Rush Limbaugh: ‘If You Believe in God, Then Intellectually You Cannot Believe in Manmade Global Warming’

Rush Limbaugh made the argument on his show yesterday that you can’t believe in both God and manmade global warming, an idea many evangelical Christians have long embraced:

See, in my humble opinion, folks, if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming.

You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create

Even for Christians, that’s a weird belief to hold, especially since they tend to believe in the idea of free will. Why doesn’t God stop murder? Because he gave us free will to make our own decisions. Similarly, if God created the universe, you could argue that it’s our responsibility to protect it.

There’s also the fact that—-oh, why bother. It’s Rush Limbaugh. If you’re listening to him, you’re not concerned about facts, anyway, only rhetoric and misguided talking points.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • corps_suk

    By that logic…

    If you believe in god you cant believe in irrigation or flood control, after all we cant control something we didn’t create.

    Sigh…

    • http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-los-angeles/hugh-kramer Hugh Kramer

      That as the reason that the pious put off using lightning rods (invented by Ben Franklin) even though church towers, generally being the highest structures around, were very frequently struck, often with disastrous results to life and property. This is not to say that the pious couldn’t learn from experience though. In 1767, for instance (17 years after Franklin’s discovery), lightning struck a rodless church that the Republic of Venice was storing 200,000 pounds of gunpowder in. The resulting explosion killed 3000 people and flattened 1/6 of the city, but after that the survivors got religion (so to speak) and started buying lightning rods for their churches.

      • averydashwood

        Those rodless heathens!

        • anon thinker

          whole new meaning to “spare the rod…”

    • Sideshow Blillybob

      This isn’t FTB.

      You sound suspiciously like Mabus

    • spookiewon

      It explains the opposition to birth control though.

  • Pattrsn

    I guess you can’t believe in antibiotics either since we didn’t create bacteria.

    • Artor

      I guess Rush doesn’t believe in Viagra either, since he didn’t create his own shriveled dick.

      • pagansister

        i don’t know if he has spawned but I sure hope not.

        • Tor

          None that he has acknowledged.

          • Gringa123

            That’s the most encouraging news for mankind that I’ve heard all day

            • pagansister

              Amen!

        • Artor

          If you missed it, that was a reference to his sex-tourist visit to the Dominican Republic, when he was caught carrying someone else’s prescription of Viagra.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

            the DR is also notorious for human trafficking in little boys. just sayin.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Cause words just don’t do it and yes, I’m well aware the photo has nothing to do with the article.

  • Paul (not the apostle)

    Thank God no wait— thank mankind for atheists otherwise we would have no Mt. Rushmore, and our ears of corn would still be the size of my thumb. Now that I ponder it, if we waited for God we would still be in the cave waiting for the next lightning strike so we could get an ember to build our next fire.

    • Entertaining Doubts

      Thank the gods for Prometheus!

      • busterggi

        The titan, not the movie.

    • spookiewon

      We’d be better off without Mt. Rushmore, methinks.

      • Paul (not the apostle)

        Fair enough, but I still like my ears of corn bigger than my thumb and my fire at the strike of a match instead of a strike of lightning

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    It seems like the more a person’s income depends on fossil fuel companies, the more likely they are to deny that man-made global warming is possible.

    I wonder why that is.

    • Sven2547

      You’ve stated Upton Sinclair’s Law almost verbatim.

      • Dorothy

        had to look it up: It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

  • C Peterson

    Well, if you believe in God, you’re probably a bit intellectually challenged, anyway.

    • Artor

      And if you believe in anything from Limbaugh, that’s definitely.

      • pagansister

        Totally agree!

  • James Lindsay

    Can’t create a tree. Can chop it down with an ax, or control its growth to shape it with espalier.

    Useful of him to provide a very straight example of how American religious beliefs can easily become infused with politics. It’s like the history of Christianity repeating itself all over again, yet again.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Limbaugh reminds me of some of my relatives who don’t go to church and pretty much do whatever they want to with regards to personal morality but invoke the Christian God usually repeating some right-wing talking point. They believe the Bible when it comes to homosexuality but not so much when it comes to getting their third divorce. The logic flaws in this are pretty obvious especially since many Christians and other theists are concerned about global warming and other environmental issues. In fact according to polling younger Evangelicals are also concerned unlike their parents.

    • SeekerLancer

      To me, anybody who jumps to, “God’s will,” as an argument for their position on something is simply admitting that they can’t rationally justify their position.

      I think for a lot of people it’s less about believing in God or being religious and more about needing an easy, ignorant answer that allows them to hold on to their worldview.

