The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) is no longer the organization it was only a few years ago. Its Washington office has been trending green. Risk Policy Report wrote on October 25 that NAE had been planning soon to release a policy statement on global warming that would call for mandatory greenhouse gas controls. There is now more reason to hope that reason and NAE traditional values – rather than unproven science -- will win the day.
NAE President, the Reverend Ted Haggard, commented in March 2005 to Laurie Goodstein, a reporter for THE NEW YORK TIMES: “The question is, ‘Will evangelicals make a difference, and the answer is, ‘The Senate thinks so.’ We do represent 30 million people, and we can mobilize them if we have to.” Months earlier, NAE had issued “For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility,” which included a plank on “creation care.” It emphasized that government must fight “environmental degradation” and it drew the signatures from many evangelical leaders.
Richard Cizik, NAE Vice President for Government Affairs, cited a Biblical Passage, Genesis 2:15, which states “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” He has been active in promoting a greener NAE stance on global warming and other environmental issues.
According to a recent article by NEW YORK TIMES reporter Michael Janofsky, the draft of the policy statement in support of a global warming policy favored by greens was supposed to be reviewed by NAE leadership. The NAE leadership vote had it been unanimous in support of the draft was to have been issued as a policy statement. If only a majority voted in support it would have been released but only as “an evangelical statement on climate change.”
NAE will be out of step with many leaders in the religious community if it supports mandatory reductions in greenhouse emissions.
A new coalition called the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (ISA) has a membership that includes prominent leaders and thinkers in the Evangelical, Catholic and Jewish Faiths. The Reverend Dr. D. James Kennedy, President of Coral Ridge Ministries, is a member of the Advisory Council. Others include Rabbi Daniel Lapin, President of Toward Tradition; Father Richard John Neuhaus, President of the Institute on Religion & Public Life; Father Robert A. Sirico, President of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty; and Dr. Marvin Olasky, Professor of Journalism and History at the University of Texas/Austin.