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September 11, 2006

Is God Green? Religion and Politics

Do you believe that we are a divided and polarized nation?

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Backgrounder: Religion & Politics
Over the past 25 years, conservative Christians have become an increasingly powerful force in American politics. The late 1970s and the early '80s marked the initial triumphs of the Christian right, with groups like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition flexing their political muscle on issues like abortion and homosexuality. In 1980, presidential candidate Ronald Reagan courted their as-yet untapped power and won the White House ... [more]

Class Is in Session...
If politics were boxing, evangelical Christians would be the undisputed religious heavyweight champs. And today, their power is being felt in an arena not typically part of their ideological circuit-the environmental movement. Roman Catholic groups, Jewish groups, and a dozens, if not hundreds, of non-religious organizations have embraced the environmental cause, but it's the evangelicals, with their close ties to the GOP, who "have the power to move the debate," says John Green of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. "They could produce policies more palatable to people who have not been moved by secular environmental groups."
Watch the video

But where did their power come from? Why can they "move the debate?" Ronald Reagan was the first presidential candidate to recognize the political potential of the Christian right. During his 1980 presidential bid, in his efforts to secure evangelical votes, Reagan met with major conservative Christian figures and voiced his likeminded opinion that the Bible was unquestionably the key to unlocking America's greatness, at home and abroad.

Evangelical voting power

Well, we all know how Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign turned out. His strategy of courting the evangelical vote has been a standard of the Republican party ever since.

But the election in which evangelicals made their biggest show of influence was the last one-Republican George W. Bush rode into power with the support of tens of millions of conservative Christians who shared his views on most of the more pressing political and social issues of the day. It's worth taking a look at how that vote played out. Throughout the 2004 presidential election, the media featured maps like the one below that showed partisan division between states-the blue state went to Democrat John Kerry, the red states to Bush.

US voting map 2004 -- red and blue states The evangelical contribution to the Republican victory cannot be overestimated. Shortly after the election, the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron released several reports about the American religious landscape and politics.

  • 63% of registered evangelicals-or 26.5 million individual evangelicals-voted.

  • 78% of evangelicals who voted chose George W. Bush.

  • 97% of evangelicals surveyed said it was important for the president to have strong religions beliefs.
Reverend Jerry Falwell's three-point plan-get them saved, get them baptized, get them registered-certainly paid off at the polls. It would seem that the millions of evangelical voters, along with the scores of non-evangelical Republican voters, had made clear what was Republican territory and what wasn't, and the nation seemed more polarized than ever-along religious lines, along party lines, and along geographic lines.

But the red-and-blue map may not alone tell the whole story, and in our current discussion on the perceived divisions in our nation, it bears looking at some further data. The following map breaks down voting results county by county. Robert Vaderbei of Princeton University proposed using a third color, purple, to indicate counties where the differences were slim. Results are analyzed on a scale ranging from solid blue (100% Democratic) to solid red (100% Republican) with shades of purple representing the degrees in between.

US voting map 2004 -- the purple effect Not so stark? Let's take an even further look. The following cartogram of the 2004 election is based on county-wide results, and the sizes of geographic regions such as counties or provinces appear in proportion to their population.

It is hardly recognizable as the land mass of the United States, but it certainly tells us that we are not as divided as common understanding would indicate. And yet, there is a sense among citizens that we are deeply polarized and that extreme perspectives dictate the public conversation. How can we be purple when our airwaves, civic discourse, media reports seem to indicate otherwise?

US voting map 2004 -- cartogram Another report by the Ray C. Bliss Institute may shed some light on this apparent contradiction. "Increased polarization is the principal finding of the Fourth National Survey of Religion and Politics post-election survey ... Although the election was very close overall (51 percent for Bush and 49 percent for Kerry), there was extensive polarization between and within the major religious traditions ... Evangelical Protestants gave Bush more than three-quarters of their votes, while nearly three-quarters of the Unaffiliated voted for Kerry."

It is no wonder that the environmentalists like Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation and a Christian have called on the evangelicals to become involved in the environmental movement.

Schweiger, in a speech at the Christianity Today-National Association of Evangelicals-Evangelical Environmental Conference in 2004 (reprinted in the Winter 2005 Issue of CREATION CARE magazine), said:

"And I'm here to tell you something else. The environmentalists, the National Wildlife Federations and the Sierra Clubs and all the other groups out there will not win this battle - [pause] - hear this, will not win this battle without evangelical Christians.

Because the U.S. Congress is made up of a lot of Conservative Republicans and the Conservative Republicans consider their bedrock constituency evangelical Christians. If evangelical Christians come to the table and say that caring for the planet is a part of Christianity and a part of our message, evangelical Christians can turn this struggle. In fact, I will predict that until evangelical Christians weigh in in a serious way in this matter, we will not win it, and I mean that sincerely.

So I'm here as a brother in Christ to urge you…who are not in this fight to get in this fight for the benefit of our children's children. Together we can turn this if we work together and find ways to make this happen. "

Hear what Larry Schweiger has to say about the recent debate within the evangelical movement and what it may mean for Republican Party priorities.

Watch the video: Larry Schweiger

In summary, Evangelicals wield considerable power over public policy: They vote more often and they care more than anyone about their candidate's religion

Discussion
  • Do you believe that we are a divided and polarized nation? What evidence do you see that we are or are not?

  • The three maps presented here each tell a story about the United States. What do you take away from looking at these three maps? Which map is closest to your political experience and political wishes?

  • Is your faith critical to your vote?

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Comments

Do you believe that we are a divided and polarized nation? What evidence do you see that we are or are not?

The three maps presented here each tell a story about the United States. What do you take away from looking at these three maps? Which map is closest to your political experience and political wishes?

Is your faith critical to your vote?

I believe that the US has all sorts of us all over the place. Purple is a lot more accurate than red or blue. The heartland of the country is by far more sure of how they think, less conflicted I guess on some issues. I live in a large metropolitan area that usually goes blue but the part of the city I live in is very republican or at least all outward signs say that it is. I do tend to feel like the odd woman out. To answer the last question I would have to say no, if faith means religion. I have become totally disencanted with religion and would not want to be affiliated with any of them. On the other hand I do feel that my previous life as a memeber of religions has helped to form my strong moral standards and regard for the planet and her inhabitants. Sort of a dicotomy, yes? I do not want religion to be part of public life. I am in trouble if they manage to make any one faith the national one. I will have to move. I hope this does not happen.

We ask the wrong questions and pursue the wrong ends. If it serves someones interests to focus on dividing the nation, then the nation will seem divided. If it serves someones ends to focus on war, then we will go to war. If the environment becomes the moral equivalent of war, then the focus will be on the environment-as it should be.

If the fish are dying, change the water in the tank. If the tank is clean, and if the inhabitants healthy, then, the economy may prosper, and government can forge a new paradigm for the benefit of all citizens.

The Environment
The Individual
The Economy
The Government

Until we reach consensus on this, all discussion is futile.

