Values Voter Summit: Anti-Environmentalism As a ‘Scriptural’ Position

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) warned the crowd at the Values Voter Summit about the “attack to eliminate the conservative agenda of Evangelicals,” which includes “scriptural” issues such as flag burning, abortion, and homosexuality. But the main thrust of his speech was a push back against environmentalism. According to Inhofe, the “smartest thing” that “liberal groups” have done is to introduce the issue of the environment to churches, and he said he was “very worried” that the majority of the audience “believe[s] global warming is real.” He set out to dispell that understanding, using a somewhat convoluted logic.

“It was started really by the United Nations,” Inhofe’s argument began. He said that the “motive” was “to try to shut down this machine called America.” From there he turned to environmental terrorism, and then he jumped to “animal rights people” who say animal and human lives are “morally equal.” He returned to the theme of “global governance” briefly before asking, “What does God say about this thing?” He quoted Romans‘ warning of those who worship “birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” He concluded: “We have something that we know is scriptural.”

Armed with this conclusion, Inhofe had harsh words for the National Association of Evangelicals, a group strongly allied with the Right which nevertheless has spoken out about the environment, and NAE spokesman Richard Cizik, “the man behind this.” The senator called on the Values Voter Summit crowd to fight back: “If you do this, you’ll be doing the Lord’s work and he’ll richly bless you for it.”