I don't know why I was amazed, given their track record, but I was amazed to read on Steve Milloy's JunkScience.com (here and here) that green theologian Jim Ball and Penn State Professor Michael Mann are whining because Google made a donation to the annual dinner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute last week.
Mann simply says donating to CEI is "evil," which falls a bit short of a fully-fleshed-out philosophy, but I can't help remembering that when this institution questioned the Obama Administration's decision to send a stimulus grant to Mann's office, Mann whined that we were "threatening" his "livelihood." This just for criticizing a government grant to his office that apparently had zero to do with Mann's ability to get his regular paycheck as a professor at Penn State, and thus would not have affected his "livelihood" particularly, except perhaps a tiny bit on the margins (and let's face it, one can't really expect to make one's living off the stimulus bill).
But as Mann believes criticizing a stimulus bill grant to Penn State was tantamount to endangering his livelihood, it follows that he probably believes that criticizing a Google grant to CEI endangers the livelihood of one or more persons at CEI. And since he believes so, it does not seem very nice of Michael Mann to do that. But then, as Mann said in his book about being in the front line during wartime, "this is simply what it means to be a prominent figure in the climate change debate in the United States today." So CEI should just suck it up, as Mann is famous for doing when he is criticized.
As for Jim Ball (or Rev. Jim Ball as he goes by in climate-discussion circles, because we all know that the importance of harming the economic prospects of -- disproportionately -- the world's poor based on a physics-based analysis is what they teach in theology school): Ball believes Google has lost its "good name" because it donated to CEI.
To "restore its good name," Ball says in that Holy Book of the Church of Green, The Huffington Post, "Google should: come clean about any other donations it has made to CEI or any other climate-denier groups; pledge to never fund climate deniers again; inspired by Zaccheus' example (Luke 19:8), donate 4 times as much as it has given to climate deniers to Bob Inglis' Energy & Enterprise Initiative."
In Christianity, Christ guarantees forgiveness following genuine repentance. In the Church of Green, sinners must file a dark money report, pledge to sin no more, and then pay hard cash.
Reminds me of abuses involving indulgences in the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. Sin too much then, and you might get out of it (at least in this world) by building a church. Sin to the church of Jim Ball, and you have to give money to a former Republican Congressman from South Carolina.
Some of my Catholic friends think the Catholic Church gets criticized too much, and I think I see what they mean. Bib Inglis is a decent enough guy, but he's no St. Peter's Cathedral.
But back to Rev. Jim Ball. I suspect he thinks he's a pretty good guy, since he's good enough to tell others how to earn forgiveness.
Which makes me wonder why the National Center for Public Policy Research is still waiting for Evangelical Environmental Network's legally-required (under the Internal Revenue Code) response to the following letter:
April 6, 2006
Rev. Jim Ball
Evangelical Environmental Network
Wynnewood, PA 19096
Dear Rev. Ball:
On February 17, 2006, I sent you a letter (copy enclosed) via U.S. Postal Service requesting:
- One copy of each of the federal tax returns for the Evangelical Environmental Network (or its parent organization or organization under which EEN is filing its tax returns) for the past three years, also including any amended returns from prior years filed during the last three years;
- One copy of the Evangelical Environmental Network's (or its parent/affiliated organization's) application for tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Service code (under federal law, this is optional if your application was filed prior to July 15, 1987).
Federal law requires that the above requests be granted within 30 days of receipt of the request. Although more than 30 days have passed since my original request have yet to receive any of the above requested items. As I realize it is possible that this could be due to a mail delivery delay or miscommunication of some sort, I thought I would write to you again to make certain you received my original request and, if you did send the materials, to let you know that I did not receive them.
As you know, I left you a voicemail message at (202) xxx-xxxx on March 16 to inform you that I had yet to receive any of the above requested items.
The above requested items should be sent to:
The National Center for Public Policy Research
ATTN: Peyton Knight
501 Capitol Court, NE, Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20002
Should you choose, you may assess the National Center for Public Policy Research a nominal fee to cover the copying and postage expenses you incur complying with this request. Under federal law, we may be charged a fee not exceed $1.00 for the first page of copying and $0.15 for each additional page copied. You also may charge us the actual postage fees you incur mailing the materials to us.
If electronic versions of the tax returns and application for tax-exempt status are available, and you would prefer that we access them electronically, please advise me of the Internet address where they can be located or email these documents to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We note that one of the EEN websites states (http://www.whatwouldjesusdrive.org/tour/faq.php), "Founded in 1993, the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) is a non-profit, biblically orthodox Christian educational organization." We conclude from this and other statements that "Evangelical Environmental Network" is the name under which you are formally operating and under which your organization's tax documents are filed. Nonetheless, please consider our request to remain in effect even if the tax returns and non-profit application under which the EEN is operating have been filed under a name other than "Evangelical Environmental Network."
If you have any questions, I can be reached at (202) 543-4110.
I thank you in advance for your courtesy in responding to my request.
J. Peyton Knight
Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs
The National Center f or Public Policy Research
Peyton Knight is engaged elsewhere these days (although I see that Jim Ball is not), but anyone at the National Center can accept these documents, and our request has never been withdrawn. Nor to my knowledge has the tax law been changed.
But please, Mr. Ball, do not fear for your good name. We will accept a simple apology for your tardiness. We DO NOT ask you to give money to Bob Inglis. We're straightforward theological traditionalists here. And tax law adherents, too.