  • DougI

    Rush lives in Florida, a state where rising ocean levels will cover a large portion of the state. Thankfully his giant mass can serve as a flotation device. Hopefully the survivors will remember to keep it stomach side down otherwise they’ll have to listen to his bloviating denials about climate change.

    • pagansister

      Wouldn’t want him floating by me when the state I live in gets covered!

    • Tor

      So you think he might be a floater.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Rush lives in Florida…

      For now, but I recall he might move to Costa Rica to avoid socialized medicine…

      • Carolina

        So he is going to avoid socialized medicine going to a country with socialized medicine??? Makes sense.

  • http://muckrack.com/dotcommodity Susan Kraemer

    Cyanobacteria ‘controlled what they didn’t create” – billions of years ago, they completely changed our atmosphere to an oxygen-based atmosphere, causing the extinction of many lifeforms adapted to the earlier atmosphere, and making it possible for us humans to evolve, along with all the other oxygen breathers on this planet.

    Humans are now changing our atmosphere in much the same way, but sadly we will be among those extinctions over the next thousand years. Sad that in just the short time since Christ, we will be gone, along with countless other species unable to evolve fast enough to escape from the evil done by the funders of Rush Limbaugh, which is the fossil fuel industry, in order to dumb down enough voters by spreading ignorance so they can reap the last few trillions in profits from digging the last of the fossil fuels from this wonderful earth.

  • pagansister

    OMG, people STILL listen to that insane creature?

  • David Murphy

    Sad that a person this uninformed can have so much influence and so many listeners…shame on him for his lack of integrity, journalistic and otherwise.

  • smrnda

    We control lots of things we didn’t create: fire, domesticated animals, plants we’ve been selectively breeding for centuries. Humans reversed the flow of the Chicago river.

    We can also ruin perfectly good environments through poor use of them – certain farming techniques deplete soil quality and cause erosion. We’ve been having problems with human-caused ecological destruction for a long time.

  • Mitch

    “It would obviously be called a ‘safe-guardian.’”

    Good one, call the burn unit for Mr. Kerry.

    “What about God’s creation called a fetus?”

    Smooth, good work inserting that little tidbit into the video a couple of times.

  • LesterBallard

    I wish that piece of shit would die, and I make no apologies for it.

    • baal

      I wouldn’t lament his death but I’m not going to waste a nanogram of brain chemicals on wishing for it.

      • LesterBallard

        I try not to waste too much time on him, or any of the others, but sometimes they go beyond what even you think they’re capable of, and it gets to me.

  • Art_Vandelay

    This is where I have to begrudgingly agree with these assholes. Depends on the God of course but if its the one that created all of this for your particular species on your particular rock, and he’s coming back to end this shit at any moment…he’s right. It doesn’t mesh. It’s an intellectually dishonest position to hold that worldview and think we’re capable of destroying ourselves.

    • MyHypocritDetectorWentOff

      What of the stewardship of the Earth? This is supposedly God’s creation and we are to care for it as such. Just as we are to use this creation there is surely the implication that we can abuse it.

      • Art_Vandelay

        But there’s no implication that we can destroy ourselves. Not on Jesus’ watch. The religious right has no problem accepting that the planet changes and nature changes. They don’t see humanity as part of nature though. We end when Al Jeezis decides that we end.

    • Mario Strada

      Do you mean that it makes sense given a belief in their god?
      So does refuting evolution on the basis of Adam and eve and the lack of an original sin if they did not exist. But that means nothing. We have enough technology that we could create a nuclear winter if we were so inclined/. So regardless of god wishes we do have the ability to change the climate. They hypothesis is demonstrably false.

      • Art_Vandelay

        Of course it means nothing. A false premise will usually lead you to a false conclusion but as far as “if” statements go, this is logically sound.

    • axelbeingcivil

      It really isn’t; a human can put a gun to their head and pull the trigger and, so far as we know, no divine intervention occurs in such events. A human can stomp a plant into the dirt and salt the earth in which it rests. Human beings can objectively destroy the things around them and themselves.

      Just because they believe their deity will one day come and end all life on the planet doesn’t mean humanity can’t fundamentally alter it beforehand or render the quality of such an existence horrendous.

    • Composer 99

      No, Rush’s argument is a complete non sequitur.

  • Mario Strada

    Don’t we dam rivers? And consequently create reservoirs that manage to change the climate in that area? Don’t we raze entire mountain chains to extract coal and minerals? Again, affecting the climate at the local level and a bunch of other things?

