Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Liberation

I woke up and checked my facebook account this morning and saw quickly from my friends posts that today is Earth Day.  I have a Pagan confession to make.  I never have really cared much for earth day.  I feel like that must make me a bad Pagan.  We love the earth so naturally we would love earth day, right?  I guess I just have never really been moved by the organizing that happens on Earth Day.  Celebrations sponsored by Chevrolet and Microsoft declaring what a great job we are doing saving the earth, like the one happening in San Francisco today, have never inspired me. 

I'm taking an "Environmental Ethics and Liberation" class this semester.  This week we're reading James Cone, the founder of Black Liberation Theology.  He talks about the interconnection of the fight to protect the earth and the fight to dismantle white supremacy,

“People who fight against white racism but fail to connect to the degradation of the earth are anti-ecological whether they know it or not. People who struggle against environmental degradation but do not incorporate in it a disciplined and sustained fight against white supremacy are racists- whether they acknowledge it or not. The fight for justice cannot be segregated but must be integrated with the fight for life in all its forms."

As Pagans, as people who love the earth, we must begin to see the ways in which we can as a people, engage in a disciplined and sustained fight against white supremacy.  This struggle is critical for the health and well being of the earth.  Furthermore, this struggle is a fundamental dimension of the development of a moral compass for people who love the earth.  What kind of spiritual communities are we building if we focus exclusively on "self growth" and magical practices that are blind to racial and social injustice? 

This earth day,

May we not forget that the struggle to protect the earth can not be separated with the struggle to dismantle white supremacy.

May we allow ourselves to open to the love that is present in collective liberation. 


Check it out--Seriously.

James H. Cone,  "Whose Earth is it Anyway?", Cross Currents (Spring/Summer 2000)