We are used to Religious Right leaders like David Barton saying that the Bible has a clear and unequivocal position on every single political issue from the minimum wage to net neutrality. Of course, in most cases the Good Book just so happens to support the same view held by right-wing activists.
For example, take the controversy over a bridge construction project in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where two environmental groups challenged a proposal to replace the 50-year-old Bonner Bridge. Christian Action League head Mark Creech claims he knows exactly where God and the Bible stand on the matter of rebuilding Bonner Bridge.
Obviously, God agrees with Creech that the environmentalists are wrong to oppose the project:
Fiery state Senator Bill Cook at a recent press conference called upon the environmentalists to give up their legal shenanigans. Cook said they were to blame for the situation getting to this point. He said, “Today, I would like to call for the Southern Environmental Law Center to give it up….You’ve done enough damage.” He further stated, “Here we have a beautiful place, an island, and we’re letting overly zealous environmental folks shut down a bridge effectively. They delayed a bridge for what, 20 years? It’s insane.”
Indeed it is insane. It’s as insane as when farmers just a few years ago in California’s San Joaquin Valley had to have the water they used for crops diverted to the Pacific just to save a three inch fish known as the delta smelt. The action driven by radical environmentalists caused a 40% unemployment rate in the region, also causing food shortages, higher prices, and situations that made it more difficult for the poor.
What precipitates such nonsense? It is one’s worldview.
Most people in North Carolina and the nation have been deeply impacted by a cultural Christian worldview, even though they may not know or acknowledge it. The Book of Genesis teaches that mankind is to ‘[b]e fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion…over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Jesus taught that human beings, made in the image of God, are of much more value than animals. On one occasion the Savior said, “Look at the birds of the air…Are you not of more value than they?” (Mt. 6:26). On another occasion, He demonstrably stated, “Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! (Mt. 12:12). The biblical worldview on the environment is that we should responsibly “subdue” (subjugate, restrain, control) and develop the earth and its natural resources in a way that best benefits the human race.
Contrast the Christian worldview with the viewpoint of militant environmentalists and you’ll see there’s a divide wider than the Bonner Bridge. Many believe in “untouched nature” as their ideal. Thus they subvert building projects via lawsuits to protect some species of animal, bird, and even insect life. Some go so far as to argue the human population should be drastically scaled back to save the earth.
The Bonner Bridge closing is a case in point as to how our worldview affects us for either good or bad. Moreover, it demonstrates that when some point of view other than a biblical worldview is granted supremacy in public-policy, it inevitably results in harm to God’s crowning and most beloved creative achievement – man.
Sen. Cook is right; the environmentalists in this case need to get out of the way. But they might consider an even greater reason for getting out of the way than the trouble they’ve caused the people of Hatteras Island. Much of the philosophy behind what they do stands as an obstruction to the purposes of God.