Christians Mobilize to Defend First Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean
On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States’ participation as one of the signatories of Paris Climate Agreement, which aims to fight global warming and help countries adapt with its effects. According to Trump, this deal is not good for America. The withdrawal from the Paris climate accord has sent panic wave throughout the globe, especially among Christian churches and church-related organizations. The wide spectrum of responses varied from sadness, shock and even outrage.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - NEVADA CONFERENCE A RESOLUTION OF WITNESS (read in full)
God's great gift of creation - the context in which all life seeks fulfillment - is in crisis. Driven by material aspiration, humanity's use of fossil fuel since the Industrial Revolution has broken Creation's balance.
EVANGELICAL ENVIRONMENT NETWORK (read in full)
The Christian life is not fundamentally about the absence of doing bad things, the absence of bad or sinful acts. Rather, the Christian life is the presence of good things from God, His grace and love and His presence through the Holy Spirit in us and the Christian community; it is the abundant life Jesus promised. And from these good things from God we are empowered to do what we were created to do, to image or reflect God on earth, to do good things in turn, to love and stand up for what’s right and thereby create a better world.
YOUNG EVANGELICALS FOR CLIMATE ACTION (read in full)
“With his decision today, President Trump has once again positioned himself on the wrong side of history. By characterizing the Paris Agreement as a top-down constraint on economic growth that is “a bad deal for America”, he betrays his ignorance of the actual structure and spirit of agreement. He damages both America’s reputation abroad and its economic competitiveness in the coming clean energy revolution. He may hope to negotiate a “better deal”, but will find a world unwilling and uninterested in engaging an America that has willingly shut itself out.
FRIENDS COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL LEGISLATION (read in full)
This is an abdication of responsibility to address global climate change and is both physically dangerous and morally reprehensible. The decision disregards vitally important environmental efforts to protect both our planet and the population, with consequences that will reverberate for generations.
U.S CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS USCCB (read in full)
By withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, the United States would send the message that it doesn’t care about the common good of all peoples and it has no appetite for solidarity. Furthermore, it would miss the opportunity to shape the future of the global energy revolution.
CATHOLIC LEADERS (read in full)
The Catholic Church recognizes that climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. It has repeatedly called for and supported international climate change agreements including by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Pope Francis wrote and released his ecological encyclical, Laudato Si’, in part to influence the Paris Agreement stressing that “its implementation will require unanimous commitment and generous dedication by everyone.” In Laudato Si’, he emphasized that “continuity is essential, because policies related to climate change and environmental protection cannot be altered with every change of government” (no. 181).
SISTERS OF MERCY (read in full)
This announcement is particularly disturbing coming just days after the president met with Pope Francis, who has called climate change “one of the principal challenges facing humanity today” and has lamented its disproportionate impact on people who are poor.
CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES (read in full)
“As an international humanitarian organization, we are confronted with the realities of climate change every day and see the devastating impact on the lives of the people we serve,” said Bill O’Keefe, vice president for advocacy and government relations for CRS. “People around the world – especially those who contribute least to global warming, will be worse off because of today’s decision.”
INTERFAITH POWER AND LIGHT (read in full)
“The Paris agreement was a ray of hope for those who heed the scientific consensus, and care deeply about the world of today and tomorrow. It’s painful to see the U.S. leaving the community of nations on this most important issue. As a moral matter, the backsliding on environmental protection must stop,”
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST SERVICE COMMITTEE (read in full)
Leaving the Paris Agreement is a dangerous step backward and a grave injustice to the rest of the world, particularly to smaller countries in the Global South. The United States has an obligation to protect those that have made vulnerable by their carbon emissions. The Agreement was one way we, as a global community, sought both to assign responsibility where it is due and find solutions to issues that affect us all.
EPISCOPAL CHURCH (read in full)
Despite this announcement, many U.S. businesses, states, cities, regions, nongovernmental organizations and faith bodies like the Episcopal Church can continue to take bold action to address the climate crisis. The phrase, “We’re still in,” became a statement of commitment for many of us who regardless of this decision by our President are still committed to the principles of the Paris Agreement.
MARYKNOLL (read in full)
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns is very disappointed that President Trump has decided to remove the United States from the Paris climate agreement. This global accord signed by nearly two hundred nations is viewed by many as the most realistic plan to protect our common home and impoverished communities that are most vulnerable to climate change. This decision will be felt hardest on communities in developing countries, future generations, and endangered ecosystems.
RELIGIOUS ACTION CENTER FOR REFORM JUDAISM (read in full)
The Reform Movement condemns, with the utmost gravity and disappointment, the President’s decision to exit the historic Paris Climate Agreement. This is an abdication of responsibility to address global climate change and is both physically dangerous and morally reprehensible.
