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Evangelical Campaign Focuses On Environmental Awareness

The Rev. Jim Ball has come up with a question he hopes will make millions of church-going Americans think twice before buying another SUV.

It's: "What would Jesus drive?"

Ball, a native of Baton Rouge, La., directs the Evangelical Environmental Network, a "biblically orthodox" nonprofit working with groups including the large relief organization World Vision International and the International Bible Society. The organization is launching a barrage of ads, mostly on Christian radio stations and cable television, urging consumers and automakers to start thinking of gas mileage as an ethical statement, noting that auto emissions are significantly contributing to climate change.

I think the Bible's pretty clear on this one: Jesus would drive a donkey. So then the question becomes, to which part of the donkey would you attach your "Abortion is Murder" bumper sticker?

I also have a serious observation here. The polarized view of politics tends to see the Christian Right as simply the most extreme version of conservatism, an image boosted by the Christian Right's disproportionate power in setting the Republican agenda. But that ignores the real complexity of the Republican coalition. Granted, the polarized view shapes people's political opinions, especially on issues they don't care as much about -- you become more sympathetic to certain positions depending on if their label of "conservative" or "liberal" matches your own. But different types of conservatives approach things differently, so they come to different conclusions. For a while we've been seeing how Christian conservatives have been coming to different conclusions than hawks on the question of war. And here we have an example of them coming to a different conclusion than the business interests.


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