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This Tuesday, 15 January 2013, an interfaith coalition will hold a "Pray-In for the Climate" in front of the White House. (Yes, sadly, this will be in front of the White House rather than in it even though this is the sort of "Prayer Breakfast" that the President (and family) should join as part of a 'national conversation on the climate'.)

The day is powerful in its symbolism as the 15th is the date of Martin Luther King, Jr's, real birthday even as the Presidential inauguration will come on the following Monday, the Federal MLK holiday.  When considering Martin Luther King's legacy, it is hard to imagine that he would not be in the front lines of interfaith efforts to help society see the moral (and survival and security and economic and ...) necessity of confronting climate change.  King likely would have been among those arrested in front of the White House in summer 2011 protesting the proposed Keystone pipeline and he would join other religious leaders in front of the White House in this interfaith action (where at least some people are planning to get arrested for civil disobedience) "to bring attention to the urgent need for for action on climate change."

In a real sense all life is inter-related. Martin Luther King, Jr. DayAll persons are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality. ~Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On the 15th, the pray-in will meet at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (1313 New York Ave, NW, WDC, 2005) with the religious procession to the WH (all of a five minute walk) scheduled for noon and, at 1230", a "Prayerful Vigil at the White House"
Asking that our President and our nation
find the strength and wisdom
to steer us away from
the Climate Cliff
From the pray-in's press release:
"The way we respond to our warming planet is absolutely an issue of social justice, “ said Rev. Bob Edgar, CEO Common Cause and former head of National Council of the Churches. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. often invoked 'the fierce urgency of now' in calling people to action, and nowhere are his words more relevant than in the moral
imperative we share as people of faith to take decisive action against climate change."
The President's offhand comments about the potential for a national conversation on climate change clearly aren't enough to lay these religious leaders' concerns to rest.
“President Obama needs to lead more than a conversation about climate change. It’s time he and our leaders recognize this threat and lead us toward a more energy efficient and sustainable future,” said Rabbi Arthur Waskow. “Some of us might be arrested, and frankly, it’s worth it — we need to show that this is an issue the President must address aggressively.”
Amid the struggle to foster societal attention to what might be the greatest threat that human civilization has ever faced, MLK Jr's words certainly are worth considering.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at  times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr
NOTE / UPDATE:  Multiple commentators are challenging "prayer" and "pray-in".  The people involved are people who, in their own lives / communities / etc, are taking tangible actions while seeking to foster change in broader society.  From the announcement for Tuesday's event:
What will we be urging that the President do to meet the needs of this critical hour in planetary time?  He must break the silence by taking necessary actions, such as these:

1. Permanently refuse permits for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, because tar- oil is among the most dangerous of the planet-heating forms of carbon

2. Call a National Summit Conference on the Climate Crisis that includes leaders of business, labor, academia, religious communities, governmental officialdom, science, and other relevant bodies

3. Publicly support and advocate for a carbon fee that will generate hundreds of billions of dollars, with provisions to ensure that working families and the poor are not harmed by higher carbon prices; for an end to subsidies to the coal, oil and gas industries; and for substantial subsidies for research, development, and use of renewable, sustainable and jobs-creating clean energy sources.

Consider this event w/this in mind ...

And, for a taste from Down Under, here is a summary of the Australian situation in one infographic (note: a few days old) ...

Perhaps you might wish to consider Mark Ruffalo's call for a declaration of war on Climate Change.

And, do not forget to have 17 February marked off on your calendar.

Join The #ForwardOnClimate Rally On 2/17!
What: The largest climate rally in history.

Where: Washington, D.C., including a march to the White House.

When: February 17, 2013, 12:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Crippling drought. Devastating wildfires. Superstorm Sandy. Climate has come home -- and the American people get it.

On Sunday, February 17, thousands of Americans will head to Washington, D.C. to make Forward on Climate the largest climate rally in history. Join this historic event to make your voice heard and help the president start his second term with strong climate action.

