The 114th congressional body is the most religiously diverse committee to ever occupy the House of Representatives. With the first Buddhist, Hindu and self identifying "None" being welcomed into the fold — understanding how religious beliefs influence congressional attitudes on climate change has never been more imperative.
Instead of viewing religion as divisive schism, Interfaith Moral Action on Climate has called on congressional members to unite on issues of climate change by implementing the theological guidance of their respective faith traditions. Steering committee member, Ted Glick, shared, "Our purpose will be to say very clearly to those inside that we believe any of those members who are motivated by religious beliefs need to look more closely at their own religious traditions and what they teach about stewardship of the Earth and care for the Earth."
Additionally, faith communities have extended their voice to President Obama to influence his initiatives on climate change. In a recent Huffington Post article, Rev. Chuck Currie, United Church of Christ Minister concluded, "There has already been strong support from the faith community for the president's executive actions on immigration and climate change." Faith communities of all denominations are stepping forward and taking action for the climate through political engagement, largely through letter writing campaigns.
On the rare chance any Republican congressmen or senators leave the premises of the Hershey Lodge during their joint caucus retreat today, they'll be greeted by an interfaith religious service aimed at motivating the GOP lawmakers to take action on climate change.
The group putting on the joint service and protest outside the Republican retreat, Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, is just one of an increasing number of religious coalitions organizing on both sides of the debate over how — or whether — to address climate change. That debate will likely intensify over the coming months, as Pope Francis stakes out climate change as a key policy issue.