Allow me to show you a couple of mental snapshots. First imagine a picture of a family in a modern SUV. Mom and dad up front with three kids in the back, safely secured with their seat belts on. That’s snapshot number one. Now, imagine two men dressed in tuxedos embracing and kissing at their wedding ceremony. Both are wearing flowers in their lapels and a beaming clergyman is standing behind them having just pronounced them “husband and husband.” That’s snapshot number two. Now, hold these pictures in front of you and ask yourself this question: Which of these represents an immoral action? According to much of our culture today—the immoral picture is number one—that of the family in the SUV. Ridiculous, you say?
A recent editorial by Thomas Friedman which was carried by the New York Times clearly makes the case that selling and/or driving a “gas guzzler” has indeed become a major moral issue. Commenting on an automotive industry incentive program to entice customers to buy their products, Friedman declared this “the moral equivalent of tobacco companies offering discounted cigarettes to teenagers.” Think Friedman is alone? Princeton’s Peter Singer has written that SUV drivers kill more people than the 9/11 terrorists. Arianna Huffington has compared SUV drivers to terrorists. This thinking is further evidenced within evangelicalism: Richard Cizik, vice president for Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals has stated numerous times that Christians will experience the wrath of God if they don’t get on the environmental bandwagon—which would include abandoning those horrible SUVs! For Cizik and the growing “Creation Care” movement within evangelicalism, the Green Movement is not only moral, it’s spiritual. Sadly, a large portion of our population would agree that the family in the SUV is committing an immoral action, even many in the evangelical community.