John McCaslin

Driving with Jesus

Obeying the teachings of Jesus is now a part of the global-warming debate.

The Rev. Jim Ball, an ordained Baptist minister and president and chief executive officer of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), is among the panelists who will lecture on faith and science at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Family Research Council in Washington.

Named last month by Time magazine as one of its five climate-change "innovators," Mr. Ball is the originator of EEN's controversial "What Would Jesus Drive?" (WWJD) educational campaign, which states that "obeying Jesus in our transportation choices is one of the great Christian obligations and opportunities of the 21st century."

Pointing out that the Bible mandates stewardship of God's creation, one positive review of the WWJD campaign pointed out that "gas-guzzling, air-polluting, Godzilla-like" sport utility vehicles (SUVs) have unfortunately "become the icon of the 'American image' of success and the spirit of adventure."

Then there is Terry Watkins of Dial-the-Truth-Ministries, who weighs in that EEN "is a group of goofy, biblical-illiterate, environmentalists who are 'helping God' to preserve and protect the environment."

As Mr. Watkins writes: "To degrade the Lord Jesus into a environmental-wacko 'car salesman' is beyond simple ignorance -- it's irreverent and it's blasphemous."

Laura's club

The so-called "first lady of TV news in Phoenix" did not do her homework before interviewing the first lady of the United States, Laura Bush, at Friday's Sandra Day O'Connor Awards luncheon at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

Mary Jo West, who became the city's first anchorwoman in 1976, began the public Q&A by asking Mrs. Bush, a former librarian, about her summer reading list and the current book she's reading, "A Thousand Splendid Suns," by Khaled Hosseini.

" 'The Kite Runner' was about boys and men in Afghanistan, and this is a book about women, and really pretty brutal in a lot of parts, about the way women in Afghanistan were treated under the Taliban," Mrs. Bush explained of the author's pair of books.

At which point Ms. West said, "Well, Mrs. Bush, Oprah has her book list. Maybe you could start yours on your Web site."

"Well, I do, I have a book list on my Web site," Mrs. Bush replied. Without further ado, here's just a few of Mrs. Bush's favorite titles from firstlady:

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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