, making th eir relationship with the natural world mostly ambiguous. In order to create a type of evangelical environmentalism, it is essential for groups such as the Ev angelical Environmental Network and the Evangelical Climate Initiative to construct a new relation of man to nature, to reinvigorate nature with intrinsic meaning and value. In order to understand how the Evange lical Climate Initiative extends and bridges typical evangelical be liefs in order to construc t mankinds relationship to nature as meaningful, I performed a content analysis on the official literature put out by the ECI. All of their official lit erature which includes their original A Call to Action that catapulted the movement into the mainstream could be obtained through their official website.21 I chose the literature that seemed to best represent the intentions of the organization, which is based off of the material meant to educate interested evangelicals as well as policy makers. Their website splits much of their literature into separate categories for visitors to easily identify information 21 http://christiansandclimate.org/home/ C. Toner 25

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism most relev ant to them: Christian Leader s, Concerned Citizens, Policy Makers, and the Media. These categories allowed me to recognize how the ECI related to separate areas of society, what they wanted different groups to gather from their organization, which ultimately proved very useful in my analysis. My content analysis will engage in both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Four main pieces of literature will be analyzed from the ECI: A Call to Action A Prayer Guide For Global Warming Principles for Federal Policy in Climate Change and a speech delivered by Pastor Ken Wilson to his congregation. Ken Wilson is the leader of the ECI, and his thoughts should cons equently relate to the overall mission of the ECI. I chose thes e main pieces of literature from their site because of their intended audience and purpose. Most of the ECI website raises awareness of climate change through fact sheets, links to resourceful websites, or speeches given by influential evangelical leaders. The analyzed pieces are informative literature addressed to ev angelical constituents and business and government leaders with the intended purpose of explaining the mission of the ECI. These four texts explain why climate change should concern evangelicals, and what can be done to address these problems. They are also chosen because they represent a diversity of objectives: A Call to Action is meant to mobilize evangelicals around the issue, the Prayer Guide offers a specific prayer evangelicals can use to ask for Gods assi stance in addressing climate change, and the Principles for Federal Policy examines how government can approach the issue. There are several speeches and pr esentations available on the website, but C. Toner 26

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism the Ken W ilson speech was chosen because he is the leader of the ECI and thus might better represent th e beliefs and motivations of the organization. My quantitative investigation will u tilize frequency counting of major themes that commonly recur within crea tion care philosophies. These themes were gathered from my hypothesized expect ations as well as in itial readings of stewardship literature, not specifically c onfined to the ECI literature, but from across the range of evangelical enviro nmentalist organizations such as the Evangelical Environmental Network, Creation Care magazine, the What Would Jesus Drive? Campaign, and the Cornwall Alli ance. All these groups had recurring images and arguments that emerged within their literature, and so I extended these themes to the ECI group to understand how they comprehend climate change. There are four major themes that will be discussed below, and each theme is broken up into subcategories that re flect the overall subject ma tter. These subcategories will emerge in the later explanation of wh at constitutes each theme. The purpose of the frequency counting is not so much to see what themes emerge in the ECI literature, but the salience differentiating the four themes. The question will be addressed, which themes of creation care as framed by the ECI are most important in developing an envir onmental ethic for evangelicals? The quantitative analysis will support my qualitative examination of the content within the ECI literature. This an alysis took the form of frequency counting of themes, which will allow me to understand not only which themes are addressed by the ECI, but which themes are most important based on prominence. By evaluating the organizations rhetoric and frame extension methods that exist in C. Toner 27

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism creation care belief and the contexts in which they are developed I can extract the m anner in which the ECI employs typi cal evangelical imagery and beliefs to restructure their relationship to the natu ral world. Interviews with prominent members of the ECI such as th e Rev. Joel Hunter (author of Right Wing, Wrong Bird ), Rev. Jim Ball (spokesperson for the EC I, President of the EEN, publisher of Creation Care magazine), Rev. Richard Cizik (former VP of government affairs for the NAE), and Calvin DeWitt (former Director of the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies) will also shed light on the growing split in the Christian Right over environmental issues. These inte rviews come from a variety of sources, but the most prominent supplier is Grist magazine. Grist conducted an in-depth analysis of evangelical environmentalists and compiled all these interviews into a special on Christian environmentalism. B ill Moyers also directed a PBS special journalist report called Is God Green? in which he examines the emerging evangelical environmental movement. Howe ver, these interviews reflect personal opinion and not factual evidence, and as such, will be treated merely as complementary supporting evidence ra ther than official positions. Several thematic interpretations of the ecological crisis and nature are important if the ECI is to build a popular social movement, and these themes will be the focus of my content analysis. It is essential that the ECI frame environmental degradation as a biblical and/or moral i ssue. Evangelicals internalize Christian morality perhaps more strongly than any other Christian denomination because of the prominence of personal salvation. Pe rsonal responsibility is also an emphasized moral characteristic of evangelicals. Mo st evangelicals believe this trait comes C. Toner 28

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism direc tly from the Bible, as will be discussed below. Linking this belief to the ecological crisis not only amplifies the salience of the issue at hand, but it also places blame on the individual, commanding personal action from every evangelical. Political conservatives maintain conf idence in the free market, as do their evangelical coalition partne rs. Environmentalism is typically portrayed with images of big government and heavy regulati ons that hinder the markets ability to be creative and inventive in problem-solvi ng. If the ECI is to overcome this probusiness stance of evangelicals, they must navigate this issue to explain why regulations are necessary, but only to the exte nt that they allow as much freedom in the marketplace to allow businesses to f unction properly. I also hypothesize that the arguments of the ECI will question the anthropocentrism of evangelicalism and rethink mans relationship. I do not expect this theme to approach the extreme reformulation of Creation Sp irituality, but I an ticipate some evidence that supports this contention. These content analysis themes will be more fully explained in the following section. Ecological Crisis as a Moral, Th eological, or Biblical Issue At the heart of the ECIs mission is to frame environmental degradation as a religious dilemma. Environmentalism was seen amongst conservative Christians as a liberal and secular movement, prone to cr eation worship that lacked a focus on the Creator. However, nature is not some abstraction away from God; nature is Gods Creation As Jim Jewell declares in an inte rview with Deep Green Conversation C. Toner 29