I see our country as divided between those like myself, who believe that with only 3% of our forests left standing, our oceans and rivers overfished and polluted, and global warming threatening our very survival, we must do everything in our power to protect what is left of our habitat, and those who believe that they are going to be raptured so what happens to the planet and to those left behind doesn't matter.

Unfortunately there are quite a few of the latter types in the Bush administration and even heading environmental agencies. Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s 2004 book, "Crimes Against Nature," lays out the facts. For anyone who cares about what used to called God's green earth, it should be required reading.

I consider myself a christian. However when i tried a church all the leaders seemed to feel it was a god given right to drive a gas guzzler and to play golf . Both are polluting the environment.

A former Southern Baptist, I still consider myself a Christian. Baptist churches in the south DID quite openly encourage voting for President Bush, as if doing so were the only moral choice. I think morality means something much deeper and wider than the simplistic and mainly sexual definition espoused by most Bush voters. Sadly, religion is still "the opiate of the masses". They blissfully keep driving their gas-guzzlers to church, where they learn that they have nothing to worry about and no reason to try to change anything, because their God is going to take care of them, if only they keep the Republicans in office. The God I worship expects the beings he created to care, to think, and to act to try to take care of the tiny planet he made as their only (so it seems) habitat. And he expects us to be aware of and care for those in need. We were, after all, created "in his image".

I believe the religious right mistakenly handed the last election to GW. I know of Churches where the members were told to vote Republican or get out. THAT IS SO WRONG!!! WELL, THEY GOT WHAT THEY ASK FOR!! A BUNCH OF LOW LIFE CROOKS! amen!! PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE HAT!

It seems that most of the people who believe in God have stopped thinking for themselves. They go to churches, mosques and other places of worship to hear their religious leaders tell them what God expects of them and how to comply with "God's will". They have been told who to love, who to hate and who to follow. They have lost their ability to analyse the preaching of religious leaders and their ability to disagree with those leaders because of the threat of the consequences that may follow in their communities and the hereafter. This presents a great danger for all of us on Earth. We may not be as polarized as the red and blue map suggests, but too many of us don't understand what is at stake if we ignore the political process that is at work. Religious faith should not be a basis for our voting. When choosing its representatives, the electorate should pay more attention to the public debate than to religious leaders.

This is incredibly sad. I can think of no other way to describe it. This may not be the proper place to post this comment but, I find it mind-numbing that we allow all of our elected officials to waste BILLIONS of dollars of our taxes every year. We allow the major media outlets to lie to us everyday. Most of us, do not have any concern about our country except, how it can benefit our personal, selfish lives. We cannot expect our elected officials to do the right thing if we do not police them, and hold them accountable. If there is to be any significant change in this country, it will start with us. If the people lead, the leaders will follow. For anyone that would disagree with this post, I want you to ask yourself a question. Think about this sincerely, is there a question that you can think of that you could ask every American citizen and get the same answer. Make it easy. Make it a question with a yes or no answer. It makes no difference what the qustion is. The answer would be no. As I write this, I wonder if this could qualify as one of the questions that everybody would give the same answer. Until we can focus on our similarities for the good of the country, and ignore our differences, we will be subject to the mindless policies that our elected officials write for us. Is this how we want to live?

What a sad development that our Christian leaders are out for the $$$$$. We have been
manipulated for too long.
Yes, there is a stewardship relationship between man
and the Earth. God asked Adam to tend to the land and care for it.
It never has been reversed.

Thanks,

C.C.

Yes, we are stewards of the earth, so let us use St. Francis's example (He is the patron St. of the environment)and not use more than we need of anything. Remember each time we buy synthetic clothing, shoes, sleeping bags,inks, belts, hairdyers, hairspray, nail polish, nail polish remover,and the list continues, we are using refined oil. So when everyone really looks at themselves and decides what their true needs are, then we could have a more profitable discusion on the environment. To say global warming is the cause of today's problem is just not logical. To quote as facts that the temp. today is warmer than 12,ooo years ago cannot hold water as the scientist can have a guess at the mean temp. 12,000 years ago, but in no way can they even guess at what the daily, yearly or even average decade temp could have been. So lets get real, take care of your own house first, and do not let the media hype make you afraid. The sky is not falling, go study, and get all the facts. And most of all do what Jesus taught, "Do not be afraid"

Someday we'll be extinct just like the dinosaurs. I don't think cockroaches care how warm it is. In fact, they do quite well in the warmth. Maybe a volcano will erupt and save us from the cockroaches and start another ice age due to volcanic ash.

I believe in God and heaven and salvation from my imperfect existence and transgressions. I believe in leaving the world as clean as possible.

An atheist truly cares not for the environment because they only believe in themselves.

A Christian cares because it is a gift from God and is to be used wisely.

Until you decide to walk everywhere and live like the Amish and ride horse and carriage, you will always perpetuate global warming in some form.

Since you are all so smart: How will you feed the masses? Transport produce? Build homes? Build roads/bridges/etc? Heat your home and power your computer?

Don't preach to me--anyone who can read this blog. Hipocrites!!!! All of you!!!

Liars and cheats and selfish smug pompous hipocrites of dim wit!!!!

As I’ve been reading some pretty interesting books lately in an effort to understand what is happening on our planet, I also have been mulling things over in my mind. Today, this thought popped into my mind, and I feel certain others have reached the same conclusion:

We do not have to fear that the planet, in this self-correcting phase, will not save itself. It is clearly in the process of doing that now. The big question is whether or not it will have to destroy humanity in order to do so.

Will we be willing to give up our arrogance that we are at the center of things? Will we be willing to give up greed and selfishness? Will we be willing to share? Will we be willing to care for others? Will we be willing to see that we are only one among many? Will we be willing to get down on our knees and admit we have been wrong?

These are the kinds of things I believe we must finally learn in order to survive. It seems to me they are exactly what all the great spiritual teachers have been trying to teach us.

I think the interesting (and apparently un-asked) question is:

"Who are the 22% of evangelicals who voted AGAINST Bush, and Why did they do so".

Jay Diamond

We've been polarized by the first map ever since Rove thought of this clever way of showing the electorate that if they wanted to be part of the "us" rather than the "other," they'd better vote red or else.

In all fairness though, he had a little help from his friends, the Christian Right. Finally Robertson, Falwell, and Dobson, saw hope for spreading their power base via the GOP.

The result was not only a sharp division politically, but between people of faith.

This viral division was spread to the world after 9/11 when our "Uniter,"
George Bush said "You're either with us or against us." We were frightened, unsure of what the future would bring, and along with most of the world, jumped on the Bush bandwagon.

The mindset of dualism has been reamed into our minds by a fragile media afraid of seeming unpatriotic.

I met dualism head-on as a child when my Catholic neighbor told me I was going to Hell because I wasn't Catholic. At about the same time my Sunday School teacher said my Catholic neighbors were going to Hell because they worshipped "graven images."

