In a nearly 17-minute speech on Wednesday evening, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) blasted an unnamed senator for saying God would protect the Earth from climate change.
“I was recently at a Senate hearing where I heard a member of our Senate community say, ‘God won’t allow us to ruin our planet,’” he remarked on the Senate floor. “Maybe that is why we do nothing.”
Whitehouse said the senator and others who thought similarly were seeking “magical deliverance from our troubles, not divine guidance through our troubles.” He cited numerous biblical passages that contradicted the notion that God “cleaned up” for human’s thoughtless and misguided actions.
“We are warned in the Bible not to plow iniquity, not to eat the fruit of lies,” Whitehouse said. “Where in the Bible are we assured of safety if we do? I see no assurances of that.”
“So why then, when we ignore his plain, natural laws, when we ignore the obvious conclusions to be drawn by our God-given intellect and reason, why then would God, the tidy-up God, drop in and spare us?” he added. “Why would he allow an innocent child to burn its hand when it touches the hot stove but protect us from this lesson? Why would he allow a badly engineered bridge or building to fall, killing innocent people, but protect us from this mistake?”
Whitehouse concluded that ignoring climate change was not only bad public policy, it was also immoral. He said God would not grant humanity amnesty from its own folly.
The link between religion and climate change inaction has recently received attention from academia. A study published in the June issue of Political Science Quarterly found that belief in the biblical end-times was contributing to resistance to fighting global warming.