Driscoll: Let It Burn

Researchers David C. Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado analyzed a 2007 survey of political views and discovered a correlation between belief in the “end times” and support for government action on environmental issues:

… belief in the “Second Coming” of Jesus reduced the probability of strongly supporting government action on climate change by 12 percent when controlling for a number of demographic and cultural factors. When the effects of party affiliation, political ideology, and media distrust were removed from the analysis, the belief in the “Second Coming” increased this effect by almost 20 percent. (This suggests there is a significant overlap between those three variables and belief in the “Second Coming.”)

The report, covered at Raw Story, concluded that while we should be cautious about making predictions, “.. it was unlikely the United States would take action on climate change while so many Americans, particularly Republicans, believed in the coming end-times.”

But honestly, after two thousand years of no-shows, how many people are seriously going to believe in the end times enough to actually influence their political stance …

“I know who made the environment and he’s coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.” – Mark Driscoll (quoted from the Catalyst Conference)

…. well, at least he didn’t put this one on twitter


(image via From One Degree to Another)

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  • Nox

    Anecdotally, at least thirty people I’ve talked to and one U.S. senator have cited either Jesus’ impending return or the impossibility of anything outside god’s plan happening as reasons not to be concerned about climate change.

  • http://nwrickert.wordpress.com/ Neil Rickert

    But honestly, after two thousand years of no-shows, how many people are seriously going to believe in the end times enough to actually influence their political stance …

    Probably anyone whose income depends on so believing.

  • http://twitter.com/Teilhard_us Teilhard

    It is sad that a vocal minority of radical Christians are spreading such a silly message. Fortunately, mainstream Christianity is walking the walk as well as talking the talk about global warming by setting an example by becoming carbon neutral through renewable energy and conservation: http://tinyurl.com/bwold8z.

    The environment and global warming are areas that believers and non-believers have common ground on.


    W. Ockham

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-L-Hardy/599954306 Paul L Hardy

    The problem with the christian extremist is that they can turn out votes for the republicans so that even when the politician may not be an evangelical he is going to talk, act and vote as if he were one. The 2008 election where a republican who didn’t say the right things and who had a history of doing the wrong ones kept a lot of republican voters at home, which was a very good thing. I am deeply troubled by any ideology that focuses on a promise of paradise after death over working on the problems here.. Many have thought that a lot of Bush’s actions in the middle east were aimed at bringing about Armageddon and thus the end times. Ever since Reagan focused on getting the moral majority crowd to vote republican the focus of that party have changed dramatically.

  • Peter

    Although those believing in the “end times” in the US are discounted as a bunch of yahoos in Canada it’s happening for real. I’m Canadian and our Prime Minister is a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. They are a Dominionist sect that do believe we are in the end times and Armageddon is just around the corner and Jesus will be returning soon. Generally, Dominionists believe: 1. Disdain for the environmental movement, because JC will clean up everything. 2. Distrust of mainstream science in general, 3. Distrust of the mainstream media, 4. Loyalty to the party, 5. Libertarian economics as God’s will (God is opposed to government regulation or taxation), 6. Misunderstanding of divine sovereignty (God won’t allow us to ruin his creation), 7. Unreconstructed Dominion theology (God calls on humans to subdue and rule creation).
    Harpo, after winning his Parliamentary majority has emasculated the environmental regulatory measures Canada has long been know for. He has pulled Canada out of international conferences trying to find solutions including those from the UN, which isn’t surprising since a lot of conservatives loathe the UN. Furthermore, there have been drastic cuts to various government sponsored research projects on the effect of climate change or pollution. The Conservatives forced the scientists involved to sign gag orders to never publish papers on their research without government approval, although some brave souls are speaking out. He’s from Alberta and a strong supporter of Keystone and is in deep denial that the Oil Sands project is environmentally toxic. Guess what boards he joins after he retires from politics? Unfortunately he still has two years left in his mandate. A few years ago he gave a speech to a business audience and said: “You won’t recognize Canada when I’m done!” He got a standing ovation.


    Christopher Hitchens has some interesting thoughts on the number of evangelicals who “just want to get it over,” and bring on Armageddon. Armageddon relieves these folks of the painful duty to ever having to think about anything, ever again.

  • evodevo

    Not new … when Raygun appointed James Watt as Sec. of the Interior, we environmentalists knew we were truly screwed.