justice for the poor is Capitol Hill topic
of United States, English faith leaders
Washington, D.C., October 25, 2007 – The religious community's moral
imperative to combat climate change and protect those living in poverty
was discussed yesterday at a U.S. House of Representatives briefing.
The Rt. Rev. James Jones, the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, England and
the Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell, associate general secretary for justice
and advocacy at the National Council of Churches USA (NCC) joined forces
in addressing a Capitol Hill audience.
Bishop Jones, traveling for a week in the U.S. to speak with religious
leaders about global climate change, articulated the need for the world
faith communities to take action on the issue of climate change.
"The Bible calls us to care for all of God's creation," said Bishop
Jones. "The science of anthropogenic climate change is incontrovertible.
It is the poor who are most immediately impacted by changes in our
climate; it is the poor who are least able to act to change our world.
The wealthy nations still
feel little of the effects of climate change, yet they are most able to
act for the sake of the poor and for the sake of the earth. We must act
at three levels--personally, parochially within our communities and
publicly through our policies," said the bishop.
The Rev. Girton-Mitchell echoed the bishop's sentiments; "It is our call
to help our faith communities understand that climate change has a huge
impact on those things that we see as more immediate concerns. Climate
change impacts healthcare, food availability, our homes, and our
Bishop Jones and the Rev. Girton-Mitchell articulated the need to
protect those living in poverty around the world from the effects of
"As Europeans and Americans, it is our responsibility to act first to
ensure that we protect those who are least able to adapt while
empowering the rest of the world to make the necessary changes to
prevent climate change," said the Rev. Girton-Mitchell.
The briefing is part of a national effort by the NCC and other national
and regional faith organizations to educate elected officials,
congregations, and people of faith about the moral need to address
climate change. The decade-long work of the U.S. faith community has
enabled religious leaders around the country to vocalize their concern
and conviction that the U.S. must act now to prevent irreparable damage.
"Leaders of the faith communities have a special responsibility to teach
about the earth, to change hearts and minds so that when politicians put
proposals to the electorate they will meet with a ready response," said
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