Yesterday, in Washington D.C., an interfaith group of religious leaders gathered in front of The White House. Their intention was to bring the president’s attention to the detrimental effects promised by the Keystone XL pipeline. Their intention was to gather in Lafayette Park, across from The White House, bearing three symbols: The Palms that greeted Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, The Matzoh that began as the food of the poor and afflicted but became the bread of life and freedom, and The Globe, to symbolize the planet we share.
Here‘s a link to an image of the demonstration.
The Rabbi in this photo was among 15 arrested.
They call themselves the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change, and their actions are inspired by what they see as a threat to humanity and life on our planet. In this case, the Keystone XL pipeline that could bring Alberta Tar sands oil across US soil and down to the gulf coast: this particular type of oil has been shown to be especially destructive to the environment (See my post “Who’s in Charge Here?” 3/1/13).
The President is expected to make a decision on whether to approve the pipeline: a decision he has pushed back more than once. These religious leaders, along with almost 40,000 protestors who gathered in February, want him to say no, once and for all. This is not to mention the thousands or millions at home who would rather have their planet and species endure a bit longer.
Those opposed to this project take inspiration from another spiritual leader, who paraphrases well their grand vision. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned:
“We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now…. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: ’Too late’.”
These leaders have specified the demands of U.S. citizens. They urge the president to take actions, which they say are “necessary to heal our communities and the Earth”, including a permanent refusual to permits for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
What about us? At home, in agreement that we want to preserve our natural habitat and way of life. What can we do?
We could let Obama and our other legislators know how we feel. After all, they wouldn’t have a job without us.
Also, we can talk with the purse, a loud language in our United States. For starters, think about where you put your money. If you have accounts at TD Bank (Canadian-owned), your money helps to support the $15 billion they have invested in the Alberta tar sands. Banking with local banks or credit unions puts those dollars to better use in your community, supporting small business and local jobs.
Look into other investments. Look into purchases. Being a responsible consumer takes a little extra investigation, but it means that you have some small bit of control, and some say about how the world is run. Together we have all the say.
Well, what do we say? Bleached bones and destruction? Or something else?