Even at 8 yrs. old I knew they were both wrong.

The third map is a beautiful swirl of blue, purple, and red moving symbiotically with no discernable divisions in precisely the direction they need to move.

It's not my denomination that determines my vote. I was raised a Christian and I believe that Jesus always acted with love. I try to do the same and vote for those candidates whose platforms resonate with my own.

If I sound a little angry, I am.

My faith informs my perception of the world just as my experience in the world helps to form my faith. For me, the following passage from one of Thomas Merton's journals expresses my beliefs best.

From
Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk & Writer
By
Thomas Merton

When your tongue is silent, you can rest in the silence of the forest. When your imagination is silent, the forest speaks to you, tells you of its unreality and of the Reality of God. But when your mind is silent, then the forest suddenly becomes magnificently real and blazes transparently with the Reality of God. For now I know that the Creation, which first seems to reveal Him in concepts, then seems to hide Him by the same concepts, finally is revealed in Him, in the Holy Spirit. And we who are in God find ourselves united in Him with all that springs from Him. This is prayer, and this is Glory!

I am Jewish, but I do not wear my religion on my sleeve. As a matter of fact, I feel that God is a spark within each and every one of us, which makes us all one, and that means we need to care about each other, same as ourselves! Also, God is pure, unadulterated LOVE, who is not judgmental, as we are given free will.
If we conduct our lives with love in our hearts for one another, and using that free will to think independently instead of being 'led', many of our problems could then be resolved towards making our world and planet a better one for ALL of us!

I think the maps show the electorial college is obsolete. And that we are strogly divided. The vast purple shows even individual counties are spilt down the middle. We are divided by amount of wealth (and thus by education), by religion (i include the atheist religion), and by race (which runs far too parallel with wealth). And the Republicans used and furthered the religion to gain power and wage war. Ironically the only example of jesus being angry is at hypocracy and people who used religion for gain (side note: TV Evangelist). People that call themselves Christians should be ashamed that they let themselves be used as pawns by the wealthy, white, republican marketing machine to elect an administation that may call itself Christian, but the fruits on the tree (war, greed, hate) say otherwise.

We are absolutely polarized and divided and the media has played a significant role in sustaining this. This is a pluralistic society and other Christians and other God-loving faiths are not given a voice because they do not support the GOP. The GOP is all about a selective greedy and powerful few continually getting fat off the land at the expense of everyone, including its constituents the Evangelical Right, i.e. Reed. However we (ALL of us on the planet) were given dominion over the earth, not ownership. If we do not protect, sustain and nourish ALL life and the environment, we cannot protect, sustain and nourish ourselves.

"There will come a day when the Son of Man will turn his face from his Earthly Mother and betray her, even denying the Mother and his birthright. Then shall he sell her into slavery, and her flesh shall be ravaged, her blood polluted and her breath smothered; he will bring the fire of death into all the parts of her kingdom, and his hunger will devour all her gifts and leave in their place only a desert."
"All these things will he do out of ignorance of the Law, and as a man dying slowly cannot smell hes own stench, so will the Son of Man be blind to the truth: that as he plunders and ravages and destroys his Earthly Mother, so does he plander and ravage and destroy himself. For he was born ot his Earthly Mother, and he is one with her, and all that he does to his Mother, even so deis he do to himself."

Where was this quoted from? From "The Essene Gospel of Peace of Jesus Christ". Why deny the truth. All the arguments have there basis on an incomplete scripture; the New Testament. The truths that Jesus taught about creation and the environment was left out by man's decisions when they excluded it intentionally.

As a conservative Lutheran Christian and a geologist, I think the Moyer's special missed the opportunity to focus on Christian stewardship of creation. God is our creator, demonstrating the love for all creation by sending our Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior who lived, preached, was crucified because he offered a new way of living. That message offended the establishment (Roman Empire) and the ruling Priestly elete who feared a popular uprising that would cause them to loose their positions of power, wealth and influence because of the alternative live style. That life style focused on God's unending, unmerited and unconditional love for each and every human. That lifestyle also witnessed to the importance of community - person to person relationships and not "rugged" individualism as Empire promotes throughout the ages.

This is the Gospel to love our neighbor. How can we show love for our neighbor when we practice poor, self-centered stewardship. Stewardship is the key concept that should guide our care for God's creation, not the accumulation of personal wealth, power or priviledge. In doing so, some are utilizing resources now that should be available for our grandchildren's children. Stewardship is an integral and living part of our Christian witness of our faith, a living testament to living out the gospel that we have heard proclaimed, taste and smell.
We have the technology available to produce very highly efficient transportation autos,trucks, electricity and to provide safe, clean water to everyone. Coal generation of electrical power can be accomplished by employing state of the art scrubbers, the produced CO2 can be sequestered or utilized to enhance oil production. What we lack is the willingness to do with a little less or "enough" so that all can partake of the Lord's creation. This is not the popular position, nor the pro-business agenda that advocates that the free market forces determine what's needed.
That position is not what Jesus lived and preached. It is not the love of neighbor, nor honoring our creator God. We, each and every one of us are part of the human community, therefore, each of us is to care for our neighbor, to protect him/her from harm and loss, to share our resouces so that the neighbor has "enough".

This Gospel of love witnessed by Jesus is not compatible with unrestrained economic esploitation of people and the creation.

Now to global warming, global warming is happening now. Global climate change, warming and cooling, has been a common occurrence in the geologic past. Look at the bones of mammouth and mastodon in the outwash gravels in the high plains of the U.S., or in near Lubbock Texas. No mammouth or mastodon could live on the vegetation growing there now, but flourished in a cooler, wetter climate. That Pleistocene climate changed and became drier and warmer.

Look at the written accounts and records from England, France and Spain during the time period from the 1300's to nearly 1800. This period is the "little ice age." Summer's were exceptionally short, conventional crops failed. mountain glaciers advanced into lower valleys that hadn't been covered with ice in recorded history. Since that time we have been in a slow warming cycle that is totally independent of the industrial age or man's contribution of "green house gases."

Certainly what we are contributing now is unacceptible, but it is not the cause of global warming. Christian Stewardship should guide us in choosing alternative life styles, making choices that do not demand the high production of waste solids and gases.

With God as your Shepherd it is noble and righteous to be one of His sheep!With the Republican Party as your Shepherd it is the height of ignorance to be taken down the path that enriches your Shepherd{THE GOP} AT THE EXPENSE OF THE POOR--THE SICK--AND ALL THE REST OF GODS CHILDREN!!!! FOR SHAME!!!! Tommie27

There have always been divisions in American society--rich and poor, white and non-white, rural and urban, religious and secular. But the latter divide is the one most successfully exploited by the Republican party in its quest to achieve and hold onto political power. By accepting the Republican's overtures, however, the religious right has prostituted itself and betrayed true Christianity to a political party that cares nothing for the poor and sick who were Jesus' concern, let alone for God's creation manifest in the natural world.

