Our country was segregated, with people of color brutally oppressed, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1956, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”.
And that ugly back-bend of segregation got fixed by him and others via integration. So our arc is on track, right?
It is not. Social injustice – the growth-arc of poverty and homelessness in the face of ever more concentrated wealth — is far steeper now than when Dr. King lived and died. * The trend started in the early seventies. Our current federal government embodies the back-bend of the arc, the growth of inequity, racism and suffering, with climate denial creating added torque.
Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF) helps the arc of the moral universe to bend toward justice. We of EcoFaith are part of this beautiful bend, in teamwork with a great many others. If PCEF passes, about $30 million a year, ongoing, will be invested in green projects and jobs training, for all who can benefit and particularly those most in need, funded by one penny on the dollar of sales of large corporations. The Biblical call for social justice is extensive, particularly in the Gospels.
I get outraged and discouraged every day by the news, especially the national news. But Dr. King was clear that the arc is long. We won’t live to see the arc of justice come all the way back down to the ground like a double rainbow. I believe we need to be willing to work, as Dr. King did, for how the universe will unfold long after we die.
Our EcoFaith PCEF leadership team met last Tuesday night. We’ve decided to embody Practice 2 (develop relationships) in how we contribute to the PCEF campaign from now til the November election. For example, we’ll hold meetings, in homes and our churches, to educate folks about PCEF and how it embodies our Christian values. We’ll invite them to hold similar meetings, volunteer for PCEF side by side with us, pledge to vote for PCEF if they choose, and many other options. We’ll be relational rather than transactional.
* For example, a jaw-dropping three percent of our fellow Portlanders are now unhoused. We all see them. They sleep on sidewalks, in doorways and tents, and in a small number of shelter beds that involve waiting in line for hours and being separated from one’s spouse. Homeless Portlanders were the subjects of 52% of arrests by Portland police in the past year, all while thousands of highly profitable apartments and condos were built that are completely out of their reach.
Coming up: EcoFaith’s monthly meeting, Saturday August 11th, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., both in-person and online via Zoom. Every second Saturday is the pattern.
Faith and blessings.
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