Well, I received a response from Dr. Dobson's correspondence assistant regarding my first letter about global warming. I won't type out her response, but you'll get the gist of it from my own response to her.
As a warning, I'm not so sure that I fully believe everything I wrote below (especially about scientists), but I'm more trying to write "to his level", so to speak. I don't know if that's immoral, but we'll see if it works.
Susan M. Wells
Focus on the Family
Colorado Springs, CO 80995
20 April 2007
Dear Ms. Wells:
Thank you for your response on behalf of Dr. Dobson regarding global warming. I appreciate you taking the time to personally respond. If you will, I ask that you please address a few more questions regarding Dr. Dobson’s view on global warming.
In the Focus on the Family Statement on the Environment, the author writes: “From a secular environmentalist point of view, which excludes God, the highest aim is to understand nature itself. How we treat nature, then, depends strictly on our own, relative ethics and preferences”.
I assume that this statement is referring to the great numbers of atheistic/agnostic scientists – perhaps we could even call them “mainstream” scientists. Certainly this is true, that vast numbers of scientists (though certainly not all) aim for science above morality, and their own morality is that which they extract from the scientific discoveries that they have personally uncovered. I agree that moral relativism is, at best, universally unhelpful, and at worst is an extremely dangerous “slippery slope”.
I am concerned, then, that Dr. Dobson feels that the NAE should “leave the debate [of global warming] in the hands of scientists, rather than ministry leaders”. Why would we, as responsible, moral Christians want to leave the responsibility for the consequences of global warming in the hands of moral relativists?
I am particularly concerned because the Focus on the Family statement on the environment proclaims that “authority [over the environment] involves not a lessening of accountability, but an increase”. As Christians, why would we want to defer the debate to a nonbeliever? Should we not be held more accountable than the unbeliever?
The statement on the environment also proposes: “Scripture repudiates any view that exalts creation above the Creator or trivializes human suffering. Though we oppose greed, covetousness and environmental ‘gluttony,’ basic human welfare – at home and abroad – must be preeminent in all environmental proposals”.
I agree. But in his position regarding global warming, Dr. Dobson seems to have prioritized one type of life (the “preborn”) over another (the millions potentially affected by global warming).
It is abundantly clear that global warming has the potential to cause famine, drought, disease, and natural disasters. Whether by human or natural causes, this fact of global warming is not disputed. It is also clear that, by the nature of global economics and distribution of resources, that the world’s poorest countries will be the most negatively affected.
I do not know how to convey with words the potential for unbelievable suffering due to thirst and hunger. So I repeat the question I asked in the first letter: Is it worth it to do nothing?
It seems that Dr. Dobson is separating the environmental component of global warming from the human component. I am asking him to reconsider his position based on the human aspect. The root of Christian environmentalism should be the concern for human life, which includes all humans: the now-living, the unborn, and the very distant unborn who will exist many generations from today.
Whereas Dr. Dobson is concerned that this nation “spends billions for pure air and water” rather than devote its resources to the preborn, I see the pure air and water as a legitimate investment in human life. Imagine the millions of tiny, developing humans who may acquire deformities or become unable to mature in the womb (and subsequently die) because of toxic heavy metals, pesticides and other pollutants had this country not enacted laws against such pollutants. I have not listed any examples, but I assure you, the data are there to support my claim.
The bible says “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?” (1 Cor. 6:15). Also “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple” (1 Cor 3:16-17). My final question to Dr. Dobson: How are you to reconcile your statement on global warming with the above mentioned verses?
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my letter. I do ask that you present a copy of this letter, along with my original statement, to Dr. Dobson himself.