by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r &
Dec. 1970: Formation of the Environmental Protection Agency
1978-80: Rise of the Moral Majority, Christian Coalition and Reaganism, marking the beginning of an alliance between conservative political leaders and many conservative religious leaders
Dec. 1988: American Baptist Churches USA issues an "ecological situational analysis," concluding 1) that the environment is in trouble and 2) that God "desires [creation's] wholeness and well-being."
Oct. 1996: Christian Environmental Council meets; will eventually partner with Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) on several action items.
Spring 1998: EEN publishes first issue of Creation Care magazine.
2001: Restoring Eden founded by Peter Illyn.
June 2004: Sandy Cove Covenant signed by 30 million-member National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), recognizing the problem of global warming, pledging a commitment to creation care and resolving to reach a consensus on the issue.
Dec. 2005: Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, a group of pro-business leaders who believe deregulation and the privatization of land is what's needed to protect creation -- not environmental laws -- is formed in response to groups like the EEN.
Feb. 2006: The NAE, under pressure from certain leaders, decides to remain silent rather than issue a pro-environment consensus statement.
Feb. 2006: In response to NAE's inaction, the Evangelical Climate Initiative is signed by 86 Evangelical leaders, including the Salvation Army, Rick Warren (author of The Purpose-Driven Life) and the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges. Quite vocal in his opposition is 700 Club founder Pat Robertson.
June 2006: Presbyterian General Assembly strongly recommends that congregants live "Carbon-Neutral Lives."
July 2006: Interfaith Stewardship Alliance issues a point-by-point rebuttal of the Evangelical Climate Initiative.
Aug. 2006: 700 Club founder Pat Robertson, after experiencing record heat, reverses decades of anti-environmental rhetoric, saying that "We really need to address the burning of fossil fuels."
Jan. 2007: Joel Hunter, signatory of the Evangelical Climate Initiative, takes over as president of the deeply conservative Christian Coalition.
-- LUKE BAUMGARTEN