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism a website concerned with sustainable faith as m ore-than-green evangelicals we are pleased to stand apart from both environmentalists who ignore the Creator and Christians who ignore His Creation.22 It is in this vein that the ECI make many biblical references to support their argument that environmental degradation is as much a theological and moral issue as is abortion or homosexual marriage. The ECI also links the ecological crisis to the issue of poverty, attempting to connect the significance of pove rty, a social issue Christ ianity has historically battled against, with the poorest nations of the world who will be affected by global warming. Climate change will affect the least of these of the world first, and thus Christians must take a stand. War and famine are also moral issu es, and the international political instability that will inevitably result from diminishing resources can be avoided if climate change is curbed before it is too late. The Iraq War, and other conflicts in the Middle East over oil, have made this issue abundantly clear. The Bible lays down commandments against the killing of others, and although evangelical perceptions of war vary with political im plications (Pat Robertson once called for the assassination of Huge Chavez), it is important that evangelicals speak out against war and famine, particularly in the Middle East where war has disastrous repercussions for allied Israel. Personal Responsibility Personal responsibility is perhaps what be st characterizes Christian sentiment in contemporary America, as well as the common philosophy of the conservative 22 Jim Jewell, Deep Green Conversation (2008) C. Toner 30

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism move ment. God helps those who help themselves may not actually be in the Bible, but it is widely quoted by modern Ch ristians. It reflects a general sense that strength of character and humility be fore your own actions are virtues in themselves. In that respect, the ECI works hard to argue that climate change is man-made. The science declares consensus on this issue, A Call to Action claims, and it is about time for Christians to accep t responsibility for the role they have played by engaging in this consumer society. Once responsibility has been accepted, individuals can move on to the next step: action. Urgent action is necessary b ecause future generations are affected by current negligence and inaction. An individuals refusal to accept responsibility will bear upon their children and their childrens children. Also under this category are decrees fo r personal lifestyle changes. Typical of small-government conservatives, th e ECI fights for government change and regulations but does not rely on governm ent to solve all these problems. Individuals can have immediate impacts on the environment, unlike the lag of government bureaucracy. Furthermore, as evangelicals are still generally probusiness, they look towards the individual to make sacrif ices alongside the sacrifices business must make when governme nt regulations actually do kick in. By working together with businesses and govern ment, individuals can have an impact on the ecological crisis thr ough personal responsibility fo r the role they play and taking action to change lifestyle and habits. Hesitantly Favorable Outlook Towards Government Regulation C. Toner 31

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Governm ent regulation is seen as a nece ssity to fix the ecological crisis. Free market policies have long exploited natura l resources without some sort of check on rampant abuse. Within the environmental c ontext, this has typically manifested as environmental regulations limiting the am ount of resources or the method through which a corporation harvests them, as well as restricting industrial byproducts and pollution. Conservatives generally view such regulations of the free market as a hamper on economic progress, and this is no different from the pro-business evangelicals. The ECI thus tries to fuse these tw o positions that is accommodating to businesses and economic prosperity while at the same time enabling environmental regulations that necessarily curb environmental degrada tion and exploitation. Such regulations would ideally minimize its pres ence within the free market system, such as the cap-and-trade program which encour ages businesses to reduce pollution and carbon emissions while creating a separate market through which such permits can be traded amongst businesses. Regulations must also be elastic to handle future problems that may arise. One of the cu rrent issues the ECI has with government regulations concerns the patchwork of regul ations that severely hamper the ability of a business to work within the market. By creating efficient regulations, business can meet these standards while developing and innovating in the private sector. The government can also aid the envir onment by enabling new energy-efficient markets, such as by stimulating consumer demand for green automobiles and investing in wind and solar technology. These markets help the environment and the economy by creating g reen-collar jobs. C. Toner 32

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Reconceptualization of Nature and Anthropocentricism Lynn W hites critique of Christianity touched upon anthropocentric salvation as popularized by St. Augustine. H. Paul Santmi re discusses the historical tale behind the Christian acceptance of the metaphor of ascent, which places emphasis on the up there rather than the down here.23 This world has little meaning for the Christian beyond a sort-of test, a necessary imprisonment to prove to God that one is worthy of His glorious Kingdom. The Ev angelical Climate Initiative, and others who push for acceptance of creation care, kne w it was essential that the Christian perception of nature be remodeled to unite Christian belief and environmentalism. Man is Gods steward, given responsibility for His Creation. By destroying that very natural realm because mankinds sight s are set on the afte rlife, humans miss out on yet another opportunity to redeem their souls and do Gods bidding. The ECI seeks to remove the blinders from Christian eyes. Creation must be cultivated and sustainably cared for. This does not mean man must remove himself from utilizing nature for his own purposes; rath er, nature must be carefully managed because it is Gods Creation and hum ankind has no right to abuse it. There is also mention of the effect climate change will have on the rest of Gods creatures. By destroying the e nvironment, mankind is killing off the creatures that God placed on Earth. This is inherently immoral and against the will of God and should be avoided in and of itsel f. However, the effect on the rest of Creation is considered more as an afte rthought than as a reason why Christians should be conscious of the e ffects their actions have on the environment. As such, 23 Santmire, H. Paul C. Toner 33

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism it is expec ted the content analysis wi ll yield a small frequency of citations concerning other creatures. C. Toner 34

