I want to beat televangelist Pat Robertson to the jump on yesterday's East Coast earthquake.
Robertson is genius at knowing the mind of God when it comes to natural disasters. He blamed the Haiti earthquake on a God-offending "pact with the devil." Hurricane Katrina was God's pay-back for abortion in America.
Having spent some time with the Lord recently, I feel there is a message for President Obama: It is God's wrath that shook the White House yesterday. This was a 5.8 wake-up call.
Why is God all wrought up this time? What is it that God wants President Obama to do? Well, my friends, the issue is climate change. Global warming. Specifically, the Keystone XL "Dirty Oil" pipeline.
God is very disappointed with humanity for leaving the gas on in our home planet. It's dangerous, wasteful, and wrong. God takes it a little personally.
This week more than 2,000 people are outside the White House, rattling the gates, demanding that President Obama refuse to sign the lease that would allow TransCanada to build a controversial 1,700-mile pipeline that would carry diluted bitumen Canada's Alberta tar sands to the Texas Gulf Coast. Already, 220 have been arrested as part of two weeks of sustained protest lead by the Tar Sands Action group,
If this pipeline is made operational, greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector as a whole will rise by nearly one-third from 2005 to 2020. As one Canadian wrote, "This [pipeline] will make the Great Wall of China look like Tom Sawyer's picket fence."
From God's point of view, this plan stinks to high heaven!
On August 29, many people of faith -- who fervently believe that God has a much better energy plan for us than the TransCanada oil company -- will go to the White House to bring God's word straight to President Obama's doorstep.
What is God saying? "Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is" (Deuteronomy 10:14). A contemporary translation: That oil is mine, sayeth the Lord, keep your hands off!
On August 29, religious leaders of every stripe -- Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, Unitarian, to name a few -- will sit down on the White House sidewalk to encourage President Obama to stand up against climate change. They will be arrested. They will be held in jail. But in determined peaceableness they will lead others to flood the streets, raise the banners, fill the jails. The cost of inaction is just too high -- and I have it on good authority that it makes God cry.
God knows that President Obama wants to do the right thing. When he addressed the United Nations in 2009, the new U.S. president made his position clear: "The danger posed by climate change cannot be denied. Our responsibility to meet it must not be deferred. ... The days when America dragged its feet on this issue are over. "
In case this historic commitment to save humanity and restore the health of the planet has slipped low on the president's "to do" list, today God sent a 5.8 temblor as a reminder. The quake was so strong it rang the bells of the Washington National Cathedral.
President Obama, can you hear God now?
Rose Marie Berger, an associate editor at Sojourners, blogs at www.rosemarieberger.com. She's the author of Who Killed Donte Manning? The Story of an American Neighborhood available at store.sojo.net.