Why Do Evangelicals Reject Climate Change?

Why do Evangelicals Reject Climate Change?

A Pew poll discovered 66% of American evangelicals don’t believe in man made climate change compared to 36% of the non-evangelical population who don’t. Several reasons for this difference have been offered according to evangelical writer Katharine Hayhoe in the Inquiring Minds podcast. She claims the conservative community has misrepresented climate change to the evangelical community and evangelicals have bought into it. She writes, “I feel that we have been lied to” “We have been given information about climate change that is not true.” “Evangelicals tend to be more politically conservative and can be quite distrusting of scientists (believing incorrectly that they are a bunch of atheists).” It seems to me conservatives and evangelicals have a common denominator, God.

A recent documentary about climate change, Years of Living Dangerously, claims “Evangelicals just want to avoid conflict.” They don’t want to blame themselves or other evangelicals “for dead crops, shrinking herds, lost jobs, and foreclosed mortgages.” Not all these assumptions are true but religious spokespersons spread such claims to gullible fans, often on Fox News. By attributing these climate changes to divine power, evangelicals readily admit there is nothing they can or should do about them. After all, its God’s will that the “end times” are approaching. They believe, climate change, if it exists, will be the match that ignites end times flames. Moderate Christians don’t agree with this philosophy; they are more concerned with maintaining their religious beliefs against what they believe is an onslaught of aggressive and immoral atheism.

Simply put, political affiliation is the single most determinate factor predicting one’s acceptance or rejection of climate change. Conservative republicans don’t buy into anthropomorphic climate change and liberal democrats do. It follows that progressive democrats are more likely to be freethinkers. They have open minds concerning the possibility of change and the challenges it poses. Evangelicals rather not oppose the inevitability of the end times.

Fox News has made its stand clear and dances to music composed by rich conservative manipulators looking for votes. It makes me wonder if other news outlets, like MSNBC, can effectively counter Fox News’s efforts in convincing its viewers to hate Obama and everything he supports? So far other news outlets have had only modest success in convincing people climate change is real. Unlike Fox News, they present both sides of the issue. This is tantamount to giving equal time and authority to creationists and evolutionists during interviews when in reality, the theory of evolution is well established and creationism has been thoroughly debunked for over one hundred years.

Why do so many people reject climate change?  According to Hayhoe, the first is: Most of the facts are already in and there are not many new facts to attract attention. Hayhoe is wrong. Additional new evidence is constantly being published. Climate change may be old news to evangelicals who have already made up their minds. They don’t wish to revisit the subject, especially with new evidence. Evangelicals are convinced that evangelical scientists have already determined that climate change is not happening so they stopped reading, listening and worrying about it. After all, evangelical scientists would not lie to their own evangelical community, but an atheist scientist would. The second reason is one that has plagued humankind since the first primitive brains evolved. If something happens slowly, humans tend not to notice it. Like when viewing consecutive frames in a movie film or the plodding slowness of evolution, simple minds cannot see the subtle change and are unable to react. Like a frog sitting in a pan of slowly heating water, humans do not notice the temperature increase and climate change. When evangelical scientists advise there is no danger, and when respected politicians laugh it away as just a waste of money proposed by a communist and Muslim president, it is not any wonder that 64% of evangelicals deny there is a danger.

A third reason Evangelicals are not concerned with climate change is: If it is true the whole earth is burning, then the fire must be divinely created. Bible passages predict the end times are near, even over due. Scientific confirmation of climate change is abundant, but among nonscientific, poorly educated evangelicals, it is absent or ignored in favor of trusting one’s pastor. Biblical interpretations are notoriously variable within the varieties of Christianity and “know it all” religious leaders can easily justify their favorite biases.

Katharine Hayhoe and Sir John Houghton, who claims to be a former professor of atmospheric physics, believe church leaders have betrayed their congregations. They claim bible verse does not eliminate the possibility of anthropomorphic climate changes. Hopefully, their moderating voices are convincing the evangelical community that climate change is real, although it’s happening slowly. Fewer people believe in bible verse end times today than they did ten years ago. Creation myths are gradually losing out to evolution evidence; medical treatment is favored over a total reliance on prayer. The tide is changing, but slowly.