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Results The findings of the content analysis high light the framing themes the ECI most closely focuses on. It is v ital to bridge Christian be liefs with environmentalist attitudes if the ECI is to be successful. The first step towards this goal is framing Christian environmentalism as Creation Care. An interview with Richard Cizik by Grist magazine explains the necessity of this term: many in the evangelical community are concerned that environm entalists are advocates of population control, of big-government solutions, or New Age religion, and have apocalyptic tendencies.24 Stewardship promoters cannot a ssociate themselves with these stereotypes by naming what they condone environmentalism. By labeling their movement as creation care, the ECI and it s partners avoid these secular, liberal labels and also connote a biblical mandate. God directed mankind to tend his Creation, He commanded Adam to serve and protect the Garden of Eden. Humans may utilize the fruits of the Earth, but we may not destroy the capacity to produce fruit.25 Creation care reinvigorates the call to stewardship that God commands of the Christian. Distinguishing themselves from environmentalists through name identification is only one way, though, that th e ECI and other stewards construct an evangelical environmental movement. As Table 1 shows, several themes are vital in this evangelical effort. Personal res ponsibility garnered the highest frequency within the official ECI literature, a th eme of prime importance in evangelical circles. Also, not surprisingly, the coded themes that outline the ecological crisis as 24 Grist Magazine Richard Cizik Interview 25 Grist Magazine Calvin DeWitt Interview C. Toner 35

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism a Biblic al, theological, or moral issue were very recurrent in the literature. Table 2 will reveal how this theme was broken down and what moral issue is the strongest factor in this matter. Overall Theme Frequencies Theme Codes Frequency Totals Personal Responsibility 35 Government Regulations 21 The Ecological Crisis as a Biblical, Theological or Moral Issue 33 Reconceptualization of Anthropocentrism 14 Discussion of government regulations gain ed a decent amount of mention, but the tendency for evangelicals to be probusiness keeps regulation as a very controversial subject. Finally, the effort to redefine Christ ian anthropocentrism receives very little discussion. This fi nding comes somewhat as a surprise, given the fact that the emphasis on salvation rather than good works is perhaps the largest stereotype evangelicals must overcom e if they can be considered green. C. Toner 36

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Breakdown of Theme Subcategories and Literature Coded Themes Total Call to Action Prayer Guide Federa l Policy Ken Wilson Speech Personal Responsibility 51 10 3 Climate change is (mostly) manmade 6 2 0 3 1 Fossil fuels lead to greenhouse effect 2001 1 Future generations are effected 4 1 2 1 0 Urgent action is necessary 12 5 2 5 0 Personal lifestyle changes 6 4 1 1 0 Favorable, yet skeptical, outlook towards governmental regulation 40 13 0 Of environmental standards/protection 4 3 0 1 0 Of business practices (not detrimental to business, however) 6303 0 Of market dynamics (increasing energy-efficient consumerism) 7106 0 The ecological crisis as a theological, Biblical, or moral issue 60 04 2 Nature is God's Creation 5 1 4 0 0 The least of these 9 4 1 4 0 War, famine, and international instability 5102 2 Biblical references 7 2 1 1 3 Redefinition of anthropocentrism 00 00 0 Man as God's Steward 4 0 3 1 0 Cultivation of Creation 0 0 0 0 0 Climate change affect on other animals 2100 1 Doing God's Work 6 1 3 2 0 C. Toner 37

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Table 2 breaks down the general themes into their individual components. Some of the larger, general themes have frequency coding as well; I counted ideas expressed in the literature that reflected the general themes but did not particularly fit into any of the smaller subsections to en sure that these ideas were still displayed in my analysis. As can be gathered from th e table, it is clear th at urgent action is overwhelmingly recurrent in th e ECI literature. Urgency is specifically present in A Call to Action and Principles for Federal Policy on Climate Change There is also a heavy focus on the least of these, a cat egory which argues that climate change will affect the poor the hardest, and it is th us necessary for Christians to tackle the environment problem to ensure that the needs of the poor are met. Ken Wilson, however, does not address the poor in his sp eech. Arguments that climate change is manmade expectedly occur frequently in the literature as ma ny of the proposed solutions put forth by the ECI hinge on the fact that science is consensual over global warming, and thus the need to act is now. The ECI also consistently tackles government regulations of businesses and the ma rket in general, particularly in their Federal Policy proposals. It is interesting to note that barely an y specific references are made to nature as Gods Creation except in the Prayer Guide for Global Warming where it suddenly makes an astounding appearance. Mention of the effect climate change will have on other species rarely appeared, as anticipated. However, cultivation of Creation did not receive any discussion. The cultivation variable was not expected to make a strong emergence, but it is surp rising that it was not brought up at all, C. Toner 38

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism particularly because intervie ws and literatu re by all th e big stewardship figureheads revealed note of the need to cultivate Creation as opposed to exploiting the Earth. C. Toner 39

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Discussion: Overcoming Evangelical Barriers The results of the content analysis clearly show how the ECI endeavors to extend an environmental framework to the evangelical community. This task is no simple one as the perceptions evangelic als hold of environmenta lists are strong and many times even irrational. Creation care propone nts clearly believe th at Biblical beliefs are ideologically congruent w ith the attitudes of environm entalists, yet structurally they are unconnected, kept at a distance fr om each other by politics and mistrust of science. The ECI needs to redefine nature so that it holds meaning for evangelicals again. As Santmire might say, the ECI is attempting to add the metaphor of fecundity to the Christian me taphor of ascent: when the in dividual climbs to the top of the mountain, his gaze is not only dr awn upwards to the great beyond, but also across the wondrous valleys below him. Heaven has a place in the motivations of the Christian, but so too does Gods glori ous Creation that inspires awe in its magnificence. If Christians can be devoted to other social and political issues, can they also not ascribe to protec tion of Gods Creation? As the Principles for Federal Policy on Climate Change states: America is committed to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law regardless of the actions of other nations, and the same must be true of our response to global warming. Personal Responsibility Urgent action is the most frequent variable in the entirety of the content analysis. Multiple times the ECI discusses that the sc ientific community is in consensus over the issue of climate change, and now acti on must be taken rather than further C. Toner 40

