When religious conservatives make claims that say, I dunno, AIDS is God's punishment for sexual sins, the Left go insane.
But when religious liberals say global warming is part of an unfolding apocalyptic prophecy as foreseen in the Book of Revelation, even the most secular of secular-progressives are tempted to shout "Amen!"
Here's how Rev. Randall Balmer yesterday blogged his decidedly unorthodox read of Scriptural texts:
Growing up fundamentalist, I spent a lot of my childhood thinking and worrying about the end of time as predicted in the New Testament book of Revelation. I was taught that history would come screeching to a halt and the world as we know it would dissolve in some kind of apocalyptic judgment.
I remember listening to a lot of sermons about the end of the world, particularly the plight of those who did not acknowledge Jesus as savior. They would be “left behind” to face terrible judgment. My father, an evangelical minister, was one of the moving forces (and also one of the actors) behind the production of the movie A Thief in the Night, which Time magazine recently referred to as a “church basement classic.”
For several decades I didn’t think much about the end of time. A professor of New Testament at the evangelical college I attended once remarked offhandedly that one’s belief in the sequence of the “end times” should have no affect whatsoever on how a believer lives from day to day. That struck me as uncommon wisdom – then and now.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to think once again about the end of the world. Specifically, I’ve wondered if the phenomenon of global warming, which appears to be virtually ineluctable, will bring on the kind of apocalypticism described in the book of Revelation. Please understand that I’m not saying that it’s so – and I’m certainly not wishing it were so – but you have to admit that there would be some kind of poetic justice in this scenario. Ultimately, humanity, because of our avarice and our narrow self-interest, will bring about our own destruction.
Something to think about.
Here's something else to think about: Balmer is a persistent critic of religious conservatives who attributes decidedly sinful motives to their social agenda.
Indeed, he's suggested that racial animus, not concern over abortion, was the driving force behind religious conservatives' political organizing. The following is an excerpt from his book "Thy Kingdom Come.":
The abortion myth serves as a convenient fiction because it suggests noble and altruistic motives behind the formation of the Religious Right. But it is highly disingenuous and renders absurd the argument of the leaders of Religious Right that, in defending the rights of the unborn, they are the "new abolitionists." The Religious Right arose as a political movement for the purpose, effectively, of defending racial discrimination at Bob Jones University and at other segregated schools. Whereas evangelical abolitionists of the nineteenth century sought freedom for African Americans, the Religious Right of the late twentieth century organized to perpetuate racial discrimination.