The Obama administration’s Secretary of State John Kerry, in a recent speech installing America’s new “Special Representative to Muslim Communities,” invoked belief in the biblical creation account from the book of Genesis as his justification for aggressive policies to control alleged man-made climate change:
Our fates are inextricably linked on the environment. For many of us, respect for God’s creation also translates into a duty to protect and sustain His first creation: Earth, the planet. Before God created man, He created Heavens and Earth.Kerry has used biblical principles in the political arena before. In fact, in 2004 he espoused a political position that he agreed was actually anti-biblical! In an interview with Dubuque’s Telegraph Herald, he proclaimed that his personal belief in the sanctity of unborn life stemmed from his Catholic faith but that he could not rightly impose his anti-abortion religious beliefs on others. Thus, in 2004 he claimed to hold a biblically correct belief in the sanctity of life but claimed that such a scriptural position had no place in government policy.
Confronting climate change is, in the long run, one of the greatest challenges that we face, and you can see this duty or responsibility laid down in scriptures, clearly, beginning in Genesis. And Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable. Our response to this challenge ought to be rooted in a sense of stewardship of Earth. And for me and for many of us here today, that responsibility comes from God.
Now Kerry conveniently grasps at a biblical principle—the idea that God created mankind with the responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth—and uses that principle to justify government policy.
What does Kerry mean by using Genesis when talking about climate change? Most Bible-believing Christians agree that we should not wantonly destroy the gift God has given us, the Earth. Some base this on the idea that a “dominion mandate” is supported by Genesis 1:28. Others simply realize that every good gift comes from God (James 1:17) who graciously provides the resources of the world to “the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). God commands that we love our neighbors (Mark 12:31; Romans 13:8; 1 John 4:7–11), and we would not want to selfishly do anything that would make the world an inhospitable place or harmful to others, present or future. The problem is, many of the sweeping policies proposed to stem the threat of catastrophic man-made climate change would be devastating to countless people, especially the poor.
But what a leap Secretary Kerry has made! Kerry, who like the rest of the Obama administration is passionate about the dangers of man-made climate change, fails to realize the many scientific and biblical flaws in his position. The scientific community—even the secular scientific community—is not unified in the contention that catastrophic man-made climate change is threatening our world. There is no solid evidence that man’s carbon footprint is the culprit in climate change or that man’s impact is catastrophic.
Thus, to appeal to the Bible as grounds to invoke drastic measures that would adversely affect the lives and economic well-being of millions is completely inappropriate. Because fossil fuels are a comparatively cheap source of energy, they are available even in impoverished economies. To stop using fossil fuels and force everyone to switch to more expensive technologies to attain their energy would hurt a lot of people, especially the poor. Thus, Secretary Kerry’s “concern” that we owe it to the Muslim-majority countries to invoke policies that are very likely going to be injurious to many is rather bizarre.
Furthermore, in an ironic twist, much of the data “proving” that devastating climate change is overtaking our world is based on the evolutionary presuppositions and millions-of-years dates assigned to compressed sheets of ice in ice cores. Thus, the interpretation of data on which Kerry’s catastrophic climate fears rest is firmly grounded in an anti-biblical position that completely disregards the historical reliability of Genesis and the rest of the Bible. It is therefore profoundly hypocritical for Secretary Kerry to conveniently invoke Scripture—especially the creation account in Genesis!—to support his position.
Be sure to read Should We Be Concerned About Climate Change? and Cosmos Review: “A World Set Free” to learn more about climate change and how much of the data on which many depend rests on an anti-biblical, worldview-based interpretation.
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.