Monday, December 15, 2014

Bill Moyers - Welcome to Doomsday

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

I decided to look for some small books that I could read at the library without having to check out and take home.  I came across Welcome to Doomsday, which is apparently a transcript of a speech given by Bill Moyers.  In the lecture, he speaks of the religious right and their presence in American politics.

He feels that such a presence is dangerous because someone who believes the rapture is upon us doesn’t have proper motivation to protect the environment.  Forget the belief that God gave us a planet to use as we pleased.  If Jesus is going to come tomorrow and take you to Heaven, what do you care if the planet is shot today?

The speech refers to it being Bush’s sixth year, which would make it about four years old.  Things have changed a little.  We have a different President in office, but we do have a midterm election coming up, if I recall.  The president isn’t the only one with political influence; Moyer points out  that there are plenty of senators and representatives that have strong Evangelical constituencies.

There’ s a preface by Bill McKibben.  McKibben seems to agree with Moyers in that the Republicans worry him.  The book seems to indicate that Evangelicals and/or Republicans are solely to blame for the environmental mess we’re in now.  The Bush Administration, according to the book, is the one that wants to roll back all of the environmental legislation like regulations governing clean air and water or protection for endangered species.

I’m a liberal atheist.  I don’t belong to any political party.  I think it’s too easy to blame Republicans or Democrats or Evangelicals.  What we need is elected officials that will help protect the planet.  I’m also curious as to how many Evangelicals actually believe in rapture and how many of those don’t actually think it’s necessary to protect the planet.  (In other words, how do Evangelicals feel about how they’re portrayed in the book?)

One of the problems with a speech, especially such a short one, is that you can throw out some facts and innuendo.  There may be truth to what Moyers says, but I’ve learned not to take one person’s take at face value.   The book is worth reading, but I wouldn’t stop here.  I’d recommend getting several viewpoints on the subject.

It’s a very short book, which is why I chose it for review.  It’s only 56 pages; each page is relatively small, making the book easy to read in one sitting.  This book doesn’t really give any solid facts like statistics.  It’s more of a warning not to take the Bible literally as some people have.  It seems to be the opinion of Bill Moyers.  I’m not saying that this is good or bad.  As with any subject, I’d recommend getting at least a few different sources, whether or not this is one of them. 
Bill McKibben's Web Site

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