Through The Eyes of Faith: The New Evangelicals and the Gulf Oil Spill

By Charles Redfern

The convenient Southern Baptist typecast is the toothless, crick-holler preacher yellin’ Jaysus! and cursin’ demon rum beside the flattened moon-shine still.  As usual, the truth is far more fascinating.  Robert Parham is a Southern Baptist whose dental work is fine and who could cram a wall with his diplomas.  What’s more, the executive director of EthicsDaily.com is not dancing to the Right Wing’s fiddle music.  He cited Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent comments: “From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.”  The governor then did the usual anti-health care and anti-regulation ramble.  Parham spoke: “Contrary to Perry’s morally absurd claim, God is not to blame for BP’s corporate greed, America’s sloth or prideful confidence in technological infallibility.  Traditional Christianity identifies greed, sloth, and pride as three deadly sins – sins that manifest themselves in BP’s disaster.”  You can read the whole article here

Parham is one of many Bible thumpers thumping the whole Bible, not just part of it.  David Gushee, Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University, says this in reference to the Gulf spill:  “Christian faith has within it the resources for a robust ecological ethic, rooted in our belief that God is the creator of the world, that human beings are responsible to God for good stewardship of the creation, and that both love of God and love of all our earthly neighbors requires such stewardship,” and, “The fact we have now discovered – that humans were smart enough to figure out how to drill such a hole underwater but not smart enough to figure out how to plug it – makes for a great and terrible case study in human sinfulness.”  Read all his thoughts here

The Evangelical Environmental Network has been sounding the Global Warming alarm for most of the past decade.  Some of its members just returned from a prayer walk on the Gulf.  You can read about it and see their videos on their blog

Don’t you just love it when stereotypes crumble?  We might even get to know those crick-holler preachers.  We’ll discover they’re the do-anything-for-you people who will fix your car and repair your house.  We’ll see why they preach against killer rum: It kills and destroys families.  We might even hand them some money so they can see a dentist.  

And, as far as talking about Jesus is concerned, that’s no problem with us.

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About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is an ordained clergyman specializing in healing and conflict transformation. He lives with his wife and son in Connecticut.

View all posts by Charles Redfern

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