Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Last March I sat on the set of the Anderson Cooper debating global warming with another evangelical – Jim Ball. I winced when I originally received the invitation because I knew where they were going to attempt to take the conversation. As I sat in the hot seat, I hoped desperately that I would not be called upon to attack one of my fellow evangelical comrades.

I decided before the program that I would not let the session dissolve into a name-calling contest. Further, I realized that in the name of scientific faithfulness, the reporters could cast me as a well-meaning Neanderthal or worse – a mean-spirited, religious zealot. I was further aware of the fact that as a non-scientist I should avoid trying to sort through research and declare that I had some kind of epiphany or divine revelation concerning global warming and CO2 emissions. The problem as I perceived it was that this was another attempt to make Christians look like they are anti-science. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” In other words, nature and science belong to God. They reveal His glory. They are an extension of Him. They do not compete with Him. In fact some of the most devout Christians I have ever met have been born-again scientists. Therefore, I want to re-state an obvious truth - scientists are not the enemy of the conservative community on the issue of the environment. The true enemy to the nation’s best interests is a group of radical environmental activists. It seems to me that conservatives often get caught in emotional debates that we cannot win – creating a polarizing tension.

Sometimes we forget that it may be necessary for us to create good answers to complex problems instead of simply cursing the darkness. We need to be the people lighting candles of hope and understanding and leading the way to a sensible future.

Environment zealots, like political ideologues never come up with good solutions; they advocate their position as though it were a new religion or faith. Our response, after having been bombarded by conflicting information for years, is simply to say to the environmental community, “We are tired of responding to your most recent refrain of the old, old song The Sky is Falling!”

There are two polarizing films on the market today that do not clearly articulate the problems of the environment and what the majority of reasonable scientists actually think. These films are Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth and The Great Global Warming Swindle. Let me explain.

Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.