To the editor:
Recognizing the climate crisis and its human causes, Roman Catholic Pope Francis and Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, leaders of the two largest and oldest Christian churches, declared Sept. 1 an International Day of Prayer for All Creation, calling upon world leaders to step up, stating:
“We urgently appeal to those in positions of social and economic, as well as political and cultural, responsibility to hear the cry of the earth and to attend to the needs of the marginalized, but above all to respond to the plea of millions and support the consensus of the world for the healing of our wounded creation. We are convinced that there can be no sincere and enduring resolution to the challenge of the ecological crisis and climate change unless the response is concerted and collective, unless the responsibility is shared and accountable, unless we give priority to solidarity and service.”
In response, the leader of the largest Roman Catholic country, with 128 million Catholic faithful, President Jair Balsonaro of Brazil, who stormed into office with the slogan, “Brazil first, But God above all,” is fiddling while the Amazon burns.
The leader of the largest Eastern Orthodox country with 101 million Orthodox faithful, Vladimir Putin of Russia, despite his KGB background, is now a professed Orthodox Christian.
His country borders most of the Arctic Circle, yet he marvels at the ice melt while engaging evangelical extremist, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in plans for new shipping lanes across the pole.
So who is heeding the call? An unlikely presidential candidate who just this week announced a massive Green New Deal plan following in the triumphant footsteps of FDR’s Tennessee Valley Authority which transformed rural America in the 1930s with electricity and irrigation, putting America back to work.
This new Green plan would transform America away from fossil fuels to clean energy, then lead the world to do the same, while providing millions of good jobs to revitalize the middle-class economy.
This candidate just this week also jumped into the Democratic nomination lead in a national poll and the details of his 60-page Green plan can be viewed online at berniesanders.com.
How ironic that the world’s powerful Christian government officials choose to ignore the call of their religious leaders while an unlikely Jew from Brooklyn, whose only publicly articulated religious view is that he believes ”We are all connected and all in this together,” has stepped forward with the vision and the plan to bring this prayer to fruition.
Even more ironic perhaps, is the fact that the people chosen to decide whether this prayer gets a start are the little more than half a million of us registered voters eligible to vote in the February Democratic Primary in the state of New Hampshire, in whose hands may indeed lie the future of humanity. It’s up to us to answer the call.