These are my comments to the article “Divine destruction” by Stephenie Hendricks:
Activists of any persuasion (religious, political, environmental, or whatever) can fall into the trap of believing that the end justifies the means. Such an attitude can have a negative impact. Please consider the following quite fair question: What else has been faked?
Chris Clarke responds:
We figured that as each of the two simulated church sign images accompanying Ms. Hendricks’ article was credited to churchsigngenerator.com, and each image had the words “Church Sign Generator” in them and that we said in a prominent caption on that spread that the signs were satirized, that most people would understand they constituted satire and not an attempt to deceive.
We did fail to mention that the image on the cover really wasn’t an aerial photo of a cross-shaped clearcut, but was rather a creative work done in Photoshop by one of the talented designers at Public Media Center. We assumed people would figure that out within a second or two, but we apologize to anyone who may have been misled by our inadvertent trickery.
I must commend Stephenie Hendrick’s careful scholarship of the Christian landscape in her article, “Divine Destruction.” I was particularly impressed with her point about what is required from a high view of scripture. Indeed, I say that the “pro-business apologetic” of the Reconstructionists requires one to set aside portions of God’s Law, that Robertson’s moral outlook is not derived from having too high a regard for scripture but rather too low of one. Similarly, I believe that the neocon outlook of Catholics like Richard John Neuhaus of First Things requires setting aside of papal encyclicals and is not the result of adhering to the guidance of all of them. Thanks for allowing room for this distinction.
Greg M. Johnson
Poughkeepsie, New York
To those who still cite the Biblical injunction to “be fruitful and multiply,” how about pointing out that we have already succeeded way beyond the wildest dreams of anyone living in Biblical times. Those who care about commandments from on high should be getting their antennae up for the next assignment.
Judith Herzfeld, PhD
I just read Stephenie Hendrick’s article “Divine destruction” and cannot believe that any magazine would publish an article so rooted in left-wing Internet conspiracies. I am a Christian who has attended many churches over the course of my life and I have not once heard anyone encouraging others to destroy the environment. Some of the most environmentally conscious people I know are strong Christians. I believe the purpose of this article is more politically motivated than anything else. There may be some that believe as you say but they are as far away from the mainstream to the right as you are to the left. To take Bible verses such as those in which God gives dominion to the land and turn them around on Christians is despicable. When God told Adam the land would be cursed, he meant that man would have to labor hard to produce crops, not that we should chop every tree down to speed Jesus’ return. Your credibility to any free thinker is shot due to your incredibly narrow view of Christians and those on the right. I can assure you that I and 99 percent of conservatives out there have never spent a minute thinking of how to make this world a worse place.
In our previous issue, we inadvertently omitted credits for the Ethical Traveler project page. They should have read:
Researcher and co-author Kiran Auerbach received her B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University in 2005 She currently resides in Vienna, Austria, where she is interning at the Ludwig Boltzman Institut für Menschenrechte (Institute for Human Rights). Co-author Jeff Greenwald is a bestselling travel and science writer with five books and hundreds of magazine, radio, and Internet features to his credit. Mr. Greenwald is also a co-founder of Ethical Traveler, where he serves as executive director.