Ever heard of Dr. Katharine Hayhoe? She’s a Research Associate Professor at Texas Tech University and a respected teacher and atmospheric scientist. Hayhoe happens to be an evangelical Christian and is married to Andrew Farley, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at TTU and pastor of a nondenominational church in Lubbock. Together the couple wrote a book about climate change from a faith-based perspective. Now she finds herself squarely in the cross hairs of controversy.
She was contracted to write the opening chapter for the upcoming book by presidential candidate Newt Gingrich but was dropped after Gingrich was pressured by constituents and media. Rush Limbaugh dismissed her as “a babe named Hayhoe.” She is receiving a torrent of hate mail, including almost 200 nasty e-mails the morning after appearing on Bill O’Reilly’s show (Fox TV). Click here to read an article about what she’s facing, somewhat ironically from folks who claim the same faith.
Hayhoe spoke with passion in an interview with a Canadian newspaper, “My own faith is the Christian faith and in the Christian faith we are told to love our neighbours as much as ourselves. And our neighbours, especially the poorer ones, are already harmed by climate change.”
Curious about Dr. Hayhoe and her work? Click here to read more about her and to watch short videos from the PBS NOVA series The Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers. Click here to read an excellent short article Hayhoe wrote for the April 2011 issue of Sojourners. Click here for more information about the book A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions.
Do I agree with everything for which Dr. Hayhoe stands? I don’t know. Chances are we might split a few theological hairs, but seeking the common ground in our respective discipleship walks is much more important. I don’t have to agree with everything she says to appreciate her courage, her commitment, and willingness to speak the truth in love. I will say that on the issue of climate change I’m with her 1o0% (Hey, Rush, does that earn me the title of “climate babe,” too?).
This Friday I am particularly thankful for people of faith who stand their ground to speak the truth in the irrational face of hate and bullying. Thank you, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, for standing up for what you believe both as a scientist and Christian. I and many others stand with you, Dr. Hayhoe; stay strong.
If you want to show your support for Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, you can send her a note of appreciation through Sojourners by clicking here, or you can read her complete profile and contact her through TTU by clicking here.
The Friday Five
I am thankful for:
- the fresh homemade bread my spouse has in the oven right now,
- the spirit of collaboration and cooperation exhibited last night by folks from various churches and organizations in my area.
- that I have more than I need and plenty to share,
- my family,
- and the simple and amazing gift of another day on this wonderful earth.