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Mary Ellen Harte and John Harte

Mary Ellen Harte and John Harte

Posted: September 8, 2010 12:34 PM

The "Restoring Honor" rally hosted by Glenn Beck at the marble feet of Lincoln seemed to echo often with the themes "restoring honor" and "faith." According to Glenn Beck, "Something beyond imagination is happening, something that is beyond man is happening. America today is beginning to turn back to God." And Sarah Palin chimed in with, "We must restore America and restore her honor." God, and restoring honor to a nation. But history is strewn with people who have used these words to distract a populace from issues that do require our faith. This could be the case with our quest for faith in America, if we do not keep our patriotic eyes focused clearly on what needs restoring in our country.

We need to re-align our needs for energy and jobs with our physical, environmental and thus, economic well-being. Doing so means switching from the sickening, climate-changing combustion of fossil fuels to clean renewable sources of energy, and practicing energy efficiency. And protecting the important carbon-sequestering systems that are our national forests. Such a transition has the potential to create millions of new jobs, if we dare to promote and build this new future. Sadly, Congress has been unable to pass legislation that will do so. Do those in the Senate, namely most Republicans and some Democrats, who opposed even that bipartisan energy bill championed by a Republican and Democratic senator, lack faith in what their nation could accomplish?

It's time, once again this November, for Americans to rise up and elect leaders who will lead us through this transition to a healthy, economically robust nation, independent of foreign sources of energy. It's pretty simple, and has nothing to do with the color, religion, or political party of the candidates. It has everything to do with how well each candidate understands clearly what needs to be done, no matter who proposes it, and is willing to support passage of meaningful energy and climate legislation, party and personal political future be damned. We need, quite simply, women and men of courage and intelligence. Our patriotic duty is to ask these candidates, wherever they appear, just what they plan to do, in terms of legislation, to help our country transition to clean energy and address climate change. And then vote for the ones who will do it, as indicated by their philosophy and past actions.

We actually agree with some of Beck's declarations: "To restore America, we must restore ourselves.... We have to "concentrate on the good things in America, the things we have accomplished and the things we can do tomorrow." We certainly must restore faith in what our nation can accomplish. Indeed, whether Congress helps or hinders, whether President Obama forcefully promotes it or not, we Americans must transition to clean renewable energy, before our nation experiences any more calamitous signs of climate change. As our free online book shows, we have accomplished good things towards that goal, are accomplishing more every day, and more Americans are demonstrating every day that we can transition to clean energy. Let's come together on this article of faith. As Glenn Beck said, "Use today to change your life. It's what we do from here that matters."