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Faith leaders back science, challenge climate change, heal local lands, waters


More than a thousand people filled nine blocks in Spokane’s March for Science, one 600 held in conjunction with the April 22 national march in Washington, D.C.  Then on April 29, Spokane joined the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C.

About 1,000 or more filled nine blocks in downtown Spokane as they joined in the March for Science on April 22 in conjunction with Earth Day and the March on Science in Washington, D.C. 
Here are some photos showing sentiments of marchers.


Scientists and science supporters joined the March for Science to say science plays a role in human freedom and prosperity for everyone.  Scientists, who usually are not involved in politics, realize they need to speak out, because of threats to cut government funding that makes scientific research and discovery possible and because of increasing attention to those who would discredit science, particularly climate change.

Some may assume that faith traditions would want scientists silenced, but the head of one of the oldest Christian churches, the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew I, on April 24 in Geneva, Switzerland, praised the role of science and technology in contemporary society, and asserted that there is a theological imperative of tackling climate change as a common action by churches. Science and technology intersect with faith in efforts for climate justice, that secures clean air and water, grows and distributes food as human right.

Bartholomew said that “a sin against creation is a sin against God,” and that sin  includes the exploitation of natural resources of the planet, particularly because of greed. He called for changes in thinking and behavior to challenge consumerism.

“The environmental crisis calls for concrete actions from each one of us,” he said.  “The church cannot be solely interested in the salvation of the soul, but it is also deeply concerned with the transformation of God’s entire creation.”  He calls for understanding  that the ecological crisis grows out of greed, materialism and self-centeredness. 

Those attitudes are leading some political leaders to deny the science of climate change in order to undo regulations that have helped us clean up the air, water and land.  They side with those who want fewer regulations so they can more readily profit from exploiting resources. Bartholomew invites everyone to mobilize in the struggle to protect the environment.

Air, water and land are life-giving and do not belong to any individual or industry, and protecting them is a matter of human rights and survival of everyone.

Nationally, the Creation Justice Ministries, an outgrowth of the National Council of Churches, and the Catholic Climate Movement joined in advocacy related to the People’s Climate March.

In our region, we see praise for efforts of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and others to protect, clean up and manage the watershed.  We see Holden Village transforming a mining town into a retreat center, and recently remediating damage from the mine.  We see a call for children to read so they can learn about the world around them and engage in it as informed citizens.  We see land along the Spokane River purchased by Spokane County Conservation Futures.

Theology, science and culture intersect.

Mary Stamp - Editor

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