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Creation Care & the Right to Clean Water

Our connection with nature exists on many different levels.  For many, good stewardship is a clear duty for all who believe in God -- Creator -- Source -- Oneness -- among many other names.  It is a spiritual matter and a moral imperative.  For this reason, the Florida Right to Clean Water initiative hopes to reach like-minds and like-hearts to ensure all may be aware of this opportunity to ensure our society's standard of protection matches what is expected of good stewards, whether individual, corporate, or government.  For water, we can achieve this highest of protections with a constitutional, fundamental right to clean and healthy waters.

Scroll down to see how different faiths and denominations engage in Creation Care and share it with YOUR community!

Check out our Upcoming Events page to see if there are celebrations during the Season of Creation near you or online!

Creation Care policies, resolutions, and doctrines across faith communities

Please be patient as we continue building this list.  If you have any particular additions / requests for modification to the below list, please email admin@floridarighttocleanwater.org.

Nonsectarian

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

From The Invisible Crisis (Water Unaffordability in the United States):  "UUSC's research-based recommendations include: ... Adopting the human right to water and sanitation in domestic law with clear enforcement mechanisms and remedies."

See also a 1966 General Resolution on Natural Resources based on these grounds:  

1.  Pure water, pure air, open spaces and wilderness areas are precious natural resources belonging to all the people;

2.  These resources, and the health of the public, are threatened by pollution, contamination and exploitation caused by industrial and other interests in disregard of the rights of the people;

3.  Effective correction and control require government action at all levels.

Christianity

(Roman) Catholic Church

"Grounded in the knowledge that everything is interconnected, we are called to care for all of God’s creation.  In doing so, we seek to protect our common home and ensure the preservation of our environment, which sustains life through its natural resources."  -- An excerpt from a legislative communication from the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, under "Stewarding the Environment."

Click here to read the Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si' of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home, from 2015.

In it, Pope Francis includes such points as:

  • #9 "As Christians, we are also called “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbors on a global scale. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet”."

  • #38 "...each government [should carry] out its proper and inalienable responsibility to preserve its country's environment and natural resources, without capitulating to spurious local or international interests."

  • #53 "The establishment of a legal framework which can set clear boundaries and ensure the protection of ecosystems has become indispensable; otherwise, the new power structures based on the techno-economic paradigm may overwhelm not only our politics but also freedom and justice."

  • #66 "The creation accounts in the book of Genesis contain, in their own symbolic and narrative language, profound teachings about human existence and its historical reality. They suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor and with the earth itself. According to the Bible, these three vital relationships have been broken, both outwardly and within us. This rupture is sin. The harmony between the Creator, humanity and creation as a whole was disrupted by our presuming to take the place of God and refusing to acknowledge our creaturely limitations. This in turn distorted our mandate to “have dominion” over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), to “till it and keep it” (Gen 2:15). As a result, the originally harmonious relationship between human beings and nature became conflictual (cf. Gen 3:17-19). It is significant that the harmony which Saint Francis of Assisi experienced with all creatures was seen as a healing of that rupture. Saint Bonaventure held that, through universal reconciliation with every creature, Saint Francis in some way returned to the state of original innocence. This is a far cry from our situation today, where sin is manifest in all its destructive power in wars, the various forms of violence and abuse, the abandonment of the most vulnerable, and attacks on nature."

Christianity

National Association of Evangelicals

Click here to read Caring for God's Creation -- for the Health of the Nation.

It includes, "Clean air, pure water and adequate resources are crucial to public health and civic order. Therefore, government has an obligation to protect its citizens from environmental degradation and from human suffering that it causes. This includes both adaptation to environmental threats and mitigation of the consequences. Because natural systems are extremely complex, human actions can have unexpected side effects. We must therefore approach our stewardship of creation with humility and caution."

A Rocha "Commitment to Creation Care" can be found here.

Christianity

United Methodist Church

Click here for the United Methodist Church policy on clean water, which specifically calls all to "advocate for water as a basic human right."  It provides a quick-reference document, "Faith & Facts," citing scripture and explaining how the United Methodist Church supports creation care.