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE (read in full)
"As this is being announced today in Washington, more than 20 million people are on the brink of starvation in East Africa because of drought. Millions more are either battening down, preparing for or already recovering from the 2017 Tropical Cyclone and Hurricane seasons. Americans are not exempt from these disasters; the communities with whom CWS works in the United States are disproportionately affected...."
COEJL: CHAIRMAN RABBI FRED DOBB
“We just ensured massive suffering for our own descendants, consigned untold people and ecosystems to ruin, deepened social inequity and injustice, demeaned facts, ceded global leadership, and decided that ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ is irrelevant and unimportant. Now we’re in the company of only Syria and Nicaragua, against the rest of the world, outside of the Paris Accord. It’s a shameful day to be an American.”
FAITH IN PLACE (read in full)
Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement by the U.S. is a significant blow to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, it has far-reaching negative implications for global cooperation on addressing climate change, signaling that the U.S. is no longer willing to be a team player in this issue that affects everyone on our planet.
CREATION JUSTICE MINISTRIES AND NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES (read in full)
Creation Justice Ministries and the National Council of Churches join together in sorrow and lament at President Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. We believe this withdrawal endangers a sustainable future, departs from the will of the whole world, and breaks the Great Commandment to love God and neighbor.
FRANCISCAN ACTION NETWORK (read in full)
The announcement by President Trump to pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement is a decision with catastrophic consequences for the earth and all of its living creatures. In addition to the devastating environmental repercussions, pulling out of the agreement before the designated time allowed to do so sets a dangerous precedent by demonstrating that this administration has no regard for standing international agreements.
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST (read in full)
"The Trump Administration's decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement is a travesty, a crime against the future of people and the planet," said 350.org Executive Director May Boeve. "The choice they had was clear, and they decided to side with fossil fuel billionaires over the overwhelming majority of Americans who support the agreement."
June 2, 2017 was a day to remember of round-table meetings with government decision-makers and Indigenous leaders from Christian communities. The aim of the meetings was to bring Indigenous and Christian perspectives in support of Bears Ears National Monument and the Bears Ears Commission, and deliver a letter they all helped circulate, calling on Secretary Zinke to protect Bears Ears National Monument.
The day began with prayers and inspirational talks for guidance and direction, to reflect God’s will and voice. These voices stand firm to the premise that diversity and inclusion are central to environmental integrity, preservation, and justice, with the unique responsibility of humans in caring all God’s creation.
Leaders in attendance were: Rev. Richard Silversmith, a Navajo Pastor of the Indian Christian Center in Denver; Ms. Loni Romo and Jackie Davis-Cawelti, Pyramid Lake Paiute tribal members and active lay leaders at St. Mary of the Lake Episcopal Church, Rev. Judy Wellington an Akilmel O’odham and Dakota Sioux Minister for Native American Ministries in the Presbytery of the Southwest, and Mark Charles, a Navajo activist, speaker, and writer, and Dee Ann Manatowa, daughter of the late chief of the Sac and Fox Nation as well as Environmental Justice Fellow for Creation Justice Ministries.
Loni Romo described her trip with her mother Jackie Davis-Cawelti: "Over the past weekend my mom and I were invited to D.C. to advocate for the Bears Ears Monument. We went as Indigenous Christian peoples. It was a whirlwind trip but was incredible. It was my first trip, I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. We had meetings set up with the acting Director of Bureau of Land Management, Assistant Director for National Conservation Lands and Community Partnerships and a lady from the Secretary's office. We moved on to the Department of Interior Office of External and Intergovernmental Relations. We stopped in at our State of Nevada Senator's offices and met with Cortez-Masto's staff. Any spare time we spent it sight-seeing: museums, monuments and even joined a protest. I am grateful for the opportunity, meeting new people to learn from and especially to have our voices heard."
Rev. Judy Wellington said of the experience, "I am thankful to Creation Justice Ministries who made it possible for a group of us from different native nations to come to DC to advocate for keeping Bears Ears Monument. Together with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition of Utah, we join our voices with sisters and brothers who care about preservation of the land."
Pastor Richard Silversmith said upon his return home, "I am hopeful that meeting with the decision-makers in person had a more immediate impact and leaves a longer-lasting impression than a letter. I think collectively we can help raises a shared witness in the public arena echoing Christ's call for just relationships among all of Creation."
Mark Charles reflected, "It was a great opportunity to challenge the paradigm of our government leaders, representatives and officials by speaking to them, not as oppressed minorities or even as concerned constituents, but rather as the indigenous hosts of this land. I loved it. Creator Ahé'hee."
About this Blog
This blog shares the activities of Creation Justice Ministries. We educate and equip Christians to protect, restore, and rightly share God's creation.