‘Fuels from Hell’

Rev. Sally Bingham with Obi

Rev. Sally Bingham with Obi

Bruce Nolan, a reporter for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, offers a preview of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s symposium at various locales on the Mississippi River next month. For the article, Nolan interviews Rev. Canon Sally Bingham of the Episcopal Church. She is also president of The Regeneration Project and the Interfaith Power and Light campaign. Nolan said that Rev. Bingham was helping with the planning for the symposium.

Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders often see environmental concern as a duty to honor God by protecting his creation, Bingham said. Buddhists have described it as a duty to maintain balance in the universe, she said.

“Religious leaders are used to saying our responsibility is saving souls. But many have come to realize that if we don’t protect our air, water and resources, there won’t be any souls to save.”

Bingham said Bartholomew “is one of the first leaders of a huge denomination to make this connection.”

Rev. Bingham serves as the Environmental Minister at Grace Episcopal Cathedral and chairs the Commission on the Environment for the Diocese of California where she was installed as Canon for Environmental Ministry. In a recent commentary, “The Resources from Heaven,” she wrote:

… I would describe those fossil fuels such as oil and coal as the fuels from hell—from the dark places of the earth. Besides providing those sources of energy, God provided energy from heaven—wind and sun. We have overused the resources from hell and we have barely explored the ones from heaven, which are clean, renewable and infinite.

[ … ]

I hope that Jesus, Ghandi and other heroic prophets with visions for a peaceful future will make space in heaven for Rep. Henry Waxman, a man who laid the foundation for a new world economy with his bill supporting a cap-and-trade market-based mechanism to reduce the world’s greenhouse gases. I say “the world” because without the U.S. making a strong commitment to reduce its own emissions, other countries such as China and India will not make the effort either. All eyes are on the U.S. right now. Instead of looking at the past to dictate the future, we need to be more visionary ourselves and create a new future that provides security and health and peace for all of God’s creation.


  1. This is what passes for “wisdom” from this environmentalist “reverend”?

    “I would describe those fossil fuels such as oil and coal as the fuels from hell—from the dark places of the earth. Besides providing those sources of energy, God provided energy from heaven—wind and sun.”

    This is just infantile. There’s no other way to describe it. How can mature and intelligent individuals engage or discuss real issues when faced with such absurd arguments and childish emotionalism?

    If this is any indication of the level and quality of the discussion and critical evaluation of moral and “environmental” issues the Patriarch is going to bless, it will be one of the most embarrassing and outrageous endeavors he has ever undertaken. What a travesty in the making!

  2. Wesley J. Smith :

    The “fuels of hell” have only created the greatest prosperity for the most people that the world has ever seen. But beyond that, radical environmentalism borders on earth religion, and sometimes crosses over into views the Druids would embrace. Is this attitude really shared by the Ecumenical Patriarch? Does he know that his colleagues in the conference hold such views? Is anyone in the Church warning him about the peril into which he is walking?

  3. As Pat Buchanon said “we can’t have prayer in school, but we can have Earth Day, so we can worship dirt.”

    Sorry, I’m not a dirt worshipper. If the EP wants to, that’s his business, but you cannot serve God and dirt. His priorities are showing: His Divine Holiness is going to talk to this ilk, but wont’ be speaking to the OCA or anyone else but his underlings here on his trip, and his own Episcopal Assembly scheme isn’t on his agenda here. That’s leadership. LOL.

    Cap and trade is already in place in Europe, where it contributes to the economic woes there, but has done NOTHING to reduce pollution. Al Gore stands to profit handsomely if cap and trade is passed. Has Mr. Waxman made similar investments? Enquiring minds want to know.

  4. This is nuts. Once again I would like to restate my opinion that Patriarch Bartholomew is not really the Green Patriach. He is the poverty Patriarch because lets be honest povery pollutes and the EP’s vision if it is followed through will condemn population after population to a vicious cycle of poverty.

  5. But are we not created to serve as stewards of God’s Creation? Does this make us Earth Gods? What does it mean “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it (Gen 2:15)

  6. Come on Dn Charles, you don’t seriously believe that the ‘environmentalists’ to whom Pat Bartholomew is preaching give a fig for Christian truth? You need to go far more deeply into the mystery of our God-given duty to dress and keep the earth: a duty that is holy, sacramental and healing rather that hypocritical, deulsional and tyrannical. We have NOTHING in common with the neo-pagan, marxist, philosophical naturalist ideologs who propogate most of the agenda of the ‘environmental’ movement. Many of them hate Christianity.

    They have no Christology and a radically twisted anthropology. The fact that this woman is considered a priest is evidence of a belief that is not in accord with the Incarnation. The fact that she is an ‘Environmental Minister’ bespeaks of a denial of the microcosm that man is. That she should deny the words of God Himself in Holy Scripture that all of His creation is good is yet another.

    Satan is the root of the disorder in the creation. Unfortunately, most of the proposals of the ‘environmental’ movement are buying into what he sells: lust of power, a radical humanistic dualism or dogmatic atheism, idol worship, etc.

    Submission to the love of Christ, repentance, prayer, almsgiving, fasting in the context of the Church. That is the cure. It is personal, intimate and small. It lacks the fanfare and the chance for praise from the world but it acutally is in accord with God’s will, whether it ‘works’ or not; whether it effects one iota of public policy or not. Mass political solutions always create more problems without solving anything.

    Our duty is to acquire the Holy Spirit. The rest is easy and thousands of people around us will be saved. Sorry if you think, as the pagan priestess, that that is anachronistic and insufficient. It is the way the Church has always taught. “Thine own of thine own we offer unto thee on behalf of all and for all” What more do we need, if we really do it in our daily lives?