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism debate. Evangelicals m ust engage this issue without any further lingering argues the Call to Action Hesitancy to act now could yiel d wide repercussions for future generations. Not only do the effects of gr eenhouse gases have a slow manifestation due to the fact that the oceans warm slow ly, but the decisions we make now affect how much CO2 we will release into the atmosphere down the road. The ECI proposes carefully crafting environmental and market regulations that are effective, rather than the current jumble of encumb ering rules, government and organizations must take action to slow, stop and reverse US gas emissions26 before it is too late. The problem with the ozone layer and CFCs in recent decades is a good example of why action is necessary. The problem wa s addressed, business and environmental regulations were set in place that would t ackle the issue, and several decades later results have emerged. Today the ozone laye r is finally recovering. In this same sense, climate change must be addressed now so that success can be witnessed in the future; if not, our children will have to deal with our mistakes and inaction. Urgency may not appear to fit into th e category of personal responsibility, unless taken in relation to the argument that climate change is manmade. If climate change is manmade, it is our responsibility to address the problem and not leave it to future generations. Much of the argument of the ECI rests on the truth that climate change is manmade. If the Ea rth is going through natural cycles of warming and cooling, like the Cornwall Alli ance asserts, then human actions cannot change the inevitable. Environmental re gulations merely hinder economic progress and the ingenuity of the free market, and c onsequently our ability to adapt to these changes and aid the poor who cannot help themselves. However, human-induced 26 Principles for Federal Policy on Climate Change C. Toner 41

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism clim ate change also presents one of th e most difficult hurdles for the ECI to overcome. It is no secret that evangelicals have a strong distrust of science dating back to the mid 19th century. In his interview with Grist magazine, Richard Cizik simplifies the conflict by stereotyping it thusly: science supports evolution, evangelicals oppose evolution, ergo ther e's a conflict between science and evangelicals. Attempts to reach out to evangelicals from the scientific community have been developing, such as E.O Wilsons book The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth. But the evangelical community has been slow to respond, and understandably so, as over a century of reservations between the two communities cannot be easily mended. Furthermore, th e science behind climate change models is very complex and hard to explain to the layman. It is really easy for evangelicals to hold suspicions over global warming as a manmade cause, and accordingly, the ECI really pushes this argument. This is why that line of reasoning mostly appears in A Call to Action and the Federal Policy These are the documents most likely to be read by the evangelical community a nd government actors who need to be persuaded of that fact. Once evangelicals recognize that climate change is mostly manmade, they can cultivate personal lifestyle changes the final subcategory of the personal responsibility theme. It is the responsibility of all of the worlds inhabitants to find ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.27 The ECI lists numerous ways individuals can adapt to climate change, su ch as buying CFL light bulbs or driving a Prius instead of an SUV. Such simple steps show the individual is personally 27 A Call to Action C. Toner 42

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism comm itted to doing what they can to help the ecological crisis, that they claim responsibility for the role they have pl ayed in the global warming and seek to redress their insult against the planet. Personal responsibility is a key component of evangelical belief in contemporary times. By drawing attention to the fact that mankind is at fault for the ecological crisis, the ECI can bridge the personal respon sibility frame of evangelicals with creation care. It is th e duty of mankind to take action now to care for Gods creation, for mankind has spoiled His work and it is an offense against God. However, their underlying cons ervative tendencies persuade many evangelicals that government over-regulation is not always the most efficient means of addressing these problems, and as suc h, each individual must do what he or she can to help allevi ate climate change. The Ecological Crisis as a Theol ogical, Biblical, or Moral Issue Personal responsibility may cause some eva ngelicals to take up some green causes, but evangelicals are very religiously devout and need to be shown why the environmental crisis is a moral issue that concerns them. By explaining climate change in moral rhetoric, the ECI amplifie s the problem so evangelicals can better understand why they should care about th e environment. Since evangelicals strongly adhere to the word of the Bible, if the ECI can cite Biblical passages, or explain the crisis in theological terms, th en the morality of the evangelical can be bridged to environmentalism. C. Toner 43

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism To start this task, the ECI explains why creation care is Biblically mandated. Many biblical references perm eate the literature. Specific passages of the Bible are cited that command mankind to care for the Earth, such as when A Call to Action alludes to Genesis 1:26-28: Christians, noting the fact that most of the climate change problem is human induced, are reminded that when God made humanity he commissioned us to exercise stewardship over the earth and its creatures. Climate cha nge is the latest evidence of our failure to exercise proper stewardship, and constitutes a critical opportunity for us to do better The Bible is also cited in reference to Jesus directive to care for the poor and nature as Gods creation. Calvin DeWitt referred to many different Biblical passages when interviewed by Grist magazine about the scri ptural basis for creation care, including mention of the story of Noah as the Worlds First Endangered Species Act.28 The strongest moral indicator argued by the ECI is the effect climate change will have on the poorest of the world. In Matthew 25:40, Jesus calls on his disciples to do unto the leas t of these as would be done for Jesus Himself. The poor must be cared for, and history has shown countless Christian organizations and social movements that have worked to ai d the impoverished. The ECI declares that climate change will affect the poor the hardest either because they live in low-lying areas near the coast or do not have the re sources to cope with the ensuing problems that will inevitably follow dramatic gl obal warming. By linking global warming with care for the poor, creation care proponent s seek to establish peripheral moral obligations for the evangelical. This tact ic may not imbue nature with a spiritual 28 Grist Magazine Calvin DeWitt Interview C. Toner 44

