Portrait of a Preacher

Reverend Sally Bingham

Interfaith Power & Light founder Reverend Sally Bingham is sometimes referred to as "the godmother of the environmental movement in the religious community." Bingham's story is fascinating; she was a stay-at-home mother of three children in San Francisco when she felt a call to the Priesthood; at the age of 45, she enrolled in college, having completed only a high school education before marrying, and then went on to seminary.

She found her calling when she realized she never heard sermons about the importance of being stewards of God's creation, a central mandate of any religion. On the weekend of February 13 and 14, members of her group Interfaith Power & Light will conduct a national preach-in on global warming and host discussions about putting faith into action.

Following are some excerpts of an email correspondence:

On Interfaith Power & Light: "We are growing so fast we cannot keep up. Every year new states come on—some red states, too, where faith is leading the effort."

On Copenhagen: "Disappointment will be the flavor of the coming weeks, but at the same time we are energized to work even harder. Copenhagen established a short-term goal of persuading the U.S. Senate that it has a moral responsibility to limit greenhouse gases in this country. Faith leaders all over America know that we have a responsibility to protect the poor among us and that they are hurt the most and contribute the least to the problem. This is a justice issue, and for precisely that reason it is a religious one.

The religious community at large will be mostly pleased over Secretary Clinton's pledge of $100 billion of aid to the developing nations. That is something we were working for.

On politics and religion: "Jesus said, 'what you do to the least of us you do to me.' Climate change is a moral issue first. It is a justice issue. We are supposed to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. You are breaking that commandment when you pour engine oil in the storm drain behind your house; it goes to your neighbor's water. You pollute your neighbor's air when you use electricity that is created by burning coal. Furthermore, it is insulting to God to blow the tops off the beautiful mountains that God called 'good'. They are sacred.

On occasion a person will say 'keep politics out of the church,' but that usually doesn’t come from clergy. They know that we are the stewards of the earth and most religious leaders understand that upsetting the climate is more, much more, than a political issue."

On the clerical role in social change: "When a society has to make a cultural change (like switching to clean energy and a green economy) it will not happen without the moral authority that comes from preaching by religious leaders. There are millions of people who don't listen to politicians and who are skeptical of science, but who WILL listen to their clergy."

3 Responses

Comment from humanpersonjr
January 10th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

The sad truth is, religious faith and CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) go together like ham and eggs, peanut butter and jelly.

What I don't understand is this: How could someone of faith accept the doctrine of another faith? In fact CAGW is a religion; furthermore, it is a religion that directly competes with all other religious brands

Even further, even more, some tenets held dear by the founders of the CAGW hoax are anathematic to all of the big three monotheistic religious institutions.

Examples: Margaret Mead, alleged anthropologist and self-confessed eugenicist (read that "genocidal maniac"); Robert Holdren, President Obama's Science Advisor, who is another eugenics whiz kid (co-authored a book with Paul Ehrlich espousing forced sterilization of third-world inhabitants); and, Stephen Schneider, lovable wacko at Stanford, part of the cabal who met in North Carolina in 1975 and founded the hoax we now know as CAGW.

All of these individuals made it clear at the outset: The accuracy of the science was very much secondary. The science must be alarming, with no dissent permitted within the tightly-knit scientists promoting CAGW.

Stephen Schneider said, in an interview conducted by Discover magazine, October 1989 (emphases mine): "On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we'd like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change.

To do that we need [Scientists should consider stretching the truth] to get some broadbased support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This 'double ethical bind' we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both."

This "scientist," Stephen Schneider, is a blatant fraud.

While I am an atheist, I know and love many Christians. To me, they are some of the best people I've ever known. I don't see how any rational person can allow himself to accept these alarmist, extremist views.

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