    Your a deacon, do your job, wait on the table of our Lord and serve the His people. You will do well. God Bless you.

    BTW Isa, as an Orthodox bishop, Pat. Bartholomew has NO RIGHT to worship dirt. If he does become a dirt worshiper, he is worthy of deposition and being anathematized.

  7. Deacon Charles,

    Orthodox Christians of good common sense are not out of bounds questioning the direction and ministry of the present EP. After all, His All Holiness -during his visit to Cuba- could not even see one of the great butchers of the 20th century Fidel Castro for who he was. To the EP he was just an environmentalist worthy of praise. Cubas prisoners of conscience who laguished in their Havana Gulags received no comfort from +Bartholomew.

    So much for “I was in prison and you visited me”.

  8. This is both bad theology and bad economics.
    I am inclined to believe that this is what happens when someone from a tradition with limited exposure to the proper use of allegory, types, etc., gives it a try. She certainly does not believe that the sky, wind or sun constitute heaven in either a literal or metaphorical sense; nor that subterranean resources come from hell. Presumably she is being poetic. Unfortunately, she is clearly ascribing a moral connotation which is more than poetic.

    Just as unfortunately, the moral connotations are also economically baseless. In terms of damage to the environment and benefit to humanity, wind power is enormously problematic. The actual geographic footprint required to produce meaningful power would be an environmental nightmare. (Hardly a “heavenly” option.) Solar energy is, of course, unlimited and ideal – if we can figure a way to efficiently capture and convert it. In the real world, however, hydrocarbons (oil, coal, natural gas) continue to produce more power for the resources extracted than any alternative – and we continue to find more and more of them.

    If good stewardship can be defined as the careful allocation and management of limited resources, then using the “resources from hell” certainly seems to be more consistent with better stewardship of the earth’s resources than so many ideologically-driven notions that revolve around wishful technologies and apocalyptic fantasies. While there is nothing wrong – and a good deal right – about developing alternative sources, none are really practicable at this time. Forcing the issue because of debatable fears is neither good stewardship nor is it remotely considerate of the needs of your neighbor.

    I’m curious if she turns off the heating and air conditioning in her church facility or if she also chooses to use the “resources of hell” for her own comfort and convenience. My guess is that there is probably some divergence between state convictions and actual behavior. But, hey, if you can’t sell others on a lousy economic option or scare them into compliance with images of global destruction (again), then maybe using god-language might do the trick – even if you have to twist it beyond recognition.

  9. Probably being picky, but the comment of Ms. Bingham that Pat. Bartholomew is the leader of a huge denomination is indicative of the wonderful fruits of the Orthodox witness in the ecumenical movement, don’t you think? I wonder if she calls the Catholic Church a denomination?

    The quoted part of her statement in the article is just wrong headed. It is so focused on the human responsibility divorced from God! She goes on to compound her errors by positing the ‘environment’ as separate from the state of our souls. She ends with the egalitarian dismissal of the Church as a denomination

    Makes me ill.

  10. Michael, the sloppy notion about the Orthodox Church as a “denomination” is one piece with the relativistic parcel that produced this gem:

    I hope that Jesus, Ghandi and other heroic prophets with visions for a peaceful future will make space in heaven for Rep. Henry Waxman

    Leaving aside the remarkably casual judgment regarding a congressman’s eternal destiny because of one specific policy agenda, her heaven seems to be remarkably pantheistic. It reminds me of a comment falsely ascribed to Chesterton about the Church of England: increasingly the Episcopal Church appears to be the last bulwark against Christianity. (It seems to tolerate everything save conviction.)

  11. This this the kind of leadership is expected from the New World Order / One World Goverment / Freemasonic crowd. When will Othodox wake up and see what is going on for what it is? These are all Luciferians. Remember who murdered the Tsar and his family.

  12. It is also worth noting that she is exactly wrong about India and China. Their resistance to constraints on carbon emissions is based entirely on their own economic needs; US “leadership” on this issue wouldn’t change that.
    The Reverend seems to be working from the same inflated assumptions as many of the more radical environmentalists who disregard the potential cost or impact of their recommendations as insignificant compared to their fears. Granted, if one is sufficiently panicked, rational analysis goes out the window. However, for those of us who haven’t yet accepted their dire (and so far, utterly unreliable) predictions, it’s not “visionary” to lead us over an economic or security cliff.

    • Chrys, what impact do you think the Hindu-pagan belief system in India and the Communist tyranny in China have on their ecologic foot print?

      • As to the extent of the effects of their belief systems, I will defer to those who know better. Based on what I do know, neither is likely to give the same priority to environmental stewardship that the West does (despite the rantings of the anti-Western set in academia).

        As I understand it, economic policy in China is largely under the purview of their equivalent of the FBI; this is perhaps the clearest indicator that, for them, economic growth is actually a security issue. Consequently, ecological issues aren’t a high priority for the Chinese. (This is not to say that they wouldn’t know how to posture, but it would be a posture in the service of some other, more valued goal.) I can’t speak to the Hindu belief system. I do know a few successful Indian business men. Interestingly, they indicated that the more successful in India are expected to be religious (quite different from our current culture, but not all that different from our own emerging market period in the 1800’s). Given the general sanitary and environmental conditions in both countries (which, in places, can be horrific), continued industrialization would likely improve the environment. It is difficult for most of us in developed countries to realize what a luxury environmental concerns are, and how much our ability to address these concerns depends upon wealth.

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