The Common Good

oil companies

More than 1,000 Arrested Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline

As of yesterday, more than 1,009 Americans have been arrested to bring national attention to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. This is what church looks like. Liturgy means "the work of the people" in service of the common good.

If President Obama permits the Keystone pipeline, thousands more will sit on his doorstep and in front of bulldozers. This movement doesn't have money to match the influence of oil companies, lobbyists, or politicians with conflicts of interest, but we do have our bodies and we are putting them on the line.

Here are what people of faith -- Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Quakers, Unitarians, and more -- are saying about why they have been or will be arrested to stop the Keystone XL pipeline:

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595 Arrested at the White House

We had a very hot ride in the police van, but the Park Police processed us very quickly. We were released from custody and greeted outside with water, granola bars, and hugs. What could be better?

But the point was not to get arrested. The point was to make of our lives a living witness. To make it clear that climate change has gone too far and we are no longer going to stand idly by while our sisters, brothers, and home planet are torn apart by oil companies. Here are a handful of photos from the event yesterday:

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The Moral Default

The debate we have just witnessed has shown Washington, D.C. not just to be broken, but corrupt. The American people are disgusted watching politicians play political chicken with the nation's economy and future. In such a bitter and unprincipled atmosphere, whoever has the political clout to enforce their self-interest and retain their privileges wins the battles. But there are two casualties in such political warfare: the common good and the most vulnerable.

So how will vulnerable people fair under this deal? "The Circle of Protection," a diverse nonpartisan movement of Christian leaders, has been deeply engaged in the budget debate to uphold the principle that low-income people should be protected. But it is hard to evaluate a deal that averts a crisis when the crisis wasn't necessary in the first place. Over the past few weeks, our economy has indeed been held hostage as politicians negotiated the price of the release. Ultimately, I think most of us wish that no hostages had been taken in the first place, and this was no way to run a government or make important budget decisions.

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The Spiritually Viral Hunger Fast

The hunger fast for a moral budget has gone spiritually viral. Ten days ago, we announced at the National Press Club that the budget debate had become a moral crisis.
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A Letter to Young Egyptian Protesters, From a Veteran U.S. Activist

I hope that somehow, through the vast network we call social media, this gets to you in Tahrir Square, even on this momentous F
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The Truth About the BP Oil Spill

Ten months have passed since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and by now most of the nation has shifted its focus away from the gulf to more recent and pressing topics.
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Let's Be Honest About Egypt

It's time to be a little more honest about Egypt. President Hosni Mubarak is a dictator, and has run a brutal and corrupt police state for three decades.
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Make it Right: Bring Jobs to the Wetlands

Before the Gulf Coast's 100-percent-human-made oil spill disaster, there was Katrina. That hurricane wasn't the strongest to hit New Orleans.
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