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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

NAE board affirms stance on environmentcomment (0)

March 22, 2007


MINNEAPOLIS — Board members of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) declined March 9 to chasten the group’s public-policy officer for his public statements on global warming.

NAE directors, meeting March 8–9 in Minneapolis, did not issue any formal reprimand or criticism to Richard Cizik, NAE’s vice president for governmental affairs — despite a request from 25 politically connected evangelical leaders to silence or fire Cizik for what they called his "relentless campaign" against global warming.

The request came in a letter signed by leaders such as James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. The letter was sent to NAE board members and released to the news media earlier in the month.

The letter claimed that Cizik is "using the global-warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time, notably the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage, and the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our children. In their place has come a preoccupation with climate concerns that extend beyond the NAE’s mandate and its own statement of purpose."

The group also reaffirmed a 2004 NAE document that places "creation care" alongside nurturing the family, guarding the sanctity of life and caring for the poor as priorities for public policy.

Jim Wallis, head of the evangelical anti-poverty group Sojourners/Call to Renewal, challenged Dobson to a debate over the issue. "If the scientific consensus is right — climate change is real, is caused substantially by human activity and could result in hundreds of thousands of deaths — then isn’t that also a great moral issue? Could global warming actually be alarming evidence of human tinkering with God’s creation?" he asked, in a March 8 e-mail newsletter article.

"Or, are the only really ‘great moral issues’ those concerning abortion, gay marriage, and the teaching of sexual abstinence? I happen to believe that the sanctity of life, the health of marriages and teaching sexual morality to our children are, indeed, among the great moral issues of our time. But I believe they are not the only great moral issues, and Dobson says they are."

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