Magazine article Newsweek

Can Safe Sex a[euro][umlaut]Save Earth?

Magazine article Newsweek

Can Safe Sex a[euro][umlaut]Save Earth?

Article excerpt

Byline: Jesse Ellison

a christian fix for climate change.

At age 60, Richard Cizik is used to being on the outs. He spent 28 years working at the National Association of Evangelicals, eventually becoming the lobbying group's vice president for governmental affairs. But after taking a strong--and controversial--stand on climate change and then saying in an interview that he supported same-sex civil unions, Cizik says he was told to pack up his office and leave the premises.

If his ouster was meant to silence him, it didn't work. Earlier this fall, the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good--a nonprofit Cizik cofounded--released a position paper laying out a moral argument for improving access to contraceptives and maternal health care. Although it's not addressed in the paper, Cizik has also made the case that access to contraceptives is not only good for people, but also, since it helps curb overpopulation, good for the planet. On his blog, he calls family planning a "green technology."

Cizik is well aware of the opposing argument--he made it himself for almost three decades: improving access to contraception implicitly condones sex outside of marriage, undermines marriage, and ultimately promotes abortion. As for climate change, he says that was the third rail in the conservative crowd he traveled in.

But he says that the more he looked at the data, the more convinced he became that those arguments were not just wrong, but un-Christian. …

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