Beck ignores Christian Coalition, pope to mock Christian environmentalists

Despite mainstream religious support for environmental safeguards, Glenn Beck mocked the group Faithful America for its advocacy for climate change as a religious issue and denounced the idea as “fascism” and “evil.”

Beck, crew denounce religious concern over climate change, attack group's ads critical of Beck

Beck: religious environmentalism is “fascism” and “evil.” On the July 16 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, Beck warned listeners that any religious authority suggesting government-enacted environmental controls is actually advocating fascism, saying, “If your pastor or priest or whoever is talking about social justice and it is, 'God is telling you that the government needs to solve global warming,' run for your life. Because it is -- it's fascism that they're really behind. It is a really bad, progressive, turn-of-the-century stuff. It's evil.”

Beck and co-host Burguiere: Environment, health care, immigration, war and torture not religious issues. Later in the show, Beck producer Stu Burguiere derided Faithful America -- a group running an ad campaign critical of Beck's repeated attacks on social justice -- by sarcastically saying, “Yeah, this religious group is really taking to task a lot of religious issues. For example, I'm going through their blogs here, this is pretty interesting. The first one is 'Stop the devastating effects of climate change.' That's their first religious issue.” Beck added, “Well, that's a good religious issue.” Burguiere went on to list Faithful America's focus issues health care reform, immigration reform, and ending war and torture, suggesting that they, too, were not legitimate religious issues.

Numerous religious groups describe climate change as a religious issue

Pope criticized the failure of world leaders to agree to a climate change treaty. The Associated Press reported in January that Pope Benedict XVI admonished world leaders for failing to produce a new climate change treaty at a summit in Copenhagen. The article also noted that the pope has stressed the importance of protecting the environment in encyclicals and speeches, and that the Vatican has installed photovoltaic cells and joined in reforestation projects. The pope was quoted as saying, “The protection of creation is not principally a response to an aesthetic need, but much more to a moral need, inasmuch as nature expresses a plan of love and truth which is prior to us and which comes from God.”

Christian Coalition supported climate change legislation for economic, environment, and religious reasons. The conservative Christian Coalition purchased ads thanking Sen. Lindsey Graham for his bipartisan support for climate change legislation. The group supports climate change legislation for security, economic, and religious reasons. The Christian Coalition website explained, “As conservatives, we stand up for our country's national security and the health of our economy. And, as Christians, we recognize the Biblical mandate to care for God's creation and protect our children's future.”

86 evangelical leaders signed onto the Evangelical Climate Initiative. In 2006, 86 evangelical leaders, including presidents of evangelical colleges and prominent pastor Rick Warren, signed an initiative calling for federal legislation to curb the production of greenhouse gases. Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter said, “As Christians, our faith in Jesus Christ compels us to love our neighbors and to be stewards of God's creation. The good news is that with God's help, we can stop global warming, for our kids, our world and for the Lord.” Rich Cizik, former vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals and a signatory to the initiative, said, “The issue shook my theology to its core. ... It changed me as much as my being born again 30 years before. This threatens the whole planet, so it raises a basic issue of who we are as people. Climate change isn't just a scientific question. It's a moral, a religious, a cosmological question. It involves everything we are and what we have a right to do.”