Tag Archives: Write to Congress

Why I’ve Decided to Start Writing my Congressman

Causes everywhere ask us to write to politicians. If you’re like me, you seldom do. But unless we’ve all bought into the narrative of implacable political hostility and irredeemable polarization, then we’ll recognize that most people believe they’re doing the right thing, and at some level will be responsive to appeals and persuasion. Here’s my offering today, to my NJ congressional representative, Scott Garrett:

Dear Rep Garrett:

I am conscious that when writing to you, I am speaking to a person who sincerely shares my faith in Christ. Scripture says that makes us brothers in a real way, even in this world of bitter political divisions. As such, I hope to speak to you with optimism and hope, drawing on our shared vision for the rule of God on earth.

Anglican bishop N.T. Wright has given us a clear idea of how Christ-followers are to relate to their ruling officials: “Like the Israelites under their monarchy, chafing at its imperfections and looking for the fulfillment still to come, the followers of Jesus are to live under the rulers of the world, believing them to be appointed by God but not believing that that makes them perfect or that they do not need to be held accountable. On the contrary, because they are God’s servants they may well need to be reminded of their duty, however dangerous and uncomfortable a task that may be.”Picture1

So today, I hope to remind you of a duty, as a brother. I have just returned from two weeks in Paris, where I have joined with numerous Christians from around the world, praying for the success of the Paris summit, and for meaningful global action on climate. What I heard there was hopeful, but also deeply embarrassing to me as an American, and as an evangelical Christian. The narrative from virtually every quarter, including global Christians, is that only America, among all countries in the world, is prepared to sacrifice the interests of the poor to the ravages of climate pollution; and that only the GOP, of all the political parties in the world, is threatening to sabotage action that every country views as necessary to protect their people and their children; and finally, that only American evangelicals, of all the faith groups in the world, are devoted to a political “batch ideology” that lumps willful disregard for climate justice together with its more noble principles.

I know that this narrative oversimplifies the actual facts: that the National Association of Evangelicals has endorsed action on climate change as an outgrowth of care for the creation, a “core element” in the gospel; that 65 percent of American evangelicals now acknowledge the dangers of climate change; that more than half of Republican voters agree on the need for climate action. But all that means rather little if Republican lawmakers and candidates stand in the way of serious action on climate pollution.

And so I would ask you as a brother in our shared faith, to please consider that faith when your party’s leaders call for unified resistance to action so desperately needed by our world today, which are becoming increasingly undeniable with every passing year. Specifically, you could begin this by adding your name to the Gibson Resolution, whereby Republicans are making clear that they, too, recognize the crying need for climate action, on behalf of God’s suffering world and its people.

Thank you. I look forward to discussing this with you in the near future.

If you’d like to read N.T. Wright’s complete essay cited above, you can find it here. If you want to find your Congressional representative’s contact information, you can click here. For more help from Beloved Planet on writing, look here.

Write to Congress!

teaser_get-involved_write-congressYou’re concerned about abuse of the creation. You want to protect it for its Maker, for your children, and for all people. But what, specifically should you tell your Senators and Congressperson? As much as you’d like to write your original thoughts, let me suggest you start with something from our pen. Copy and paste it, shorten it, add to it, personalize it as you wish. But at least this will give you a start. Continue reading

Write to Congress? What Should I Say?

A dear friend read my last post, and followed my suggested link to write her congressman. When she got to the website, she paused:  WHAT SHOULD I SAY??

Good question. You’re concerned about abuse of the creation. You want to protect it for its Maker, for your children, and for all people. But what, specifically should you tell your Senators and Congressperson? As much as you’d like to write your original thoughts, let me suggest you start with something from my pen. Copy and paste it, shorten it, add to it, personalize it as you wish. But at least this will give you a start.
And when you’re finished, here’s a reminder of how to reach your Congressional representatives: Just click here.
Dear Senator/Representative ________________:
I am writing to urge you to respond to the growing weight of evidence that our present environmental policies are leading to disastrous and unjust results for us, for our children, and for those who are least able to adapt to the damage we are inflicting on the earth. Even though environmental policy has recently become politicized, there is no place for political posturing on issues like the unfolding mass extinction of threatened species, loss of vital habitats and ecosystems, acidification of the oceans, sea level rise, and rapid global climate change. 
Despite controversy that still simmers in Congress, the National Academy of Sciences and virtually all leading scientific associations have made clear the reality of the following dangerous developments:
  • The global climate is rapidly changing due to unparalleled concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, resulting in severe droughts, catastrophic flooding, intense tropical storms, and coastal damage;
  • Roughly one-third of all assessed species are threatened with extinction due to habitat destruction and over-exploitation, and climate change is now expected to threaten roughly half of all known species with extinction;
  • Oceans have absorbed much of the carbon we’ve poured into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, and are now one-third more acidic than they were a generation ago, imperiling countless marine species and ecosystems on which mankind depends; and
  • Sea levels are rising as oceans warm and ice sheets melt, and are projected to wreak unfathomable damage on the world’s coastal communities, including Miami, New York and New Orleans.
Unless our country acts promptly to protect the earth, our children will inherit a largely unrecognizable planet, beset by famine, displaced populations, altered disease vectors, mass human migration and desperate resource conflicts. In light of these risks, I ask you to take the following steps:
  • Support incentives and research for clean energy and efficiency technologies, such as wind, geothermal, solar energy and efficiency standards. While natural gas is less polluting than coal and has a transitional role in our energy mix, we should not delude ourselves by calling it clean energy.
  • Support global agreements on climate change. The U.S. alone refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, and our opposition undermined global efforts to rein in a problem which has now become a global crisis. Global warming is global, and so are its solutions.
  • Eliminate subsidies for polluting fossil fuel industries. Oil, coal and gas are mature industries that do not need – or deserve – taxpayer subsidies. “Energy independence” may sound appealing as a slogan, but with free markets, we can be no more independent than the highest international bidder.
  • Establish a price on carbon emissions. No one has a right to profit from polluting activities, leaving the costs and consequences to our children and those on distant shores. We have successfully limited the emission of ozone-destroying CFCs through market mechanisms, and must do the same with earth-heating greenhouse gases.
  • Defend the EPA from attacks as it acts to protect us from polluters. In particular, support the EPA’s limitations on emissions of heavy metals, sulfur, CO2 and particulates from new and existing power plants.
People who labor to defend the earth lack the lobbying budgets available to polluting industries. But we have a just cause, the vote, and the willingness to take all measures to protect the earth and its most vulnerable children. We look to you as our representative to defend it for all people, both now and in our children’s day.
You’ve got a voice. Let them hear it!
Don’t forget: It’s easy to reach your Congressional representatives. Just click here.
Thanks for writing, and may God bless you.
J. Elwood