Pastor Claims Bible Says ‘Thou Shalt Not Frack’

The following brief is purely for your entertainment purposes, to illustrate how loony the anti-drilling opposition can get. Yesterday, at a rally in Harrisburg, PA to protest new Marcellus Shale drilling legislation, a Lutheran pastor laid claim that the Bible says we shouldn’t frack.

A Lutheran pastor yesterday told environmentalists that there is a scriptural basis for opposing Marcellus Shale drilling and legislation pending in both state houses to regulate it.

The Rev. Leah Schade, pastor of the United in Christ Church in Union County, wore a hand-sewn white patch that said, "WWJF – Where Would Jesus Frack?" and dropped to her knees to demonstrate the power of prayer.

Asked later to answer the question on her blouse, Schade said, "I don’t believe Jesus would be fracking anywhere." She cited Genesis 2:15. "God put human beings into the Garden to till it and keep it, not drill and poison it," Schade said.

The Bible also counsels people to look out "for the least of these," Schade said.*

MDN’s word of advice to Pastor Schade: You may need a refresher course on scriptural exegesis vs. eisogesis.

* Tribune Review (Jan 18, 2012) – Pastor: ‘Where Would Jesus Frack?’

  • Anonymous

    This isn’t just about people who are opposed to fracking.  This is loony on its face in all aspects. People use religion and the bible to espouse bashing of people of different sexual orientation, ethnicity, to incite and support war, you name it.  Religion is a farce.  We’re looking for science people…S C I E N C E….not fables, to determine whether fracking should be allowed to happen in our state.  I am so tired of religion and religious nuts slowing down progress.  

    Move out of the way, take your fairy tales out of serious debate, let’s stop handing out phony degrees in this line of “study”, and let’s get on with human progress already.  

  • Touché (“You might need a refresher course…” . She definitely needs to go back to seminary). Is there nothing these people won’t stoop to?…never mind–she was on her knees….

  • Anonymous

    I’m a Lutheran. She’s a nut case ! Obviously wants to look at everything with a biblical slant.

    God wants us to be good stewards of the world. Certainly so ! Perhaps her idea of stewardship is to freeze in the winter and to forego transportation and modern conveniences, which improve everyone’s lif,e and multiply her (and everyone’s) abilities. If so, She should be looking at going strict Amish, rather than Lutheran, or perhaps a back to nature cult – maybe a fruitarian ???

    Are God’s soldiers fracking to maintain our independence, safety & security in a world increasingly threatened by radical Islam ? Would she prefer us to be at war over energy resourcews in the days ahead ?

    How much broccoli would Jesus eat ? If He ate too much would he be taking from the poor (or creating demand for farmers) ?

  • Anonymous

    mcbetsy, I agree with you that Pastor Schade is a little off the wall here, but is it really necessary to paint with such a broad brush?  Are we to believe that no religon, or person moved by religous belief has never contributed to human progress?
    That said, I think your point that science should drive decisions re fracking is correct, but don’t think we need to insult people whome we disagree with. 

  • Good points. Thanks for commenting.

  • Amen.

  • Anonymous

    Religion has actually been directly responsible for centuries of hindering human progress from conspiring to kill of early scientists and making people only adhere to biblical principles and labeling them heretics in their endeavors to seek out truth in science.  Even more recently, the stem cell issue- to name just one.  This is not just an assumption.  This is fact.  Religion stands in the way of human progress.  It does not direct morality.  Our humanity and genetics do. For decades I was a bible thumping, Sunday school teaching, youth group leading disciple of Christ in all levels of church involvement.  So, I know of what I speak.  

    I also find it interesting that Jim says Amen!  when he cast the first aspersion by belittling this pastor for her “looney” position regarding religion and fracking.  SOOOOOOO!  Don’t chastise me for my comment.  I stand by it.  And by the way, the anti-fracking movement (of which I am a part of) is practically a religion, just like money worship and greed are.  So, I guess he was being critical of that group as a whole, as usual.  But don’t ever criticize religion!  Your lack of logic runs in circles.  

  • Stuart Smith

    Another Lutheran here (and so, of course, a deluded religious sap :P) but also a geologist (we do cognitive dissonance well). We are having this internal debate across the various points of view on our modern oil and gas development. As I think I have mentioned before here – and believe me I know from close up – most people working in professional church callings lack a serious earth science education and can be prone to a romantic view – some verging on Gaia worship. In the case of our pastors, they do have rigorous education in scripture, so her eisogesis (thanks Jim, I had to look that one up!) here is not pastoral as well as theologically suspect. She probably has parishioners who are leasing or working in the industry. That was a point I made with our synod’s newsletter editor recently. If you are within a community having this discussion, be the voice of reason. Wow mcbetsy. Church can be a harsh mother sometimes, so I can see how you got there, but that’s a lot angrily setting up strawmen and knocking then down. I don’t see angry atheists feeding, clothing, and equipping the poor, doing medicine or housing refugees in war zones, or bringing water to developing world. That’s usually people motivated by faith. Most hospitals I see have St __ on the wall (and definitely any decent hospital in Africa), universal public education (Christians), abolition, labor rights (OK, socialists and Christians). Obviously, it hasn’t been a perfect path. Go figure. 

  • Thanks for your comments Stuart, and certainly no disrespect of the Lutheran faith intended on my part. I’m a fellow Christian, and I believe faith and religion have done far more good over the centuries than the alternative.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a lot of assuming Stuart.  Our children, through our support, have been on mission three times in Guatemala.  I planned, publicized, organized a whole community to provide a free Thanksgiving dinner for nearly 150 people and 30 home bound individuals every year for 10 years….even as an Atheist.  Imagine that.  Our love of humanity and our obligation to it knows no bounds.  We just don’t need a reward of heaven to act on it.  No anger here…just relief.  Oh, and freedom.

  • Anonymous

    of the clergy were often the focus of Jesus’ sharpest condemnation. Rev. Schade
    might consider studying His example and hopefully gain some insight into why
    the clergy were the center of his condemnation. Until she does we should ignore
    the Pharisees of our generation.

  • Anonymous

    you may want to read my commentary: Methodism or Marxism. I left the Methodist Church for a while after they voted to support a ban on drilling Marcellus:


    These are modern day Luddites.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s an idea……Turn everyone’s gas off for a winter and see how many people complain about fracking.

  • Good thought!

  • Stuart Smith

    Really glad you’re doing those things, and that you have retained your love for humanity (a spirit strangely lacking in many Christians – given who they claim to follow). If we all did these things, who could imagine the results? Christians should not be doing what they are called to do for a reward in heaven (that’s actually an Islamic point of view – but also useful as a motivation for good if it works). We properly do any good we attempt in response to what Christ has done for us (there is no way to repay that gift) to help usher in the Realm of God when we will recover being fully human. I’ve read a lot of N.T. Wright 🙂 Yes, freedom indeed. More to the point of this news site, there are many motivations for choices and actions and we need to be in dialog.  

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