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Our own Yvonne Micheli speaks at a Cove Point news conference on Friday October 3rd, 2014

“This is my response to that:”
“Optimism is a political act.  Those who benefit from the status quo are perfectly happy for us to think nothing is going to get any better.  In fact, these days, cynicism is obedience.” {Alex Steffen, The Bright Green City}

When this county first became independent from England, those who could vote were male, white, owned property and often belonged to a specific church.  the power-that-be and the word-on-the-street said:  it’s a done deal.  But some citizens and wise leaders did not agree with that.

When women wanted to vote, the power-that-be said “not” to that possibility – it’s a done deal.  Again, some citizens and wise leaders did not go along with that.

After the civil war, people of color were disenfranchised, abused, lynched and denied access to education and opportunity.  The power-that-be and the word-on-the-street was:  it’s a done deal.  And some citizens and wise leaders did not stop speaking for justice and a greater good.

I was told that at one time, in a certain state, there was a law on the books that limited the thickness of the rod a man could use to beat his children and his wife.  I believe that those women and children were told that it was a done deal.  Again, some citizens and wise leaders did not nod and let the deal stand.

Throughout our history, destruction and injustice happened and were challenged so that change for the better could occur.

Today we stand here at Cove Point and say that this plant IS NOT A DONE DEAL!

Native American tradition teaches that each generation is to treat the earth in a manner which allows for the next seven generations to live upon it.  The major world religions speak about being stewards of the earth.  Interfaith groups, both in this country and abroad, work to stop the human addition to fossil fuels, an addiction that uses denial to threaten the existence of life on the planet.

The recent climate march in NYC and around the world included the participation of Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light, Lutherans who marched for “a better worldliness,” Triangle Interfaith Alliance, and members of all of the major faiths of the world.

Why did people from diverse religious and theological perspectives join together in this march?

Because this issue is profoundly a moral and ethical one.

the Unitarian Universalist’s seventh principle states that we respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Buddhist teachings tell us to care for the earth.

Islam teaches that humans are to be guardians of Allah’s creation.

Christianity teaches that the earth is God’s and he has entrusted it to us and that we will be accountable for how we treat it.

Jewish tradition teaches us to care for the planet in order to preserve what the Lord has given us.

None of these teachings tell humans that they are to close their eyes when witnessing practices that harm the earth and its inhabitants.  Instead, spiritual paths encourage us to not just talk the talk, but to walk the walk.

And so, here in Cover Point, we speak today stating the scientific facts about the health and safety dangers of this facility.  And we call on the religious and spiritual traditions to remind us to truly be stewards to our precious plant.

Thank you for letting me speak.”

Yvonne Micheli