As our weather grows more extreme and deadly, should the environment be an important political issue for Christians in the upcoming presidential race?
Guilherme De Carvalho: Environmental issues should figure among the priority agendas of contemporary Christianity, alongside the anti-abortion agenda, the fight against corruption, fundamental civil liberties, and employment. For me, it’s one of the tiebreakers.
Iza Vicente: Topics such as climate change, disaster prevention, forest preservation, alternative energy, and climate justice must be fundamental in the environmental debate. Considering our role in caring for creation, environmental degradation violates the life we are called to care for and deepens the precariousness of humanity’s existence.
Ziel Machado: The Bible does not begin with Genesis 3 but with Genesis 1. God has put us in charge of creation; we have a creation mandate. The truth is that there is a fragile theology of creation in the evangelical world. We cannot forget that the salvific mandate did not cancel out the cultural mandate. We still have the responsibility to take care of creation, to watch over it as stewards of that creation.
The environmental agenda is a priority for any serious government project that is concerned with issues of the future, of the next generations. A government proposal that disregards the environment is not the proposal of a public servant but of someone who is concerned only with getting elected. Without concern for the environment, what future can we expect for the nation?
Jacira Monteiro: Of course environmental issues should be an important issue for Christians when choosing a candidate! The cultural mandate (Gen. 1:28) stipulates harmonious care for your creation. As I write in O Estigma da Cor (The Stigma of Color), “every government and management that is not concerned with sustainability, with the environment, is going against what the Lord has instructed in his Word of diligent care for created nature.”
We are living through an environmental crisis, and as agents of the Lord, we are called to care for his creation. Thus, we need to encourage public servants to share this concern.
Ricardo Barbosa: Yes, this is one of the important issues. The environment, however, is equally as important as the other issues. We as Christians need to better develop our theology of creation and understand our role in relation to the cultural mandate. But the environment has become a complex, ideological agenda with confusing narratives that often deify nature and demonize human beings. This is a problem.
We also need to seek reliable information and data consistent with reality in order not to be swallowed by the inconsistent narratives of groups of environmental activists.