Hayhoe and Houghton believe there is a growing trend among evangelicals to exam scientific claims more thoroughly. I’m skeptical. Beliefs arrived at without scientific evidence are almost impossible to refute with scientific evidence. Reputable evangelical scientists such as geneticist Francis Collins, will not and cannot totally let go of superstition. His conversion to Evangelical Christianity came at a low point in his personal life and he has been unable rid his scientific mind of that emotional experience. Collins, Hayhoe and Houghton cling to a belief in God, although there is no scientific evidence to substantiate their belief. But, when it comes to climate change and the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is real, they have conceded to science.

The evangelical religious community allied with Radical conservatism will continue to disbelieve in climate change for the reasons presented above. Their distrust and hate for our current president has been drilled into them so thoroughly it remains to be seen whether scientific and reasonable minds will ever prevail for that section of the population. Unfortunately, it will take a considerable number of climate change disasters to get their attention and their support. Some say it is already too late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let Us Bow Our Heads and Give a Blessing For This meal

Let Us Bow Our Heads…and say the blessings for this food

 How many times have you been seated at a table and been asked to bow your head for a blessing? Go ahead, take a guess.

 My guess, based upon my religious upbringing and association with Christian family and friends, and my age, has got to be well over ten thousand times. In my youth, I never was quite sure about what we all were praying for, standing around the dinner table at Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or Easter, or just any old non special meal.

 So what were we praying for? The meal was not prepared or paid for by God so, as a seven year old I ruled that out. By then I knew Santa did not make and deliver Christmas presents. But in the spirit of Christmas He was always acknowledged. I wondered why.

 Another possibility was that ultimately God created all life so we should thank him at every opportunity for life, for our loved ones, for our homes, for our health and so on, including the very meals my mom fixed for the family. Besides, a short prayer before a meal was a homey, family, and loving thing to remind us all that we must not take anything for granted. Hmm , but then why not specifically thank my dad for earning an income, and my mom for shopping and preparing the meal. Where did God enter the picture? No one ever explained the logic behind saying a blessing thank you to God prior to eating. If that were not so silly, why on earth did we end by saying “In Jesus’s name, Amen”? Yes, I got the connection that Jesus and God and the Holy Ghost were all the same thing, but still if made no sense then, as it does not now.

 As a Youth, I conformed without complaint or question, until my coming out, until that time when I realized there was no God. Even then, out of politeness, I never complained openly. I recognized the want or need of my table companions to bow their heads and pray if they wanted to. The thought never crossed their minds that they were forcing me to acknowledge their religious belief. How would they like it if they were asked to bow their heads and Pray to Allah or Odin? I can imagine their surprise if I interrupted the normal procedure and offered a blessing to the flying Spaghetti Monster for our meal, even though it really turkey that we were about to enjoy. Imagine the surprise on their faces; imagine their looks around the table. Would they bow their heads, would they shut their eyes, would they repeat “Amen” after I concluded the prayer?

 Fast forward to December 25, 2013. I was then 76 years old and happily retired with my wife of after 40 plus years of happiness and health. Gathered around the table for the annual Christmas meal were the remnants of my family, a total of thirteen people, including three children. As the oldest member of the family and co-host of the gathering, I had decided to take the initiative and offer a blessing as we stood around the table. It was a first for me. A religious relative usually offered the blessing in the absence of her ultra religious father who once cussed me out at Christmas because he overheard my conversation with his friend, which included the word “evolution”. In front of at least twenty friends and family he let me know in a loud and condescending voice that in his home I was not to mention the word “evolution”. After his tirade there was silence. And no one came to my defense. I thought it best not to “soil” the moment further with a defense or explanation. I never did receive an apology for that nasty attack on free expression and my personal right to express myself.

 In the absence of this defender of Christianity, his daughter had taken up the task of saying grace and rightfully including a mention of her most loving Christian father. I never complained, but for some reason this year was different. I had prepared a short but poignant speech, which included a loving tribute to the man who had denigrated me on Christmas day years ago. In my “blessing” I made no mention of God. I mainly paid tribute to all our loved ones no longer with us. It was short and sweet and to the point. Everyone was surprised and I received several compliments for my secular “blessing”.

 I believe my experience with meal blessing need not be that rare. Many atheists find themselves in similar situations during family gatherings. Many atheists remain silent, and bow their heads, not wishing to jeopardize the significance of the day and moment. I encourage those of similar atheistic non-belief to stand firm, make a statement, recognize your right to state your beliefs publicly and proudly without reference to a divinity; without thanking a supernatural entity for the meal and for the annual gathering.

