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Re-focus Earth Day on the Needs of Mankind Says Institute on Religion and Democracy

"Christians are called to be good stewards of God's creation; this does not mean that we elevate that creation at the expense of our fellow man." -- IRD President James Tonkowich


Contact: Loralei Coyle 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell,; Radio Interviews: Jeff Walton,; both with The Institute on Religion and Democracy


WASHINGTON, April 23 /Standard Newswire/ -- As the world celebrates Earth Day this month, many environmental groups are stepping up their calls for radical change, including strict regulation of carbon emissions and population control. The Institute on Religion & Democracy supports the care and stewardship of the earth, but asks if such radical policies are putting our priorities out of order.


The Rev. James Tonkowich, IRD President, commented:


"As environmental groups call for the observance of Earth Day this spring, The Institute on Religion & Democracy encourages people to examine the consequences of their advocacy. Policies that condemn the world's poor to a perpetual state of underdevelopment for the sake of extreme environmentalist ideology are not good stewardship.


"We place things out of their proper order when the well-being of the poor and the sanctity of life are sacrificed on the altar of an environmental agenda that imposes population control and denies the impoverished a higher quality of life.


"Unfortunately, respect for the Earth as the home of humanity has devolved into the elevation of the Earth above humanity.


"Christians are called to be good stewards of God's creation; this does not mean that we elevate that creation at the expense of our fellow humans."


"Any environmental policy that views mankind as the enemy needs to be re-evaluated. Biblically, the Earth's purpose is as a home for mankind, not an end in itself."


The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.