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism quality that stirs up em otions of stewards hip within the Christ ian, but it supplements evidence for why an evangelical should be concerned with the ecological crisis. Referring to nature as Gods Creat ion is an attempt by the ECI to construct nature as a spiritual outgrowth of God. This conviction emerges mostly in the Prayer Guide for Global Warming a prayer that asks for Gods guidance in approaching the ecological crisis. The pr ayer declares that God has sovereign power over Nature. A Call to Action cites a Biblical passage that exclaims that the world was made for Jesus Christ. Manki nds destruction and exploitation of the fruits of nature are a personal offense to God. In a metaphorical sense, mankind subdues God when they subdue the earth. God gave dominion over the world to humans, commanding them to care for His creation as stewards. The ecological crisis reflects a transgression against His will, and it is up to the good Christian to recognize their responsibility to live up to th e word of God and fight for this cause. The final subcategory within this th eme concerns the political side of the crisis. Politics and morals have been tight ly intertwined for conservative Christians for decades, manifested most explicitly in the Moral Majority of the 1980s. Prominent evangelicals like Pat Roberts on and Jerry Falwell have long made a career out of infusing politics with a passi onately moral conscience. The ecological crisis and greenhouse gases are inextricably tied to the dilemma in the Middle East. Reliance on foreign oil has led to resource wars that destabilize the region and cause international conflict. Refugees will inevitably seek shelter from the wars, and the already tense religious strife will intensify as these groups come into close contact with each other. War, famine, refugees, and authoritative regimes that C. Toner 45

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism constrict freedom of religion are all obj ectionable issues for the Christian. Americas dependence on foreign oil reached a serious climax with the Iraq War under both Bush presidencies. America is reliant on countries like Saudi Arabia that severely constrain expression of religion and even persecute Christians. As the world reaches peak-oil limiting oil supp lies during a time when huge countries like Asia and India are consuming even more of the fossil fuel and climate change leads to widespread crises, internationa l stability will become an even larger problem. Refugees seeking shelter could lead to ethnic conflicts and genocide, as discussed by Michael Mann in The Dark Side of Democracy The security of America will be severely threatened by th ese powerful regimes in the Middle East, not to mention regional allies such as Israel. Conservatives hypothesize that conditions might be ideal for te rrorism to further breed. The Federal Policy commentary also cites the fact that this international instability constrains our ability to occupy the moral high ground in foreign policy on human rights and religious freedom. The politicized form modern evangelicalism has developed has typically supported American c onflict with groups and nations they disagree with, but at the heart of evangelicalism is still a belief in the inerranc y of the Bible, and the Bible calls for peace and compassion as a moral imperative, not war and murder. All of these different moral concerns construct nature as a powerful social force that might concern an evangelica l. Not only does God decree that mankind act as compassionate stewards over natu re, but many tangential motives speak to the spirit of the Christian. When taken t ogether, nature gains new significance from C. Toner 46

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism a Christian perspective. The ECI leaders hope that the reality of how dire this situa tion truly is will develop a new ecol ogical awareness amongst the evangelical community. Redefinition of Anthropocentrism I hypothesized that an attempt to interpret a Christian relation to nature would have to touch upon the anthropo centric character of Chri stianity that Lynn White discussed. Though it was not expected that the ECI would lose much, if any, of its focus on personal salvation, I believed that human values would be challenged more by the word of God and the natural world. Though my content analysis found some support for this assumption, there was not much, and the existing evidence was weak at best. The stewardship subcategory is vague but mostly seeks to identify claims of stewardship that diminish the active agen cy of the individual and focus on Gods will. For example, the Prayer Guide asserts that Scriptures tell us we are God's stewards and servants. The rhetoric in this deduction removes some of the anthropocentric agency of humankind and further subdues the individuals role as an actor on behalf of God. Later in that section, the ECI claims You would cause us to be faithful stewards of Your re sources under our care (emphasis added). Again it is implied that mankind is subject to Gods bidding and human values have less importance. This idea of doing Gods work is another idea that is related to the previous stewardship factor, but without specific reference to stewardship C. Toner 47

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism principles. The Federal Policy proposal refers to the necessity for freedom to follow Gods plan: [People] should be free to live the life He intends for them The ECI also claims later that the govern ment should offer regulations and structure to ease the climate crisis and allow the freedom to follow Gods will. Both these quotes highlight the belief that God has plans for mankind and we should be free to follow those plans, and the latter quote further reveals that politicization of theological values mentioned in the previ ous section. While still anthropocentric with its focus on the role of humans in the world, humans are to follow Gods will and not our own. Perhaps the best exampl e of doing Gods work is exposed in the Prayer Guide Apart from seeking wisdom from God to follow His plan, the guide exclaims that You draw us and all people to Yourself, to will and work for Your good pleasure and not for the accolades or attention of men. It is clear here that not only is mankind given the duty of performing Gods desi re, but that this performance is for His satisfaction and not that of humanity. Humanity benefits from following the will of God, but that is not the intrinsic reason why His will is significant. Caring about the effect climate change will have on the rest of Creation is also a method through which evangelicals can overcome the human-centered stereotype. Leaders such as Richard Ci zik, Calvin DeWitt, and Jim Ball have all expressed this concern to some extent. E. O. Wilson also discusses this issue in his book that reaches out to the evangelical community. However, the ECI rarely discusses this matter, and when they do, it seems to be brought up as an afterthought. In fact, in A Call to Action, the negative impact on Gods creatures is C. Toner 48

