Churches and Climate Change
The following is excerpted from a longer Blue Moose Democrat post on the environmental movement's recent traction in its battle against climate change. This is the section that talks about momentum in the faith community - and even this is just the tip of the iceberg. For more about the politics, see the full post.
My own beat is the intersection of faith and politics. I started a new job this week working with Repower Nebraska as their part-time faith outreach coordinator. (This post is not endorsed by Repower America, but I want to be clear about who I am.) All across America, churches are waking up. I had a phone call today with an Episcopal clergywoman who said there are three areas of concern for churches on climate change: spirituality (experiencing God in nature, recognizing the environmental language of Scripture, etc.), environmental stewardship or creation care (heeding the call of Scripture to take care of what we have been given), and eco-justice (climate change will disproportionately affect the poor). Churches are getting that message. I wrote here last week about Day Six, a new effort from the progressive group Faithful America to make sure climate change legislation helps the poor. The Episcopal Ecological Network is a great resource to learn what Episcopal churches around the country are doing to green their communities.
You may be saying yeah yeah sure sure, of course the liberal mainline Protestants are getting involved - but the good news is the movement is broader than that. Thanks to the language of "creation care," many Evangelicals are getting in on the act, too. Rich Cizik, former Vice President for Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, resigned his job after announcing his support for civil unions, but not until he had spent quite some time building support within the Evangelical community for action on climate change. Joel Hunter, a conservative megachurch pastor in Florida, was hired to be the new president of Ralph Reed's Christian Coalition in 2006. The board asked him to resign over his positions on climate change, but the fact that his selection even got that far is indicative of a huge shift within the community.