Some of you might have noticed the rather long-winded exchange in my most recent post on evangelical environmentalism. Perhaps some of the matters can be clarified by taking a look at what Tim LaHaye, author of the best-selling "Left Behind" series, has to say about environmentalism. (Full disclosure: I haven’t read a single "Left Behind" book.) Here’s LaHaye on "Larry King Live":
KING: Why, Reverend LaHaye, haven’t evangelicals been more outspoken about the environment?
T. LAHAYE: Because we believe that the environment was made for us. And not us for the environment. There’s a big cultural chasm in our country today. For example we have people who get out of shape if a whale is beached and they want to blame the U.S. Navy and sonar investigation and so on and yet they don’t mind 45 billion babies being murdered in the name of abortion in the last few years. I can’t understand why animals...
KING: But if we’ve got dirty air we might all not be here. Shouldn’t that be a prime concern?
T. LAHAYE: But we don’t have the dirty air that we did 20 years ago, right here in Los Angeles. You don’t have near as much dirty...
KING: You think we’re doing a good job with... T. LAHAYE: I think we’re improving. We could probably do better. And we Christians are not against clean air and clean water and preserving proper life. But we ought to have our values in priority. And we believe that human beings are more important than animals.
Now, he doesn’t seem to be advocating permitting big oil to drill in ANWR so that credulous red-staters can drive their SUV’s to sensitive wetlands, where they unload their ATV’s so that they can shoot all the deer and drink all the beer before the Apocalypse.
And just so that theres no misunderstanding: I am not advocating driving or hunting under the influence. In fact, I personally do not own a gun, an SUV, or an ATV. (Indeed, my son, then seven, once had a conversation with a little boy at the Gulf Coast condo at which we were staying that ended, dismissively: "He dont know what a four-wheeler is.") Soon, I suppose, theyll deport me from the red state in which I live.