 I felt proud of my stance; I felt I made a statement; I hoped I had touched a few persons gathered with me that evening who might have had hidden sympathies: I hoped that the three youngsters seated with us were not yet beyond the reach of reason and secular understanding.

 I ask those who have stumbled upon this essay at graygoosegosling to make a similar statement in the form of a table “blessing” when next the opportunity arises. I can’t tell you how good it made me feel. I will strike again, at my first opportunity. Why don’t you do something similar?

 Please think about it. Have a short “blessing” pre-prepared just in case the opportunity arises. If it’s your home, you have the right to pre-opt a supernatural prayer to an imaginary God, and in its place offer a secular and thoughtful, remembrance of those no longer with your family.

Just remember not to thank a supernatural entity. It is a hard habit to break.

 

 

 

 

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Sample of Secular Invocation

The following secular invocation may be downloaded and used by anyone who wishes to read it or modify it. 

 

Dear ——-, Elected Official

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Greece v. Galloway encouraged me to write this letter to you. In the spirit of the court’s decision, please consider the following secular invocation to be read by me, at your earliest official government meeting. As you know, the SCOTUS decision allowed that a layperson of any persuasion, including an atheist, could give the invocation.

Secular Invocation Sample for Elected Officials

 “Ladies and gentlemen, please take a moment to consider why you are gathered here today. You are gathered here to do the work of the people, who have chosen you to represent them and work for them, protecting their rights, their health, their property and their community. You were not chosen to promote personal goals which conflict with the goals of those you represent. You were chosen to protect the minorities from the majorities, the weak from the strong, the poor from the wealthy, and the meek from the bold. Your decisions must be based upon science and wisdom and not necessarily upon ancient custom and tradition. Reason must supplant blind faith and evidence must precede decision.

 Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion.”

 Whatever principals you use for guidance must be wise and worthy of the sacred responsibilities inherent in your job as a representative of and for the people. There can be no other higher goal than to wisely and kindly represent the citizens who have entrusted their futures and the futures of their descendants with you. Whether you pray or vow, be determined and inspired to work for the good of the people with integrity. To do anything else makes you ineligible to hold this vital position representing the people. To be present here today in this congregation is evidence of your agreement to represent the people fairly and wisely. Now, go to your work and dedicate this day to all the people you represent, and not just those who elected you.

 Our third president stated in a letter to John Adams, Aug 15, 1890: “Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.”

 Thank you for taking the time to consider this basic statement of government principals, and to rededicate your efforts for the good of the people, Christian and non-Christian alike.

 Sincerely yours,

Craig Gosling

9129 Sand Key Lane

Indianapolis, IN 46256

cgoslingpbc@aol.com

317-577-3605

 

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Noah’s Post Deluge Diary

Noah’s post deluge diary is an effort to better explain what happened once the great ark came to rest atop of Mt. Ararat. It is an entertaining and informative approach to the premier events which are the moral precepts of the Abrahamic religions. For example, the origins of original sin, homosexuality, alcoholism, religious obedience, animal sacrifice, and slavery are dealt with in the Book of Noah.

Noah’s Post Deluge Diary can soon be found at secularradiotheater on YouTube as an old-time radio show, including acting, sound effects, music, everything you would expect from a 1950s radio show. Old Noah is blessed with a nagging wife, weird sons, and doubts about his captive animals. This tongue in cheek radio show is not only fun for all ages, it is also an informative lesson about bible contradiction and nonsense.

Noah has concerns about the raven and dove which did not return to the ark. He explains what happened to the behemoths and leviathans. His wife is devastated about her family, friends and innocent children who pleaded to be taken on board as the waters deepened. Noah finds bacteria and viruses that God secreted aboard the ark, and wonders what he should do with them. His wife disagrees about sacrificing the very animals that worked so hard to save. Noah is not sure if his son Ham sexually violated him while he lay naked and drunk in his tent. Noah is confused about dealing out punishment for this violation. Because his son Ham is unavailable, Noah decides to put a curse upon Ham’s son and make him and his descendants slaves to all mankind. Noah is reluctant to accept other young people to replace his lost sons and daughters. Look f
It seems old Noah is a sensible person trying to fathom the reason of God without much success.

The original biblical story of the flood was nonsensical so Noah decides to update and correct it. Be prepared for sacrilegious humor and secular common sense.

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Who is Giordano Bruno?

Giordano-BrunoImage

I told a friend I was writing a script about Bruno for Secular Radio Theater. He replied, “Bruno who?”

