Egged on by a supportive video from Robert Redford, the Religious Left rallied with environmentalists on Sunday afternoon outside the White House to oppose the Keystone XLL pipeline from Canada. This ostensibly sinister pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Texas oil refineries.
More oil for America?! Texas oil refineries!? More jobs in the oil sector?! Naturally the Religious Left, which hates oil (while still depending on it as much as everybody else) and hates Texas even more, is enraged.
The half million member United Methodist Women eagerly backed the tar sands pipeline protest in Washington, D.C., while also sending an investigator to Alberta, Canada to inspect the origins of the supposed evil. A traditional icon for this group, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, herself a Methodist woman, has said she is “inclined” to support the pipeline.
More and cheaper oil disrupts the Left’s fantasy of reliance on wind mills and solar panels. And the possibility that a prairie dog or stretch of sod might be disrupted by pipeline construction far more disturbs the Religious Left than does a future of less and more expensive energy.
Activists hoped for 15,000 to converge on Lafayette Park across the street from the White House to let President Obama know what they really think about the tar sands oil pipeline. Reportedly about 10,000 showed up. As rally cheer leader Rose Marie Berger of Sojourners explained beforehand: “Go to church. Then take the gospel to the White House.”
Does the Gospel counsel against more oil for America? The answer is yes for Berger, a leftist Catholic social justice activist and poet whose record, according to her bio, includes “numerous arrests for nonviolent civil disobedience.” Maybe stopping tar sands oil, and defending the “millions of people and wildlife who will be negatively affected by its presence,” merits one more arrest.
In her Sojourners appeal for demonstrators, Berger plaintively cited the pipeline developer’s previous oil spills and the prospect of “poorly paid” pipeline jobs, as well as “clear-cutting boreal forests, breaking indigenous treaties, irreversibly damaging water quality, and introducing toxic waste into the food chain affecting human health.” If the Religious and Environmental Left had existed 300 years ago, America would never have been settled, which probably would have been just fine with them, though the “indigenous” peoples already here slaughtered wildlife and burned down forests in their own struggle for survival.
In truth, people everywhere, who by definition are polluters and consumers, are a threat to the earth, whose purity is far more important to the Left than is corrupt humanity. The opponents of the tar sands pipeline would probably prefer that oil not be drilled anywhere, especially in or near America. But the short term consequence of their goals would be even more oil drilled far more messily in places like Nigeria and Angola, and then expensively dragged through hundreds of miles of ocean by belching oil tankers. Who will speak for the aggrieved, violated sea life, not to mention the countless millions in third world nations who live amid oil production and far less environmental regulation?
Berger breathlessly quoted a NASA “climate scientist” who was arrested in a previous protest and who apocalyptically warns that tar sands oil essentially means “game over” in terms of “disastrous global climate impacts.” Berger herself concluded: “This pipeline is a climate killer.” It’s quite amazing that a single pipeline should be so potent. Perhaps more in danger than the earth’s climate is the apocalyptic Global Warming movement, which has essentially melted down to mostly just hot air. In a recession wracked world economy, few nations are deeply interested in further indulging the Global Warming alarmists, whose scare scenarios continue to unravel upon reflection and study.
“Now is the time for the President to show true leadership and help to move the country off of oil,” intoned Robert Redford in his video appeal. “We have better energy choices.” Of course, he didn’t list what those “better” choices are. More expensive oil presumably will not seriously affect Redford’s standard of living. Labor unions are backing the tar sands pipeline, apparently welcoming even the “poorly paid” jobs that Berger disparaged.
At a previous anti-pipeline rally, Berger somewhat apologetically asked how many demonstrators “talk to God,” and enthused: “Sometimes reading the Bible makes you liberal.” She added: “And when you start reading what Jesus said, it makes you radical!” One inspired demonstrator responded by shouting: “Revolution!” So Jesus is apparently against the tar sands pipeline. In the leftist interpretation of Jesus, the world would be better off if it completely reverted to the stinky and far more polluting fuel sources of Jesus’ time: animal dung and firewood. Indeed, Berger insisted this pipeline is “religiously and morally reprehensible.” And amid raucous cheers she sternly warned President Obama if he approved it: “There will be holy hell to pay.” She described Lutheran bishops potentially “sitting down in front of bulldozers.” A terrifying scenario indeed.
Leftist religious activists were arrested outside the White House in August, including apparently the head of the chief Catholic Maryknoller lobbyist, who explained: “We have to learn to live in harmony with this planet, our only home.” Although an inanimate object, religious leftists like to speak of “the planet” as a living organism perhaps of more value than the mere mortals who dwell upon it.
The religious anti-pipeline zealots imagine a fantastic utopia without oil or industry, where everyone magically lives like Robert Redford on a beautiful ranch in Utah, commuting back to the West coast home in perhaps hot air balloons. These activists like to cite Jesus. But He more typically concerned Himself with ordinary people, who in our own time, need oil, affordable energy, industry and jobs.
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