Evangelicals Speak Out to Protect Endangered Species

Members of the evangelical community traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet their representatives and voice their concerns about the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

This is a transcript of the video.

MARY PETTIT, Mobile, Alabama: It is our responsibility to take care of this planet. For future generations, for current generations, it is our responsibility. And I think that's what God expects us to do.

JOSHUA PEASE, Castle Rock, Colorado: If you look throughout the Bible, you see these snippets, these moments, in which there is this care and valuing of creation, in which God delights over creation.

For me, to be a Christian, to be a follower of Jesus, I have a responsibility that I'm going to eventually stand before Him and have to account for whether I was a good steward of it or not.

MYKAL SHUPE, Belpre, Ohio: My faith definitely is the cause of my passion for animals and knowing that God created them and that they help us as a human race and our environment is substantial.

PEASE: That matters, and it's been a neglected part of the faith for far too long. It's something that we viewed as being political or partisan, and it's not.

ROBERT DOWNS, Dayton, Ohio: I think the Endangered Species Act protects, or at least tries to protect, the diversity that we need in order to have a healthy planet.

PEASE: The Endangered Species Act has a proven track record of working. It's actually effective at what it does.

DOWNS: There's been a lot of activity in the executive branch to try to cut back on the act, cut its support. One of the endangered species that has had success in coming back is the bald eagle.

PETTIT: I've seen them flying freely in Mobile several times. I had five up overhead at one time. That's because they've been saved by the Endangered Species Act.

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PEASE: When we think about the idea of species going extinct, one way to look at that is that we're losing a part of the identity of the God who created it. We're losing our ability to connect with that, to engage, to learn about Him from those species.

The reason that I am in D.C. talking to my representatives is to say, like, "Hey, honestly, don't blow this. This is an important moment, do the right thing."

PETTIT: My friend called me and asked me to come up here to speak on the Endangered Species Act. And I thought, she has really lost it, I am not the one to do this. And then I thought, OK, this is something I can do.

SHUPE: I'm hoping that the meeting will cause the representatives to vote against weakening the Endangered Species Act and just to keep it as strong as possible, so we can help the threatened animals to not become endangered and the endangered animals to not go extinct.

I think it's important we think about our future generations. I believe that we should leave them a better world and a better environment than we were left.

PEASE: I don't want them looking back and wondering, like, what were we thinking. I want for them to look back and say, there's a generation of people who cared enough to do the right thing, to try to make changes before it was too late, to try to hold on to the things that we could do when we could do them.

PETTIT: I have a 17-month-old grandson, and I hope one day he's able to go out and go kayaking with me and see the things that I've seen. And that maybe they'll be even more widespread.

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