Evangelical Angers Peers With Call for Action on Global Warming
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson and other conservative Christian leaders are calling for the National Association of Evangelicals to silence or fire an official who has urged evangelicals to take global warming seriously.
In a letter this week to the board of the NAE, which claims 30 million members, Dobson and his two dozen co-signers said the Rev. Richard Cizik, the NAE's vice president for government relations, has waged a "relentless campaign" that is "dividing and demoralizing" evangelicals.
Cizik has been a leader in efforts to broaden evangelicals' political agenda beyond abortion and same-sex marriage. He says Christians have a biblical imperative to protect the environment, which he calls "creation care."
"I speak with a voice that is authentically evangelical on all the issues, from religious freedom around the world, to compassion for the poor, ending oppression in Darfur -- and yes, creation care is one of those issues," Cizik said yesterday.
The NAE's board is scheduled to meet next week in Minnesota. Its former president, the Rev. Ted Haggard, resigned in November after a scandal involving sex and drugs.
His successor, the Rev. Leith Anderson, defended Cizik as "a great asset." He also said that the Dobson letter was released to the news media before it was received by the board. "I guess that says it all," he said.