Plays Well With Others...
"much of the challenge is reframing the environmental issue for the evangelical community as a people issue. We have to say, for instance, that addressing climate change is a way of saying we care about the millions of people worldwide that might have to endure tremendous suffering and displacement from the drought, hurricanes, and flooding associated with global warming."
Anything I say in this comment is informed by the years I spent in the church, and is based on my observations during that time.
There's always been a strange disconnect between liberalism and evangelical Christianity. It's funny but, despite it's archaic systems steeped in tradition, the Catholic Church is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of organized Chrisitiantiy when it comes to social justice. Catholicism, since the Second Vatican Council (well, this was at least true under the past couple of popes), has really sought to apply their religion to the real world, in ways that does good for real people and real communities. In this way, Catholisicm finds its spirituality in the bodies of people.
Evangelical Christianity, however, has typically found it's spirituality in another plane, and not embodied in the people who inhabit the earth.
Now, when I say this next part, understand that I'm referring to the more politicized sides of Evangelicalism, and not the everyday people who inhabit it.
I think a great deal of the reason that Rev. Cizik's environmental "spin" on scripture will have a difficult time taking hold in evangelical communities is not because of the "you are the keepers of the earth" verse, but the "The meek shall inherit the earth" verse. The meek are the most often left behind by Evangelical Christianity.
Especially in Southern Baptist circles (which, really, feeds the majority of the most politically active of the Religious Right), the emphasis of taking care of the earth around you, of being good stewards as the Old Testament tells us to be, is diminished by the all-consuming mission to "save souls."
It also feeds into the general feeling that has serverd as the adreneline of Evangelicalism for hundereds of years: at any time, we are mere moments from the End of Days. When you live your life under the influence of such a powerful philosophy, stewardship of the Earth is most irrelevant.
I highly recommend, if you are interested in learning more about the dual-nature of today's Christian, reading Jim Wallis' book, "God's Politics." There is a lot I disagree with him about, but it is one of the more thought provoking books to deal with the intersection of religion and politics.
I'm probably going to have to use this comment as a post! :)