Re: [asa] Dobson

From: Jack <>
Date: Tue Mar 06 2007 - 03:01:55 EST

This is the quote attributed to Cizik in the article you cited:

 "I'd like to take on the population issue, but in my community global warming is the third rail issue. I've touched the third rail . . . but still have a job. And I'll still have a job after my talk here today. But population is a much more dangerous issue to touch. . . We need to confront population control and we can-we're not Roman Catholics after all-but it's too hot to handle now."31

Honestly, I dont see anything wrong with that. In fact, I find it amusing. I do not think he is talking about abortion. I think he is talking about the Catholic Church's prohibition against birth control. A policy that is, in my opinion, misguided and harmful to families and the environment. Perhaps we should be balancing out the worldwide influence of the Catholic Church, and encourage the use of birth control, and let everyone know that, in our opinion, using birth control is not a sin.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: David Opderbeck
  To: Rich Blinne
  Cc: Carol or John Burgeson ;
  Sent: Monday, March 05, 2007 10:28 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Dobson

  The Cizik quote about population control is sourced in an Acton Institute document: There is no transcript, but the Acton document cites an email from a witness who allegedly heard the statement.

  The Cizik quote apparently is a "he said / she said", but the Acton statement further notes, correctly, that the "Evangelical Declaration on Creation Care" includes a reference to population control:

    Many of these degradations are signs that we are pressing against the finite limits God has set for creation. With continued population growth, these degradations will become more severe. Our responsibility is not only to bear and nurture children, but to nurture their home on earth. We respect the institution of marriage as the way God has given to insure thoughtful procreation of children and their nurture to the glory of God. (

  I hadn't noticed this a few weeks ago when I started reading the different evangelical statements on global warming. Regardless of what Cizik may or may not have said, this statement disturbs me greatly. A theology of "creation care" that links environmental stewardship to population control, IMHO, is gravely flawed and naive.

  On 3/5/07, David Opderbeck <> wrote:
    If the quote is in fact misrepresented / manufactured, that is heinous. I should say for the record that while I appreciate some of Focus' parenting materials, I'm no fan of that organization or its methods when it comes to politics. Did Cizik really endorse that book?

    On 3/5/07, Rich Blinne < > wrote:

      On 3/5/07, David Opderbeck < > wrote:
        Well, it was pretty stupid of Cizik to mention population control. That feeds the worst fears of folks like Dobson. Frankly, it scares me as well, and I think Dobson's comment about forced abortion and infanticide in China is right on point. Christian environmentalists need to acknowledge that the environmental movement was dead wrong about the "population explosion" and must distance Christian responses to problems like gobal warming from the "secular" environmental movement's untoward emphasis on population control.

      I've tried to run down this quote and its provenance is dodgy. It comes from an e-mail from an AEI member. I could find no transcripts or evidence that this meeting ever happened. The Christian blog, Bene Diction Blogs On, ran into similar problems:

        As far as I can tell the Cizik quote from the World Bank Sustainable Development Forum was first trotted out at the Focus on the Family Value Voters 2006 Summit by Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. I cannot find a transcript of the World Bank Forum (May 2006) online to put Rev. Cizik's quote in context.

      Bene Diction and Christianity Today may have found the real reason for the hostility:

        Christianity Today has noted Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family wants Rev. Richard Cizik fired for endorsing this book. [THE JESUS MACHINE How James Dobson, Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America are Winning the Culture War]

      What made Dobson so mad?

        "Gilgoff is a writer and journalist of the first rank... This is a book that evangelicals, as well as the critics of our movement, should surely read."


      You have this quote being passed only by two hostile witnesses so I looked to see if Cizik talked about this topic at some other time and I did find something here. Cizik has talked on the record about this and here is what he told the New York Times magazine:

        ""Creation care'' sounds like a division of Medicare."
        It's still better than environmentalism.

        "What is wrong with that term?"
        "It's not the term. It's the environmentalists themselves. I was recently speaking with the leadership of the Sierra Club and the National Wildlife Federation, and I told them, 'Gentlemen, I respect you, but at this point don't plan on any formal collaborations.'"

        "Why? Because they lean to the left?"
        "Environmentalists have a bad reputation among evangelical Christians for four reasons. One, they rely on big-government solutions. Two, their alliance with population-control movements. Three, they keep kooky religious company."

        "What is your idea of a kooky religion?"
        "Some environmentalists are pantheists who believe creation itself is holy, not the Creator."

        "And what's No. 4?"
        "There's a certain gloom and doom about environmentalists. They tend to prophecies of doom that don't happen. Look at the movie 'The Day After Tomorrow,' in which New York City freezes

      That doesn't sound like someone who is pro-population control to me and he did what you asked Christian environmentalists to do in that interview.

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Received on Tue Mar 6 03:02:11 2007

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