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The First Requirement

Yesterday at Virginia-Highland Church we looked at what Micah said God REQUIRES of us: “Do justice, love mercifully, and walk humbly with your God.” Although everyone is required to do all three, before Lent begins in less than a month, we are asking members of our congregation to identify which of these three they feel most called to at this time in their lives.

We first focused on what it means to “do justice” in the Trump era. There are so many issues that scream for our attention that it is impossible to list them in a 350 word Liberating Word. I can’t even pick which one of the cabinet nominees I thought it was most important to oppose.

The Senate has already confirmed the CEO of one of the evilest corporations in America, Exxon-Mobil. Under his leadership, they hired a series of scientist to disprove global warming, and, when they told the truth, they fired them and hired new ones. When they finally ran out of scientists they simply spent money to buy the facts and sow doubt via Fox “News” and among conservatives who care more about corporate profits/donations than they do about the earth their grandchildren will inherit.

Several states have filed suit against Exxon, suits similar to those filed against the tobacco industry. The problem is, like the tobacco industry, the outrageous profits Exxon-Mobil makes will far exceed any penalty or lawsuit. In the end, big tobacco was able to ignore the thousands and thousands of people who died for their profit, and it appears big oil is ready to do the same.

Have you ever watched a lifelong smoker die of suffocation from lung cancer, emphysema, or COPD? Perhaps forcing tobacco executives to sit by their bedside might have changed their values, though I doubt it. During the two decades I lived in Dallas, where Exxon has its headquarters, I saw firsthand that seeing more and more children struggling to breathe unbreathable air doesn’t move them at all. Now, the CEO of the worst offender is responsible for keeping global peace … The question is what have we done for peace, healthcare, or carbon-driven global warming? Unfortunately, CEOs are not the only people who neglect other people’s suffering.





Rev. Michael Piazza

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