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RELIGIOUS PROBLEMS IN MODERN AMERICA

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.


ADVOCATING HATRED OF ISLAM     SUPPORT FOR THE U.S. INVASION OF IRAQ

CALLS FOR ATTACKING IRAN     OPPOSING ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE INITIATIVES

OPPOSITION TO EFFORTS TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING


ADVOCATING  HATRED OF ISLAM

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 Islam by Franklin Graham compiled on ReligiousTolerance.org

Evangelicals Against Islam: A Collection of Quotes

Quotes on views toward Islam by many prominent right-wing evangelical leaders. 

Media Matters Logs Video Clips of Anti-Muslim Rhetoric in Mainstream Media

Evangelical Views of Islam 

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 U.S.’s reasons for invading Iraq.

 

Quotes from the Religious Right

A page documenting the attitudes of religious and political leaders with regard to Islam and other religions generally. 

Pat Robertson
Founder and Chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network

The goal of Islam, ladies and gentlemen, whether you like it or not, is world domination." --Pat Robertson on The 700 Club, March 13, 2006

“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

Pat Robertson Defends Comments about Islam

Jerry Falwell

Muhammad was a terrorist.Jerry Falwell on 60 Minutes, October 6, 2002  Falwell Brands Prophet Mohammed a Terrorist 

Jerry Falwell: Founder of Islam Set a Bad Example    Reverend Jerry Falwell and His Anti-Muslim Rant

Jerry Vines
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

Chuck Colson
Founder, Prison Fellowship Ministries

"Islamic violence is deeply rooted in both the religious and cultural fabric of the Muslim world. It is time for the West to face that painful truth and to buckle down for what will be a long struggle."  Proving His Point: The Pope's Comments on Islam

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.

Colson Complains that Opposition to Faith-Based Programs in U.S. Prisons is Fueling Islamic Radicalism

Colson Writes that U.S. Culture Inflames Radical Islam

John Hagee

Founder, Cornerstone Church, National Chairman, Christians United for Israel

“Ladies and gentlemen, America is at war with radical Islam. Jihad has come to America. If we lose the war to Islamic fascism, it will change the world as we know it.”John Hagee, Thomas Road Baptist Church, September 3, 2006

John Hagee calls for war against Islam


 

SUPPORT FOR THE U.S. INVASION OF IRAQ

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.

Evangelical Leaders' Letter to President Bush, October 3, 2002 Calling for a "Just War" in Iraq Official

Evangelical Leaders' Letter to President Bush, October 3, 2002 Calling for a "Just War" in Iraq Wikipedia

Richard Land

President of Public Policy for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

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

An Interview with Richard Land

Richard Land, Christians Believe The War in Iraq is "Just"

Richard Land says There is Just Cause to Remove Saddam Hussein from Power in Iraq

Richard Land, The Time Has Arrived: Bush Policy on Iraq Meets Just War Criteria

Richard Land, Iraq: This is Not Vietnam

Richard Land dismisses the role of diplomacy and organizations in international relations

Other leaders

Conservative Christians Biggest Backers of Iraq War

Evangelical Figures Oppose Broad Anti-War Sentiment

Jerry Falwell Denies that U.S. Evangelicals Opposed War in Iraq

Silent Evangelical Support of Bush's Proposed War in Iraq

War in Babylon Has Evangelicals Seeing Earth's Final Days

Christians in the Crossfire: U.S. Christians fail to consider the impact of the war on Iraqi Christians

U.S. General Casts War in Religious Terms


CALLS FOR ATTACKING IRAN

Christian Zionists Lobby for U.S. Attack on Iran

Evangelical leadership advocates war with Iran, prophesizes “end of the world”

U.S. Evangelicals Rally, Lobby Congress for Israel, Warn of the Iranian 'Islamo-Fascism' Threat

Los Angeles Evangelist says of Iran: "Confrontation seems inevitable"

A report on John Hagee’s paranoia and enthusiasm for Iran war

 An interview with John Hagee on his views on Iran

Hagee says “Make no mistake, Iran will use nuclear weapons against Israel and use nuclear weapons against the United States of America


OPPOSING ARAB-ISRAELI PEACE INITIATIVES

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 San Antonio, Texas, who believes that U.S. support of Israel is dictated by Biblical law. He is the National Chairman of Christians United for Israel (CUFI).  The following quotes are examples of his and other religious leaders’ ideas about the state of Israel.

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)

2007 Conference of Christians United for Israel - Doomsday and US Foreign Policy

As Violence Escalates, U.S. Evangelicals Stand by Israel

U.S. Evangelist Leads the Millions Seeking a Battle with Islam

Evangelical Christians Plead for Israel

U.S. Evangelical Groups Establish Pro-Israel Lobby

The Evangelical-Jewish Alliance

An article outlining Hagee’s Zionist theology and pro-Israel views


OPPOSITION TO EFFORTS TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING

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.

General Stories

Christian Right Views are Swaying Politicians and Threatening the Environment

Jerry Falwell Dismisses Scientific Evidence on Global Warming

Global Warming Brouhaha Heating Up Among Conservative Evangelicals

Groups of Evangelical Leaders Face Off Over Global Warming

Evangelical Supporters of Efforts to Curb Global Warming

Evangelical Environmental Network

Evangelical leaders join efforts to counteract global warming

Evangelical leader calls global warming a “moral crisis”

National Association of Evangelical affirms that “creation care” is an important moral issue deserving the organization’s support and commitment

Evangelical leaders join scientists to fight global warming

Evangelical Opponents of Efforts to Curb Global Warming

Interfaith Stewardship Alliance

James Dobson urges evangelicals to fire or exclude leaders who favor counteracting global warming

Leader of National Association of Evangelicals criticized for take on global warming

Evangelical Leaders Warn Against Christian Involvement in “Climate Change” Hysteria