“You know, Giordano Bruno.” My friend looked thoughtful, “Yeah, wasn’t he a character in a TV show about the Mafia?

I replied. “I am writing about the Bruno who was burned at the stake by the Inquisition. He lived at the same time as Galileo.”

Feeling a little stupid, my friend replied, “Oh sure, I know who you mean.” And then he changed the subject.

It happens every time I mention the name Bruno. Most people don’t know who he was, and couldn’t care less.

Giordano Bruno’s birthday is this February 17. He was born in 1600, in Italy. He became a Benedictine monk at age 24 and then abruptly resigned from the order to preach “heresy” across Europe and England. His heresy was; He did not believe the earth was the center of the universe. He preached the earth traveled around the sun with the other planets.

Bruno was burned at the stake for those beliefs while Copernicus and Galileo were not. Copernicus’s work was wisely kept secret until after his death, and Galileo agreed to keep his mouth shut under pain of death. Bruno went further than Galileo, He voiced his opinion that the earth and other planets circled the sun; the Virgin Mary was not a virgin; and the Pope was not infallible. Bruno’s beliefs were mostly science with a touch of theology. These beliefs made him a heretic and caused him to be hunted across Europe by the Inquisition. He was finally captured in the independent state of Venice. Venice shipped Bruno off to Rome and its Inquisition, and the beginning of our story, on secularradiotheater, “The Bruno Debacle”.

If you are not familiar with Giordano Bruno, you will easily find many references on the Internet. I’ve read dozens; I suggest inquisitive people do the same. Especially, read the Catholic versions about Bruno’s trial, conviction and burning to make sure you have covered all the bases.

After doing our research we all agreed we have a bone to pick about the way Bruno, our secular hero, was treated then, and is currently treated by the Catholic Church. Of course, everyone agrees that Bruno was tortured and burned at the stake, no argument there.

My complaints are:

  1. The church never accepted accountability when the true facts about the cosmos finally came out and destroyed its basis for much of the Inquisition.  (We know the Inquisition was not based solely upon theology. It was a political tool used to obtain and maintain power.)
  2. Bruno was conveniently forgotten by the church. It was not until the year 2000 until Pope Benedict admitted the Church was wrong and offered a public apology for torturing and burning the poor man.
  3. Benedict finally admitted the Bruno affair was regrettable, but did not condemn or excommunicate those responsible of this foul act against humanity. No one was punished in secular or ecclesiastical courts for their crimes. If they had been, many notoriously cruel Popes and Cardinals would have been consigned to Hell for their role in the crimes.
  4. No one, including Bruno, should have been excommunicated for speaking simple scientific truth. I’d like to hear an excuse from the church. Did the church get it wrong or did God get it wrong concerning the matter?
  5. The Inquisition Court and Catholic Church absolved itself from blame by simply passing blame to the secular authorities for carrying out their indictment. After all, they still claim it was the secular authorities that imprisoned, tortured, and burned Bruno, not the Catholic Church.
  6. Similarly, it is claimed the Church cannot not be blamed for atrocities committed during times of general social unrest and ignorance. This is nonsense. There is a direct line of responsibility from the Dark ages to the present day.
  7. The science of the day led the Church astray; the science was wrong, not the Church.
  8. Bruno and many thousands of others, who were found guilty by the Inquisition, never got their sentences reviewed and reversed.  Theoretically, Inquisition victims are still guilty and still continue to suffer the tortures of Hell. Hey Pope, how about an official review and reprieve for their suffering souls? How much longer are you going to leave them there?

Secular Radio Theater’s imaginative story begins on the morning of Bruno’s death by fire. For the past eight years he has undergone torture and questioning by Benedictine clergy who now deny their involvement in the matter and blame secular authorities. During the years of the Inquisitions, the art and technology of torture had advanced considerably. Inventive machines were created to inflict pain to every part of the body. These torture machines still exist in museums across Europe. When physical and mental torture did not work due to the abstinence of the person being tortured or the intentional vindictiveness of the Inquisitors, burning at the stake was required. When Bruno refused to recant, the church felt it had to follow through with its threats and turned Bruno over to waiting secular authorities, which were commissioned by the church to do its dirty work.

