Some Churches Are Involved in Environmental Issues

by Duane Nichols on March 29, 2012

Stewardship of the Earth is hardly a new concept in Christian thought – it’s mentioned in Genesis – but a growing number of religious leaders are getting out of the pew, marching on the picket line, and becoming specific-issue activists.

“We’ve seen a transition occur over the last 10 years, particularly in the American evangelical movement,” said Joseph Grieboski, founder and chairman of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. “We’ve seen entire denominations take positions on things like fracking. As energy becomes a more important priority the religious community is going to feel a greater demand to be engaged in the public discourse about it.”

Some religious denominations, such as the United Church of Christ (UCC), have taken direct aim at fracking, the natural gas extraction technique used extensively in the  Marcellus  Shale and other fuel reserves across the nation. Last week, a group of about 75 protesters gathered at the Smithfield UCC in downtown Pittsburgh (shown in picture above) before picketing a nearby natural gas industry conference.

The church didn’t organize the event but allowed its halls to be used by Marcellus Protest, western Pennsylvania’s leading anti-drilling group. The UCC doesn’t give specific marching orders to its members, but encourages them to get involved in local environmental causes, said the Rev. Jim Deming, UCC’s minister for environmental justice. “We ask people to examine their own lifestyles, how much [fossil fuel] they use, and where it comes from,” Mr. Deming said. “We speak to our churches, not for them. Our congregations can choose what they say. But every decision has a moral component to it. It’s all about making choices.”

The Christian-green movement has at its core the “Evangelical Climate Initiative,” a 2006 document that has now been signed by more than 200 prominent pastors and other religious leaders. It asserts that “human-induced climate change is real,” and calls on evangelicals to use more renewable energy and buy hybrid vehicles.

 The Interfaith Global Climate Change Campaign was active in West Virginia starting about 1998 and continuing thru 2010 to some degree.  “Since our training event in December, 1999, we have had good success in getting congregations to do a Bible study on the issue and to become ‘energy stewardship congregations,’” said Marcia Leitch, a Presbyterian educator writing about ten years ago, who coordinated the West Virginia Interfaith Global Warming Campaign. This group continued activities for a number of years, meeting with churches and with government officials.  A sustainable energy charter was drafted in 2004, a portion of which follows :

 West Virginia Sustainable Energy Charter

  (Two of eight principles presented here.)

Because we have a responsibility towards all of God’s family and creation, therefore we affirm: (1. ) There is scientific consensus that global warming is already affecting weather and climate. Furthermore, this warming is, in significant part, caused by human activity. By far the largest cause is burning of fossil fuels. This destructive manipulation of the environment is unprecedented in human history. ( 2.) Impacts will become much worse over time. These include more frequent and severe weather events, heating and drought, wild land fires, reduction of agricultural productivity, immense ecological destruction, massive species extinctions, and serious and spreading human health problems.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

RD Blakeslee March 30, 2012 at 9:31 am

“The (UCC) denomination has suffered a 44 percent loss in membership since the mid-1960s.”

Total (Presbyterian) membership fell by 2.9% in 2009 to 2,077,138,[16] the largest loss since 1975. This continues a three decade-long decline in membership for PC(USA).

From the FrackCheck article above: “The Christian-green movement has at its core the ‘Evangelical Climate Initiative,’ a 2006 document that has now been signed by more than 200 prominent pastors and other religious leaders.”

It would appear that the “leaders” are losing their “followers” in droves, because they have been wretched failures when it comes to maintaining the Christian faith. They are downright rediculous as they arrogate pseudo-expertise in the scientific arena and become syncophants to currently fashionable green dogma.


Duane Nichols March 30, 2012 at 6:36 pm

FATHER GEORGE COYNE, a Jesuit priest, explains the validity and importance of scientific research, both of which apply to the relationship between increasing carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere (and the oceans) as correlated to global warming.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: