One of President Biden’s first actions to undo the damage of the Trump Administration was to rejoin the Paris Agreement. Some of the strongest opposition to rejoining the international pact to combat climate change has come from the rabid evangelical wing of the GOP.
The day before Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the Paris Accord, conservative Christian pundit Erick Erickson tweeted: “I worship Jesus, not Mother Earth. He calls us all to be good stewards of the planet, but doesn’t mean I have to care about global warming.”
So why don’t evangelicals care about climate change and claim it’s a hoax? According to evangelical thinking, God provided the earth and everything in it for man’s benefit. Therefore, they believe it is idolatrous to put the protection of the planet ahead of man’s divine right to exploit its resources.
They derive this belief from a warning in the Bible about those who “suppress the truth by their wickedness…who worship and serve the creature more than the creator.”
It is no wonder, then, that evangelicals hailed the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement as Donald Trump tearing down the altar that Barak Obama built to Mother Earth.
This anti-environmentalism is passed onto their children through home school and Sunday school curricula. A video series called “Resisting the Green Dragon” teaches kids that “radical environmentalism,” one of the greatest deceptions of our day, “is striving to put America and the world under its control.”
A promotional video for the curriculum warns that this so-called green dragon, “is seducing your children in our classrooms and in popular culture.”
So when you hear evangelicals who, despite incontrovertible data, say climate change is a hoax, or who mock efforts to preserve endangered species, know that they are, in their mind, combating paganism.