Last week, I added my signature to this open letter asking Governor Walz to stop construction on the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline. As many of you know, I have also attended and spoken at several demonstrations against construction of the line, led by our partners at MN Interfaith Power and Light. I signed the letter and spoke at these events because, as a follower of Jesus, caring for creation is one of the clearest moral imperatives I have been given. Indeed, according to scripture, stewardship of the environment is the original and primary human vocation (Genesis 2:15). Not only does the proposed line pose a serious threat to critical Minnesota forests and and waters, it also violates treaty rights with Indigenous people. My opposition to the line is not a matter of political preference, but moral and spiritual vocation.
While the gospel of Jesus is never partisan, it is always necessarily public. Following Jesus always calls us to use our voice and vote in the public sphere, not to advance a particular party’s platform, but to witness to Jesus’ way of love in the world. There is more than enough political rancor and discord in our nation in this moment, and it is never helpful if we are simply adding our own voices to that violent cacophony. We are not called to win in the public square, we are called to love in the public square. When we vote, when we engage in public policy advocacy, when we offer our voice to the world, if we keep our views and our words grounded in Jesus, if our actions are an answer to the question: “what does love look like?” then we know we are being faithful to what God is asking of us.
I encourage you to sign onto the letter as you feel moved, and even more importantly, to be asking the question as individuals, as families, and as faith communities, what does love for the earth look like? What does love for our nation’s first people’s look like? What does love for my neighbor who disagrees with me look like? Those questions will animate our lives, help us become the fullest and truest versions of who God has created us to be, and lend whatever short life we have been given to God’s project of healing and saving the whole world. What does love look like?
-The Right Reverend Craig Loya, X Bishop, Episcopal Church in MN