Reverend Asks, What Would Jesus Drive?

"We're reaching people they aren't," says Zelkind.

The recent California power crunch and record-high gas prices have also helped bring energy and environment to the pulpit.

"When people's pocketbooks are hurt, they're more willing to pay attention," says the Rev. Sally Bingham, an Episcopal priest and environmental activist in San Francisco.

Rediscovering Long-Standing Connections

Environmental issues are, of course, not new to religion.

Pope John Paul II, for example, drew attention to the subject 11 years ago in The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility.

Christianity, Judaism and other major faiths all talk about the importance of caring for the earth in their sacred texts.

Attention to the environmental aspects of their creeds is on the rise, however.

"I think we've all gotten clearer that our scriptures have a lot to say on the issue," says the Rev. Rich Killmer, director of environmental justice for the National Council of Churches.

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