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RELIGIOUS PROBLEMS IN
EVANGELISM, HOLY WAR AND THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS
We have documented some of the grim horrors of past problems of Christianity in our Christian Totalitarianism Report.
In America severe religious problems are also nothing new. Before the Civil War the overwhelming majority of white evangelical "born again" Christians believed that their "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" required them to support the slave trade. (See our report.) We have also documented the totalitarian nature of the Puritan state in Boston. (See our report.)
Unfortunately, religious problems in Christianity are not limited to the past. Race was very much an issue in the birth of the modern "religious right". (See related article.) Jerry Falwell's original actions in politics were a vitriolic campaign against Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. (See related article.)
Today we have very dangerous trends promoting holy war and imperialism. Top U.S. evangelical leaders such as Richard Land and Charles Colson openly campaigned for the American invasion of Iraq.
Now some of the these same political forces, plus others are actually trying to oppose efforts to stop global warming and the deadly threat it poses to our planet's future.
It is important to note that we are NOT saying all Christians share there views. There are many fine Christians who do not. However, the people and organizations listed below are not from the obscure fringe. Leaders such as Franklin Graham represent some of the most powerful organizations and people in American evangelism.
The following quotes and articles speak for themselves.
I believe it [Islam] is a very evil and wicked religion."
-- Franklin Graham, President,
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
(NBC Nightly News, November 16, 2001 )
Quotes on views toward Islam by many prominent right-wing evangelical leaders.
This page shows the statistical results
of a non-partisan poll on evangelical leaders’ views of Islam from 2002.
The survey apparently makes the mistake, common in much of the post-9/11
discourse, of conflating often misinformed ideas about Islam with the
A page documenting the attitudes of religious and political leaders with regard to Islam and other religions generally.
Founder and Chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network
“This is worse than the Nazis. Adolf Hitler was bad, but what the Muslims want to do to the Jews is worse.”--Pat Robertson on The 700 Club, November 11, 2002
“Muhammad was a terrorist.”—Jerry Falwell on 60 Minutes, October 6, 2002 Falwell Brands Prophet Mohammed a Terrorist
Former President of the Southern Baptist Convention
“Islam was founded by Mohammed, a demon-possessed pedophile who had 12 wives, and his last one was a 9-year-old girl."-- Jerry Vines at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors' Conference, June 14, 2002
Vines Calls Founder of Islam a Demon Possessed Pedophile
Founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries
A convicted participant in the Watergate scandal under President Nixon in 1973, Colson went on to found his non-profit organization Prison Fellowship Ministries, which deals with rights of and ministry to prisoners.
The Land Letter on Iraq
The letter below, sent to President Bush by some of the most powerful U.S. evangelical leaders, urged a U.S. invasion of Iraq under the pretext that it was a "Just Cause" as determined by so-called Just War Doctrine, as it has been espoused by the Religious Right. The letter was signed by Richard Land, President of Public Policy for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Chuck Colson, Founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries, William Bright, Co-Founder, Campus Crusade for Christ International, James Kennedy, President, Coral Ridge Ministries, Inc., and Carl Herbster, President, American Association of Christian Schools.
“Conducting war in a just manner is an act of Christian love that seeks to accomplish the divinely ordained duty of the state: to punish and restrain evil and to protect and reward good. The Bush administration’s policy vis-à-vis Saddam Hussein fits well within the framework of Just War theory.” –Richard Land, in an article of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Feb 6, 2003
Should Israel be willing to give up occupied territory for peace?. Most
Israelis say yes but many conservative U.S. evangelicals say no.
They claim this would violate God's law. One of
the most visible evangelical proponents of this view is preacher
John Hagee of
Note that U.S. evangelicals such as Pat Robertson have stated that Israeli leaders like Sharon who disagree them should be struck down by God. (Pat Robertson Says "God Smote" Ariel Sharon for Gaza Withdrawal)
Despite widespread scientific consensus on evidence for the existence of global warming, some within the Christian Right continue to argue against it. This has caused a split within the Christian Right as those who call for the protection and conservation of "God's Creation" are pitted against those who deny that climate change is coming. This section provides links to views from both sides of the argument.
A lot of the same evangelical leaders such as Colson and Land who cheered on the war in Iraq are now trying to oppose efforts to stop global warming.
Evangelical Supporters of Efforts to Curb Global Warming
Evangelical Opponents of Efforts to Curb Global Warming