I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m a Christian.
I believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But I don’t believe in climate change. Come to think of it, I don’t believe in gravity either.
Why? Because gravity and climate change are just facts of physics — observable, measurable and predictable — not to be believed so much as understood and respected.
Gravity and climate change are also very consequential. For instance, if I choose not to get out of bed for several weeks, my muscles will eventually shrink until I can no longer stand on my own two feet. So, gravity, if I fail to resist it long enough, will take away my independence. Climate change, if we fail to resist it long enough, will take away our civilization.
Will we resist, or will we retreat?
While my faith doesn’t have much to say about physics, it has a lot to say about right and wrong. Unlike gravity, climate change has serious moral implications. We caused it (not natural cycles); we have known that for over 30 years; and yet we are still making climate change worse. Every year the risk increases for you, me, the place we call home and the people we love.
That is why I went to Glasgow, Scotland, earlier this month to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference. I was there to watch and pray as a member of the international Christian Climate Observers Program. I was also there to help launch a movement called #ClimateVigil.
While world leaders gave speeches and delegates attended to tedious negotiations, Christians gathered at a historic church in Glasgow to pray, sing and light candles. Many more joined us around the world in their churches and homes. It was a global candlelight vigil to show our solidarity in the face of the climate crisis — and our commitment to respond with faith, hope and love.
You can still experience the global vigil at ClimateVigil.org. You will hear new music from The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. You will also hear inspiring messages from Christian leaders, including Katharine Hayhoe, Ruth Valerio and Thomas Schirrmacher.
Still not sure about climate change? You can check the facts for yourself at climatevigil.org/learn. But don’t stop there. Consider the facts in light of your most deeply held values. You might even pray about it. That’s what I did, and it changed my life. I realized I could no longer look away or sit on the sidelines. I had to make a decision — for the love of God, my neighbor and my kids.
Love is what moves us. Do we have enough love to get out of bed, stand up and resist climate change? Or will we pull up the covers and watch the darkness overtake our family and friends? Either way, climate change will be one of the hardest things we ever face. So I say we face it together.
Will you light a candle with us?