For Immediate Release: December 22nd
Faith Leaders want one gift this Christmas from
Senator Manchin: Support for the Build Back Better Act
West Virginians deliver oversized holiday card to Charleston office
Charleston, WV– Leading national and state-based religious organizations today delivered a 16” x 20” holiday card to Senator Joe Manchin’s Charleston office, asking for one gift: a return to good faith negotiations for the Build Back Better Act.
Sen. Manchin indicated his inability to find common ground this past weekend. The long-negotiated bill in the Senate now has the support of 49 Senate Democrats – awaiting only Senator Manchin’s approval for inclusion in the budget reconciliation package. It includes unprecedented investments to address the climate crisis, including expanding clean energy, job creation, and funding to restore degraded lands and waters, including in coal mining lands. The faith groups support it as a vital step toward climate justice and a safer world for all of God’s children.
The card reads in part:
“The Advent season leading into Christmas and then the new year is a time of reflection, waiting and anticipation, and then the miracle of new life and God’s love made manifest in the world. And this year we have a special prayer for this holy season: for your action to protect God’s Creation.
As the days grow shorter, the nights longer, the days in the year fewer, we are keenly aware of the limited time to act to protect our greatest gift: the gift of Creation and a safe planet for all of God’s children.
We beg you this Christmas season, Senator Manchin, to give Americans, the world, and future generations the protection we need for our climate. By supporting the Build Back Better Act, you will bring hope and renewal into the lives of Americans – especially the lives of constituents in West Virginia — through clean energy, healthier communities, and good jobs.”
Signatories to the letter offered the following comments:
Rev. Robin Blakeman, Steering Committee Member of West Virginia Interfaith Power & Light:
“All we want for Christmas this year is your support for the Build Back Better Act! It is the most meaningful thing we can do to protect God’s earth from the grave threat of climate disasters, and bequeath a safe climate and hopeful economic prospects to future generations.”
Rev. Susan Hendershot, President of Interfaith Power & Light: “Climate change is a moral and spiritual issue. This holiday season, faith communities are looking to Senator Manchin to give the gift of hope, by redirecting his steps and supporting the Build Back Better Act, and demonstrating moral leadership. Pope Francis, in his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Sí, says, ‘Hope would have us recognize that there is always a way out, that we can always redirect our steps, that we can always do something to solve our problems.’”
Clarence Edwards, Legislative Director for Sustainable Energy & Environment of Friends Committee on National Legislation: “The Build Back Better Act is the shining light that can lead us out of the darkness of the climate crisis. This bill is essential if we are to build a sustainable low-carbon economy with justice and opportunity for all. Now more than ever we are looking to the Senate to light the path & help us take our first steps toward an earth restored, with equity and justice for all.”
Marianne Comfort, Justice Coordinator for Earth, anti-racism and women, for the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas: “As we celebrate with friends and family this season, the best gift we can give the younger generations gathered around our holiday tables is hope for a bright future free from environmental degradation and the harms of the climate crisis. Passing the Build Back Better Act will bring a glimpse of the peace and justice promised in our scriptures especially this time of year.”
Other signatories to the letter included Creation Justice Ministries, Faithful America, and Franciscan Action Network.