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My Earth Day Message to America

President John F. Kennedy visits with his nephew, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; RFK, Jr., presented his uncle with a salamander, "Shadrach." Oval Office, White House, Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Abbie Rowe. White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.   Environmental protection binds us to our own humanity and to all of creation. The natural world connects us to the 10,000 generations of human beings who lived before us and ultimately connects us to God. God talks to human beings through many vectors: through each other, through organized religion, through the great books of those religions, through wise people, through art, music, literature, and poetry. But nowhere with such detail and grace, color, and joy as through creation. When we destroy a species, when we destroy a special place, we're diminishing our capacity to sense the divine, understand who God is, and what our own potential is as human beings.

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