Denial of Climate Change Science and Bad Eschatology are Related

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University of Pittsburgh Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh good… a quantification of what many of us have suspected for a while:

Research by David C. Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado uncovered that belief in the biblical end-times was a motivating factor behind resistance to curbing climate change.

“[T]he fact that such an overwhelming percentage of Republican citizens profess a belief in the Second Coming (76 percent in 2006, according to our sample) suggests that governmental attempts to curb greenhouse emissions would encounter stiff resistance even if every Democrat in the country wanted to curb them,” Barker and Bearce wrote in their study, which will be published in the June issue of Political Science Quarterly.

via Belief in biblical end-times stifling climate change action in U.S.: study | The Raw Story.

That’s right – the same anti-science crowd that believes the earth is 6000 years old also is preventing meaningful attempts at fixing the environment. Why? Because they have become the worst sort imagined during the Reformation – their own magisterium.

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Post By Joel L. Watts (10,153 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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13 thoughts on “Denial of Climate Change Science and Bad Eschatology are Related

  1. Actually, this is nothing new. It was going on at least a far back as when Reagan occupied the Oval Office. That’s one reason why the Carter environmental initiatives dropped into a political black hole. Of course, another reason was Carter!

  2. Don’t confuse “a belief in the Second Coming” with young earth creationism, or even with wacky pre-millennialist rapture ideas. Plenty of us more or less evangelical Christians believe that there will be a Second Coming at some time in the distant future but understand that we need to take care of our ancient earth.

        • That is of course the tactic of the Dawkins brand of new atheists, as well as of Ken Ham and friends, to claim that all true Christians are YECs. They may allow that there are some churchgoing hypocrites who recite creeds they don’t believe. But don’t fall for their propaganda!

        • no, not really. I would venture to guess the survey quantified the eschatology. But, more than that. If their eschatology is such that they believe Jesus will return any moment so why work towards keeping the earth around for future generations – that is bad eschatology.

          • Well, maybe the original survey, as yet unpublished, did specify more precisely what the belief was. But the article you linked to referred only to those who “profess a belief in the Second Coming”. Actually that includes anyone who attends any church which uses the Creeds, even if some of them profess a belief which they do not actually hold.

            Yes, there could be a link between certain varieties of bad eschatology and climate change. But the survey could also be a crude attempt to make Christianity as a whole look bad. And my reason for thinking that is that the 76% of Republicans referred to look rather like all the Republicans who would call themselves Christians, not a minority who hold a deviant eschatology.

          • Well, slightly more explicit with “believers in Christian end-times theology”, but no suggestion that they are referring to particular sectarian views rather than mainstream Christianity. But thanks to the correction to “unpublished”, which I based on “which will be published in the June issue” in the other linked article.

  3. Why don’t they apply this line of thought to other issues too? “God is gong to burn everything up, so yeah I’m in favor of gay marriage” God is going to burn everything up so I’m in favor of legalizing pot” etc.

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