As we approach the largest gift-giving season in the world, a top U.S. evangelist from the American Family Association (AFA) tells us that we need to be willing to accept one of the greatest gifts that God has bestowed upon mankind: Fossil fuels.
Bryan Fischer, a director at the ultra conservative AFA, told his followers this week that refusing to use fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas hurts God’s feelings because those are gifts that He has given to mankind, and God loves to see us find those gifts.
Watch and listen (H/T Right Wing Watch):
Raw Story reports the following:
“I opened up a birthday present that I didn’t like, and I said it right out, ‘Oh, I don’t like those,’” the radio host recalled. “And it just crushed — and the person that gave me the gift was there. You know, I just kind of blurted it out, ‘I don’t like those.’ And it just crushed that person. It was enormously insensitive of me to do that.”
“And you think, that’s kind of how we’re treating God when he’s given us these gifts of abundant and inexpensive and effective fuel sources,” Fischer added. “And we don’t thank him for it and we don’t use it…You know, God has buried those treasures there because he loves to see us find them.”
Fischer isn’t alone with his “gift” analogy, as Raw Story continues:
The Cornwall Alliance’s Calvin Beisner, who has previously said that believing in climate change “is an insult to God,” explained on Thursday that the Bible said it was also very rude to not use oil, coal and natural gas.
In order to accept what both Fischer and Beisner say as a fact, we have to assume that the environment, mankind, and all other living creatures are not considered to be gifts from God. After all, the pollutants released from both the extraction and the burning of these energy resources destroys all three of those. So if fossil fuels are a gift – a gift that destroys the planet and the life it supports – then the planet and resulting life cannot be considered gifts.
So let’s examine the “benefits” that those gifts have provided to us:
40% of deaths worldwide every year have been directed attributed to water, air, and soil pollution.
In Mexico City alone, more than 6,400 people die and one million are suffering from permanent illnesses that are the result of air pollution.
An estimated one-ton of oil is leaked for each one million tons that is shipped.
Direct causes of air pollution related deaths include aggravated asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, lung and heart diseases, and respiratory allergies.
386,000 tons of air pollutants are released each year from more than 400 U.S. power plants, resulting in 13,000 American deaths every single year.
Burning fossil fuels like coal costs the U.S. about $500 billion a year, mostly in health care costs that are shifted to U.S. taxpayers. Illnesses from air pollutants cost the U.S. $185 billion every year.
15,000 non-smokers die from pollution-related lung cancer every year.
46% of U.S. lakes are too polluted for living organisms, other than algae and bacteria, to survive.
The amount of oil leaked into oceans every year from automobiles and other non-source devices is greater than the amount of oil spilled from the Exxon Valdez.
Those are facts that the AFA needs to be aware of before they accuse people of “hurting God’s feelings” by rejecting the “gifts” of fossil fuels.
But, at least for Mr. Fischer and Mr. Beisner, there’s another source they should be consulting, per their positions: The Bible. Here are a few passages from the Good Book that tell us how we should be treating our environment:
Isaiah 24:4-6 – The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers, the exalted of the earth languish. The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.
Jeremiah 2:7 – I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable.
Leviticus 25:23-24 – The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.
Ezekiel 34:2-4 – Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.
All of these passages tell us that we have a duty to protect all of God’s creations, which includes the environment and the living creatures that inhabit this environment. To do otherwise is selfish, and looked down upon by God, according to the Bible that Mr. Fischer and Mr. Beisner claim to follow.
I submit, in purely Biblical terms as Mr. Fischer and Mr. Beisner used, that fossil fuels are not a gift from a God, but a burden that God gave us to overcome. All religions teach about burdens and other hurdles that a higher power has given to man; burdens that test man in how we are able to overcome them.
Using the same logic of Fischer and Beisner, no God would trade the well-being of his creation for something as foolish as the burning of fossil fuels.
According to Open Secrets, God has yet to receive any funding from the dirty energy industry, so it is unlikely that he shows any bias towards burning fossil fuels as opposed to the renewable “gifts” that mankind continues to mostly ignore like solar, wind, and geothermal.