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism bought up as a parenthetical aside at the end of a paragraph noting the impact on the im poverished of the world. Ken Wilson also briefly points out the likelihood that the species extinction rate w ill rise in his presentation. While the affect on Gods other creatures is a matter to be consider ed, it seems that the ECI considers it a positive consequence of tending to creati on and not something vital on its own. This holds true also for the cultivation of creation. Cultivation is mentioned sporadically in the ECI literature, but alwa ys in conjunction with another variable; it is never considered valuable in-and-of-itself. Though th e Bible calls on Christians to cultivate the land as part of Gods will, it does not seem a moral issue fit for this framing process by the ECI. Cultivation should naturally flow from proper stewardship practices. Consequently, there is no necessity to discuss cultivation of creation as a separate entity. Christianity or at least the cons ervative evangelical form is a very anthropocentric religion, focused on persona l salvation and evangelizing the world. The ECI cannot fundamentally reshape this attitude, but they can offer discourses that gently challenge and prod the status quo. Though the content analysis shows a weak attempt by the ECI at questioning the anthropocentric nature of the evangelical, there still exists evidence th at human values must be humbled before the will of God. Favorable, Though Skeptical, Outlook on Government Regulation Discussion about government regulation occurs mostly in the Principles for Federal Policy on Climate Change although A Call to Action also has its fair share of C. Toner 49

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism m entions. Federal regulation of environm ental hazards and business practices is a necessity if the modern world is to co mbat climate change; for the evangelical, however, it is a necessary evil looked upon with skepticism. Evangelicals are notoriously pro-business a nd have been tied up with industry since the late 19th century. Environmental regulations are typi cally thought to hinder the gears of free market progress, so any discourse on envir onmental legislation is a touchy issue. Yet this area presents anot her opportunity for the ECI to amplify the environmental issue for evangelicals that resonate with their own political beliefs. The ECI believes that the primary f unction of government is to protect its citizens from undue harm, and for that reason they support such environmental measures as the United Nations Fram ework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty set to stabi lize greenhouse gas emissions in order to reduce anthropogenic interference on the atmo sphere signed in 1992.29 This treaty was the precursor to the Kyoto Protocol, something the ECI never supports or even mentions. Principles for Federal Policy also endorses the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) call to reduce US gas emissions by 80% from the year 2000 emission levels by 2050. The ECI also praises companies like DuPont and Shell for taking steps to reduce emissions ahead of the pace of government. This support of legislation is mode rated by qualified support of free market mechanisms. Regulation is necessary, but this regulation must be minimal to ensure non-interference with the market. Free markets encourage innovation and creativity to deal with problems; howev er, over-regulation or an inefficient patchwork of regulation that companies currently face prevents the market from 29 Principles for Federal Policy on Climate Change C. Toner 50

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism resolv ing the ecological crisis. Competi tion can also be affected, and American capitalism strives on competition with the foreign markets. The ECI thus suggests that To help ensure competitiveness, climate policy should provide: (1) a stable, long-term, substantial research and development program; (2) long-term regulatory certainty, and; (3) a robust price signal that re ects the true social cost of greenhouse gas pollution30 By regulatory certainty, the ECI means a system of directives that are easy to follow, offer the necessary constraints to address climate change, yet offer the maximum freedom to businesses. The main method through which such a symbiosis is achievable would be through a cap-and-trade program. America al ready witnesses great success with its sulfur dioxide cap-and-trade program in place. Such a program would allow regulation of greenhouse gases through a system of permits, yet also sets up a market-based system through which these permits can be traded. This method gives businesses limits on emissions, but also a pr ocess to modify these limits so heavy regulations do not impede the industry. The main Congressional bill focused on creating such a program is the Domenici -Bingaman resolution, a bill supported by the ECI. Government regulation of the market can be a troublesome topic for evangelicals to discuss, but a synthesis th at meets the needs of both business and the environment is possible. By stimula ting consumer demand for green products 30 Principles for Federal Policy on Climate Change C. Toner 51

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism and lim it greenhouse gas emissions through market-based mechanisms, the ECI can satisfy both evangelicals and the demands of creation care. What Does This Mean for Creation Care ? The ecological crisis affects all regions of the globe and all people. America is the greatest polluter and cont ributor to global warming, and President Bushs destructive environmental pol icies, refusal to acknowle dge the Kyoto Protocol, and relaxation of oil drilling regulations leaves the nation in dire need of stronger environmental voices. Evangelicals offe r one of the strongest voting blocs in politics, but also some of the greate st opponents to envir onmentalism. The stereotypes surrounding both evangelicals and environmentalists have been discussed at length. The content anal ysis sheds light on exactly how the Evangelical Climate Initiative tries to bridge, amplify, and extend the environmentalist framework to the evange lical movement. It is only through constructing meaning for the enviro nment through frame alignment that evangelicals can build a powerful social move ment to address the ecological crisis. Through these framing methods, the ECI is in fact constructing a master frame around nature. This helps explain why groups like the Cornwall Alliance have emerged to construct a counterframe to the EC I that challenges their approach to the natural world. Counterframes attempt to delegitimize a master frame using similar frame alignment theories.31 A key difference between creation care and previous Christian relationships with the environment concerns dominion belief. According to Richard Cizik, 31 Stephen Adair C. Toner 52

