A Christian vote for Jill Stein

Editor’s note: Our series on the U.S. presidential candidates also includes endorsements of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Gary Johnson.

Allow me to be honest. I am not a Green Party devotee and, until taking a recent political quiz, I had never heard of Jill Stein. Imagine my surprise when, after completing my isidewith.org profile, I had a 92% agreement with this unknown candidate. My first thought was, in fact, that surely the whole site was a setup by the Green party.

I had only ever known the Green party as a single-issue party. On further reflection, however, I found that the picture was a little broader than this. The Green New Deal and the entire Green party platform rests on the proposition that the way in which we relate to the created world is at the root of many societal problems. Stein’s proposed policies would emphasize renewable sources of energy, allowing for the United States to take a more libertarian approach to foreign affairs. Her plan emphasizes the need for lower cost and easier access to fresh produce, combating the myriad of health problems rampant in American society. Address the root of the problem, so the Green party platform goes, instead of continuing to hack at the leaves and branches.

Stein recognizes that the current structure favors business decisions with a short-term gain. Her plan incentivizes those eco-friendly decisions that may otherwise be passed over. While the government leads the way in protecting the environment and the rights of all citizens (Stein is a strong proponent of the Equal Rights Amendment), in other areas, most notably on foreign policy and the failed drug war (see Jake Vander Ark’s Think Christian post on Gary Johnson for support on this), the Green party approach is strikingly libertarian.

As Christians, we affirm not only God as Creator, but also our own calling to care for the earth (Genesis 1:28). We uphold that humanity’s task of naming the creation (Genesis 2:19) implies a sense of intimacy, union and creativity. We recognize that the Fall has led to our estrangement from Creation (Genesis 3:17) and tends to direct us toward the mindset of “preside, populate and pave” rather than “reduce, reuse and recycle.” We assert that the whole of creation eagerly awaits the day of God’s ultimate and final redemption (Romans 8:22). We read through the prophets and find ourselves struck again and again by the very earthy language – promises of fields and harvests, lions and lambs. Contrary to some theological traditions, we were created to be earthbound people who look forward to the day when God makes all things new (Revelation 21:5) and the King returns to his rightful throne (Revelation 22:3).

In the meantime, God calls us to care for His creation. To live up to our calling and to protect those creatures He put under our care. If we wish to take this call seriously, perhaps it’s time we made the care of all of creation the center of our political platforms. Maybe it’s time we go green by voting Green.

What Do You Think?

  • How do you think Jill Stein would perform as president?
  • How does your faith play a part in that evaluation?

Comments (3)

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Kory, that is one of the best essays on why to vote Green that I’ve ever read. As a guy who got a bachelor’s degree in Environmental studies, so much of what the Green Party says resonates with me.

Honoring God by caring for his creation is a laudable goal, and one that would be wonderful to carry out through public policy as well as personal choice. I wonder, though, about how the government can lead in a direction that the populace is not going. Is there a viable political model for this? If there is, is the Green Party the only party that we can look to for carrying it out?


Thanks, Tim, for the encouragement. I appreciate it greatly.

In response to your questions:
I think that much of the reason that the populace is not moving the direction that the Green party proposes is because of the structural inhibitions against doing so. I think that in many ways, the popularity of hybrid cars is as much out of a desire to make a more environmentally conscious decision that is as viable of an option as a less eco-friendly choice. I wonder how much more the public would ‘opt in’ if such choices were subsidized, rewarded, etc. As a practical example: Michigan has a 10-cent deposit on all cans and bottles of soda. Most homes collect their soda cans to recycle, wanting to get the deposit back. The amount is small enough and built into the cost of purchase such that the public accepts it with little question. What if we pursued this on a national scale? What if we experimented with this on other recyclable packaging? Just some ideas off the top of my head.

On a deeper level, the question that faces many Christians who wish to see stronger environmental ethics is whether or not the Green party is the best party to do so. What sets the Green party apart, in my opinion, is the fundamental centrality of environmental ethics as lying at the root of many other problems that we face as a nation both domestically and abroad. While other candidates may have a strong environmental ethic and make ‘end our dependence on foreign oil’ a part of their platform, I would guess that none of these other candidates view the environmental concerns at the same fundamental level as the Green party.

Having recently moved to coal country, I have to vociferously disagree with the idea that we can centrally plan a green economy from Washington.  Now that I live in an area where coal is the only industry that provides jobs (outside of the drug trade), it has become strikingly obvious that environmental causes can only be championed by the rich at the expense of the poor.  Only people with at least an upper-middle class lifestyle can look around and suddenly discover that they want more land reserved for parks and less air pollution.  And poor people?  Well, their just going to have to suffer oppression for the sake of keeping the environment green.

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