Written by Jim Antal
This is the moment for which we have been called. How fitting that every four years, the Inauguration of the American President is surrounded by the season of Epiphany – when the truth of Gospel is revealed to the world.
Millions of women, men and children flooded the streets in scores of cities around the world the day after the Inauguration because they resonated with what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said 50 years ago in April 1967: “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
As he did so often, King was channeling our Lord. Just before Jesus cries over Jerusalem, when the Pharisees ask Jesus to order his disciples to stop, Jesus responds, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out." (Luke 19:40)
A day after the Inauguration, the twitter accounts of the National Park Service were silenced. But yesterday, “the stones” began to shout out as the Twitter account for South Dakota’s Badlands National Park—a subsidiary of the National Park Service—began tweeting out climate change facts. We have already reached the point where sharing truths – sharing facts – is a sign of both heroism and hope.
The words of poet James Russell Lowell ring true, “Truth forever on the scaffold; wrong forever on the throne.”
Epiphany is the season in which the truth of the Gospel is revealed to the world.
But the scientists we employ with our tax dollars to carry out climate science have now been silenced. Worse yet, their academic papers will be subject to review so that the incoming Director of the EPA (who is most known for having sued the EPA again and again and again) will be able to assure that their scientific conclusions are consistent with the views of the new administration.
Let’s make Epiphany a time when we, as followers of Christ, shun “alternative facts” while clinging to the truth that will set us free.
Let us rejoice that the “world” which God so loved cannot be divided by political or ideological passion. It is the indivisible blue marble surrounded by a common climate which - at the moment - is almost 1.5° Celsius hotter than it has been for the past 11,700 years during which civilization developed. Seven billion people are living this fact. There is no alternative fact – no alternative earth – no planet B.
This is the moment for which we have been called. Let us not be silent. It is, after all, the season of truth.