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism dom inion does not mean domination. It im plies responsibility to cultivate and care for the Earth, not sully it w ith bad environmental practices.32 This attitude is a departure from the exploitation of nature during the Christian industrialism in the 19th century and does not resonate well with contemporary evangelicals, not necessarily because evangelicals are an ti-environmental, but rather because nature is not a primary concern. Eschatol ogical belief in the End Times, salvation of the soul, and faith in Jesus Christ offer little interpretive framework through which the environment can gain significance. What the ECI is technically engaging in is meaning work, or the production of signification.33 Benford and Snow argue that social movements are not merely the carriers of ideology, but active signifying agents constructing meaning for constituents as well as antagoni sts. Nature needs symbolic substance for the evangelical community, and the ECI attempts to construct this importance by questioning old forms of meaning and ex tending this new framework to meet these old thought modes. The movement act ors are entangled in what Hall calls the politics of signification.34 The themes established in the content analysis reflect pathways to reconstituting so cial and cultural capital. By defining nature and the ecological crisis in terms of moral and biblical termi nology, by bridging the evangelical belief of persona l responsibility with responsibility for the role an individual has played in degrading the environment, the Evangelical Climate Initiative sets parameters for a social di scourse. Evangelical constituents interpret this schema of creation care and modify their own personal beliefs depending on 32 Grist Magazine Richard Cizik Interview 33 Benford and Snow (1988) 34 Hall 1982 C. Toner 53

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism how success ful the ECI is at creating an acceptable and adaptable framework, leading to the development of a collective action frame to target climate change. This task is not simple, as many soci al and structural c onstraints limit the boundaries of an individuals schemata of interpretation, which Goffman defines as the ability for individu als to locate, perceive, identify, and label meaning within the world around them.35 Education and financial st atus can definitely have an impact on how evangelical constituen ts access and understand the ECI message. The political uneasiness between evangelic als and secular environmentalists also breeds distrust that must be overcome before an open dialogue can occur. However, individuals and organizations do not have fixed schemas, but are constantly shifting representations base d on new input and interaction with the social world. For an organization to signi fy value for constituents, it must extend its framework to the realm of meaning of a set group, in this case evangelicals. Though evangelicals are a wide-ranging subcul ture of Christianity that disagree on many issues, they do share many similar char acteristics that a social movement can target to mobilize support. Alongside the extension of the environmental framework to include the interests of ev angelicals, the movement must bridge ideologically congruent beliefs. Personal re sponsibility, issues of morality, and probusiness attitudes are all evangelical c onvictions through which the ECI could bridge principles of stewardship. Issues of morality in particular mobilize and energize the evangelical base into act ion, the frame alignment process of amplification. This offers clarification ove r the ecological crisis, as previously the issue was muddled with stereotypes agai nst environmentalism and pagan worship. 35 Goffman 1974 C. Toner 54

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism By speaking in evangelical language, the ecological crisis takes on a new dimension, a new meaning previously absent. Framing the ecological crisis in evan gelical language allows a discussion on the topic devoid of previous reserved feelings. Constituents mobilize and signify a shared meaning around social objects, in this case the natural world. Environmentalism is no longer for nature-w orshipping liberals; now it is creation care, a biblical and moral mandate from God, an opportunity for mankind to work towards His will and rectify the sin that st ains the spirit of man. Creation care, however, will never be a definitive perspective on creation; rather, it undergoes a constant, active process of definition and location, evangelicals questioning its character and their relations hip to that realm. This active process does not necessar ily require further inaction; on the contrary, the ECI will remain enmeshed with in that politics of signification, and steps can be taken to begin to address th e problems. The content analysis showed that urgent action was in fact the most cited theme in the official ECI literature. The movement believes that the science is consensual on global warming, and while evangelicals can converse about their relation to nature, action is necessary now before any more damage occurs. As the ECIs Federal Policy For Climate Change states: Discussions in the policy arena s hould now concentrate on solutions rather than more debate over the reality of climate change. C. Toner 55

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Conclusion and Future Research Evangelicals represent one of the stronge st voting blocs in America, and their alliance with Republicans has created a politic al arena that has shifted to the right over the decades. Voting records show that Republicans clearly have little regard for environmental concerns particular ly in the hyper-conservatism of recent decades and the same holds true for thei r evangelical counterparts. However, a critical point arrives where evangelic als can no longer ignore environmental degradation. In an interview with Grist magazine, PBS Bill Moyers contended that reality has undermined ideology, and even theology. What Moyers means by this is that climate change is no longer an abstract concept. Icebergs melting or the extinction of exotic species have little im pact on the typical American. Events like Hurricane Katrina, record high heat wave s, and rising waters undermine long-held schemas, forcing society to address the problem. The Evangelical Climate Initiative em erged to harness those apprehensions and direct that energy toward action. How do you overcome decades of prejudices? How do you overcome the influence of tele vangelists such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell? A collective action frame that results from a process of signification is necessary to challenge long-held assumptions about the environmental movement. Such a collective action fram e allows individuals to project new interpretive schemas onto th e ecological crisis to unde rstand what cultural tools they can utilize to address the issue. Envi ronmental concerns have created a rift in the evangelical community, the first true rupture since the Moral Majority gave voice to evangelicals in the political realm and created a solid, consensual voting C. Toner 56

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism bloc. Social issues such as abortion and gay m arriage, though still important, are beginning to be placed on the backburner to deal with the immediate effects of climate change as a persuasive co llective action frame is constructed. This paper has analyzed how the Evangelical Climate Initiative bridges, extends, and amplifies environmentalist perspectives to mobilize evangelicals around the ecological crisis. They call th e resulting framewor k creation care, a mandate from God absent of the liberal connotations of environmentalism. Creation care has been gaining ground in recent years, with many evangelical churches around the country not only peti tioning government leaders to address the crisis, but also actively enga ging individual constituents into action, such as with the Boise Vineyard Church featured in the Bill Moyers PBS special Is God Green? Even Pat Robe rtson has recently announced on his show the 700 Club that creation care proponents with the help of the blistering summer heat, of course have made a believer out of him. As the ECI has only been around for a few years, the coming decade will be of great interest to any i ndividual interested in American evangelicalism or the environmental movement. Events occur at a rapid pace in contemporary society. At the outset of researching this paper, th e National Association of Evangelicals had given nearly full support to the ECI a nd creation care, and sought to convince dissenting evangelicals otherwise. Sin ce then, Richard Cizik, Vice-President of Government Affairs at the NAE, had resigned because in a December 2, 2008 broadcast interview on Nati onal Public Radio, Richard responded to questions and made statements that did not appropriately represent the values and convictions of C. Toner 57

