Obama links faith to environmentalism

DES MOINES, Iowa - Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama said Sunday that his religious beliefs influence his plans for how to protect the environment.

Speaking before religious leaders and others at what he called an "interfaith forum on climate change," the Illinois senator said God has entrusted humans with the responsibility of caring for the earth, and "we are not acting as good stewards of God's earth when our bottom line puts the size of our profits before the future of our planet."

"It is our responsibility to ensure that this planet remains clean and safe and livable for our children and for all of God's children," he told about 200 people gathered at the downtown public library. "But in recent years, science has made it undeniably clear that our generation is not living up to this responsibility. Global warming is not a someday problem, it is now."

Meeting the threat of global climate change will take hard work and faith, Obama said.

"Not a blind faith, not a faith of mere words, not a faith that ignores science, but an active searching faith," said Obama, a member of the United Church of Christ. "It's a faith that does not look at the hardship and pain and suffering in the world and use it all as an excuse for inaction or cynicism, but one that accepts the fact that although we are not going to solve every problem here on earth, we can make a difference."

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