From rejecting the toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to firing up our clean energy economy, Barack Obama's legacy as president will rest squarely on his response, resolve, and leadership in solving the climate crisis. That's why the Forward On Climate Rally will feature critical action, inspiring speakers, and a march to the president's doorstep to show him that we can't afford to wait any longer.

Originally posted to Climate Hawks on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:01 AM PST.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Climate Change SOS, and Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Climate Rally/March to WH February 17th in D.C. (7+ / 0-)

    10,00 signed up so far.
    http://action.sierraclub.org/...

    Also :)

  •  Faith without works is dead (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel, marykk, Words In Action

    Rick Perry exhorting Texans to "pray for rain."
    --
    Bringing the issue to more of the public consciousness through public organized prayer?

    Not a magic bullet, but why the hell not?

    Poor people have too much money and vote too often. Republican platform plank, 1980 - present

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:33:25 AM PST

  •  "Ora et Labora" (6+ / 0-)

    is the Benedictine motto.  In other words

    "When you pray, roll up your sleeves."

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:28:57 AM PST

  •  Thank you for the heads-up on both events. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel, Words In Action, DawnN

    Queued to Street Prophets.

    Climate activists unite: we need a symbol. A name. A vision. Join the discussion.

    by Eowyn9 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:35:12 AM PST

  •  We need a way for non-attendees to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9, A Siegel, DawnN

    participate/contribute to the cause.

    How about a signed petition, and the names of the signatories could be read or displayed at the event?

    How about a gas/bus money fund with some kind of means or TU kossack referral test (3 or more TU kossack's to vouch for any recipient) to avoid scams?

    Other ideas?

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:39:22 AM PST

  •  Notify everyone you know within 250 miles of DC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9, A Siegel, DawnN

    offer to chip in on gas if that will help and you are able.

    Help organize a bus from a local burg!

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:43:36 AM PST

  •  Isn't this more of "pray away teh gey?" This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01

    smacks of charlatanism at its worst. I hope that serious, science-minded individuals will stay away.

    Seriously, generate more greenhouse gas by traveling to DC? Spend your hard-earned money in the process? Stage a freaking "pray-in" the White House to chant away climate change that already threatens low-lying areas?

    I weep for the state of science in my country. Someone uses science to try to further religify this country at every turn.

    I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

    by 1BQ on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:08:12 AM PST

    •  Prayer does not exclude other forms of activism. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, A Siegel, Abelia, rolet

      I'm a Christian. I pray for help and guidance in my own activism. My faith inspires and directly motivates me to make a difference.

      I believe in a God who (in some way) created this universe and the world we inhabit. I believe this world is a gift to treasure and cherish and not a resource to exploit and consume.

      I believe in a God who created my fellow human beings as my brothers and sisters. Hence I believe all human beings are worthy of my respect and love.

      Many people are deeply motivated by faith and their religious or spiritual beliefs. If you're not, that's ok, but please don't attack those who are.

      Climate activists unite: we need a symbol. A name. A vision. Join the discussion.

      by Eowyn9 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:13:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The night after the Prop 8 vote, a vigil was held (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eowyn9, A Siegel, DawnN, rolet

      at the Mormon Temple in SLC. 4,000 attended, which for SLC, on any progressive issue, was HUGE. I mean really, really huge. I don't think anyone from the GLBT community or its supporters objected to the format.

      I say this as an atheist.

      Prayer in this context can be observed as simply bearing witness to, standing and being counted for the cause...

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:28:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My perspective ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnN, Eowyn9

      is that I hope this is mainly about the ethics / morality / etc of necessity of confronting climate change rather than mainly "prayers".

      Also, we need to use multiple tools to reach / activate the American public which is among the most 'religious' in the developed world.

      There is nothing (NOTHING) in this about "to chant away climate change that already threatens low-lying areas?"  This is public demonstration as part of all of our efforts to get the Administration (and the overall political scene) to take climate change with something like the seriousness it requires.

      And, well, for me "travel to DC" for this (if I do it) will mean electric bike to subway and subway downtown.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:57:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time to think about organizing a nationwide (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9, A Siegel, rolet

    March, from coast to coast.

