New Media Craze -- 'Eco-Theology': Using Oil Spill + Religion to Promote Green Agenda
By Jeff Poor (Bio | Archive)
Wed, 07/14/2010 - 09:48 ET
"Where would Jesus drill?"
That sounds almost like it could be the opening of a tree hugger's bad joke, but instead it's the lede in a recent Associated Press story written by John Flesher about a so-called "Green religion movement."
Efforts to make environmentalism its own sort of religion have been underway for some time now. But the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has sparked a new push to take what has been traditionally a political phenomenon, the American environmentalist movement, and make it part of the religious spectrum.
The Spill as God's Message
The "greening of religion" can be found in the most peculiar places. In May, CNN founder Ted Turner offered the most blatant example when he told CNNMoney.com's Poppy Harlow that the oil spill was a message from God.
"I'm not a real religious person, but I'm somewhat religious," Turner said in an interview aired May 17. "I'm just wondering if God's telling us he doesn't want us to drill offshore, because it is sure setting back offshore drilling."
And Turner didn't just stop there - he said the Lord was working to tell us not to use coal as well with a recent rash of mine disasters.
"And right before that we had the coal mine disaster in West Virginia where we lost 29 miners," Turner continued. "And last week - or two days ago, the Chinese lost 29 miners, too, in another mine disaster in China. Seems like there is one there every week. Maybe the Lord's tired of having the mountains of West Virginia, the tops knocked off of them so they can get more coal. I think maybe we ought to just leave the coal in the ground and go with solar and wind power and geothermal where it's applicable."
Turner's comments were similar to those by other extremists who argued that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and soldiers' deaths in war are God's punishment for America's tolerance of homosexuality or other sins. The difference, of course, is that the media vilify the "conservatives" who suggest disasters are God's message while they have embraced the environmentalist theology of liberals like Turner.
The Associated Press story, published July 7, saw the Gulf spill not as an unfortunate event, but instead as a "rallying cry" to bring people of faith on board with the "green" agenda.
"Where would Jesus drill?" John Flesher wrote. "Religious leaders who consider environmental protection a godly mission are making the Gulf of Mexico oil spill a rallying cry, hoping it inspires people of faith to support cleaner energy while changing their personal lives to consume less and contemplate more."