The tragedy is, those who need to participate in this vital debate. believe, because they've been told by their leaders, that PBS and Bill Moyers are "Evil Liberals" who spread lies and go against the moral teachings of their faith. I have great difficulty with this Shepherd/Sheep mentality. We have each been given a mind and an instinct to survive. Why must so many disregard that fact and follow their leaders down the path of total distruction? I am encouraged by the current evangelical environmental movement...now I hope for them to begin believing in protection of life outside the womb as much as inside. It's all a matter of spiritual growth.

I think we are polarized to the extent that we focus on race, religion, sexual preference, etc as definitions of ourselves. Religion is a particularly devisive factor. A fact that has caused me to view religions as creations of man far removed from God.

How sad in a world that needs our combined efforts to change, that evangelicals still insist on distancing themselves from fellow citizens of the world. Why not join hands with environmentalists to become a huge voting force? Surely Jesus did not teach separation, one-up-manship, disrespect for others, moral superiority. The assumption that all environmentalists are wild pagan earth worshippers is bizarre at best; a tactic used to convince evangelicals that they alone are environmentalists for the "right reasons". It is simply an excuse for not having paid attention to the environment before. After all, the Bible has been here all along while the current administration has dismantled environmental protections. Why has it taken so long to realize? How sad that this large, intelligent, voting population is still blissfully unaware that they were duped into worshipping a political party and manipulated by their own leaders to vote for it. How can they possibly hope to change a party which caters to big business? Do they really think GW will force Big Oil to go green? Or, in 2008, John McCain will?

As for those believing all things are created by God I would ask would God create Love Canal, Chernobyl, 3 Mile Island, Hiroshima, nuclear waste, mercury in fish, deforestation, etc? Just because we call ourselves children of God, does not mean we should ACT AND THINK like children.

Quite by accident, I saw most of "Is God Green"? on PBS yesterday. Not surprisingly, I was very impressed by Bill Moyers' latest efforts regarding such an important and timely issue. Indeed, my faith and spirituality have a great deal to do with how I feel about environmental issues. I consider myself (I do so hate labels, but here goes) a progressive, questioning Christian (not a Biblical literalist). The Bible and many other sacred as well as scientific texts have led me to the conclusion that we have a DUTY as humans to be stewards of the Earth. In a way, we are co-creators with the God of our understanding, and must do whatever we can to preserve our planet. As a famous Christian once said, WE are God's hands and feet on Earth.
I would like to conclude with several quotes to ponder: "We did not weave the web of life; we are a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves". (Chief Seattle) "Only when the last tree is cut, only when the last river is polluted, only when the last fish is caught; only then will they realize that you cannot eat money". (Cree Proverb)
I was heartened to see that some Evangelicals are beginning to take the care of creation seriously. No matter where our faith traditions lead us, caring for the environment should be one path we can walk on together.

I am a tree hugger that has never hugged a tree. I have never been more dissapointed to see the current government ignor all of the scientists that are saying we must do things now to save this planet for our grandchildren and not wait for them to do it for themselves. I have never come upon anything in the bible that says is OK to take off the mountain tops and pollute water to get at the coal. Coal is amost all carbon with some Sulfur and Mercury. The sulfur makes for acid rain and the mercury is the reason why we cannot eat too much fish. Thousand of Americans have died in the act of mining coal and the act of burning it is shortening the lives of thousands more. Thank God there are evangelists that are realizing there are thing to do to protect the life inside and outside the womb for generations to come.

Division and polarization primarily benefit one part of the political spectrum - the far right. It appears also that the promotion of such division and polarization comes largely from those who share very conservative interests.

I am tired of environmental liberals bashing Bush and Republicans. I think that you are only kidding yourselves if you honestly believe that Republicans are destroying Earth. I love our planet but I have enough sense to know that its not CO2 emissions from the SUVs of filthy rich, white, republicans that are causing the ice caps on Mars to melt. Anyone who looks at the scientific facts knows that the sun is causing global warming, not man. Don't misunderstand me, I am not a Republican. I am a libertarian who believes that it is our freedom that makes our country as great as it is and that liberalism (socialism) is the greatest threat to America not global warming.



Everybody shares this planet and we should all be united in one perspective that we are all responsible for caring for the Earth. There is no such thing as republicans destroying it or liberals, it is PEOPLE burning fossil fuels doing it together as one Global Community. I just want to say that when I heard Dr. Calvin Bysner or Theisner (i didn't catch spelling) speak that he may as well have had an Exxon hat on and advertise for them. He said he only cares if he goes to "Heaven" and that in 100 years who cares who is left to deal with the problem. He must drive a really BIG suv. He said that God put the big hole in the ozone layer, that is a huge load of crap. the hole is not a natural dissaster, you can't compare it to a hurricane, We have put the hole there over the past 100 years and now if we don't help to slow or stop it our environment is going to become too extreme for us to live here. "God" put the ozone layer there to protect the planet for a reason, to contol our comfy climate. Fossil Fuels are deep in the Earth and not meant to be burnt. We are going to point fingers and let the problem get so out of contol that we are going to have a last ditch effort in the end and go back to horses and bicycles for transportation and fire for heat and by then it will be too late. I have horses and I have thought more than once while riding that when society breaks down and gasoline is no longer at the pumps that I will be the one with the power to get around. Only people living in harmony with the Earth like the Amish are going to be excused from being responsible for the destruction of the Earth. All people who create ozone depleting emissions whatever religious or political views you have are responsible for this Global problem.
R. Scott, University of Michigan BFA

How hopeful to see many serious, intelligent, comments responding to Moyer's excellent "Is God Green" PBS program. Now I can actually believe God made man "In His image", ie. Free, Thinking, and Creative. High time for us to be united in stewardship of, and sustaining of, the mystereous gift of life. This is our purpose as His partners, helpmates, and witnesses. It is nice to know I am not alone. Keep your eyes on the prize!

I believe we are a divided nation because the deeply religious have no tolerance for anything other than their beliefs. They do not respect the views ofthose who do not believe as they do. And as you preach the high moral ground our world disintegrates before our eyes. It amazes me that so many forget how and why this country and the constitution was created. And that some how American freedom only applies to the religious or politicaly correct individual. All that we have lost during this presidency will cost America dearly.

I have been christian for a long time born again almost 25 years ago. christian have trouble thinking for them selves and follow a thumper because it is easier to have them tell you what to do then to think for your self.I AM A CHRISTIAN
I have never followed or took as "Gospel" anything jery falwell or pat robinson has done or said.
many christians think that the rapture is going to save them but they should
really re-read their bibles.
The earth is the Lords and the fullness there of.... go and be good stewerts of the earth etc.... we take this planet for granted. God will require an answer for what we have done here.
i was happy to see that we may finally be comming around and seeing that freedom OF religion is what is important and that all God's children have many masions to worship him from, the earth is the best church we have and it sings of his goodness, in sunsets, moon rise, bird song and sea swell if we loose that connection to the Creator we loose the little beauty left to us and the generations to come will have no clue to his majesty.
I am inspired by this new movement thank you Lord

I have been christian for a long time born again almost 25 years ago. christian have trouble thinking for them selves.
decernment is a gift from the holy spirit.
I have never followed or took as "Gospel anything jery falwell or pat robinson has done or said.
many christians think that the rapture is going to save them but they should
really re-read their bibles.
The earth is the Lords and the fullness there of.... go and be good stewerts of the earth etc......how an we take this planet for granted. God will require an answer for what we have done here.

