"Around the world environmentalism has become a radical movement, something we call, "The Green Dragon." And it is deadly. Deadly to human prosperity. Deadly to human life. Deadly to human freedom. And deadly to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Make no mistake about it, environmentalism is no longer your friend, it is your enemy." — From 'Resisting the Green Dragon'
Last fall, when representatives of a group called "The Cornwall Alliance" were on Glenn Beck promoting their upcoming DVDs about the evils of environmentalism, I posted video of their appearance, wrote a couple paragraphs of commentary, published and moved on. I didn't really pursue the story with much journalistic rigor or enthusiasm. And quite frankly, I forgot all about it, at least until Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones reminded me how scary these people actually appear to be.
And now that I've watched clips from the trailer (below) as well as the full 12-minute preview* of the 12-part set, "Resisting the Green Dragon," I can honestly say The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation (the more formal name of the group mentioned above) and their special brand of Evangelical revisionist indoctrination has gotten my attention.
Because the video's incendiary language, revisionist claims, and overtly political messages clearly aimed at influencing young people are so outlandish, there were times I thought it must be a joke. But not only is the "Resisting the Green Dragon" campaign not a joke, it is dangerously misguided propaganda aimed at mobilizing political action and hate-filled mistrust toward people of all walks of life — shrouding that hate and intolerance by depersonalizing it and directing it towards a constructed, mythical enemy, "The Green Dragon."
A group called Right Wing Watch compiled a short version of the DVD preview, but if you have a few extra minutes, I recommend watching the full preview.* Do so and I promise you'll be entertained, it will also put my commentary below in context.
I had a visceral reaction to many of the messages and themes in the video. I began to hash them out but many of the thoughts are incomplete so consider the following viewing notes for your consideration.
- For a faith-based group, the Cornwall Alliance seems to spend an awful lot of time talking about politics, policy and even political theory.
- Global governance is not synonymous with global government. Not all environmentalists are post-structuralists and not all post-structuralists are environmentalists.
- My grandparent's environmentalism was about recycling aluminum? Umm, who exactly is the Cornwall Alliance speaking to and more importantly, how old are they?
- What about Christian environmentalists that embrace the science behind anthropogenic climate change? A 2008 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, found that 31 percent of white Evangelical Protestants did not believe that there is solid evidence showing that the earth is warming, but 34 percent of white Evangelical Protestants did believe that there was evidence. And what about non-Christian people of faith, atheists or agnostics? Where do they fit into this schema?
- Not that I agree with the notion that "environmentalism is the new religion," but what if it were? And really, couldn't it be argued that environmentalism isn't a new religion at all, but the original religion?
- Does the Cornwall Alliance see the irony when their "experts" like Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention say with a totally straight face: "Environmentalists have a long history of believing and promoting exaggerations and myths"? Not only are Evangelicals kind of known for believing and promoting some pretty hard-to-believe stories from the bible, but the entire "Resisting the Green Dragon" campaign is based on rallying support to fight an epic battle of good versus evil in hopes of slaying a mythical creature.
- Finally, Cornwall Alliance says the 12-part DVD series and bonus 33-minute documentary, "unite an impressive array of respected evangelical experts in science, theology, economics, and the environment" — a claim which left me wondering whether "experts in science" are the same thing as scientists.