- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Obama administration is re-embracing faith-based initiatives - with a twist. The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced the formation of a Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Initiative that will reinvigorate the agency’s outreach efforts. Instead of supporting abstinence programs or charitable efforts, the idea is to ensure mosques are illuminated by mercury-filled light bulbs and evacuated by low-flow toilets.

It’s a funny thing when the left discovers such a vocation. President George W. Bush first came up with the idea of encouraging private alternatives to government handouts, and he was blasted by liberal groups like Americans for Democratic Action. They insisted faith-based initiatives were an unconstitutional violation of the separation between church and state. Congressional Democrats even charged Mr. Bush with scheming to reward his Christian conservative political base.

Now President Obama wants his own favored congregations to be recognized for spreading the gospel of green. The aim of this proselytization is not salvation, but purported conservation. The “ecoAmbassador” program urges college students to become community organizers who nag school administrators into adopting feel-good recycling programs, installing intermittent sources of power like windmills and solar shingles, and dropping the use of pesticides. The preposterous motto is “Change a Light, Change the World” as the new generation of busybodies replace sources of warm, natural light with harsh, eye-strain-inducing but trendy alternatives.

Progressive rabbis and pastors who want to be seen praying in an environmentally conscious space in synagogues and churches will be rewarded with the coveted Energy Star certification. A glossy 39-page guide, “Putting Energy Into Stewardship,” starts off by explaining that pricey projects can usually be funded not with help from above, but from state and federal subsidies.

EPA bureaucrats began pushing faith-based outreach under the Bush administration. The twisted evangelism is hardly surprising as the church of global warming is the left’s favorite denomination. Liberals have no shame when it comes to using other people’s money to gain converts to this all-important religion. They believe if they do not, Mother Earth will curse the planet with warm weather, not the chilly frost they desire.