4 Congresspeople Who Use God As An Excuse To Ignore Climate Change

One of the issues with stacking Congress with religious conservatives is that they use their faith to defer responsibility. Does it really matter how legislators vote if God’s will ultimately prevails?

This situation is particularly problematic when it comes to tackling climate change. Scientists have pretty clearly warned us that time is running out to act on this threat, yet lawmakers have let their faith guide them on this topic rather than the science.

Here are 4 sitting U.S. lawmakers who are using God as an excuse to sit on their hands when it comes to climate change:

 

1. U.S. Representative Tim Walberg

In a town hall meeting last week (good on Walberg for even having one, I guess,) a constituent asked Walberg about climate change. Walberg said he believed that climate change is real and that mankind is contributing to it, but that mankind cannot “change the entire universe.”

“Why do I believe that?” Walberg, a Republican from Michigan, said. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

In other words, it doesn’t matter if he repeatedly votes down environmental legislation because God will save us from his inaction!

When Walberg delivered these statements, his own constituents reacted negatively. “I don’t expect you to agree with me on that,” he acknowledged. Perhaps, then, he should listen to the people he was chosen to represent?

 

2. U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx

Foxx, a representative for North Carolina for the past 13 years, may be the current chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, but she’s willfully ignorant to science education.

In 2011, Foxx cited books written by climate change deniers on the House floor to encourage her colleagues to vote against environmental legislation. Her main argument was that people aren’t more powerful than God.

“[Environmentalists] think that we, human beings, have more impact on the climate and the world than God does,” she stated.

To give you a better idea of what kind of congressperson Foxx is, a few years back, she also sponsored an unconstitutional bill aimed at stripping American-born children of their American citizenship if their parents were undocumented.

 

3. U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe

The following year, Inhofe took Foxx’s argument a step further on a religious radio show.

“The hoax is that there are some people who are so arrogant to think they are so powerful they can change climate. Man can’t change climate,” he said.

The senator from Oklahoma continued, “My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what he is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

Interestingly, Inhofe didn’t consider it outrageous when he tossed a snowball in a Senate session in an effort to put allegations of global warming to rest. Nor did he find it outrageous to suggest that his own granddaughter was “brainwashed” when she questioned his stance on climate change.

 

4. U.S. Representative John Shimkus

Shimkus, a Republican who has served the state of Illinois since 1997, tried to convince constituents not to worry about climate change wrecking the planet since God promised he wouldn’t.

In a congressional hearing, Shimkus read a passage from the Genesis about God vowing to “never again… destroy all living creatures.”

Shimkus then declared, “I believe that’s the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it’s going to be for his creation. The Earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over. Man will not destroy this Earth.”

To make matters worse, Shimkus does believe that climate change is real and happening, however he’s confident that God won’t let it kill us.

Shimkus may have that kind of faith based on a Bible quote, but in a non-theistic government, is that really a good excuse to choose not to protect people from an impending threat?

 

Religion and environmentalism are certainly not incompatible ideologies. There are plenty of pious people who feel an obligation to take care of the planet that their god has bestowed upon them.

When even the pope is gifting the U.S. president a book on the need to address climate change, it’s time to acknowledge that faith is not a compelling reason to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence in front of us. Let’s call out these dangerous legislators for using religion as a cover to back corporate interests over the survival of our species.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

272 comments

Marie W
Marie W12 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Karen S
Karen Swenson3 months ago

@Dan Blossfeld---You go ahead and believe, a perfect in ways God, created imperfect humans, who are riddled with every disease imaginable, mental and physical, and that this perfect God made a man of clay, ripped out a rib and made a woman, with all female equipment to bear children, as a helpmate for the almighty favorite Male...Then a talking snake enticed her, because she is this inferior woman, according to the Bible, to eat a fruit that was forbidden, thus her fault of course, being the downfall of all mankind. You believe in the parting of a sea, stoning for every imaginable sin, Noah's Ark, 500yr old people, a God that couldn't figure anyway to forgive mankind, other than torturing his own son/self nailed and rotting 0n a cross, and all the other ridiculous fantastical stories in your Bible, but for the sake of all that is intelligent and progressive--- DO NOT CALL YOURSELF A SCIENTIST!

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Karen S
Karen Swenson3 months ago

@David F---"is murder wrong?" If your Getting your morals from the Bible, murder is one of Gods favorite pastimes! If Human beings did not know Murder was wrong we wouldn't be here on this Earth, as Humans have been walking around, not murdering each other at any higher rate, than before there was any mention of a Christian God! We get some of our understanding of ourselves watching and studying our closest relatives in the animal kingdom and guess what David, they don't murder each other without a belief in a God anymore and certainly less, than we do, with societies Fairy Tale God beliefs.

