EPA’s Pruitt Hears From Bible Study Leader That ‘Radical Environmentalism’ Is A ‘False Religion’

Capitol Ministries' Ralph Drollinger, image from CBN story on Trump Cabinet Bible studies

Ralph Drollinger, the man who leads weekly Bible study meetings for members of Congress and Trump’s Cabinet—including embattled Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt—distributed on Monday a Bible study warning that America is in the process of shifting from Christianity to the “false religion of Radical Environmentalism.” Pruitt told CBN last year that it was “wonderful” to participate in the Cabinet Bible studies.

Drollinger’s weekly written Bible studies (also available online in print and audio versions) are distributed to public officials by Capitol Ministries, which is expanding in the U.S. and globally. Drollinger, who sometimes describes them as a kind of a homework supplement to the in-person Bible study meetings, told a reporter last year that Trump reads the studies and sends him positive hand-written notes about them.

The study posted on Monday, “Coming to Grips with the Religion of Environmentalism,” appears to be an updated version of a previous written study with the same title. It draws heavily on a passage in the biblical book of Genesis in which God grants mankind dominion over the Earth and all its creatures and instructs man to rule and subdue creation.

Drollinger argues that it is unbiblical to believe that mankind’s actions could destroy the Earth:

To think that man can alter the Earth’s ecosystem—when God remains omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent in the current affairs of mankind—is to more than subtly espouse an ultra-hubristic, secular worldview relative to the supremacy and importance of man.

Here’s another bit of policy-related teaching that Drollinger has shared with Pruitt and his colleagues in the Cabinet:

To allow fish to govern the construction of dams, endangered species to govern power plants, flies to govern hospitals, or kangaroo rats, homes, is to miss the clear proclamation of God in Genesis.

Because of biblical promises that God would not again destroy the Earth in a great flood, and would continue to send rain, says Drollinger, “we can all rest assured and wholly rely on God’s aforementioned promises pertaining to His ability and willingness to sustain our world’s ecosystem.”

Drollinger, who is from California and recently held a fundraiser with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue during the World Ag Expo in the heart of California’s agriculture industry, decries efforts in California to limit household water usage, saying there is “more than enough to go around” and that environmentalists’ efforts to restrict water usage reflects a secular worldview that says the environment is more important than people.

“The biblically informed public servant,” says Drollinger, must “order his thinking in light of God’s revealed hierarchy in creation.”

Drollinger says it’s good politics to side against “Radical Environmentalists,” in part because they have fewer children than those who believe “in the biblical truth of multiplying and filling the earth.” His Bible study says that Bible-believers have “outperformed” environmentalist parents “by six million children since the advent of Radical Environmentalism in America,” adding:

Those six million children are just now reaching voting status. Said another way, young Americans raised with a Christian worldview will soon outnumber the children of Radical Environmentalists by at least six million voters in the coming elections. Indeed the scriptural truth that your sins will find you out will soon be realized across the country. Hopefully the religion of Radical Environmentalism will soon be relegated to fringe minority status in American society. Amen.

Drollinger may have unique access to Cabinet members like Pruitt, and members of the House and Senate, but his anti-environmentalist theology is not unique. For years, Religious Right leaders have attacked the environmental movement—which some have called the Green Dragon. Right-wing “historian” David Barton is among those who signed the 2009 Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming, which denounced efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and said that God had made the Earth and its ecosystems “robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.”

E&E News examined the impact of Pruitt’s faith on his approach to policy-making in a July 2017 profile, noting that Pruitt served on the board of trustees of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. It also pointed to a 2016 interview, when Pruitt was Oklahoma’s attorney general battling a state Supreme Court ruling about the Ten Commandments, where he said, “A Christian worldview means that God has answers to our problems.” He added, “And part of our responsibility is to convey to those in society that the answers that he has, as represented in Scripture, are important and should be followed, because they lead to freedom and liberty.” Pruitt accused the “political left, the liberals, and those that are anti-faith” of misinterpreting the First Amendment as “a mandate for the government to eradicate all vestiges of religion in the public square.”