When 30 year-old Ben Lowe isn't running for political office, meeting with Presidential advisors or penning a new book, he's busy traversing the US speaking to young Evangelicals about climate action. In accompaniment with Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), Lowe, a national organizer for the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), is shining the ‘green light' on Christians by rephrasing creation care as a pro-life issue.
Historically, Evangelical convictions on social justice have been parsed out and compartmentalized, often missing the nuances that connect them. According to Lowe, “We believe that life is sacred, so when we say we're ‘pro-life,' we believe we need to care about our human life from what some people have called from the womb to the tomb.”
Lowe's approach is less about changing the minds of Evangelicals and more about illuminating the preexisting aspects of their belief system. Put simply, if you are concerned for the safety of an unborn child, then logically and scripturally, you are obligated to provide them with a healthy environment.
Lowe isn't alone in his efforts as Blessed Tomorrow leader, Pastor Joel Hunter has done extensive work with his campaign, Becoming Completely Pro-Life; a movement that explores the connection between pro-life concerns and creation care. According to Pastor Hunter, ‘Each life has value,' regardless of age – making it our duty to care for the environment.
Evangelicals make up about 26 percent of the country’s population, and, as you might imagine, they typically swing conservative on social issues like abortion and gay rights. But it turns out that a growing percentage are also largely pro-life — at least when it comes to conserving the planet.
Ben Lowe is the youthful leader that’s poised to make more evangelicals see the green light. Lowe works for the Evangelical Environmental Network as a national organizer and spokesperson for the Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA). Founded in 2012 by a group of young evangelical professionals and students, YECA lobbies evangelical leaders and politicians alike to start supporting climate change action. Members of YECA have met with senior political officials like Dan Utech — special assistant to President Obama for Energy and Climate Change — and Nancy Sutley, former chair of the administration’s Council on Environmental Quality. A YECA contingent also marched in last year’s Forward on Climate Rally at the National Mall.
At just 30-years-old, Lowe has already run for office and penned a couple of books: Green Revolution (2009) and, more recently, Doing Good Without Giving Up(2014). For him, the message is “creation care,” a doctrine that blends scripture with environmental stewardship. Grist interviewed Lowe recently about what he’s learned in the green evangelical movement.