photo: Wonderlane/Creative Commons
Here at TreeHugger we've long documented how every major religious group has come out supporting strong action on climate change, so the following irony, pointed out by Climate Progress shouldn't come as a shock: Even though nearly every Republican presidential hopeful in 2012 proclaims themselves a defender of the Christianity and cites their religious beliefs as the source of their positions on same-sex marriage, abortion and other issues, when it comes to their near universal opposition to the scientific fact of climate change, let alone doing something to mitigate the situation, they shy away of mentioning religion.A sample of the discrepancy between the candidates' views on climate change and the position of the faith to which they proclaim themselves members:
Rick Santorum, calls climate change "junk science" and argues that it is "a beautifully concocted scheme" from the left. Speaking with Rush Limbaugh, Santorum went on to say that global warming is "just an excuse for more government control of your life."
However, the Catholic Church has long encouraged stewardship of the environment and has undertaken numerous renewable energy projects. In May, the Vatican released a report on the urgency of the climate crisis and recommended three action steps: "reduce worldwide carbon dioxide emissions without delay...reduce the concentrations of warming air pollutants ... [and] prepare to adapt to the climatic changes, both chronic and abrupt, that society will be unable to mitigate."
The original article documents numerous such discrepancies.
It would be wrong to single out every discrepancy between a candidate's personal beliefs and the official position of the church to which they belong. After all, such discrepancies are natural and good in any spiritual path. A person doesn't and shouldn't have to subscribe to every aspect of their religion. To suggest otherwise only breeds fundamentalism and stifles intellectual, philosophical and metaphysical inquiry.
But it certainly is oddly and sadly notable that Republican US presidential candidates so proudly proclaim themselves defenders of their particular faith but all differ from the official views of that faith on one issue and one of the most critical ones facing the world today.
Not only is the current Republican presidential field out of step with the opinion and action of nearly every single other nation on the planet on climate change and renewable energy policy, out of step with what the US people consistently say they want in opinion polls in these areas, out of step with what the overwhelming majority of scientists study climate believe is happening and what needs to be done to slow or stop it, but they are also out of step with what their religions tell them is the right course of action.
More on Religion & Climate Change
8 Ways Religious Groups Show Their Green Credentials
Christians Tackling Climate Change and Peak Oil: Churches in Transition