A commandment to care

Jan 22, 2013 | Archive

In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama confirmed that we are commanded by God to care for the planet. “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” he said. Clergy from many faiths will take up that call Feb. 8-10 during the National Preach-In on climate change.

“President Obama has affirmed that we have a responsibility to address climate change,” said The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham of Interfaith Power & Light, which organizes the Preach-In each year. “Faith leaders across the country will mobilize their congregations in a major push for action in response to this speech.”

Clergy will preach sermons on climate change, and their congregants will send postcards and petitions to the president seeking bold action on climate change. Faith groups can also order a DVD of The Hungry Tide, a 53-minute documentary about the island nation of Kiribati and its struggles with sea rise.

To download materials or order a DVD, visit www.preachin.org. Materials will be available beyond the official Preach-In dates. Many congregations use the materials for Earth Day or other observances.

Here’s the full text of what President Obama said about climate change:

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.  We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.  

 The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.  But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it.  We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise.  That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks.  That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.  That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

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