Powerline is reporting that Bill Moyer's gave a speech defaming former Interior Secretary James Watt by claiming Watt gave Testimony to a Congressional Committee to the effect that we could destroy all the trees because Christ was about to return. This slander was perpetrated in order to support the argument that Evangelicals (Moyers calls us Fundamentalists not surprisingly) don't care about the environment because we await the imminent return of Jesus. Apparently the Washington post picked up the slander and republished it claiming that Mr. Watt "famously " made the remark implying it was well known that the Secretary made such a remark before a committee of Congress. Secretary Watt called Powerline to disavow the story. In the past Secretary Watt would have little recourse except to go to the MSM and hope for the best. Now he can turn to Time Magazine's 2004 Blog of the Year for recourse.
Bill Moyer's is an ordained minister with a degree from Seminary and ought to know better but the idea that Biblical world view is inconsistent with protecting the environment though wrong is not new. In 1974 as a student teacher teaching a ninth grade biology class I was subjected to a man on a pull down screen telling me, and worse my students, that Genesis required man to have dominion over the earth which he interpreted as pillaging it. This man in a red plaid shirt indicated that the right approach was that of the Native American many of whom practiced slash and burn agriculture moving and destroying the forest as their corn and tobacco crops ravaged the soil. Mr. red plaid shirt was wrong about Native Americans and about Genesis which calls for stewardship of the earth. Bill Moyers continues in that legacy.
[update]Feb. 07,2004 noon EST according to Powerline The Washington Post has made an appropriatte correction.
"Today's Washington Post carries this straightforward correction:
A Feb. 6 article quoted James G. Watt, interior secretary under President Ronald Reagan, as telling Congress in 1981: "After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back." Although that statement has been widely attributed to Watt, there is no historical record that he made it.
The online version of the original story by Blaine Harden now includes the correction above the story"