Texas Tech University

Idolatry And The U.S. Climate Change Divide

The Huffington Post

November 10, 2016

The Huffington Post - In his book The Dynamics of Faith Paul Tillich famously defines one’s object of faith as that for which one is willing to sacrifice everything. Some people sacrifice friends and family for money or fame. Others do so for a cause or idea. Others devote their lives to following God. Ultimately, however, a person can have only one god. When we rate other things as more important than God, or when we make God conveniently believe what we believe, we place our faith in false gods. That’s Tillich’s point.

Other research reveals that Americans increasingly tend to listen only to those who share similar views and to discount the credibility of those with whom they disagree. In a recent article the Guardian reports that a team of researchers at Texas Tech University examined liberal and conservative views of Pope Francis' recent encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. The team concluded,

In sum, while [the] pope's environmental call may have increased some individuals' concerns about climate change, it backfired with conservative Catholics and non-Catholics, who not only resisted the message but defended their pre-existing beliefs by devaluing the pope's credibility on climate change.
In this case it appears that conservative Catholics tend to believe conservative political sources more than the head of their own church.

Read the story here.