I have been christian for a long time born again almost 25 years ago. christian have trouble thinking for them selves.
decernment is a gift from the holy spirit.
I have never followed or took as "Gospel anything jery falwell or pat robinson has done or said.
many christians think that the rapture is going to save them but they should
really re-read their bibles.
The earth is the Lords and the fullness there of.... go and be good stewerts of the earth etc......how an we take this planet for granted. God will require an answer for what we have done here.

I appreciate such programming as Is God Green by Bill Moyers. Thankfully, at this, one of the darkest times in America, that a voice of reason has not been quited.
When the moon program was launched, many said (and in the pulpit) that if we were meant to fly God would have given us wings.
Well, we did fly, but God gave us something much greater, the ability to think for ourselves, eventhough frequently we are enocuraged to "follow the leader". Unfortunately, too often these leaders are not interested in your good or the common good, but their immedicate gain (one perceived gain would for onece be an insider in the ploitival system) Newly surfaced information indicates that the religous were duped into electing a president whose interest in the common good
was most narrow indeed. Not the constitution, democracy, or the needs of the people were forwrd in the policy making of this administration. Through this forum and others I hope we agree to pursue our common humanity, and that includes saving our planet. We can, thanks to our God-given gift, a brain that thinks and does not require others to determine our actions, or often non-actions.

Faye Krause

I appreciate such programming as Is God Green by Bill Moyers. Thankfully, at this, one of the darkest times in America, that a voice of reason has not been quited.
When the moon program was launched, many said (and in the pulpit) that if we were meant to fly God would have given us wings.
Well, we did fly, but God gave us something much greater, the ability to think for ourselves, eventhough frequently we are enocuraged to "follow the leader". Unfortunately, too often these leaders are not interested in your good or the common good, but their immedicate gain (one perceived gain would for onece be an insider in the ploitival system) Newly surfaced information indicates that the religous were duped into electing a president whose interest in the common good
was most narrow indeed. Not the constitution, democracy, or the needs of the people were forwrd in the policy making of this administration. Through this forum and others I hope we agree to pursue our common humanity, and that includes saving our planet. We can, thanks to our God-given gift, a brain that thinks and does not require others to determine our actions, or often non-actions.

Faye Krause

I appreciate such programming as Is God Green by Bill Moyers. Thankfully, at this, one of the darkest times in America, that a voice of reason has not been quited.
When the moon program was launched, many said (and in the pulpit) that if we were meant to fly God would have given us wings.
Well, we did fly, but God gave us something much greater, the ability to think for ourselves, eventhough frequently we are enocuraged to "follow the leader". Unfortunately, too often these leaders are not interested in your good or the common good, but their immedicate gain (one perceived gain would for onece be an insider in the ploitival system) Newly surfaced information indicates that the religous were duped into electing a president whose interest in the common good
was most narrow indeed. Not the constitution, democracy, or the needs of the people were forwrd in the policy making of this administration. Through this forum and others I hope we agree to pursue our common humanity, and that includes saving our planet. We can, thanks to our God-given gift, a brain that thinks and does not require others to determine our actions, or often non-actions.

Faye Krause

God bless America? Why should He? Americans are the most profligate people on earth, half of one percent of the world's population using 50% of its energy resources, and electing an administration that ignores the overwhelming conviction of the scientific community for the sake of partisan gain, largely supported by people calling themselves Christian. What hippocracy.

I do not believe we are a polarized nation. This is a diverse country. I myself am not a "typical" American but, I am spiritual. I believe what is right for me may not be right for everyone else. I am a straight woman who would like to be married and then have children. I don't personally agree with abortion for myself so I take precautions not to get pregnant. But, I do not want to make that choice for anyone else! God gave us free will for a reason. It's up to everyone to take responsibilities for their actions. It may be right for them but, I don't feel that it is right for me. And I don't judge anyone for doing what they feel is right, nor should I. Gay marriage to me is a spiritual issue, for me someone's spirit is not male nor female only a body can be. If your body does not follow into the afterlife then does it matter if in the physical form that two souls who love each other dearly should be denied the right to be married in a spiritual union? I'm sure there are evangelicals who don't believe in gay marriage, or abortion but, do think that we should provide more compassionate assistance for extreme poverty in our country through government assistance. Or possibly would support a raise in minimum wage which I'm sure large corporations who contribute, to certain parties, money for the campaign trail would not like. It would cut into their profit margin. I believe in that issue as well as the environment. Our country is too diverse for it to be polarized. The proof is in the map presented on this site. Within my own family there are people who believe the gay "lifestyle" is wrong, and there are people who don't.
I'm very excited to see that the breakdown of the varying degrees between the blue and the red within our nation and that it was represented in the votes. But, it trouble s me that the evangelicals seem to be against the rest of the nation and think that they should influence the government to decide for us, major spiritual issues. They've already made the choice for themselves why do they have to make it for everyone else? I enjoy a diverse nation. The more diversity the greater the chance to broaden horizons. If you're too closed minded in experience then how can you make informed opinions?
My faith is not critical to my vote, or at least I don't calculate my vote according to their faith. I vote for who's issues I closely agree with despite a candidates religion.

Dominion vs. Destruction:

The final revision of the church and beating the Right at their own game

Historically revisionism splinters the church when modern issues encroach and demand a moral, bible-based consideration. As is often the case the splinter group hangs its rationale on a subjective, singular premise, by which it identifies its revised status.

Today I saw Bill Moyers of PBS investigate the current rift forming among evangelicals and the church in general. This dialogue between religion and environmentalism is long overdue and is expounded upon in DEEP ECOLOGY and WORLD RELIGIONS- New Essays on Sacred Ground. Written and edited by "Left" authors, the book begins with a simple idea, "If you love God then you love the earth". Does this supercede and hold up against a line from Genesis? Is dominion exclusive from stewardship? Even secular foresters know to replant, even drunkards know to recycle and big business knows building green equals profit via lower overhead.

I identify the established Right as the splinter group and not the TreeHuggers. Loving the earth and doing what's right is apolitical. The Evangelical Right, aligned with Petro-Politics, can't claim they are doing Gods Will when they leave it all up to Capitalist Market Forces, conversely, nobody can claim that planting a tree is blasphemous. The Rightwingers may want to ponder their position the next time they're stuck in gridlock behind a diesel truck.

