THE BLOG
09/11/2015 11:31 am ET | Updated Sep 11, 2016

President Trump and Sec. Palin Vs People of Faith on Care of Creation

Andrew Burton via Getty Images

Sarah Palin wants a cabinet position in any future Donald Trump administration. Specifically, she'd like to be secretary of the Department of Energy. The former half-term Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate said this week:

I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby, oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind's use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations, for us to import their ... resources.

Palin has long argued that the world's resources are a gift from God to be plundered. Climate change? Palin doesn't believe that humans could impact the climate. When world leaders gathered in Copenhagen in December 2009 to discuss ways to better protect the environment Palin famously tweeted:

— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) December 19, 2009

This puts Palin at odds with the scientific community, Pope Francis, the World Council of Churches, the World Jewish Congress, the National Association of Evangelicals in the United States, and Islamic scholars across the globe. All argue that humanity has a role - no, an obligation - to protect the environment and to do everything possible to reverse the impact of human caused climate change.

Pope Francis recently wrote:

We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us. This allows us to respond to the charge that Judaeo-Christian thinking, on the basis of the Genesis account which grants man 'dominion' over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), has encouraged the unbridled exploitation of nature by painting him as domineering and destructive by nature. This is not a correct interpretation of the Bible as understood by the Church. Although it is true that we Christians have at times incorrectly interpreted the Scriptures, nowadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God's image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures. The biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to 'till and keep' the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). 'Tilling' refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while 'keeping' means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature.

Palin's views on the environment might not be in line with the thinking of world religious leaders but she does share a common philosophy with Donald Trump and nearly all the GOP contenders for president. Trump believes that climate change is a hoax.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2013

People of faith, regardless of politics, need to be at the forefront of a world-wide movement that makes action on climate change not just politically possible but political suicide for those who would oppose such action. This is not about partisanship or party. We can and should applaud President Obama's overall climate change proposals, which move us in the right direction, but oppose President Obama when he takes such counter productive steps as allowing drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. Too many Democrats are timid on this issue while too many Republicans deny there is an issue to be concerned about.

We fail God if we do not respond to the crisis of climate change. After all, we created this crisis. The gift of creation is at stake. We leave for those who are younger a world in peril that will only become more dangerous and fractured over time without corrective action. All the people of the Earth have a responsibility to be - to borrow a term from the Hebrew Scriptures - restorers of the breach.

God did not "dump" the wonders of this planet on us to be exploited.

People of faith have a special responsibility here because we are charged by God to be stewards of creation and thus far we have failed to live out our responsibilities. Our sins will most certainly be visited on our children and their children. Still, action taken now to repent of those sins by doing whatever is necessary to restore the earth to the balance which God created would be a gift for future generations that would prove our worth as a species.

As for Palin:

I think a lot about the Department of Energy. And if I were head of that, I'd get rid of it. And I'd let the states start having more control over the lands that are within their boundaries and the people who are affected by the developments within their states.

No one with her philosophy should be allowed during these times to hold public office. The world is literally at risk.