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The bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued a Dec. 12 letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump expressing their dismay at his choice of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The Episcopal Church stands strongly for the protection of the environment.  We respect the facts of science.  We support the laws and policies that address the reality of climate change,” the bishops say in their letter.

Weakening and dismantling the E.P.A.’s protections of the natural world threaten the common good and compromise national security, the bishops write.

“We wonder why a person who has consistently and adamantly opposed all laws and policies that provide even minimal ‘protection’ to the environment should be entrusted with leading such an agency,” the bishops say. 

“As citizens of this beloved country, we intend to write our members of Congress, urging them to block the nomination of Scott Pruitt to lead the E.P.A.  We will pray for a better choice,” the bishops conclude, with an assurance to the president-elect of their continued prayers as he assumes “this office of tremendous responsibility for the good of all.”

The full text of the bishops’ letter follows below.

 

Dec. 12, 2016

Donald J. Trump
President-Elect of the United States of America
Trump Tower
735 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Dear President-Elect Trump,

We, the bishops of the Episcopal Church in Massachusetts, are glad to let you know that all of our 235 churches pray for you regularly in our liturgies with these or similar words: “For those in positions of public trust, especially Barack our President and Donald our President-Elect, that they may serve justice, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person.”

We also pray: “Give us reverence for the earth as your own creation, that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to your honor and glory.”

The Episcopal Church stands strongly for the protection of the environment. We respect the facts of science.  We support laws and policies that address the reality of climate change. We are in the process of divesting our financial interest in fossil fuels. Most recently our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, joined Native Americans at Standing Rock in their effort to protect their water and their sacred land. Numerous other Episcopal Church leaders have likewise traveled to Standing Rock.

Our respect for our government leaders and our reverence for the earth as God’s creation impel us to write you to express our dismay about your selection of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. We wonder why a person who has consistently and adamantly opposed all laws and policies that provide even minimal “protection” to the environment should be entrusted with leading such an agency.

President-elect Trump, you have promised economic development. Like you, we value a stable and prosperous economy.  However, a thriving economy depends on a healthy environment. The more we weaken and dismantle the E.P.A.’s vital protections of our natural world, the more we threaten the common good.

You have also promised to strengthen our national defense. Like you, we value national security.  However, our country’s top military intelligence have concluded that climate change is a “threat multiplier” that is already creating instability around the world and will likely create significant security challenges in the years ahead.  If someone who casts doubt on the reality of climate change becomes the head of the E.P.A., our national security will be compromised. 

As citizens of this beloved country, we intend to write our members of Congress, urging them to block the nomination of Scott Pruitt to lead the E.P.A. We will pray for a better choice.

And we will continue to pray for you as you assume this office of tremendous responsibility for the good of all.

Respectfully,

The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop Diocesan of Western Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop Diocesan of Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts
The Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts (retired)
The Rt. Rev. Roy F. Cederholm, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts (retired)

Thank you for protecting our environment. Let us all pray that a better choice for our EPA leader is made.

From: Janice Meinelt
Location/Parish: St. James Amesbury

The Bishops’ letter objecting to the nomination of Mr. Pruitt to head the E.P.A. based on their “respect for the facts of science” sounds as if it had been written in 1616 –not 2016. Ironically it is written on the 400th anniversary of the 1616 Order of the Catholic Church directing Galileo “…to abandon completely... the opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves….” Both that 1616 Order and our Bishops’ recent letter are based on an unwillingness of the authors to listen to any challenges to what they believe to be “settled science.” Mr. Pruitt has merely stated that all scientific theories, including the theory of man-made global warming, should remain open to debate and discussion. Such a debate is only feared by those who know they would lose it.

From: Ronald Monterosso
Location/Parish: Edgartown

Once again you have chosen to politicize in an embarrassingly unprincipled manner as your accusations are simply not truthful. The record shows that Mr. Pruitt is as concerned about the environment as anyone but believes in curbing excessive government regulation that merely strengthens the federal bureaucracy without helping the cause of environmentalism. But I guess Massachusetts Episcopalians have gotten used to a lack of fair-mindedness on the part of our church leaders.

From: Tony Oberdorfer
Location/Parish: Church of the Advent, Boston

Thank you!

From: Paige Flick
Location/Parish: All Saints Chelmsford MA

We can create jobs and begin to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. "The number of solar jobs in the U.S. has more than doubled in five years. In fact, there are more people working in solar now than at oil rigs and in gas fields." http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/12/news/economy/solar-energy-job-growth-us-...

From: Paula Jones
Location/Parish: Ascension Church

We must all speak loudly with conviction in these times. We can no longer live a laissez-faire existence.

From: Greer Ryall
Location/Parish: St Timothy's Danville, California

Blessed be the Bishops who speak forthrightly to political power. America is the most religiously diverse nation on Earth. Our strength lies in our cultural and biological diversity, and adherence to the rule of law. The new administration has a trump card it has not played. Republicans should embrace the environment and those who serve to preserve it as the most Conservative of life's missions. Mr. Nixon, we must remember, was recognized by National Public Radio for being one of 25 "Environmental Pioneers" because of his bold support of the EPA, and legislation to protect our air and waters. If Mr. Trump hopes to leave a noble legacy of his own, he should reverse his course and embrace the Environment, with a smarter, more innovative EPA to ensure that his ground rules are fair and enforceable.

From: Brian Rosborough
Location/Parish: Trinity Episcopal Church, Concord, MA.

Thank you for writing this important letter and inspiring us to take action on this vital issue which affects everyone!

From: Cozette Haggerty
Location/Parish: Christ Church Cathedral, Springfield

Thank you!

From: Susan Almono
Location/Parish: Grace Church Lawrence

This is so important. I have sent two letters with educational materials for him (Carbon Nation which I have screened at church and an illustrated article about climate impacts). I hope he will read your letter! Thank you~

From: Faith Salter
Location/Parish: St. Andrew's Ayer