Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, May 06, 2003  

The Environment and the Rapture

Somehow I inadvertently wandered into being the White House’s Christian Fundamentalism tracker. So it was that Ignatius at Genfoods alerted me to this article from Alternet. In it, the author asserts that part of the reason the Bushies are thrashing the environment is because they regard ecological collapse as “good news” about the coming rapture. (He said it, not me.)

”Nevertheless, beyond all these more obvious anti-environmental motivations there lies a more deep-seated inspiration. Difficult as it may be to believe, many of the conservatives who have great influence in the Bush administration and now in Congress are governed by a Higher Power….

“Some true believers, interpreting biblical prophecy, are sure they will be saved from the horrific destruction brought by ecosystem collapse. They'll be raptured: rescued from Earth by God, who will then rain down seven ghastly years of misery on unbelieving humanity. Jesus' return will mark the Millennium, when the Lord restores the Earth to its green pristine condition, and the faithful enjoy a thousand years of peace and prosperity.”

But wait, there’s more. In a competing interpretation of ecological pillaging, the “reconstructionists”

”Reconstructionists believe the Lord will provide, and their view is laid out in ‘America's Providential History,’ a religious right high school history textbook: ‘The secular or socialist has a limited resource mentality and views the world as a pie... that needs to be cut up so everyone can get a piece,’ write authors Mark Beliles and Stephen McDowell. ‘In contrast, the Christian knows that the potential in God is unlimited and that there is no shortage of resources in God's Earth. The resources are waiting to be tapped.’

“In another passage, the writers explain: ‘While many secularists view the world as overpopulated, Christians know that God has made the Earth sufficiently large with plenty of resources to accommodate all of the people.’ Fossil fuels and forests are like the loaves and fishes, Reconstructionists say, miraculously multiplying for true believers.”

You must read the article to believe it. The only thing more bizarre than these beliefs are the possibility that they’re dictating policy in the White House and on the hill. The article’s convincing enough to scare you to death. For example:

“In the early days of the current administration, the news was full of Bush appointments of foxes to guard the hen house. Gale Norton, a mining industry lobbyist, became Secretary of the Interior. Steven Griles, a lobbyist for Big Coal, was appointed Norton's second-in-command. Now, the Washington Post reports an even more disturbing trend: Bush ‘has begun a broad restructuring of the scientific advisory committees that guide federal policy.’ These largely anonymous committees of scientists, lawyers and academics make recommendations vital to determining health and environmental risk.

“Replaced, for example, were 15 members of a 17-person Department of Health and Human Services committee that assesses the impacts of low-level exposure to environmental chemicals on human health. New Bush-imposed panel appointees include chemical industry advocates and a California scientist who helped defend Pacific Gas and Electric Company against the real-life Erin Brockovich.

“More troubling is the case of W. David Hager, one of Bush's nominees to the influential Food and Drug Administration panel on women’s health policy. Hager, says the New York Times, has a resume ‘more impressive for theology than gynecology.’ Hager emphasizes the restorative power of Jesus Christ in one's life and recommends specific Scripture readings to treat headaches, eating disorders and premenstrual syndrome.”

I know, I know, I’m an alarmist. But I’ll tell you what—I’m alarmed!

posted by Jeff | 4:06 PM |
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