Evangelicals and an old global-warming movie

Evangelicals and an old global-warming movie September 10, 2006

This may not be the best way to lead in to this subject, but the story below got me thinking of Jesus Camp, and how that film focuses on right-wing Christians who teach their home-schooled children to rebut the scientific evidence for evolution and global warming, etc., etc., and how that film ultimately includes an interview with National Association of Evangelicals president Ted Haggard, apparently to show that the film’s right-wing subjects are not just a fringe element within evangelicalism but are integrated into — and in some way representative of — the whole.

I mention all that because the Reuters story below indicates that there are high-ranking NAE types who do, in fact, accept the scientific evidence for global warming — for all I know, Haggard himself might be one himself — and I think it might have been good if perspectives like theirs had been included in the film, just to show how diverse evangelicals can be. Some evangelicals did rally behind Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, after all, did they not?

Anyway, here’s an excerpt from the Reuters story in question:

Coming soon to a movie screen near you: prayers, politics and a feature-length film, united in an effort to mobilize religious groups around global warming concerns in time for the U.S. midterm election.

With a new documentary titled “The Great Warming” as their chief campaign tool, a coalition of religious leaders, environmentalists and businesses are spreading copies of the film into churches around the country. Voter guides and themed sermons are also part of the plan.

The aim of the screenings, like one held in Kansas last week, is to turn the large and powerful conservative Christian constituency into a voting block united behind making the reduction of greenhouse gases a top priority among politicians.

Evangelical Christian leaders have embraced the cause and are now helping spur momentum before both midterm elections in November and the 2008 presidential election.

“In the past, white evangelicals have been largely Republican and the environment has traditionally been a Democratic issue … so there are political implications in terms of alliances,” said Joel Hunter, who serves on the National Association of Evangelicals board and as senior pastor of the 12,000-member Northland Church in Longwood, Florida.

“But there is no doubt about the mandate of scripture here. We need to do what we can to care for the Earth,” Hunter said by telephone. “We want to lead people into the arena where it will have an affect on how they vote.” . . .

A national rollout of “The Great Warming” at U.S. cinemas starts in October. The plan also calls for more than 500 sermons on global warming and lists of questions for church members to ask political candidates. . . .

Incidentally, the story mentions that this film was produced by an “independent Canadian documentary maker” named Karen Coshof, but it doesn’t mention that she already produced a film called The Great Warming for PBS way, way back in 2003 — indeed, it’s the only film currently credited to her at the IMDB. So, is this “new documentary” the same as the old one? It would seem so — if you follow the link to the 2003 film’s official website, there is a page there which says that the film “is coming to American theatres in Spring 2006”. (I’m guessing the theatrical release got delayed a few more months to make room for the Al Gore movie.)

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