Join April 29 rally to address climate change

What is it that causes change? Our history has lifted up many examples such dictators, natural disasters and revolutions.

It is also certainly debatable as to whether revolution automatically makes things better. But it does bring change. In our country presidential elections have certainly stimulated changes through our history. The presidential election last November has certainly done just that. We have had more marches, rallies, and grassroots actions the past weeks than in a long time.

I want to invite everyone to come April 29 at 1 p.m. to Washington Square Park near the Liberty Memorial, Crown Center and Union Station for a rally sponsored by the People's Climate Movement. This movement which was organized for the UN Climate Summit starting on Sept. 21, 2014, when 400,000 people gathered in New York demanding bold and urgent action from all nations of the UN. At that time, 2,646 rallies were held worldwide in 162 countries. Since that day they have grown in influence.

This has become urgent because many have raised valid concerns about the direction President Trump and his inner circle are leading this country. Do we want the type of change he is pushing? One wonders whether these big rallies have much influence on him, but it has certainly influenced members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Yes, we have traditionally had a political debate about the size of government and what the federal government's role is in the lives of its citizens. The president certainly has the right to give direction, but the Preamble of the Constitution lifts up the direction we are to go: "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union … .promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity." We, the people, have the right to express our views and make sure these views are heard. Rallies all over the country have certainly caused many in our country to take more of an interest in their own future.

As a retired minister in the Community of Christ's International field, I must admit that I see the current challenge facing our country through my understanding also of the mission of Jesus Christ. I have seen violence all around the world, but in my best moments proclaim peace. These marches are called to be peaceful, but powerful and passionate. When we "feel conflict we are called to extend the hand of reconciliation to those who encounter broken spirits and help them find pathways for healing." This is my current understanding, not only of the mission of Christ, but also the desire of the framers of our Constitution: Make our union more perfect and promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity." I see the current president not fulfilling these basic human rights, therefore marches of protest and affirmation of a better way is necessary.

Joe Bayless