By Robyn Purchia, Originally published on EdenKeeper, 6 March 2017
Would Jesus put the profits of a few before the health of many? Not likely. It’s easy then to know how Jesus would feel about the Dakota Access pipeline, which puts drinking water for millions at risk.
After the federal government approved the pipeline last week, Catholics came together to call the project “morally unacceptable.”
“We must prioritize the needs of people over profit, promoting human dignity and care for creation and pursuing integral human development,” said Fr. Timothy Kesicki of the Jesuit Conference.
It’s not the first time the federal government dismissed the rights and health of the Lakota and Dakota people. They have resisted federal efforts to destroy their culture and take over their historic territory since the 19th century. They watched their buffalo get slaughtered and their land get divided among settlers and changed forever.
“This is just another example of the many countless acts of genocide, racism and injustices that the indigenous peoples of this continent have endured for the last 500 years,” said Robert Brave Heart Sr. of Red Cloud Indian School.
“As with our ancestors, we must be steadfast, vigilant and proactive in our efforts to protect our rights,” Rodney Bordeau of St. Francis Mission said.
While touting Christian values, the Trump administration has continued federal tradition of oppressing Native Americans and polluting creation. These are not a Christian values.
The pope has long championed environmental protection. In 2015, he called on all people to protect our “common home.” He denounced money in politics and supported science. Recently, Pope Francis went further to call the right to water “basic and pressing.” Basic because water is life, and pressing because our common home needs to be protected.
Many faiths hold the belief that water is sacred. That is why so many have come together to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline. If our government puts dirty fossil fuels ahead of the basic right, there’s no guarantee any of us will have healthy water.