As a Conservative, I am thrilled that this year’s Earth week is also going to involve the Evangelical community. On Tuesday, there was an Interfaith Moral Action on Climate (IMAC) held in Washington, DC. IMAC was inspired by the realization that the awareness of climate change has decreased while the actual impact of the changes are increasing. I had the pleasure of sitting in on an online teleconference last week, while Rev. Paul Mayer, Pastor Joel Hunter, and Rabbi Fred Dobbs discussed their support of IMAC. They outlined their positions on climate change.
What I heard was just so exciting! For years I have insisted that if we truly love our God, we will care for his planet. These men support IMAC’s position that global warming is the “highest moral issue of our time.” Rabbi Dobbs said “…if we love God, we need to address the impact of carbon pollution on creation.” Every major world religion and denomination has a commandment to care for their neighbors.
Who are your neighbors? I challenge you to take a moment and consider your community, and then expand your thought with these 3 ideas:
- Climate change has the greatest impact on those with lower incomes; they are our neighbors.
- Climate change causes drought; those suffering from it in third world countries are our neighbors.
- Air pollution causes climate change and this is largely the result of irresponsibility of human decisions.
If we truly care about our neighbors, no matter how far removed they are, actions that knowingly cause harm to others would cease to happening.
For years, there have been “voices in the wilderness“ in the religious communities speaking out for the Earth. And I am encouraged to see an awareness has spread across these communities to include more and more people who are seeking to worship through their respect of creation. Rev. Hunter reminded us that in Genesis 2:15 man was given a direct commandment to take care of the Garden. It doesn’t matter what our individual faiths are, we need to join forces and stand together to protect our Earth!
The religious community hopes to open the eyes of their congregants to the impacts by climate change. They believe it is their moral duty. It’s time for us to get out of the pews and do something for our Earth. Ignorance has no denominational affiliation, and the changes in our climate will not wait for a miracle!