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism NAE and our constituents.36 After the resignation took effect, the NAE promptly changed their position on climate cha nge and announced that there was no consensus among evangelicals on the issue. This resignation of Cizik deals a se rious blow to creati on care due to the size and breadth of the NAE. Future rese arch on creation care should take into account this pivotal event. Another subject of interest is how the development of the counterframe by the Cornwall Alliance has affected the legitim acy of the ECI. Will the rift in the evangelical community caused by environmental issues ever mend, or is America witnessing the birth of a new political form of evangelicalism? The question is complex, wrapped up in th eories on seculariza tion and the history of Christianity, but this paper will hopefu lly add some new information relevant to the future of the evangelical movement and its relationship with American conservatism. 36 Letter from Leith Anderson, President of the NAE, to the Board of Directors at the NAE C. Toner 58

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Bibliography Adair, Stephen. "Overcoming a Collective Action Frame in the Remaking of an Antinuclear Opposition." Sociological Forum 11 (1996): 347-75. Allitt, Patrick. Religion in America Since 1945 A Hi story (Colum bia Histories of Modern American Life) New York: Columbia UP, 2005. Augustine. The City of God against the Pagans (Ca mbridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) New York: Cambridge UP, 1998. Boyd, Heather H. "Christianity and the E nvironment in the American Public." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 38 (1999): 36-44. Cizik, Richard. "An interview with green evangelical leader Richard Cizik." Interview with Amanda G. Little. Grist 5 Oct. 2005. . Curran, Charles E. Catholic Moral Theology in the United States A History (Moral Traditions) New York: Georgetown UP, 2008. DeWitt, Calvin. "An interview with envir onmental scientist and evangelical leader Calvin DeWitt." Interview with David Robert. Grist 17 Oct. 2006. . Eckberg, Douglas L., and T. Jean Blocker. "Varieties of Religious Involvement and Environmental Concerns: Test ing the Lynn White Thesis." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 28 (1989): 509-17. Evangelical Climate Initiative; A Christian Call to Action on Climate Evangelical Climate Initiative. 11 May 2009 . C. Toner 59

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Goffm an, Erving. Frame analysis an essay on th e organization of experience Boston: Northeastern UP, 1986. Greeley, Andrew. "Religion and Atti tudes toward the Environment." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 32 (1993): 19-28. Gurevitch, Michael. Culture, Society, and the Media Methuen, 1982. Guth, James L., John C. Green, Lyman A. Kellstedt, and Corwin E. Smidt. "Faith and the Environment: Religious Beliefs and Attitudes on Environmental Policy." American Journal of Political Science 39 (1995): 364-82. Hammond, Phillip E. Protestant presence in twentieth -century Am erica religion and political culture Albany: State University of New York P, 1992. Hand, Carl M., and Kent D. Van Liere. "Religion, Mastery-Over-Nature, and Environmental Concern." Social Forces 63 (1984): 555-70. Hayward, Tim. "Anthropocentris m: A Misunderstood Problem." Environmental Values 6 (1997): 49-63. Jenkins, Willis J. Ecologies of Grace Environmental Eth ics and Christian Theology New York: Oxford UP, USA, 2008. Jewell, Jim. "Sarah Palin and New Eva ngelicals: Conservati ve, Christian, and Green." Weblog post. Deep Green Conversation 3 Sept. 2008. . Kanagy, Conrad L., and Hart M. Nelsen. "Religion and Environmental Concern: Challenging the Dominant Assumptions." Review of Religious Research 37 (1995): 33-45. C. Toner 60

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism Kaufm an, Donald G. Biosphere 2000 protecting our global environm ent Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub. Co., 2000. Kearns, Laurel. "Saving the Creation: Christian Environmentalism in the United States." Sociology of Religion 57 (1996): 55-70. Marsden, George M. Understanding fundamentalism and evangelicalism Grand Rapids, Mich: W.B. Eerdmans, 1991. Moyers, Bill. "Bill Moyers discusses the spread of environmental concern among evangelicals." Interview with David Roberts. Grist 5 Oct. 2006. . Nash, Roderick. Rights of nature a history of environmental ethics New York: University of Wisconisin P, 1990. Northcott, Michael S. Environment and Christian ethics Cambridge [England]: Cambridge UP, 1996. Oelschlaeger, Max. The Idea of Wilderness From Prehistory to the Age of Ecology New York: Yale UP, 1993. Purser, Ronald E., Changkil Park, and Alfonso Montuori. "Limits to Anthropocentrism: Toward an Ecocentric Organization Paradigm?" The Academy of Management Review 20 (1995): 1053-089. Rolston, Holmes. Environmental Ethics and Weak Anthropocentrism Environmental Ethics An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies) Grand Rapids: Blackwell Limited, 2002. 163-74. Santmire, H. Paul. Travail of nature the ambiguous ecological promise of Christian theology Philadelphia: Fortress P, 1985. C. Toner 61

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Creation Care: The Construction of an Evangelical Environmentalism C. Toner 62 Shaiko, Ronald G. "Religion, Politics, a nd Environmental Concern: A Powerful Mix of Passions." Social Sciences Quarterly 68 (1987). Snow, D. A., and R. D. Benford. "Ide ology, frame resonance, and participant mobilization." International Social Movement Research 1 (1988): 197-217. Swidler, Ann. "Culture in Acti on: Symbols and Strategies." American Sociological Review 51 (1986): 273-86. White, Lynn. "The Historical Roots of our Ecological Crisis." Science 155 (1967): 1203-207.


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