    Groups could start from various west coast cities, meet-up with others inland along the way and proceed to D.C. Places for food and lodging could be pre-identified and scheduled either by the groups individually and/or through central planning, as with election/canvassing efforts where volunteers come in from out of town, stay with a local, then move on.

    April/May would probably (?) be good timing for the purposes of weather.

    Various committees could be formed for organizing and conducting the march from start to finish. Fundraising could be arranged to allow non-marchers to participate and contribute to the effort.

    Isn't it time to demonstrate for Climate Reality in a massive way?

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:23:12 AM PST

  •  By calling this a Pray-In, thousands of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    potential supporters who are atheist and agnostic will avoid it.

    Prayer is useless exercise when it comes to making changes in reality anyway.  They might as well do a rain dance along with it.

    I am glad to see that people are at least protesting, but I am sorry to see the event bracketed within the boundaries of religion.  MLK had to think outside the bible to come up with his arguments for human rights whether he realized this or not.  And it wasn't his god or anyone else's that made the changes come, it was people who fought for and implemented the changes.

    •  I'm an atheist. I'd be there. If I had known (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel

      earlier and could avoid a $500 ticket from Utah.

      (I am working on arrangement to go to the March/Rally next month.)

      A vigil can be thought of a simply bearing witness to, standing and being counted for a cause.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:07:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Again ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eowyn9

      I hope this is mainly about the ethics / morality / etc of necessity of confronting climate change rather than mainly "prayers".

      And, well, we don't need 'single point' events but multiple, overlapping, reinforcing calls for action that hopefully reach critical mass to help spark real change ... ASAP.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:25:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Prayer (and rain dances) are not useless (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel

      for making changes in reality.

      Since we (human beings) have a large effect on our world and reality (e.g. climate), anything that affects us, affects reality.

      If prayers, dancing, singing, chanting, drawing, or any other of a thousand forms of creative expression motivate people to strive for a better world, than these things WILL help change the world for the better.

      Human beings, by and large, do seem to need something to inspire them beyond just the "facts" of the matter ("oh crap, look what's coming our way if we don't change".) Whether that is a symbol (like a flag in wartime) or a deity (real or imagined) or a song/dance/story that depicts a better world, should not matter. What matters is the "working for a better world" bit.

      Climate activists unite: we need a symbol. A name. A vision. Join the discussion.

      by Eowyn9 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 05:33:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I spent a day with native american (0+ / 0-)

        friends while their village performed an all day rain dance. It rained at the end of the day.  Now did that dancing bring the rain? No. But many in the village thought it did. That's an example of where I find superstition impeding education and valuing of science.
        Dancing does NOT bring rain, and is therefore useless for that purpose.

        The best part of the day was the costumes, the drumming, the dancing and the food. So the reality based effect of the dance was bringing the community together. Of course, the Catholic clerics were hovering around the outside of the whole thing making sure it didn't get too pagan!  :)

  •  Very powerful symbolism indeed; don't (0+ / 0-)

    actually do anything, but prey pray, thereby absolving yourself of responsibility for actually trying to do something.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:04:12 AM PST

    •  Why is this either/or? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel

      And why isn't standing and being counted for an issue that is getting too little attention not an action?

      One can pursue sustainability in many different ways. In one's own behavior, in groups organized to undertake larger tasks of sustainability, in groups organized to provide education, in groups organized to draw attention and promote change, etc.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:10:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no problem with standing up and being (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        counted and generally highly recommend it. Informational pickets, for example, are wonderful. Prayer, not so much.

        Back when I was in college there were hungry and homeless and there were many who made a big fuss of praying for them, and then, on the other thand, there were those of us who went out and organized souop kitchens to feed them. To each their own.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:28:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps I need to add something to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, Eowyn9

      the diary since the people involved -- such as Bill McKibben -- and others do tangible things in their religious, social, political, and other communities.

      They do 'try to do something' and they are trying, via this path, to 'get the Admin' "to do something" more serious than what has been happening.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 11:23:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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