The Right/Dominator/MufflerHuggers have drawn a line and it is appropriate and welcome. The body of Christ faces many "wedge" issues, most of which are politically, and not spiritually consequential. This is an issue however that really does warrant division within and without a church/state context, as it effects the biosphere, not just the vote or soul.

As a Left/Symbiotic/TreeHugger, lover of God and Creation, and inventor of alternative energy technologies I agree that we do have dominion, God is in control, and the market will provide answers. However I also believe God wants a clean, sustainable technology to dominate the market for the sake of creation. I believe that by drawing this line the right have inadvertently aided Christ in the impending division of the righteous from the unrighteous….If the resultant "Eco-Christians" were to rally behind, and get to market, sane technology we could defeat the Right and their Hydrocarbon Age, but poetically, on their terms. Honestly now, can you picture New Jerusalem with smoke stacks, acid rain, oil spills, nuclear waste and smog?

REVELATION 11:18

If the Right can quote Genesis to justify their position I propose we quote a more timely piece of scripture:

"…give reward…unto them…that shouldest destroy those who destroy the earth"

Interestingly, humans have only been able to destroy or corrupt the earth within the past 100 years. God has and will ruin the biosphere and the earth will recover. The question is, when the prophesied earth changes occur do you want to be stuck with an irreparable, centralized, monster of an energy infrastructure or my technology REV 18:9-11?

Why my inventions as opposed to dozens of others will be gladly explained in detail to those seriously interested in this proposal…But I like to make an analogy of the cataclysmic destruction of the big, laborious dinosaurs and the prevalence of small mammals to the eschatological destruction of a centralized infrastructure and the prevalence of micro-generation tech – In each case the winner wins due to its small size, i.e., its ability to move and reproduce quickly.

It is not enough to be the default opposition, it is not enough to have an opinion, and sadly, it isn't enough to plant a tree.

When I speak of defeating the MufflerHuggers by defeating them at their own game, on their terms, I mean that we can fund the R+D of superior, clean, micro-generation technologies to power homes and vehicles. There is no question about morality after that, it's simply better technology than the current product.

To that end I've invented several biomimetic, exotic, and simple devices which farm the forces of our biosphere in realtime. I've also developed a unique business model with which to manufacture and market these technologies which are:

1 – Consonant Cavitating Engine
2 – Closed Loop Implosion Turbine
3 – AeroFusion
4 – Downdraft Vortex Generator
5 – Fresnel/Stirling Oscillating Generator
6 – Pedal/Row Generator
7 – Solar Closed-Cycle MHD Generator
8 – Aether-Electron Coupling Rectenna

All of these inventions are original and ready for peer review, patenting and prototyping. I want the voices of the lovers of God and earth to be heard. In the secular world in which we live money speaks louder than words – money not spent on poison but rather sun, wind, tides and biomass.

Please view my Current POD, "Just Another Free Energy Messiah?" It goes into my history and intent a little more. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to doing business/Gods will!

http://www.current.tv/watch/11394614?s1=newVids&list=newVidsByAssignmentGroup&k1=1&k2=0&sid=11394614&fr=2

Are we divided? You bet. Unfortunately some people wear their religion on their shirtsleeves and they want to believe that the only true Christian is one who pays attention to a profit margin. Yet I see, both in my own social activism, which comes naturally from my trying to live my Christianity, and in the Moyers program that it is those very people that Jesus held up as Blessed who are sufferring from the defilement of the earth that is so shamefully a part of the culture of our American political system today. Capitalism may work. Free market may work (though personally I don't think it does work to the benefit of any but a few). But it cannot be righteous if it is causing such awful wounds to creation. How is it that some have the right to profit from making our world into a garbage dump? The bottom line is NOT a cost-benefit analysis if it comes in terms that make it impossible for people to live healthy lives. I think the whole idea that pollution happens because God somehow wills it is crap. It's human free will that allows it and I think those who are profiting from the abuse our environment belong in some circle of hell.

God the Creator calls us to paradox, passion, sacrifice and responsibility, to see nature with her plant and animal life as co-creation and the basis for a human future. Nature is not a free good, external or sink.
The cart is put before the horse and the horse is bridled by the tail when the market is made sacrosanct and businessmen stylized as the only ones who know the meaning of growth and edevelopment. Sickness and health become confused; the goat is mis-taken for the gardener. Policies that have failed for 20 or 30 years cannot bring success with higher dosages, only exploding inequality and destruction of language, community and public spirit.
When corporations rely on takeovers and repress weak purchasing power and the domestic economy, we enter the New Middle Ages of the 21st century where corporations have rights and not responsibilities, play off communities against each other, pay no taxes and stylize them-selves as "scarce commodities."
When workers are cost factors and CEOs are job creators, we enter the Orwellian world of newspeak
Where capital intensive investments are preferred to job-creating investments
profits are worshipped and confused with community health. All this happens because we refuse to see ourselves as stewards of a vast treasure.

A lesson to all Chrisians to learn. What did Mary and Joseph named their first born son? See: Matthew 1:23; "They" meaning Mary and Joseph named their Son "Immanuel"
also see: Isaiah 7:14; She, (Mary) will certainly name him Immanuel. "They" Mary and Joseph did not name Him Jesus, "They" Mary and Joseph named Him Immanuel.

The letter "J" was established in the English language in 1611. Look it up in your own dictionary. King James and his editor, Francis Bacon established the letter "J" in 1611. He also changed the letter "I" to J, and the letter "Y" to J. By doing this the Archaic Hebrew Holy Scriptures was added too and omitted. (See: Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverb 30:6; Revelation 22:18;) Biblical Scholars in 1881 found some 33,000 missed interpretations of the King James Bible of 1611.

Did you know that the Jewish Messiah Immanuel was not born in a barn nor a stable? Immanuel was borned in a house. (See: Matthew 2:11;)

LEARN THE TRUTH, it will make you mad and it will set you free. Check the web site: http://www.benyahvahbooks.com
Normand

I'm not a Christian. But, I do believe that the USA is a divided nation! As an ex pat currently living in Australia, it is clear that Americans, with the help of journalists like Bill Moyers, are finally taking a long look at their egocentricty.
Perhaps they will note what the rest of the world sees clearly: that the perks they enjoy as Americans simply do not give them the right to destroy the planet. Hopefully,in this Nov 2006 election, we will see a balance of power influence not only the politics but the environmental sustainability of our lovely blue marble.

I despair at the near impossibility of having a political discussion with people in my rural, northwest New Jersey community. If I raise an issue such as health care, the response is a regurgitation of sound bites from talk radio. It's as though people are no longer willing or able to think through the issues for themselves. I remember learning in college that arguing "ad hominem" is illogical. Out here it's commonplace. It's all about defending your position or attacking the character of anyone who sees things differently. Few seem interested in common ground or the commonweal. Unfortunately, that same kind of behavior is being role-modelled at the highest levels of our national government.

We are in the last stages of the 1st American republic . . . Ben Franklin's "republic, if you can keep it." We are a nation dying of a metasticizing condition obvious to anyone familiar with Antoine de Sainte Exupery's posthumous work The Citadel, translated into English as The Wisdom of the Sands.

