The Clergy Letter Project, a grassroots organization made up of more than 14,400 clergy members from across the United States, has officially endorsed the People’s Climate March scheduled for 29 April 2017.
Although The Clergy Letter Project was originally founded to demonstrate that clergy from a wide array of religions and denominations are fully supportive of both evolutionary theory and modern science, recognizing that neither pose a threat to their religious beliefs, the decision to formally participate in the People’s Climate March should be seen as a natural outgrowth of these founding principles.
Clergy, like so many other people, recognize how beautiful, complex and interrelated the Earth’s ecosystem is. They understand the nature of biological adaptation, and they appreciate how abrupt environmental changes can be devastating to individuals, species and communities.
Clergy members believe it is important, both spiritually and physically, to care for the environment in which we live. Clergy members are also well aware of the scientific consensus indicating both that climate change is real and that it is due, in large part, to the actions of humans.
All of this made it easy for The Clergy Letter Project to endorse the People’s Climate March. But there are two additional reasons why endorsing this important endeavor is fully in keeping with clergy members’ religious beliefs. The first reason stems from a commitment to truth while the second arises from a similar commitment to social justice.
The clergy who comprise The Clergy Letter Project know that while you can select your opinions you cannot select your facts. The work of thousands of climate scientists makes a compelling case for anthropogenic climate change and thus it makes no sense to dismiss this truth. Clergy members and scientists, after all, both strive to discover truth, using different methods in their respective pursuits. The Christian Clergy Letter, signed by over 13,400 clergy members, ends with this powerful statement: “We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.”
The People’s Climate March is a march in support of the fact of global climate change and against the belief that it is acceptable to dismiss the underlying science on political grounds. Too often climate change denial is tied to a denial of evolution in our public schools leading students to believe that the very concept of truth is something responsive to political whim. A public commitment to the value of truth is thus a part of the reason why The Clergy Letter Project has endorsed The People’s Climate March.
A commitment to social justice has played a similar role in The Clergy Letter Project’s endorsement of the March. Clergy members, like so many others, are well aware that the lives of the poorest among us are the first to be disrupted by climate change. For this reason, it is difficult to imagine how working to stem the coming devastation associated with climate change can be ignored in any comprehensive plan to promote social justice.
The People’s Climate March is a march to bring attention to the fact of global climate change. It is also a march designed to promote specific actions to make the world a more just and more livable place. Clergy members are people of action, working to improve their world, both locally and globally, and the People’s Climate March is an opportunity to engage others in this critical endeavor.
Please think about joining the march yourself, either in Washington, DC or in one of the hundreds of satellite location near you. As the members of The Clergy Letter Project know so well, together we can make a difference.