Emerging Perspectives: Student Chapters

Origins of the Pro-Religion, Anti-Environmentalist Conservative Stereotype

Liz Vukovic

The conception of someone who is “anti-environment” usually evokes one of two images: 1) a fat cat in a suit, smoking a cigar while lining the pockets of the fossil fuel industry, or 2) a truck-driving rural American scoffing at the Prius-driving liberals in the cities who preach about their recycling practice. This chapter focuses on the second image…

…The distinction has been made clear in our minds: liberals care about the environment and conservatives don’t. This, along with another common conception that conservatives are religious while liberals aren’t, paints an inaccurate picture that drives religious conservatives out of the environmental conversation. How did this happen?

As discussed by Hitzhusen (n.d.), religion has widely been understood amongst environmental thinkers as a “significantly anti-environmental force,” mostly due to repeated citations of the Lynn White thesis, which claims that the roots of the environmental crisis stem from the Judeo-Christian reading of the Bible, which suggested that man should “dominate” nature (White, 1967). White’s thesis has been refuted by plenty of scholars and theologians, and Evangelical minister Tri Robinson’s reading of Genesis 9 succinctly explains why: “God established a covenant with His creation…it was a covenant which commissioned all of His people to become stewards of creation. For those who read their Bible and believe it, this should have been a no-brainer” (Robinson, n.d.)…


Find the rest of this chapter in Emerging Perspectives on Religion and Environmental Values in America HERE.


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Religion and Environmental Values in America Copyright © 2019 by Liz Vukovic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.