Sunday, June 12, 2011
Beisner Lambastes Environmentalists on American Family Radio
Right Wing Watch brought attention to a recent edition of American Family Radio, in which Bryan Fischer interviewed E. Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance. The Cornwall Alliance is perhaps best known for releasing an anti-environmentalist curriculum and book entitled Resisting the Green Dragon, which demonizes and caricatures environmentalism as allegedly un-Christian. A video excerpt of the interview is posted above, and the entire interview can be seen at www[dot]afa[dot]net/Radio/show.aspx?id=2147490466&tab=video&video=2147507154
Fischer and Beisner used recent flooding of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers as a backdrop to their anti-environmentalism discussion. Beisner criticized a member of the Ohio State University Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, claiming the man proposed demolition of levees along the Mississippi River in favor of a riverside wetland park. This, Beisner argued, would replace useful farmland with "swamp" and cause the river to flood every year instead of every fifty years.
Fischer asked his guest to contrast the worldview of "secular fundamentalists" with a supposedly Biblical worldview of man's relationship with the environment. Beisner replied that the supposed green approach to let the river flood typifies the environmentalist worldview, which allegedly wants to elevate earth to a higher status than humanity. He cited a lecture in the Resisting the Green Dragon series about Hinduism and nature, scoffing at a river-worshipping community in India that refused to build a dam to control river flooding. In response, Fischer asserted that environmentalism is a return to "dark paganism."
Beisner insisted that environmentalists want humanity to return to a "pre-industrial" and "pre-agricultural" society, requiring the disappearance of 95% of the human race. He and Fischer then discussed candidates for the 2012 presidential election, lambasting Mitt Romney for his belief that humans are contributing to global warming and praising Rick Santorum for rejecting the idea. The two referenced Santorum's recent interview on Rush Limbaugh's radio show, in which he claimed that the idea of climate change is a scheme by the left to justify more government control in people's lives.
Beisner's interview on American Family Radio contained his usual diatribes against environmentalism, including sweeping generalizations about environmentalists that do not reflect reality. For example, he assumes that all environmentalists subscribe to radical biocentrism, which is not the case. His outrageous claim that environmentalists supposedly want to return to some anarcho-primitivist stone age does not characterize the bulk of environmentalists. Finally, the men's conflation of environmentalism with paganism not only demonizes real-life pagans, but paints a dark picture of all environmentalists for their fundamentalist Christian audience. In short, the interview was another example of Religious Right voices caricaturing and demonizing environmentalism.