In the last decade, as evangelical Christian leaders increasingly became involved in conservation, ?creation care? and taking action against global climate change, the alarms went up in corporate America that many traditional members of the conservative coalition were becoming advocates for environmental protection. To counter the rise of the faith-based environmentalist Evangelical Climate Initiative, the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance emerged. The ISA, propped up by business interests including Exxon Mobil, has peddled misleading and false claims to make the case that climate change is a myth. In 2007, the ISA was renamed the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and became more belligerent and zealous in its anti-environmental activities.
The Cornwall Alliance is led by E. Calvin Beisner, who believes that since God granted humans ?dominion? over the earth, humans have a right to exploit all natural resources. As Randall Balmer writes in Thy Kingdom Come, Beisner ?asserts that God has placed all of nature at the disposal of humanity.? Balmer quotes Beisner?s own summary of his dominion theology: ?All of our acquisitive activities should be undertaken with the purpose of extending godly rule, or dominion.? As Balmer notes, ?the combination of dominion theology from the Religious Right and the wise use ideology of corporate and business interests has created a powerful coalition to oppose environmental protection.?
According to a report by Think Progress, the Cornwall Alliance is a front group for the shadowy James Partnership. Both the James Partnership and the Cornwall Alliance are closely linked to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), an anti-environmental group that is ?funded by at least $542,000 from ExxonMobil, $60,500 from Chevron, and $1,280,000 from Scaife family foundations, which are rooted in wealth from Gulf Oil and steel interests.? CFACT is also part of a climate change denialist network funded by the ExxonMobil-financed Competitive Enterprise Institute.
Beisner is a CFACT board member and an ?adjunct fellow? of the Acton Institute, which is primarily funded by groups like ExxonMobil, the Scaife foundations and the Koch brothers. Beisner is also an adviser to the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which is financed by the oil-backed Earthart Foundation, the Koch brothers, and ExxonMobil.
In fact, Beisner is not a scientist and has no scientific credentials. Despite claiming to be an authority on energy and environmental issues, he received his Ph.D. in Scottish History.
In 2009, Beisner?s Cornwall Alliance cosponsored a climate change denial conference led by the Heartland Institute, a pro-corporate group funded by Exxon Mobil, the Koch Family Foundations, and the Scaife foundations. Other organizations funded by energy corporations that cosponsored the conference include the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, and Americans for Prosperity.
The Cornwall Alliance has been enormously successful in recruiting Religious Right leaders to promote its anti-environmental cause. In 1999, the group started recruiting prominent Religious Right figures to sign the ?Cornwall Declaration,? a document that attacks environmentalists, saying they ?deify nature or oppose human dominion over creation? and promote ?erroneous theological and anthropological positions.? Among its signatories were Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, Chuck Colson of the Colson Center, D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association, Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women for America, Daniel Lapin of Towards Tradition, and Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. The president of CFACT called himself ?a driving force? behind the declaration.
Recently, the group started collecting signatures for an updated ?Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,? which states that ?there is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming? and maintains that ?reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures.?
The Cornwall Alliance?s board includes Religions Right notables David Barton of WallBuilders, Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Center, Jerry Newcombe of Coral Ridge Ministries and Joel Belz of WORLD Magazine.
Painting Environmental Protection as Anti-Christian
In 2007, Jerry Falwell warned that environmental action was ?Satan's attempt to redirect the church?s primary focus? away from evangelism and religious faith, and a year later James Dobson and Gary Bauer slammed Rev. Richard Cizik, a principal evangelical supporter of environmental protection, and his allies for ?using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time.?
The Cornwall Alliance has coordinated with Religious Right leaders to accuse Christians who believe in environmental protection not only of attempting to divide the faith community, but of promoting a dangerous anti-religious and anti-Christian agenda. The group calls the environmentalist movement ?The Green Dragon? and earlier this year produced a star-studded documentary to help slay it.
It's a shame what religion is used for.... If people really read the bible they would see many of these "christian ideals" are anything but.....
Do they really think jesus would say "destroy the environment for your benefit now, leave the problems to your children....." I'm an Atheist but I know enough about jesus's teaching that it would not be the case.
and if you wanna get technical jesus would probably be more in favor of communism then capitalism, but (rich) evangelicals don't like that part so it gets ignored..... Feudalism is very similar to communism in many ways and christianity was used to support it for quite some time.