Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was nominated to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and, thus, to limit environmental protection in America. He has sued the EPA repeatedly when it has tried to keep the oil industry from destroying Oklahoma. His state now suffers multiple earthquakes because of fracking. Mr. Pruitt has succeeded in Oklahoma in delaying any protection of the land or its people, and he soon will do the same to the entire country. You can read an accurate report of his record at FactCheck.org.
What you may not know is that Mr. Pruitt is a deacon at First Baptist Church in Broken Arrow, OK. That is commendable, but it also explains much of his apocalyptic worldview. He believes Jesus will return and that people like him and his family will be raptured from the earth and “caught up together into heaven to be with the Lord.” Hence, he has no need or interest in preserving this earth, because he believes it is God’s will to abandon it for a “new heaven and a new earth” prepared for true believers like himself.
Mr. Pruitt has every right to his theology, of course, but his faith leads to increased rates of cancer, asthma, and emphysema; deaths from flooding, superstorms, and hurricanes; the extinction of more and more species; the melting of the polar icecap; rising sea levels in coastal regions; and increased drought-related famine and disease. His religion, which leads him to believe that he and his will escape all this, is dangerous to those that he believes deserve to be left behind when the “Lord returns.”
He is not alone in this belief. Vice-President Mike Pence has pushed Mr. Pruitt’s nomination because they share a common theology, along with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Ben Carson.
Many of us grew up in those kinds of churches but then escaped. We will not escape accelerated global warming, however, if Mr. Pruitt is confirmed to work alongside our new Secretary of State, who ran the world’s largest oil company and will gleefully deregulate the industry, leading to a more polluted earth.
Rev. Michael Piazza