Most people know I am no politician. Listening to the State of the Union has always been hard because of ghastly generalizations and euphemisms that do not really define the state of this union. Bush argued, as I have often argued, that “out citizens don’t much care which side of the aisle we sit on as long as we’re willing to cross that aisle when there is work to be done.” People want to keep their jobs, see a better education system in place for their children, and have security when they retire. They want a place to go when they are sick, a government who understands their needs, and they don’t want excuses or a passing of the buck when things go bad. Let us speak of some of the one of Bush’s main points: the energy crisis.
The “energy crisis” is interesting coming from a president not known for his environmentalist leanings. My personal belief is that the environment must be protected at all costs. Church’s today, a bastion to conservatives all over the US, speak of the environment very little—if at all. In the words of one of my closet Indian friends, “I like the earth; it’s the only one I’ve got.” Her sentiments project what should be the majority Christian attitude. This environment, the very world we live in, is the place where the new earth “will come out of heaven” (Revelation 21). We are responsible now for the beginning and coming culmination of God’s kingdom on earth. What will he call us—certainly not good and faithful servants—if we have ravaged and destroyed this earth.
This is why I believe true environmentalist reform cannot be done at the governmental level, but must be launched at a grass roots level. Big oil companies can surely find loop holes and cut corners when if new laws get in the way of big profits, but people who truly care cannot be stopped. The president and other members of congress should begin imploring religious leaders to help save energy. Churchgoers should begin dreaming in big ways how they can cut down on their use of energy. Carpooling to work, lobbying for mass transit systems, and finding other modes of transportation such as bicycles are all ways that we can reduce the amount of gas used in the world around us.
But as long as conservatives feel the environment is a secondary issue there will be no change. Congressmen are elected by their constituents, and if their constituents are unhappy the congressman or woman will not be reelected. That is why I am calling for a grass roots campaign on a multi-denominational front to seek for the advancement of technologies that save energy. This grass roots campaign should join with other broader environmentalist organizations to change America into a country that cares about the environment around us. The mentality of “more is better” must change before an energy crisis can be averted.