Sinking Noah's Ark

Noah might have done the same thing. Reclaiming the biblical call to protect creation from the jaws of polarized politics, an organization of biblically based Christians has launched a new effort to protect and strengthen the Endangered Species Act, currently under assault in Congress.

The Evangelical Environmental Network, which represents more than a thousand churches, is launching a campaign to create "Noah congregations" that would make protection of the environment and support for the Endangered Species Act key concerns. Cal DeWitt, a Christian environmentalist who helped found the network, told The New York Times that the endangered species law is the "Noah's ark of our day" and that "Congress and special interests are trying to sink it."

The network was founded in 1993 by leading evangelicals including DeWitt and Ron Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action. It includes InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities, and is part of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, which seeks to bridge the gap between religious and secular environmentalists.

The Endangered Species Act, which protects almost a thousand species of plants and animals, was a prime target of GOP leaders last year who alleged that the act puts the lives of animals before the interests of the economy. Several bills that would overhaul the act are pending in Congress, though in an election year their chances of being passed are slim, since Americans favor by 2-to-1 protecting the environment over slashing regulations.

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Sojourners Magazine May-June 1996
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