Saturday, May 21, 2005

If you can't beat them, just make stuff up!

Another long one here but after reading this post over at Power Line I just had to get this off my chest.

Just another example of how the left is 'reaching out' to the religious communities which so heavily favored President Bush. In typical liberal fashion, instead of trying to open lines of communication they have instead decided to attack. Their chosen method of attack is the tried and true 'strawman' approach; in this case trying to paint evangelical Christians as anti-environment. I know, I didn't see that one coming either.

In their warped version of Christianity, there are many believers who think that since Jesus is coming back so soon we do not need to take care of the environment. They even go so far as to claim Former Interior Secretary James Watts told the US Congress
"that protecting natural resources was unimportant in light of the imminent return of Jesus Christ"
A pretty damning statement indeed, especially if it had ever been said. As Watts himself writes:
"I never said it. Never believed it. Never even thought it. I know no Christian who believes or preaches such error."
A fact that even Bill Moyers (of PBS fame(?)), the person who made the original claim, had to admit in an apology letter. But as any good liberal knows, you never let a good argument end when the facts come out. Barbara R. Rossing of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and a member of the National Council of Churches, in her book "The Rapture Exposed" goes on to make claims that the idea is not only isolated to Watts, but is also the basis for a growing movement within the right-wing evangelical Christian camp. She also uses a Watts quote to prove her point but at least in her case, the quote does exist. As she points out:
When he was asked about preserving the environment for future generations, Watt told his Senate confirmation hearing, 'I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns.' Watt's 'use it or lose it' view of the world's resources is a perspective shared by the Rapture proponents."
Once again, very damning but also a perfect example of a 'Mooreism'. Hey, if the man himself can used distorted and heavily edited clips and quotes to make a critically acclaimed 'documentary' why can't she use the same method to help sell a few books. For those interested in the truth, here is the same quote, with the full text included:
"I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns; whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations."
Notice any difference? Ms. Rossing obviously did or she would have included the entire quote in her book.

To add to the story, the National Council of Churches, possibly with a little help from Ms. Rossing, went so far as to put out a formal statement against the throngs of anti-environmental evangelicals. As in the other cases, when asked to back up their claims, they were unable to name even one Pastor or a single time where such a belief was being put forward. Their source for the statement, Bill Moyers.

Overall a shining example of how the left often tries to create something out of nothing. Start with an outright lie, add a few selectively edited quotes and of course the essential generic public statement and there you have it, a political hatchet job. Their only mistake in this case was to use the wrong source for the original lie. Unlike so many other misquoted public figures, Mr. Watts was more than willing to challenge the veracity of Bill Moyers' claims which resulted in an apology.

For Mr. Watts full reply to this whole ordeal check out his Washington Post article here: The Religious Left's Lies.


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