Summary: A Conservative Christian Environmental Statement

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Over the course of the past several decades, an entire industry has arisen establishing an ideological and philosophical framework addressing the environmental issues facing modern society. Much of this thought stems from the worldview of contemporary liberalism, which often exhibits a mindset inimical to traditional religion and American socio-political culture and economics. The time has arisen for conservative thinkers to devise schools of thought incorporating their finest principles and presuppositions with knowledge of what is happening to the handiwork of the Creator.

This is not some radical departure from the norm. After all, Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot, two individuals responsible for laying the framework of America's federal resource preservation programs, were Republicans.

While acknowledging that there are others in the country having different religions, American and Western civilization must reembrace its Judeo-Christian foundations in order to save the environment. Many environmentalists criticize Christianity for providing a philosophical justification for the degradation of the Earth. However, what these critics have failed to realize is that this is only one interpretation of this faith in regards to the environment.

Even though man is given the instruction to subdue the Earth, no where in Christian Scripture is he given permission to wantonly destroy what he has not created. In fact, it could be argued that the opposite is true. According to theologian Tony Campolo in "How To Rescue The Earth Without Worshipping Nature, it is in fact contradictory to man's Biblical role of stewardship over the Earth to callously destroy nature (194).

Furthermore, it could be reasoned that, since God created the universe, only He has the right to destroy it forever. Therefore, man's attempts to do so could be deemed a form of idolatry violating the First and Second Commandments.

By getting back to their religious, political and economic roots, Americans would also be helping the environment as well. In essence, modern conservatism can be good for the environment.

Often, environmental ideologues and activists promote the message that we must be saved from ourselves and that it must be accomplished through a totalitarian revolution on par with the one undertaken by the Bolsheviks. This is not the case.

The key to ecological preservation and to an extent restoration lies not in collectivism but in the very cornerstone of liberty. That is none other than private property.

No doubt to the dismay of many socialists masquerading as guardians of the biosphere, there can exist a body of thought derived from Christian and conservative conceptions of property ownership concerned with the notion of environmental preservation. Several of these works were reviewed in the 9/11/95 edition of the Washington Times Weekly Edition by Jonathan Adler, at the time director of Environmental Studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

One book reviewed, "Property Rights In The Defense Of Nature" by Elizabeth Brubaker argues that property ownership is the best form of environmental protection. When individuals own something, for instance land as property, they are more apt to care for it because their futures and prosperity are intertwined with it.

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