    Haven’t we harnessed the atom and have the ability to wipe out entire countries should we want to?

    If we wanted to we could easily send in space a flotilla of satellites that, properly strung together would change the climate on a must vater area by just selectively shielding some areas from the sun.

    It would not be easy and it would be a disaster, but if we wanted to we could. We also seed clouds to make them rain and we could do something on a larger scale if we wanted to.

    His point is utterly false. We have the ability to change the climate if we wanted to. We could nuke the Yellowstone super volcano as many times as it would be necessary to make it blow up. That would change the climate a bit.

  • Todd Armstrong

    It is like saying you can’t turn a tree into lumber.

  • trj

    Huh? Read your Bible, Rush. The entire premise of the Bible is that two humans fucked up God’s creation from the start.

    • DesertSun59

      99% of those who profess to being Christian have never once opened a Bible. That’s how they’re so easily fooled.

    • WScott

      Ah, but that was all part of The Plan(tm). See, if AGW doesn’t happen, it’s proof of God’s power. If it DOES happen, that’s because God wanted it to happen. Either way, nothing we do actually matters.
      And Christians say Atheists have a negative worldview…

  • Glasofruix

    If you believe in a god, intellectuality is not your forte.

  • Whirlwitch

    We don’t create grass, so we cannot mow lawns. We don’t create clay, so we cannot make pottery. We didn’t create the aurochs, so we couldn’t possibly have selectively bred domestic cattle from them. We don’t create trees, so we cannot make paper or log cabins, nor can we reforest areas. Yep, this sounds like solid gold logic all right.

  • Ade Sinden

    Limbaugh, intellectual and humble… Self deluding.

  • eDan2000

    This makes perfect sense, since as we all know, Rush believes he IS God.

  • Quintin van Zuijlen

    The thing about global warming is that we’re not in control. It’s an accident we’re trying to fix.

  • Jasper

    “You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create…”

    Easy. We created anthropogenic global warming. There you go.

    • Bitter Lizard

      I’m pretty sure Rush can’t create oxycontin, and he can control tha–oh, shit, I just made his point for him, didn’t I?

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Funny how you never see Joe Klein pissily criticizing Rush Limbaugh for actual things rather than atheists for imaginary things.

  • eric

    “You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something that he can’t create…”
    You mean, like my little finger?
    Dumbass.

    • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

      I think I’d use a different finger as an example.

  • Marisa Totten

    There’s an oxymoron for ya: “belief in god” and “intellectually”.

  • SeekerLancer

    When you don’t have a real argument, question your opponent’s religious beliefs and call them an atheist. Enjoy that emotional blackmail tactic while it lasts, it won’t be very effective when the “nones” are the majority.

  • Ida Know

    “In my humble opinion”?! Since when are any of Rush’s opinions “humble”?

    • WScott

      I think he thinks he’s being ironical.

  • DesertSun59

    Belief in a tribal Jewish deity invented in the Bronze Age is not an intellectual activity.

  • JET

    This is why Rush always just preaches, never discusses. His arguments are so easily refutable. If a caller makes a valid point, he’ll either twist it to his idea or just cut him off.

  • guest

    Tide comes in, tide goes out. You can’t explain that.

    • trj

      Sure can’t. That statement is beyond explanation. It was Bill o’Reilly who stated it, though.

  • Dan Dorfman

    What Bullshit. I didn’t create the LHC, and I’m not ashamed to admit my ignorance on the intricacies of its construction, but I sure as heck know that I can royally f*ck it up with just a sledgehammer.

  • SansDeus

    His thinking seems to go about the same distance that he can throw a school bus. He obviously doesn’t realize we control physical objects that we don’t “create” all the damn time.

    Example: We extract metals from ore and then can control several physical characteristics of it.

  • Lizzy

    If you listen to the entire piece, you will see that this is quote is taken out of context. What Mr. Limbaugh is saying is that for something as big and beyond man’s control as the very climate of Earth, it is arrogant and misguided to think we can have that big of an effect on it either way. Obviously, we can control things that only God could create, but if we can’t control the weather, how can we control the entire climate?

    I don’t disagree with Mr. Kerry’s comment (thought it may also be taken out of context here, and the context may be what Mr. Limbaugh is actually reacting to) that we should be as good stewards as we can of God’s creation. And I’m not sure, thought I have not heard Mr. Limbaugh’s entire show on the matter, that I would have stated it exactly as he did. But if I listen to Mr. Limbaugh’s comments here with any kind of intellectual honesty, I have to see that it is not the grossly simple-minded statement that his critics have extracted and pounced on, per usual.


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