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Quote of the Day: “You Can’t Regulate God”

May 20, 2009

Discussing climate change and the proposed cap-and-trade legislation, conservative congressman and opponent of the bill Joe Barton explained one of the reasons he doesn’t believe that man-made factors can cause climate change.

“And something that the Democrat sponsors do not point out, a lot of the CO2 that is created in the United States is naturally created. You can’t regulate God. Not even the Democratic majority in the US Congress can regulate God,” – Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) on cap and trade. From The Atlantic Monthly.

Congress, the Supreme Court and the Executive are filled with men and women of faith, as is the majority of our country. There is both a right to belief and a long history of a strong Christian faith among American leaders. The emergence of a militantly fundamentalist Christianity or “Christianism”, though, contributes to a blurring of the line between church and state as well as the mostly clean line between science and faith. Books have been written on this issue and I won’t try and encapsulate all the arguments here. But if politicians like Mr. Burton insist on making their decisions about science policy based on the strictures of their own religious dogma, then they should not be able to claim that opponents are being intolerant or insensitive to religion when those decisions are challenged. It is Mr. Burton, after all, who is bringing religion into this debate, not his climate change opponents.

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