This One Will Make You Just Want To Cry

Over at AlterNet, Why Ecocide Is ‘Good News’ for the GOP. Scroll down to “A Higher Power”:

Nevertheless, beyond all these more obvious anti-environmental motivations there lies a more deep-seated inspiration. Difficult as it may be to believe, many of the conservatives who have great influence in the Bush administration and now in Congress are governed by a Higher Power.

In his book “The Carbon Wars,” Greenpeace activist Jeremy Leggett tells how he stumbled upon this otherworldly agenda. During the Kyoto climate change negotiations, Leggett candidly asked Ford Motor Company executive John Schiller how opponents of the pact could believe there is no problem with “a world of a billion cars intent on burning all the oil and gas available on the planet?” The executive asserted first that scientists get it wrong when they say fossil fuels have been sequestered underground for eons. The Earth, he said, is just 10,000, not 4.5 billion years old, the age widely accepted by scientists.

Then Schiller confidently declared, “You know, the more I look, the more it is just as it says in the Bible.” The Book of Daniel, he told Leggett, predicts that increased earthly devastation will mark the “End Time” and return of Christ. Paradoxically, Leggett notes, many fundamentalists see dying coral reefs, melting ice caps and other environmental destruction not as an urgent call to action, but as God’s will. In the religious right worldview, the wreck of the Earth can be seen as Good News! [emphasis added – DJ]

Some true believers, interpreting biblical prophecy, are sure they will be saved from the horrific destruction brought by ecosystem collapse. They’ll be raptured: rescued from Earth by God, who will then rain down seven ghastly years of misery on unbelieving humanity. Jesus’ return will mark the Millennium, when the Lord restores the Earth to its green pristine condition, and the faithful enjoy a thousand years of peace and prosperity.

One powerful fringe group, the Reconstructionists, doesn’t speak of the “End Time” at all, Bokaer notes. They put the onus for the Lord’s return on their own political activism. Reconstructionists say that Christ will return only when a righteous nation acts to purge unrepentant sinners and applies biblical law to its populace. They want to spread the Gospel in a political context, making the Bible the foundation of U.S. jurisprudence. That includes an end to environmental regulation.

Such misinformed viewpoints would be of little import except that, in the 1980s, they began permeating the Republican Party. That’s when Republican strategists – eager to broaden the party’s narrow base of wealthy corporate supporters – partnered with religious right leaders such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, who agreed to politicize their followers and bring them into the GOP, according to Bokaer.

Working through fundamentalist, Pentecostal and charismatic churches, the Christian Coalition has promoted right-wing Republican candidates by mailing voter guides at election time – 30 million in 1994; another 45 million in 1996; and 70 million in 2000 to support candidate Bush, reports the watchdog group People for the American Way.

There is so much more in this article, and it rings true because it agrees with much that I have been reading about these right wingnuts in my research. I’m a little shaken up so instead of saying anything about it I’ll ask you to go read the whole article. Oh yeah, by the way, some of the wealthier Reconstructionists are buying up some of the voting machine companies. (If blogspot doesn’t scroll to the right piece, search for ‘CNP’ and ‘Ahmanson’.)

Update – While researching the right’s web of anti-environmental organizations and their funding would be a lifetime career in itself, I came across this group, Interfaith Coalition for Environmental Stewardship (ICES), one more right-wing organization claiming God gave the planet to humans for “stewardship.” If you want to see where they’re “coming from” check out the organizations they link to. They have a subtle message that translates to the usual right-wing line: environmentalists are socialsts who are trying to destroy capitalism, which is God’s law.