Letter to the Editor: Whitworth should divest from fossil fuels because of its Christian identity

Dear Whitworth Community, This university has a Christian duty to divest its endowment from fossil fuel extracting companies. Ever since God called humans to care for the land from which we were formed in Genesis 3:23, our vocation has been to steward the land. Paul says in Romans 8:21 that “The creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” And so Christian hope lies in the restoration of all creation. Knowing where Christian hope lies and Christian vocation lies, it makes no sense for a Christian university to profit from companies that hurt the earth. And guess what? 97 percent of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and it is caused by human fossil fuel consumption. The ramifications are staggering: continuing loss of biodiversity, increasing extreme weather patterns, and increasingly vulnerable human coastal populations. God’s earth is being scarred by our dependence on coal and oil. Union Theological Seminary recognized this and chose to divest from, as they said, the sin of fossil fuel holdings. Michael Johnston, a former executive of financial giant Capital Group Companies and the chair of Union’s investment committee said: “I hope that people see our actions as a beacon of hope, and recognize that there are things we can do...to cut down on our greenhouse gas emissions.” It is time for Whitworth to follow suit. Let us put our money where our faith is.

Niko Aberle niko.aberle@gmail.com