Religious Leaders Pray For Our Climate at White House

On January 15, the 84th birthday of Martin Luther King, the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate, an interfaith network of religious leaders, gathered at the White House.

Evangelicals, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Catholics and Buddhists held a "Pray-in for the Climate" on King’s birthday because if he were alive, "he would join them in declaring that climate change is one of the greatest moral issues of our time."

Martin Luther King

Interfaith Moral Action on Climate is calling on the president to reject the permit for the tar sands pipeline, convene an emergency national climate summit, call for a carbon tax, stop fossil fuel subsidies, and fund a crash program for clean energy.

King "had a dream" but he also raged that America had become "a nightmare" because of the four-headed monster of "racism, poverty, militarism and materialism," says Father Paul Mayer. "In fact, King’s analysis of our society offers one of the toughest critiques of capitalism, the military-industrial complex and the unequal distribution of our wealth between the 99 percent and the 1 percent."

They risked arrest as part of civil disobedience, which King called for in times of extreme danger to the nation – in this case, the planet.

"The message of this Pray-in to President Obama is the same one that King used in his famous controversial speech on the war in Vietnam: "The time has come to break the silence" — in this case, the climate silence."

Even though an ice sheet larger than the US melted in less than a year, virtually not a word about climate change was uttered during the presidential campaign or since then. 

For those who would say that these are unreasonable demands and "What’s the hurry?" this community of faith would respond with the burning words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

"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.’"

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