During the Shoah, some people and groups sat by, had every reason to believe hundreds of thousands were being slaughtered, if not more, yet did nothing, for all the usual reasons, cost, convenience, risk. And they were later criticized, and some hung heads in shame.
The voyage of the United States through history can be seen as the journey of a fumbling people, aboard a creaking, barely built to function craft, realizing painfully and sometimes with blood that their passenger manifest of freedom and mutual caring needs to ever grow, embracing more, bringing more on board, lest the ideals that launched us be proven to be lies.
And now, through the Science that has made the United States and the world great, we know these facts: That our unwitting use of fossil fuels has initiated a disruptive experiment with our only planet Earth, that the consequences of failure to reform willl be severe and have a slight chance of being catastrophic. That the people of the future will suffer the consequences of our irresponsibility, at least to the extent we realize those consequences and do nothing, for all the usual reasons, cost, convenience, risk. And do we feel any bit of shame for grasping the hands of these struggling future Americans, and throwing them overboard?
This is a profoundly moral question, one which should be at the center and in the Lev Torah of every community that claimd religiosity or spirituality as their currency. To the degree it does not, condemns in my opinion these communities to moral irrelevance and hypocrisy. Little else matters. There are lives now, but if, in living, the lives of the great-grandchildren are terminated, how is that a life?
“All the good you have done”, said the Prophet Jones. “all the good you can imagine doing, will be wiped out, wiped out by floods, by fires, by superstorms, if you fail to act now to deal with this crisis that is a gun—a gun—pointed at the head of the future.” New Orleans will not matter. Ground Zero will not matter. Sandy Hook will not matter. Planting roses and flowers, gifts to Burundi and Somalia and Haiti, and neighbirhood trash collections will not matter, because they or their children will die in the hundreds of thousands if not millions, simply because many of us chose fossil fuels as a means of getting to where we wanted to be to make a living, let alone that living itself.
This is a moral choice, difficult, overwhelming. As all such, we cannot fix it at once. We are complicit. We are the people of Nazi Germany. Our first responsibility is to stand up and bear religious witness. The real responsibility is to stare evil in its face and move away from the comfort and false repose in a fossil fuel based world.
So, I want to hear it … Will you let this happen? Will you let the crisis we own overwhelm the future and our grandchildren? Will you do nothing?
We can do it. We can change this sin of overselves into a promised land. We can do it with faith and proper choices. I want to hear “Amen”. Say “Amen” and promise with me to work for that fossil fuel free delving free dream!
Thank you, as will our kids, and theirs, and theirs ….