This is the Age of Incurious—celebrating ignorance. Hemingway remarked that a foolproof bullshit detector was essential…education could provide understanding of civics, sociology, logical fallacies and the true basics of our history and government. Numerous credible surveys show that it ain't, even among the most highly "educated." Wisdom, let alone democracy, is impossible without such understanding.

As a young man I wondered at Hitler's successes . . . despite Himmler's astonishing lying campaign. I did not imagine that I would live to see a replay by modern actors using then barely imagined media to hypercharge "monkey view often enough, monkey believe" into yet another mass physchological contagion. I am unspeakably sad to be watching my country devolve.

This is the Age of the Incurious. I agree sadly.

However, inside every person is a great potential for good. Its up to us to do what we can to bring out the good in ourselves and those around us. I read each post with interest, everyone has a unique mind, together imagine all that could be achieved!

Thinks about it. Whats holding us back?

America is a pretty divided country.

It is inconceivable to most Americans that we could know the wars and violence which have gripped other parts of the world on our own shores. Let us hope it stays that way.

It is predicted by some demographers that if current trends continue, America will be a nation of 1 billion people by the year 2100 … that is around the size of the population of India.

Most people don’t think about what will happen in 100 years … but I think they ought to. As a christian I think we need to be good stewards of the land. Environment and
overpopulation are important issues to my mind.

I am very skeptical of politicians who wear their religion on their sleeve.
First, because I see religious thinking is very irrational. If a politician believes in fairies, how can one trust that they are voting with the best interest of the nation in mind or they are voting to support their irrational beliefs.
Second, because those outward expressions of religion in a public forum are obvious vote getting techniques and are very likely insincere.

I find it quite interesting that the evangelical force is so strong that it can influence the voting power of the presidency. I also find it interesting that evangelicals have such high positions and influence the public to convert to their ways. Reverend Jerry Fallwell had a three point plan that really paid off at the polls. But it does not seem like anyone is asking us to do this, instead it seems as if it is more or less our duty to be obedient because they say it is the right thing to do. I am glad that we as christians now have a voice, but I am afraid of how that voice is taken out of my own mouth.

My ex-hero bill moyers
capitulates to the corporatocracy. By allowing kerrey to retain the framing of the argument as ,'iraqiis
must stand up/ addressing the (so-called) war on terrorism, etc; mr moyers
in his own imagination, presented
a 'hardhitting' interview.
In reality, those few of us who concentrating on the big picture, understand that
by allowing a conspirator in collusion with repugs
to frame out the oil question, which explains the very basis of our need for bin laden. Who quotes
bin laden more than anyone else? W. Whose best friends facilitated a 'le vant affair' style 'terrorist attack on the us [ 9-11]? W. (see bandar bush and family).
By not attacking the dems collusion with repugs
and exposing that the only benchmark anybody cares about is the psa's of the multinat'l oil companies
that will confer 75% of IRAQS almost infinite oil reserves for thirty years at a minimal royalty scheme. All these repugs will end up working for exxon and halliburton in
exchange for the attorney general's willful ignorance of the antitrust activities that are not
going to be acknowledged.
LETS FACE FACTS, in this totally (un)constitutional
crisis that we are in , our corrupt congress WILL
not acknowledge that we are in the middle of a fullblown constitutional crisis. THE LAW IS WHAT PRESIDENT SAYS IT IS. sure the supremes have made a few superficial slapdowns'
those are the obligatory cover for since the election in 2000 they have capitulated to this cabal
of fascist revolutionaries.
What we have here is
Federalism dressed up in
a theatre of democracy that through the collusion of the media whores is presented
to the american people as a
debate, but all is based on a false premise (as are
ALL zionist crusading-friendly rightwing arguments. It would be amiss if I failed to mention the Large immigration distraction, being used by both parties as 'cover' to distract and confuse citizens. This is an attempt to incite nationalistpopulist fervor over a non-issue. Reagan used this same strategy of decrying the 'feet' people americans needed to worry about rather than look at what NEGROPONTE was up to funding terrorists in the
attempt to unseat the sandinistas for which hero reagan and vp bush were
totally 'unanswerable' for.
When Cheney threatened
Lee Hamilton with 'the end of bipartisanship forever', it was a not so veiled Real threat which successfully intimidated
the dems into not requiring the culprits to testify. If reagan And BUsh had been indicted for their obvious crimes, truth
and justice might have had a chance, as it went we now have REAGAN REDUX.
Anyone who doesn't DEFRAME a conspirators argument publicly is guilty of collaboration.
PS Before bush jr had won the primary, Uncle Jonny Bush had this to say,
" If my nephew wins the general election, it will be the worst thing that ever happened to this
country," at the cosgrove reception in long island.
It's nice to know SOMEONE
in the bush family is honest.

Well I have a much different stance on this than you might think. I find it interesting how people try and equate God with taking care of the planet. I know that it is the job of humans to maintain the environment, this is true whether you believe in God or not. That being said, what difference does it make what we do to the environment, when the Chinese continue to pollute? There is a stark difference in pollution from the U.S. and pollution from China. The main difference is that when the U.S. pollutes, we try to clean it up. China does not.

You might also find it interesting that China is not covered under the Kyoto Treaty. China is listed as a developing country. You might also find it interesting that Al Gore did not vote to enact the Kyoto Treaty for that reason. China had no responsibility as far as the Kyoto Treaty was concerned. Remember that China is producing the same amount of emissions that the U.S. was producing in 1995. If this was really about pollution, why does China not count?

Think for yourselves, the more you read the more you will see…

Well I have a much different stance on this than you might think. I find it interesting how people try and equate God with taking care of the planet. I know that it is the job of humans to maintain the environment, this is true whether you believe in God or not. That being said, what difference does it make what we do to the environment, when the Chinese continue to pollute? There is a stark difference in pollution from the U.S. and pollution from China. The main difference is that when the U.S. pollutes, we try to clean it up. China does not.

You might also find it interesting that China is not covered under the Kyoto Treaty. China is listed as a developing country. You might also find it interesting that Al Gore did not vote to enact the Kyoto Treaty for that reason. China had no responsibility as far as the Kyoto Treaty was concerned. Remember that China is producing the same amount of emissions that the U.S. was producing in 1995. If this was really about pollution, why does China not count?

Think for yourselves, the more you read the more you will see…

Obviously, China DOES count. They are huge polluters, but that does not mean that this country shouldn't do what it can to make things better here. This isn't "all or nothing." All improvements everywhere are to the good.

I am an atheist. Proudly. I was raised a christian, but never felt truly connected because my critical thinking kept interfering. I am, however, a person of ethics and consciousness who believes that we all contribute to the atmosphere of either positive or negative energy in the world and even though life can be a trial, I want to stay posotive about the eventual outcome of our current dilemmas. These exchanges give me hope and help me realize that many people have real concern not only for the planet, but for our own enlightenment. Thank you all for this wonderful participation, and you Bill Moyers for the forum. The solutions really do start with each of us.