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David F
David F4 months ago

Is murder wrong?

https://www.prageru.com/courses/religionphilosophy/if-there-no-god-murder-isnt-wrong

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Bill Arthur
Bill Arthur5 months ago

You would need to document that hypothesis Dan. It is totally different from my understanding of how evolution works and what the scientific community has proof of how different species develop. As for those Chihuahua and St Bernard while the definition of a species can be hard to determine sometimes the one criteria is the inability to breed. Sometimes this may be because mating habits have developed differently in one group and they just do not recognize the others as one of them so do not breed even though it could be successful. The St Bernard obviously could not successfully breed naturally with the Chihuahua and so by definition could be considered a different species. The thing is with science facts and evidence sometimes take us places we did not expect to go but facts can not be changed and that is why some people fall back on 'just believing' even when things are unbelievable in reality. So while you may believe there is some thing called macro evolution the truth is it is all built on micro evolution and lots of time and yes the science has evidence to show this happening.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld5 months ago

Bill A.,
I think you are the one who does not understand evolution. Scientists gave up years ago the belief that incremental changes over very long times will produce new species. He fossil evidence shows long periods of stable species, which end suddenly, replaced by fossils of new species. By the way, the chihuahua and St. Bernard are not different species. They are both dogs.

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Bill A
Bill Arthur5 months ago

It is in the words Dan; you seem to think a scientific theory which means it has been proven, cross checked by others in those fields of science and shown to be correct is some ho in the same category as an old story that you 'just believe'. Look at the facts, look at the evidence, ignore old stories with no evidence to back them up. Especially old stories that require magical super powerful beings to carry out things that are impossible in reality.
Forget trying to make this macro evolution an excuse to reject the proven theory of evolution. Just add millions of years to the ability of life forms to change a little bit each generation and you have your so called 'macro' evolution and if you do not think there is evidence of species changing into other species over long time periods then you do not understand evolution. As I have pointed out chiauhua dogs can not breed with St Bernard that would make them a different species and it all happened in a relatively short time period with the impact of man as the environment forcing or survival of the fittest as determined by humans. And that corn you mentioned was teosinte grass just a few thousands of years ago and the yield since I started farming is now 2.5 times what we used to get, that is evolution and even from a different grass in just a few thousand years. That is evolution.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld5 months ago

Karen,
You, like Bill, are making an argument for the wrong theory. No one is arguing that micro-evolution, often referred to as natural selection, is in question. Black moths have a higher survival rate against the black soot than the white ones, and hence future progeny carry the gene for black color. What is still in question, and lacking in proof, is macro-evolution, that mysterious process whereby one species "evolves" into another. Black moths and white moths are still the same species, just like people. Matching traits is not proof. As we say in science, correlation is not causation. All mammals have a common gene for milk production, but that does not necessary mean that they must have evolved from a common ancestor. Would not a creator have done the same? Same for embryonic development, etc.

The evidence that is lacking is how did life originate from non-living material, and how did simple organisms "evolve" into more complex ones. This is the crux of the debate, not whether a moth changes color or another species displays a new trait due to natural selection.

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Karen Swenson
Karen Swenson5 months ago

Clearly Dan, you are the less educated here, not Bill. Discovering DNA in 1950 evolutionary biologists could finally have the answers. #1. DNA is the engine that drives evolution..#2 finding transitional Fossils. #3 Matching traits to common ancestors. #4 Identifying vestigial traits. Traits no longer required for day to day survival which take a long time to disappear--examples, appendix, coccyx, tonsils impacted wisdom teeth. #5 Identifying imperfect characteristics for instance--women's extremely narrow birth canals & our overloaded lower backs. #6 studying early embryo development bearing similar characteristics at certain stages, because they share ancient genes. Developing Humans, fish & other embryos at times share features such tails & gill like structures. #7 Observing evolution over a short time scale--like white moths due to sooty pollution resulting in black moths.. #8 Simulating evolution on Computers. Scientists use the power of evolution to develop medicines and robots. The problem is that uneducated people do not understand that in Science the word "THEORY" is NOT the same as in everyday language. Scientific theory is the highest rank of reliability, it is not conjecture or hypothesis! Now let me hear Proof or theory of Creationism!!!

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld5 months ago

Bill A.,
Once again, you are confusing micro-evolution with macro-evolution. A bacterium displaying new traits is an example of natural selection and micro-evolution. But it is still a bacterium! Genetically engineering plants is another example of micro-evolution. But corn is still corn! There is no evidence that a simpler lifeform can evolve into a more complex one. None! You believe in a theory with proof, while at the same time. denigrateing those who do not believe, because it has not been proven. Just who is the less education here?

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