See also the Book of Resolutions, 1029 (Protection of Water) and 1033 (Caring for Creation:  Our Call to Stewardship and Justice)

Christianity

American Baptist Churches

Click here to read the American Baptist Churches Policy Statement on Ecology.

Included:  "Today the human race faces an unprecedented challenge to rediscover the role of steward in a time of extraordinary peril and promise. Global warming, the growth of population, the depletion of nonrenewable resources, tropical deforestation, the pollution of air, land, and water, waste of precious materials and the general assault of God's creation, springing from greed, arrogance and ignorance, present the possibility of irreversible damage to the intricate, natural systems upon which life depends. ... Churches and individual Christians must take responsibility to God and neighbor seriously and respond (Eph. 2:10). 

Christianity

Southern Baptist Convention

Click here for the Resolution on the Environment.

Click here for the Resolution on the Care of Our Environment.

Click here for the Resolution on Environmental Stewardship.

Click here for the Resolution on Global Warming.

Click here for the Resolution on the Gulf of Mexico Catastrophe.

Christianity

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Click here for a toolkit on water as one of the church's "Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns."  It includes Sustaining Waters, which "assists Christians to be good stewards of water."

Included:  "In Scripture, in the baptismal font, and even in the cups that grace our tables, water is a gift from God. Water is also a right for all people on earth. Knowing that water is powerful, both life-giving and destructive at times, we praise God for the gift of water as we work to provide clean water throughout creation."

Christianity

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

Click here for an ELCA factsheet, "Stewarding the Gift of Water."

"Water holds a sacred place in our relationship with God.  In holy baptism, the triune God delivers us from the forces of evil, puts our sinful self to death, gives us new birth, adopts us as children, and makes us members of the body of Christ, the church. Water connected to the Word – God’s saving promise in Jesus Christ – is at the center of the baptismal celebration (ELW p. 225).
Water is a sign of cleansing, dying, and a new birth. It is used generously in Holy Baptism to symbolize God’s power over sin and death. God can use whatever water we have. Yet, with Martin Luther, we wish to make full use of water, when it is possible. “For baptism…signified that the old self and the sinful birth of flesh and blood are to be wholly drowned by the grace of God. We should therefore do justice to its meaning and make baptism a true and complete sign of the thing it signifies (The Use of the Means of Grace, p. 32).

Judaism

(Various references)

Click here for "Jewish Views on Nature and the Environment."

Click here for "Jewish Environmentalism."

Click here for "Judaism and Environmentalism."

Click here for "Bal Tashchit: The Torah Prohibits Wasteful Destruction."

Islam

(Various references)

Click here for "Islam and Sustainable Development."

Click here for "Environmental Ethics and Islam."

Click here for "How Islam can represent a model for environmental stewardship."

Click here for "Islamic Ecotheology based on the Qur'an.

Hinduism

(Various references)

From Wiki (Religion and Environmentalism):  "In Hinduism, practitioners and scholars find traditional approaches to the natural environment in such concepts as dharmic ethics or prakrti (material creation), the development of ayurveda, and readings of vedic literature. Hindu environmental activism also may be inspired by Gandhian philosophy and practical struggles, such as the Bishnoi community in Rajasthan and Chipko resistance to forestry policies in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Mahatma Gandhi played a major role in Indian environmentalism and has been called the "father of Indian environmentalism". Gandhi's environmental thought parallels his social thoughts in that environmental sustainability and social inequalities should be managed in similar fashions. His non-violent teachings left a lasting impact, even agriculturally. Contemporary agrarian practices use the Bhagavad-Gita to establish practices that are deemed non-violent."

Buddhism

(Various references)

From Wiki (Religion and Environmentalism):  "Buddhism includes many principles linked to sustainability. The Dalai Lama has consistently called for strong climate action, reforestation, preserving ecosystems, a reduction in meat consumption. He declared that if he will ever join a political party it will be the green party and if Buddha returned to our world now: "Buddha would be green." The leaders of Buddhism issued a special declaration calling on all believers to fight climate change and environmental destruction as a whole."

"Protecting the environment begins in the heart, says Buddhist leader" As a child living in a rural area in eastern Tibet, His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje recalls a natural environment that was pristine and untarnished by modern development. (Watch video here.)

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