Religious leaders and senators invoked the Old Testament, the teachings of Jesus, modern-day polls and hard-edged politics Thursday in a lively hearing that turned into a debate about the role of faith and doctrine in tackling global warming.
Using her prerogative as committee chair, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., scheduled the hearing to highlight the growing importance of religious groups, including evangelicals, in grass-roots campaigns to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
After weeks of hearings on climate change that brought scientists, snowmobilers, CEOs, environmental activists and retired admirals before the Environment Committee, this hearing featured the nation’s presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, a leader of reform Judaism, a representative of Catholic bishops, evangelical leaders and theologians.
Several leaders said denominations that often disagree over moral issues and policies have found widespread accord on the need to protect Earth and future generations by aggressively combating global warming.
“Faith communities, in the area of global warming, are increasingly of one mind that action is needed,” said Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who also spoke for the National Council of Churches, which represents about 45 million Americans.
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