Love God, Heal Earth
21 Leading Religious Voices Speak Out
On Our Sacred Duty to Protect the Environment
Author: The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham et al
St. Lynn’s Press
The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham is founder and president of the Regeneration Project, which has as its focus the Interfaith Power and Light campaign. This is an effort that involves more than 4,000 congregations, mosques and temples, and more than 500,000 people in a faith-based action to heal the Earth. It is an innovative plan that mobilizes congregations of all faiths to reduce energy consumption in their buildings, as ell as in their communities. This is more than a “greening” of religion – it is a religious eco-movement based on the premise that we have a moral obligation to preserve and protect God’s creation – the earth that we live on.
The voice we hear is a united one, featuring the views of twenty-one religious leaders from differing religious backgrounds on the subject of healing the earth. The authors are in agreement that the religious community has come late to the environmental movement. But they are here now, and are taking action! It is also important to note that in each religion there is an imperative to take care of the earth that we live on.
In her introduction, Rev. Bingham notes that there are now twenty-seven state Interfaith Power and Light programs, as well as one in the greater Washington DC area. They are the leading faith community advocates for climate protection in America.
Contributors to this book include the Rev. Woody Bartlett, a retired Episcopal priest; Mohamad A. Chakaki, who hold a Masters Degree in Urban Ecological and Environmental design, as well as undergraduate degrees in religion and biology; Rabbi Andrea Cohen-Kiener, director of the Inter-religious Eco-Justice Network and the spiritual leader of Congregation Pnai Or of central Connecticut; the Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Durley, senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church of Atlanta; SR Paula Gonzalez, SC, Ph.D, futurist, environmentalist, and a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati; Imam Achmat Salie, founder and director of the Islamic Studies program at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Michigan; and Linda Ruth Cutts, Abbess and Senior Dharma Teacher of the San Francisco Zen Center from 2000 – 2007.
Through the stories these individuals tell, we get a clear picture of the impact that we can have as individuals on our environment. It is a choice – our choice – but more importantly it is a religious imperative that we need to listen to and act on.
© October 2009