http://www.seattle.gov/light/Green/greenPower/greenup.asp (Opens in a new browser window or tab.)
The Church would like to sign up for "Green Up Seattle." Right now, we are technically residential customers. We'd like to sign up for 100% new, renewable energy. That would mean that all of our electricity would come strictly from renewable sources. Right now, the percentage is high, since Seattle's total percentage from renewables is comparatively high.
Our situation won't allow us to do this though without help from environmentally conscientious donors. We can't afford the additional $120 per year.
As for this method on the part of the City of Seattle (Seattle City Light), it isn't the best way to bring forth alternative, new, clean, renewable energy sources. Charging a premium to environmentally conscientious souls is unnecessary in a natural, mundane monopoly that is this utility company. The regulating government could simply mandate the alternative, new, clean, renewable energy sources and increase rates across-the-board accordingly to pay to bring those sources online, which would save right from the start. The investment would start amortizing itself immediately. When one factors in all the societal costs of using polluting and (for all practical purposes) nonrenewable sources, it would amortize itself completely in the not too distant future.
The way they are doing it now, the environmentally conscientious, no matter how impoverished, are subsidizing even the wealthiest polluters. Those wealthiest polluters are responsible for having brought humanity to the current situation of dangerous climate alteration. Even in the mundane system of justice, those polluters are responsible and accountable for their actions and inactions.
Nevertheless, on the divine level, environmentally conscientious souls will sacrifice for righteousness' sake. Good stewardship is righteous. Every little bit helps.
However, this doesn't mean that the system can be fixed from within. The very reason why the utility isn't already there is because there are those who refuse to listen to reason. At best, they have to be coerced into going along with the right thing. That fact of coercion immediately identifies the house as divided and on a path to falling.
It is our understanding that the utility has a program for wealthier users to subsidize impoverished customers. That's a good thing in the relative sense. That's the spirit in some within the system trying to bring forth, but it isn't good enough to overcome. That's the point.
The system doesn't have within it the path to overcome. It isn't about overcoming. That's not its single vision. It's not its focus or aim. That's why the Church has always been meant to be the new wineskin that is to say a new system that is really returning to the original (God).
Thank you for your continuing support. Together, we will bring forth.
Update: We made the switch in June 2007. We are now using 100% windpower.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)