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Monday, March 05, 2007

Pro-Earth v. Pro-Life: Why Sexual Conservatives are not Conservationists

A guest blog from the Director of the National Sexuality Resource Center, Gilbert Herdt.

If the fight against global warming isn't the ultimate pro-life struggle, then I don't know what is! But that is not what the extreme Christian Right believes. In their view, being pro-earth takes attention from what they call "the great moral issues of our times." Predictably these are abortion and abstinence-only education, not to mention gay marriage. Sexual issues. James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family, and Gary L. Bauer, once a Republican presidential candidate and now president of Coalitions for America, among other big Bible-totters, have written a letter to stop the National Evangelical Movement’s Policy Director, Rev. Richard Cizik, from speaking out on Global warming. As this New York Times article reports, Rev. Cizik had better stop being Pro-Earth and speaking out on global warming, or these guys will see that he loses his job.

If only these stalwart conservatives would take a lesson from History. Once upon a time, as every sophomore history student knows of Teddy Roosevelt and Barry Goldwater, to be a conservative meant to be a conservationist, not a member of the moral brigade. Being Pro-earth was cool – until these new conservatives came along to battle against sexual literacy.

Pro-Earth gave way to Pro-life, with the rise to power of the Evangelical Christian Right that is blinded by its rage against anything sexual, especially reproductive and sexual rights. Now what these myopic men focus on is a peculiar "Sexual Morality" that campaigns against abortion and same-sex marriage and the need to promote "the teaching of sexual abstinence and morality to our children." Their deep and mysterious hatred of sex, gays, comprehensive sexual education, women's rights, and the right to choice have so discolored their view of the world that they can see only Red, as in Commies, Red States, and not Green, as in Pro-earth. Theirs is a new brigade of the Flat earth society that is about as forward looking as telling a parent to stop talking about sexual literacy with their child until they reach marriage. That, in fact, is precisely the effect of Ignorance Only, AKA, and abstinence-only sex education.

Protecting the earth and our vital heritage is the one great and true way of being Pro-life, and we ought to shun these sexual conservatives and their moral panics that are life-destroying, to join with all those, including evangelicals, who are taking a stand that is Pro-earth.


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