Why #ExodusAlliance? Ten Breaths from/to the Breath of Life

The Shalom Center has spent – or rather, “invested” – the last two months in seeding, sprouting, and growing  #ExodusAlliance. That is a multifaith amalgam to carry out a campaign to end financial support for the Corporate Carbon Pharaohs that are bringing on Earth and Humankind the plagues of fire, flood,  famine, and disease.

Not just to end but to begin – an economy of life. Move Our Money == Protect Our Planet.

Why? What ideas underlie that investment of time, energy, and money?

1.We believe that sheer greed drives the fossil-fuel industry’s corporate desire for ever greater profit even when its bosses discover their very business plan is  poised to bring misery and death on a huge proportion of our plaet’s life – including  human lives and civilization.

2. Their greed is ultimately a spiritual failing. All the world’s great religious and spiritual communities teach that sharing, compassion, and joyful self-restraint are not only the future goal of the human community but that embodying those values in the present is the means to achieving, not only pursuing, happiness.  

3. But many in the faith communities have quailed when they realized precisely how crucial and how enormous is the task of embodying those values in  this context. “How can little me make such a big difference?”

4. We think the answer has two parts: bring together face-to-face groups of people who can trust and give strength to each other, and focus especially -– not only – on the sacred times of fasts and festivals when spiritual awareness is unusually intense.

5. Then we realized that this coming April brings together sacred times for the largest American religious communities – Jews, Christians, and Muslims; that the USA is one of the two societies pouring most CO2 and methane into the world’s air and oceans - –per capita, by far the most; and that the US government was paralyzed in a deadly deadlock. – So we decided to try to galvanize a Great Reawakening of faith communities on an approach that sidesteps formal government and goes to the heart of the disaster – out-of-control money.

6. What could bring together the committed groups of people that could make “little me” into “effective us””? We have several suggestions, two of which have experience behind them: solar-energy co-ops and Community-Supported Agriculture – CSA’s – local farms,  often associated with religious congregations, that pursue restorative agriculture to feed people without ruining Earth.

       The third --  “Oiloholics Not-So-Anonymous” -- has not so far been tried. But when I mention it in conversations with congregations, it strikes a spark. What I mean is congregants who come together acknowledging that they are caught in a system where the Drug Lords of Carbon have forced them to become Carbon Addicts. They want out. So they come together to share what they can do in their homes, transport, food, and readiness to deal with disaster if it strikes their town.

7. This dimension of our lives could be described as: Forming face-to-face groups that can take effective steps out of and beyond the Carbon economy,  AND be resilient enough to act if the Carbon Pharaohs bring disaster -- fire, extreme heat, floods, food failures –- on these “organically organized” communities.

8. Passover, with its themes of seeking freedom from Pharaoh whose arrogance and cruelty bring Plagues on Earth and Humankind, is an obvious focal-point for healing from the climate crisis. To see how Passover can do that work, see <ExodusAlliance.org>.

And we intend to share in assisting activism for other sacred times: Ramadan, Palm Sunday and the rest of Holy Week, MLK’s death-anniversary, Earth Day. And shortly before and after April, the holy days of Spring Equinox, and of Buddhism and Hinduism that especially interest our global partners, GreenFaith.

9. We want to continue growing #ExodusAlliance for the months beyond. (Dare we then rename it “Yontif Alliance”?) That would include the sacred days of Shavuot (truly receiving “from Sinai“ [as Lev. 25-26 say] and acting on the Sabbatical Year / Shmita to release Earth and debtors from overwork, to rest and recover); Tisha B’Av (grieving and healing wounded  “Temple Earth”; Sukkot (“Grow restorative harvest, grow the Vote”” and Hanukkah (“One day’s oil meets eight days’ needs”; energy conservation and neighborhood solar co-ops).

As you can see, we have begun to plan how to heal Earth and Humanity, heal neighborhoods victimized by coal dust and oil fumes into asthma and cancer epidemics, while at the same time enriching the special meanings of the other coming Jewish sacred days, as we already have for Passover in this work.

10. Moving forward with #ExodusAlliance will need more contributions to The Shalom Center than we have received so far. We implore you, I urge you, to make that possible by contributing a special gift. You can click on the maroon Contribute banner just below and then give at the highest level that you can. Please do!

With blessings of healing and joy for you, as you with your gift bring healing and joy to all Humanity and Earth.



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