OPINION: A call to action for voters of faith

As Michiganders of faith and conscience, our values call us to be good stewards of God’s Creation, this planet we call home. We have a moral obligation to protect our climate for future generations. Our faith traditions call us to care for our neighbors and Creation. 

Whether you live in Detroit or Omer, this climate crisis devastates our health and destroys our environment. Everyone is experiencing climate impacts, regardless of how we worship, zip code, skin color, or political affiliation.

We know that the fossil fuel industry has polluted our air and water, endangered our environment, and jeopardized our children’s futures. For too long, we’ve seen our neighbors’ air, water, and land become polluted and suffer from the effects of a warming climate. This is the result of greed. 

Fossil fuel companies and polluters pick and choose where to dump toxins based on the contents of our wallets and the color of our skin, hoping to avoid accountability for the crisis they created for all of us. They try to divide us by our differences. They protect their profits by blocking legislation and warping the democratic process. 

Powerful industries and the handful of politicians they support are blocking popular climate solutions. The same powerful interests corrupt our democracy with campaign contributions to prop up politicians who allow them to continue business as usual, even when it harms the common good.

We will not let them keep us from making our voices heard. This election is about the values shaping our future. Faith voters in Michigan can protect our planet and create a better world for our children. We can join together to vote for our values and make a difference.

By picking leaders who believe in smart solutions for us all, we make the future better for all those to come. Our elected leaders have moral, ethical, political, and economic responsibilities to respond to the climate crisis. When we are good stewards of the Earth, everyone benefits in the short and long terms, no matter what certain politicians and polluting industries say.

People of faith want climate action. A poll commissioned by Interfaith Power & Light found that overwhelming majorities of both white evangelical Protestants and Black Protestants believe fulfilling their responsibility to protect God’s Creation is an important reason to address climate change. Overall, faith voters agreed with this statement at a rate of 81%, including strong majorities of Jews (75%), Black Protestants (94%) and white evangelical Protestants (90%).

Almost three-quarters of these voters are worried about our climate and want to see their elected officials take action. That includes 87% of Black Protestants, 82% of nonwhite Catholics, 77% of white Catholics, 76% of Jews, and 57% of white evangelical Protestants who said they are “very worried or somewhat worried about climate change.” 

We still have time to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis if we act now to shift to clean and equitable energy. This is a concrete opportunity to create a better world for our children. Black, brown, and white, Indigenous and immigrant, we can come together to take action to heal our climate and create the country we need: one where everyone is cared for and our communities have what we need to be healthy. 

We can vote our values so that every family has what they need to get and stay well, every working person has a safe, good job, and everyone’s air and land is protected for generations to come.


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