March 24, 2006
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Destruction: Dominion Theology and American Environmental Policy
(Melville Manifestos) (Paperback)
This is a thought-provoking, insightful exploration of how the Bush Administration developed an anti-environmental policy that is leading us into the destruction of "America the Beautiful," the selling off of our publicly owned national parks and forests, and our continued slouching toward an irreversible global warming meltdown.
In the onslaught of their rapacious assault on our natural resources and natural heritage, much blame has been placed on the corporations who benefit from gaining private wealth from public property. And it is true that these GOP contributors -- epitomized by the king of the natural resource exploiters, Dick Cheney -- now have people placed in key positions of the Bush Administration.
These exploiters see preservation of the environment only as an obstacle to the extraction of natural resources or recreational development that destroys natural settings. Profit trumps nature any day of the week in the Bush Administration.
But, as "Divine Destruction" explains, a key underpinning of the Bush anti-environmental policy is based on extremist religious thinking. This includes the "Dominionists" who claim Biblical justification for the outlook that God gave the earth to men and women to use for their comfort and wealth. In fact, many "Dominionists" regard conservationists as unholy "pantheists" who make the mistake of seeing God in nature.
As an adjunct to the "Dominionist" movement (and we are simplifying this complex fanatical religious overview here for the sake of brevity), many hardcore right wing fundamentalist supporters of Bush believe in the "End Time" theory that Jesus will return to earth and lead the true Christian believers to heaven. The despoiling of the earth (and a world torn apart by war) isn't really anything to be concerned about because the world is nearing "Rapture" (the return of Christ) anyway.
What does a clean stream or majestic mountain matter when those who follow Christ will shortly be in a state of Messianic transcendence?
Destruction of our environment in the name of God had its public political coming out when Reagan's infamous Secretary of the Interior, James Watt, declared (at his confirmation hearing): "I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns." Gale Norton, who just resigned as the Secretary of the Interior (it appears due to some improprieties that are coming out) was one of Watt's top proteges.
Of course, the religious justification for ruining mother earth is hidden behind the standard Republican Orwellian terms, such as the "Wise Use" movement. Is there anything wise about bulldozing the house you live in and spraying it with toxic chemicals, and then burning the debris? That's what the fundamentalist "Wise Use" movement in the Bush administration is doing to our nation's natural beauty and to our planet.
"Divine Destruction" is an enlightened, reflective journey into the underpinnings of an anti-environmental presidency that threatens us all. Terrorism will be like a gnat on an elephant's behind compared to the global environmental catastrophe the Busheviks are leading us into. And that is no exaggeration.
Of course, the "Rapture" and "End Times" believers think that this is a good thing.
The rest of us just see ourselves as next on the endangered species list.