Why so many white evangelicals in Trump’s base are deeply skeptical of climate change

Jun 6, 2017

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey

President Trump announced Thursday that he is withdrawing the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement, alarming religious leaders here and around the globe who decried the decision as a departure from the nation’s leadership role.

Mainline Protestant denominations, including the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, denounced the president’s actions. Major Jewish, Muslim and Hindu organizations also condemned the president’s withdrawal from the agreement.

Several Catholic leaders also denounced the move, which came just a week after Pope Francis at the Vatican personally handed the president his encyclical urging care for the planet. In the 2015 document, Francis called for an “ecological conversion,” saying Christians have misinterpreted Scripture and “must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures.”

But many evangelicals do not hold this view.

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6 comments on “Why so many white evangelicals in Trump’s base are deeply skeptical of climate change

  • There is an obvious contrast and conflict between those who CHOOSE who and what they they like to believe, and those who use scientific methodology and reliable sources of material evidence.

    @OP – link – Skepticism of man-made global warming is high among pastors, especially younger ones, according to a 2013 poll from LifeWay Research. Just 19 percent of pastors ages 18 to 44 agree with the statement, “I believe global warming is real and man made.”

    The Christian right has been actively promoting climate change skepticism, especially on Christian radio and television, said Robin Globus Veldman, a religious studies professor at Iowa State University who is working on a book on evangelicals and climate change.

    “Environmentalists were caught in the crossfire because they were positioned on the other side of the aisle and tend to be less religious,” Veldman said. “They started to be described as allied with the people who were trying to push Christianity out of the public square.”

    “A lot of people portray evangelicals as anti-science,” Veldman said. “Evangelicals accept a lot of science, just not the parts that conflict their faith.”

    The cherry picking of “faith”, and closed loop recycling of preached memes, is the key element in beliefs which are in conflict with physical realities!



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  • It is truly sad when these religious diehards claim that “GOD will provide” and hope that Armageddon will come soon so they (the truly pious ones) will be taken to paradise. All the rest of you sinners will burn forever in the flames of hell. They really believe that crap and want to cram it down our throats by legislation, imprisonment, and if possible, torture and even death. It is no wonder one can find so many web sites called “the overpopulation hoax.”*



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  • @Alan4discussion, christians aren’t promoting climate change skepticism, they’re promoting denial. Skepticism is following the evidence. Christianity is about the denial of reality and evidence.



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  • corbain #3
    Jun 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Corbain

    @Alan4discussion, christians aren’t promoting climate change skepticism, they’re promoting denial.

    You are totally correct – (as far as those Xtians who deny climate change are concerned.)
    You will note that the misuse (or vernacular use) of the term “Skepticism”, is posted from the opening paragraph link, not written as my own comment.

    If you look over the archives of this site you will find I have been using the term “deniers” or “denialists” for years, in relation to ignoramuses, science illiterates, and charlatans, who dispute the scientific consensus on climate change.

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/12/religion-plays-a-bigger-role-in-evolution-skepticism-than-climate-change-denial-study-finds/#li-comment-216298

    Alan4discussion – #1 – Dec 22, 2016 at 5:56 pm
    These “social scientists” really should not be using the vernacular term “skeptical” in relation to deniers of the scientific theory of evolution, or deniers of climate science.
    People who are presenting scientific reports they expect to be taken seriously, – purporting to be on people’s understanding of scientific concepts, – should be able to get the basic precise scientific terminology unambiguously right”!

    Pseudo scientists also conflate the vernacular use of the term “theory” with the scientific use of the term – often to deliberately and wilfully mislead the uneducated.



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  • …. Pope Francis at the Vatican personally handed the president his
    encyclical urging care for the planet. In the 2015 document, Francis
    called for an “ecological conversion,” saying Christians have
    misinterpreted Scripture and “must forcefully reject the notion that
    our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth
    justifies absolute domination over other creatures.”

    To put the Pope and “care for the planet” in the same sentence is an oxymoron. The stand of the Roman Catholic Church against contraceptives causes excessive human population growth on our planet that is already overpopulated. Continued human population growth will sooner or later lead to a disastrous destruction of the biosphere.



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  • cbrown #5
    Jun 11, 2017 at 11:46 am

    To put the Pope and “care for the planet” in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

    I think it is on a par with the church’s posturings of “care for the children raped by priests and abused by nuns!”



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