Let us talk plainly about the weather. Global warming is a reality, and yet the issue is clouded by religious conservatism. To be precise, it is difficult to determine whether it is really greed or the religious right that stands so firmly behind free-market capitalism that is driving this chariot of the sun. The strange and unholy alliance between religious and political conservatism, however, has become a force daily striving against reality and its proponents want to be on the top of the pile when the whole thing collapses.
I can not speak to the political end of this continuum; I am not a political scientist or economist. As a “religionist,” however, I recognize a deeply disturbing trend that I have followed since my youth. Fundamentalists have consistently taught their young that the “Second Coming” is only minutes, possibly seconds, away. Undaunted by the two-millennium delay in wish-fulfillment, they suppose the words supposedly uttered by Jesus indicate a kind of divine “I’ll be right back” just before pushing off from the Mount of Olives. The signs of the times given in the Bible describe the then current condition, yet modern-day Fundamentalists wish to force the almighty hand, call the bluff of the Texas Hold-‘em expert above. If the general in the sky said wars would come, well, we’ll make wars. If the only way to get his attention is by destroying the planet around us, so be it. Deny global warming for the sake of the religious right, since their world is about to end.The rest of us might want to stick around for a while. Ancient meteorologists believed that particular gods controlled the weather. At Ugarit Baal, or Hadad, took responsibility for drought and plenty. If there was a problem, they knew just to whom to offer a sacrifice. In our monotheistic western world, we’ve pared the gods down to a single man. Not everyone agrees on his mood or character, but some are convinced that he has his bead trained right on this planet and they want to help from here below. Others believe — o the heresy! — that natural processes control the weather and that we can do something to make our situation better. We might be in a better place if those who believe the gods control the weather were relegated to theology classes rather than political offices.