Dossier

A publication providing succinct biographical sketches of environmental scientists, economists, "experts," and activists released by The National Center for Public Policy Research.

Environmental Activist: Evangelical Environmental Network

The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) claims to be a coalition of mainstream evangelical leaders concerned about the environment. Closer examination of the EEN's connections reveal there is nothing mainstream about it: When the EEN launched a multi-million dollar public relations campaign in January 1996 to convince the American people that the Endangered Species Act is the "Noah's Ark of our day," it was the Washington, D.C.-based Fenton Communications that ran the group's media relations. Fenton Communications has long been a favorite of the far left: During the 1980s, for example, Fenton Communications had contracts with the Christic Institute and the communist governments of Angola and Nicaragua. Fenton Communications is perhaps best known, however, for its role in creating the alar scare. It was Fenton that managed to talk CBS's "60 Minutes" into reporting as fact an unproven claim by the Natural Resources Defense Council that alar, a chemical used to ripen apples, was a serious cancer risk to children. Horrified parents across the nation quit purchasing apples as a result of the report. But Fenton Communications isn't the Evangelical Environmental Network's only questionable association. According to The Washington Post, "the Environmental Information Center, a Washington-based organization funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and other foundations" underwrote "the cost of ad production" for the EEC's Endangered Species Act campaign. The Environmental Information Center (EIC) is a "Who's Who" of Democratic Party politics: Philip E. Clapp, the EIC's executive director, served as a member of the national steering committee of Environmentalists for Clinton-Gore; Mike Casey, the group's media relations director, came directly to the EIC from the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee; and staffer Arlie Schardt served as press secretary for Albert Gore's unsuccessful presidential bid. Board members of the NIC include Francis C. Beineke of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Douglas Foy of the Conservation Law Foundation. EEN's own membership is also cause for alarm. One of its key leaders is Ron Sider, president and founder of Evangelicals for Social Action. Sider is one of the leaders of "Call to Renewal," a religious coalition established to counter the Christian Coalition. Sider has also been an outspoken critic of the GOP's "Contract with America," telling Christianity Today magazine that the GOP plans to "slash $380 billion from programs for the poor" while giving "$245 billion in tax cuts to the rich and middle class" -- a statement virtually indistinguishable from the White House line. The Evangelical Environmental Network was co-founded by Calvin DeWitt, president of the Christian Environmental Council and professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In a January 31 EEN press release, DeWitt said: "People in their arrogance are destroying God's creation, yet Congress and special interests are trying to sink the Noah's Ark of our day -- the Endangered Species Act. Few legislative issues ought to be as clear for Christians as this one. The Christian faith teaches respect for the works of God..." A population control advocate, DeWitt obviously forgot Genesis 1:28: "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Selected Evangelical Environmental Network Quotes

"People in their arrogance are destroying God's creation, yet Congress and special interests are trying to sink the Noah's Ark of our day -- the Endangered Species Act. Few legislative issues ought to be as clear for Christians as this one. Christian faith teaches respect for the works of God, and the Endangered Species Act offers real and fair protection of all of His creation, including us." - Dr. Calvin B. DeWitt, co-founder of the Evangelical Environmental Network in January 31, 1996 EEN press release

"Increasingly we people are occupying the land to the exclusion and extinction of the other creatures. This leads us to ask, 'Does our God-given blessing of stewardship of creation grant us license to deny creatures God's blessing of fruitfulness and fulfillment?'" - Dr. Calvin B. DeWitt, co-founder of the Evangelical Environmental Network quoted in "Are People the Problem? Part 3" Christianity Today

"Evidence is mounting that faith-based service programs are often more successful than other programs in correcting social problems. [It is wrong] for government to demand that religious nonprofits gut precisely that part of their program [funded through tax dollars] that makes them so effective." - Ron Sider quoted in Christianity Today, December 11, 1995

"We refuse the false choices urged on us between personal responsibility or social justice, between good values or good jobs, between strong families or strong neighborhoods, between sexual morality or civil rights for homosexuals, between the sacredness of life or the rights of women, between fighting cultural corrosion or battling racism." - Excerpt of a "Call to Renewal" press release, a group which the EEN's Ron Sider helps lead, quoted in the Associated Baptist Press, February 2, 1996


Version Date: March 13, 1996





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