The actual written documents and physical machines of torture still survive and are proof of religious atrocities long forgotten. The Stapado torture consisted of tying the prisoner’s arms behind his back hauling that person upwards so all his/her weight hung by his arms and shoulders, which painfully dislocate.  Starvation was popular as was the forced retention of fluids. The rack was popular and consisted of a table that allowed the chaining of arms over head and legs below so the table could be incrementally elongated. A prisoner’s joints would dislocate with great pain. Often the limbs were actually pulled from their bodies. Other tortures were devices that crushed joints. Thumbscrews and heated objects designed to penetrate body orifices were also popular. Although mutilation and blood were technically forbidden, Pope Alexander allowed those giving the torture to be forgiven by his fellow torturers for any wrongdoing that might result. Victims, who confessed of supposed sins still had to perform penances such as crawling on hand knees on pilgrimages, or wearing heavy crosses. The last inquisitional act in Spain supposedly occurred in 1834.

 “The Bruno Debacle” by Secular Radio Theater, attempts to bring these vital issues to public scrutiny. If one believes in the eternal punishment of the human soul in Hell for sins against the Holy Church and humanity, then those guilty must be punished and must include those who partook in the Inquisition. Unfortunately, the Church invented the Inquisition and chose to use Inquisitional power to further its political aims. The church itself must be held responsible.

We now realize the guilty ones were the Inquisitors themselves. Should these sinners be pardoned because they hold high rank in the church hierarchy? Apparently yes, because there is little record that Popes and church officials have ever been ostracized, punished or excommunicated for doing wrong.

If original sin is a reality; and the son must suffer for the sins of the father; and mankind is deemed guilty for the original sin of Adam and Eve, then yes, according to Christian theology, those church fathers that have inherited church responsibilities, should still be held accountable for the Inquisition, for religious wars and other atrocities committed against mankind.

Furthermore, what about those prisoners who died while being tortured or died between torture sessions without ever being found guilty? Their processions, initially awarded to the Church, should be confiscated and returned to the families of the accused.

I ask that you listen to “The Bruno Debacle” and judge it for yourselves. It will soon be available on “YouTube, secularadiotheater”. Just lean back, put your feet on your desk and allow your imagination to run wild. Bruno’s story contains little deep theology, but still enough to prevent kids in their informative years from accepting inaccurate views about their church. Unitarians, Universalists and liberal Protestants will have few problems recognizing the injustice done by the Catholic Church, but all religions must share the blame for ecclesiastical sins perpetrated against humanity if they continue to insist that supernatural events are real. As long as superstition supersedes reason and science, religion must share the blame for the historical sins of the church.

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Gosling and Schnitz at AMI meeting

Gosling and Schnitz at AMI meeting

Question – Why did the HMS Begle have a poop deck?

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Secular Radio Theater

 Are you a secular humanist, or an atheist, or an agnostic, or a freethinker, or a skeptic, or a non theist, or a non believer, or a non theist? Which ever you are, you will enjoy Secular Radio Theater. All you have to do is search for secularradiotheater on YouTube

ImageImageImageImageFour Secular Radio Theater shows are now available with several more on the way. Each show is replete with music, sound effects, and a story line that will capture and keep your attention. 

Those who listen invariably close their eyes and are transported to another time and place, to another reality that has no need of special video effects and computer animation.

Galileo’s Dilemma transports listeners to Galileo’s cubical in Hell and introduces them to a surprisingly sympathetic Satan who does his best to help the dejected Galileo. A surprise ending explains what actually transpired in history.

Dante’s Infirmary (He Who Drinks Boiling Tea) is the story of a one time friend of Charles Darwin, who rejected evolution, but was excommunicated on his death bed anyway. He finds himself in Hell confronting the same treacherous Satan who dealt with Galileo. Satan engineers another surprise ending listeners will love.

And Man Created God is a time travel adventure that transports two college students back in time in an attempt to discover an ancient human’s first thoughts about the existence of God. The students experience the danger and beauty of that time so long ago, and then report back to their professor and classmates what they have learned.

Darwin’s Recantation and Conversion deals with an eyewitness account that puts the theory of evolution into doubt. Actual quotes from numerous characters, including Darwin himself, will leave no doubt in the minds of listeners.

Einstein From The Other Side is a straight out interview with the great scientist who thoughtfully answers questions and expounds about his religious beliefs. All of Einstein’s words are actual quotations.

Don’t miss the chance to be transported back in time to experience exciting stories that will give you a new insight into history. 

Revised biblical stories soon to be published: Noah’s Post Deluge Confessions, and Job’s Patience Comes to an End. All Secular Radio Theater shows are recorded in Crunchy Frog Studio, Indianapolis.

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