Sunday, March 13, 2005

VOR Updates: 1. The Case Against The WMD Rationale; 2. Evangelicals Support Global Warming Policy

Thanks again to everyone who has followed the last couple of pieces on religion and fanaticism; your comments and input have been very insightful. Right now I’d like to post some updates to earlier pieces.

A couple of weeks ago I pointed out why Bush (and all of us) are lucky that Iraq didn’t actually have WMD, because if it did the weapons would now be in the hands of terrorists. Along the same lines, a recent article in the NYT shows that the looters of Iraq’s military installations in the days right after the invasion were extremely well organized, and that they took off with equipment that can be used to build parts for nuclear bombs. The more I think about it, the more I wonder why any of us ever fell for the idea that invading a country the size of California, with porous borders and surrounded by our enemies, in order to destroy stockpiles of WMD whose location we didn’t know and which could easily be transported by virtually anyone, could possibly be a good idea. It wasn’t; it was madness. It makes me shudder to think what the world would be like if Saddam actually had had stockpiles of nerve gas. They would now be in the hands of Al Queada and the insurgents, and probably the Syrians and Iranians as well.

Turning to another topic: Over the past couple months I have written pieces on the unhealthy marriage between the GOP and religious fundamentalists, and indicated how little there is in the Bible that actually supports a “culture of life.” With that in mind, a recent piece in the NYT about evangelicals organizing in support of a global warming policy was fascinating. It appears that the passages of the Bible which speak to humanity as being stewards of the Earth have struck a chord with many evangelical leaders, and they are beginning to put pressure on the GOP to take the issue of global warming seriously. This raises a number of questions and concerns.

First, why have evangelicals and other religious groups not been at the forefront of the environmental movement? One theory has been that they are so intent on waiting for Armageddon that they have little concern for the environment. Another is that environmentalism has usually been associated with the Left. Either way, according to The Times article, evangelicals are now taking the issue seriously. This is surely a good thing. At the same time, it’s disquieting to think that the GOP would ignore the work of the world’s best scientists and only take the issue to heart (which they have yet to do) if their religious base says they should.

What are your thoughts?

J.S.

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