White evangelicals have often dismiss climate change as a critical issue, but NBC News reports that some pastors and environmentalists in the community are hoping to re-contextualize the issue and help evangelicals start working to protect the environment. CRCC’s senior director of research and evaluation, Richard Flory weighed in on why many evangelicals refuse to accept climate change as a reality:
“[Much of the] theology doesn’t work with the whole idea of climate change where humans can actually do some damage to the Earth against God’s plan,” Richard Flory, senior director of research and evaluation at the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture, told NBC News.
Evangelical Christians don’t have to wade too deeply into the Bible to find the verse in the book of Genesis that’s often pointed to as addressing climate change: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” verse 1:26 of the King James Version states. “And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Flory also suggested that while older white evangelicals might not change their minds, younger generations may see the issue differently.