Much of the worst hysteria about apocalyptic Global Warming has cooled, especially after more than 15 years of no global temperature increases, evincing at least that climate computer models are less than infallible.
But some of the most committed believers in the theory that human activity is uniquely fueling a disastrous increase in temperatures are on the Religious Left. Former Chicago Theological Seminary President Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, who’s ordained in the ultra liberal United Church of Christ, recently faulted Global Warming skeptics for the murderous typhoon in the Philippines.
“These ‘superstorms’ aren’t an ‘act of God,’ but an act of willful disregard for God’s creation, and the neglect of the human responsibility to care for the planet,” Thislethwaite darkly pronounced in her blog for The Washington Post. She pinpointed two levels of “moral evil.”
First, “there is the moral evil of continuing to pump fossil fuels into the atmosphere, producing global warming,” Thislethwaite revealed. Second, there’s the possibly even worse sin of “climate change denial, that is, those who would continue to deny, in the face of mounting evidence, that violent climate change is upon us and it is accelerating.”
Several days ago The Washington Post cited a University of Colorado and Naval Research Laboratory worldwide database for hurricanes or typhoons between 1970 and 2010 that concluded: “The analysis does not indicate significant long-period global or individual basin trends in the frequency or intensity of landfalling [tropical cyclones] of minor or major hurricane strength.”
But Thislethwaite’s unwavering faith in apocalyptic Global Warming is still strong. In the “face of planetary destruction,” she urges a “theological prescription, in a classical sense, for what we must do: confession, repentance and change.”
In this climate altar call the penitent must “admit human caused, violently destructive climate change,” confess the “harm to God’s creation is real,” and avow that “human beings bear enormous responsibility for it.” Parson Thislethwaite also demands repentance “for what we have already lost by inaction” through admitting there’s no reversing climate change’s calamitous effects. The wages of sin! But the truly penitent can atone by lobbying for “policy changes” that will at least “slow down” the judgment of Global Warming.
Such deep faith in Global Warming’s unique brand of hell fire religion is almost biblical in proportions. Thislethwaite’s strict adherence to climate fundamentalism contrasts with her far more permissive theological stance towards central Christian teachings about God and ethics.
It is remarkable for example how so often zealous commitment to the inanimate “planet” is inverse to regard for human life, especially the unborn. Climate zealots are also typically indifferent to the human costs of their theological demands for homage of Mother Earth. If climate models require shutting down global economic growth and perpetuating poverty for billions, so be it. Gaia is a jealous goddess who permits no equals.
For ostensibly inclusive theologians of the Protestant far Left, there is unacceptable heresy. But it never involves the identity of the Trinity, the salvific purposes of Christ, or any other historic doctrines of universal Christianity. For them, heresy and “moral evil” attach to any doubts about the secular and Religious Left’s drive for absolute power and centralization.
Apocalyptic Global Warming as a fear-mongering organizing tool for the Left’s quest for control will continue to sputter. Even formerly firm believers increasingly realize climate is not so predestined as computer models suggested. But zealots like Thislethwaite will not likely forsake the solace of Gaia’s temple, from which they’ll continue to issue thunderbolts against the heretics who dare to doubt.