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Against equality: Fundamentalism and climate change denial

Acting in Faith  |  By Karyn Carlo, Jun 2, 2017

I don't believe in global warming by Duncan Hull 

Photo: Duncan Hull via Flickr CC license / Duncan Hull

Folks are acting surprised at the vigor with which white fundamentalist Christians oppose the idea of global warming, dismiss it as a hoax, and insist that environmentalism is some kind of blasphemous worship of Mother Earth to be resisted at all costs. Let me see if I can help. Remember the Scopes "monkey trial?"

The passionate opposition to the theory of evolution had to do with the way it connects humans and "apes" and threatens to "make a monkey out of us." White supremacy promotes the idea that Black people are ape like and inferior and quite possibly soulless. See the connection? For the system to survive there has to be a hierarchy. Equality is a threat to the addictive sense of specialness that comes from whiteness.

White fundamentalist Christians have the same problem with global warming as they do with Darwin. It means we are all equally at the mercy of the earth which means, once again, there is no hierarchy.

Humans are not special and if there is no special, there is no special of the special. If we really are all equally connected to the earth and each other, what happens to whiteness? That's what is really at stake here. Dress it all up with God talk all you like. Argue about the suspicious motives of scientists and liberals and atheists and China and "godless pagans" and whatever. That is just the smokescreen.

What is really at stake is not "religious freedom." It is the feeling of specialness that comes from whiteness, a lethal addiction that will ultimately destroy the earth and kill us all. It is time to make a choice. Equality will come one way or another. The only question is will we learn to live together as equals or will we wait until we are all equally dead?

About the Author

The Rev. Karyn Carlo, PhD, is a retired New York City Police Captain turned preacher, teacher, and theologian. She earned her Master of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Union Theological Seminary. An ordained American Baptist pastor, she currently serves as a volunteer global servant for theological education with the American Baptist Churches International Ministries and as a social justice activist in the areas of immigration and police reform.

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