If we have seperation of Church and State, how come we don't have seperation of State and Church ???
I would think no True Christian could spend much time at all in politics, per: 2 Timothy 2-4...
Hardsell 07

The Bible is a very good science book, i.e., Job's skin worms, and the statement about "before the mountains were settlet" and we could go on and on...did you know creation all occurecd in God's "mind"...and the formation of that some of us call evolution...and the 6 days = 1 billion years each...science will catch up...oh, by the way, when did a scientest really know about the mountains settling and when was it written in scripture...God is God and what ever he does is right and is his right because he is God...Jesus, accorcing to scriptures came to save the world...some of us think He got the job done...athiest got is made,"so to speak"...No warfare within themselves...or at least I would think not...where as us Christians-Spiritual Jews, we have a continual warfare...Thanks...Hardshel-07

I think that we are a divided nation. This is because the government is only in it for themselves. All they are looking for is a good rap and don't seem to look at the big picture. The people are concerned with the world as a whole and are trying to keep it a good place to live. If god put it there, then leave it. There will always be some exceptions to rules but they don't need to be taken to the extreme.

Morals/Ethics/Religion are very important to me - they effect every part of my life. HOWEVER, I do not think it is healthy or commendable even to legislate personal morality.
I believe Christianity has some amount of flux in its precepts - for example, in 1 Cor. chapter 8, there is the story of fledgling Christians with strong faith versus fledgling Christians of weak faith - and depending upon their state of mind/faith their personal boundaries differed. Some were able to have more liberty in their lives and with their behaviors than others simply because the amount of faith they had was greater. I think this is as true today as it was when this chapter was written.
Instead of spending money (large amounts of money) on Capitol Hill lobbying about abortion rights – I think that money would be better spent on PEOPLE who need help – educating them, feeding them, helping them make a life for themselves. If abortion is wrong – giving people information and means to support the pregnancy would be a better anti-abortion campaign then criminalizing/outlawing it.

Yes, the nation is divided. Mainly because the differences in opinions have become so different. Additionally, there is a lack of acceptance from either side of most issues to allow another opinion to be valid. If you are liberal you are portrayed as a closet communist or socialist. If you are conservative you must be racist or sexist. The country no longer has a “I don’t believe in your views but will fight to the death for your right to have them” mentality anymore.

It isn't surprising that we have yet another gridlock between groups. Absoulute counterproductivity will continue until something catastrophic happens, then we will all get the fingers out and start pointing as to who is at fault. Inevitably it will take some major devastation, which will be followed by a knee jerk bill or law that will be passed as a quick fix before something somewhat productive will ever get done. I am completely frustrated and disheartened by our country's direction.

Rick in Wisconsin.

We are divided and polarized in many ways. Whether or not to try and convince the religious right Evangelicals to think green, or seriously embrace our environmental problems is up to those who choose to associate with such people. I am not a religious person myself although I was raised and schooled in the Roman Catholic faith. I have no faith. As children we were also taught to question everything and always filter what we are told through our own methods of reaching the truth. Our own critical thinking reduces religion to faith. I have faith in Mother Nature and if the religious evangelicals can not understand that the laws of nature overrule the laws of their god, then what is the use in trying to persuade them to change. I have often thought that we Americans should simply outlaw religious practice. Giving religion to children is worse than giving them drugs. Drugs wear off, religion doesn’t. It is like a social virus that has infected a great proportion of the populace, they are prodigious breeders, this lot, and to those of us who have to witness this atrocity against nature it is revolting indeed. Because if humanity continues to believe in what is not and insists that what is not is, then we as a species on planet earth are condemned to and untold story of future suffering unknown to our species throughout its entire existence. And above all other causes for this will be that we allowed a large portion of our species to live in peace while they dragged humanity to the unmerciful abyss of disregarding natures laws. This leads to the question of what we should do, or what we have a responsibility to do for the future of our continuing generations, to purge our species of this social virus. I have seen television depictions by the religious right showing how they should be aware that there are bad people in the world that would lock them up and make them renounce their faith in their god and embrace the corrected path for humanity. And that those who would not would be eliminated by their own choice. This kind of programming is supposed inform of this danger to the faithful. I suppose if the religious right is so much in fear of such a development that it does indicate the extent to which they will go to protect themselves from such an assault on their kind. But for those of us who recognize the folly and clear danger of allowing this self deception to continue, this social virus to spread to an ever growing number of our species we must protest on behalf of the future of our people. I don’t belong to any group that holds these ideas but I know that there are a number of humans on earth who do see it this way and anguish over the fact that their fate will most certainly be the result of allowing the social virus get out hand and out of our power to eliminate it without too much pain. Trying to manage this unwanted responsibility would almost certainly be impossible at this point with the staggering population that is represented. So we anguish in silence with the understanding that short of a natural consequence of major intervention by our mother nature, that the fate of humanity is in the hands of those who believe in what is not, never was and never will be.

I am a 81-year-old vet with nearly 27 years of active duty. I strongly feel that this country has a long way to go before we realize the freedoms we so loudly espouse. US history, for me, is a big case of "we talk the talk but don't walk the walk." There has been a lack of freedom since the beginning of our history. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights was written by well-meaning men who because of their religion and education didn't truly realize that black people were human beings. Many, including at least one president, fathered children from their female slaves. Various religious
sects have disavowed one another from the beginning. Catholics were feared and mistreated until Kennedy was elected. We screwed the Native Americans and many Mexicans out of their land. The only people who realized the American dream, until about 60 years ago, were white protestant males.
This is a great country and I love it, but it is not the one I really wish
for. We need to get religion out of politics. Religious faith has, and
still is, killing more people than most serious epidemics. We need to
start, here and around the world, an educational system that teaches the
"big bang" and evolution are real. When mankind accepts the fact that the
supernatural start of this universe and mankind, is not the God of the
Torah, the Koran, the Bible, or the Book of Mormon, we may be on the way to peace. It is going to happen. Unfortunately it will take generations
and millions more will die for their faith before it does. FAITH is belief
in something for which there is no proof. FAITH is a Killer. Christians
killing Muslims through faith. Not logical or reasonable. Christian
killing each other over differences in Dogma. FAITH; not logical or
reasonable. Cults are only possible because of faith. FAITH is a Killer.

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According to Mr.Cizik, quote:
"the fate of the earth may well depend on how Christians, especially evangelical Christians who take the bible seriously, respond to the issues of climate change."
WEll said, Mr Cizik, where do you think the rule of God is in all this - do you have an ounce of faith that God alone is the sustainer of the earth? Do you think He'd let us destroy His creation?
Global warming turned out to be such a big scam. And I never believed it for a moment.
Mr. Cizik, go back to preaching the gospel, not the social ideas that have false foundations.
Anyway, ----->
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