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All Saints Rector Mike Kinman responds to the announcement from the White House that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

Murder is murder, whether it happens quickly or slowly. It is the deliberate, intentional taking of human life. And the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord is murder on a global scale. It is a crime not just against our environment, it is a crime against humanity.

This is not hyperbole or conjecture but fact. We know that climate change is already causing flooding, hurricanes and famines, which in turn cause and will continue to cause not only immediate death but massive migrations and refugee crises leading to more suffering and death. The world’s most vulnerable people are already the first and most directly affected and this action ensures their suffering will only get worse.

If our president walked up to a child living in a beach community in Bangladesh, pointed a gun at her head and pulled the trigger, I hope we would be horrified. I hope we would say that act could never be about the “greatness” of a nation or a people. I hope we would say that no economic argument could justify that kind of barbarism and murder.

And yet, on a much larger scale, that is what he has just done.

Murder is murder, whether it happens quickly or slowly. Ask any mother who has lost her child. The president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord is murder. People will die because of it. Children will die because of it. And as people of faith, we only have four words for our president:

You shall not kill.

And, as people of faith, this is not a call to despair, but a call to continued and sustained action.

At All Saints Church, we have committed to “combat the causes and consequences of human-caused climate change” through nine promises contained in this resolution  passed last year by our vestry. It’s time to read that again and ask not only how we can redouble our efforts to fulfil this charge as a congregation but as individual people of faith and members of the All Saints Community.

Also, click here to join the Episcopal Public Policy Network in telling your member of Congress to promote environmental stewardship.

Continue to urge our own state and local leaders to invest in clean energy and reducing our carbon footprint.

Continue to pray for transformation of heart for our leaders and for ourselves.

Today brought a discouraging word, a tragic word. But it will not be the last word.
Mike Kinman is the rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena. For more information contact us at 626.796.1172 or visit our website and click here for more information on our Climate Change Task Force.

Additionally we note the statement by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church — Michael Curry — on the Climate Accord action