We laugh and cheer for Minny’s “terrible awful” as Hilly eats humble pie. We applaud Skeeter’s clever word change which brings dozens of old toilets to Hilly’s yard. But hopefully The Help‘s huge book and movie success is born of and will generate more than sensational entertainment.
As a writer driven to expose injustice and awaken compassion, I identify with Skeeter. My mother-sister heart cries with Aibilene, Minny and Yule May. Skeeter and the maids each have a tipping point, a time when grief, hurt and anger which has been brimming for years finally spills over.
I’ve had several tipping points. Two resulted in books, Mulled Words and Mulled Psalms, as the contrast between God’s Word and the “Christian” world kept bringing tears to my heart-eyes. Now I’ve reached a new tipping point. It’s time for protest.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. The creations waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God (Romans 8:19-23).
In front of the White House each day from Saturday August 20 through Saturday September 3 a parade of citizens will protest the proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands pipeline. On Thursday evening, August 25 I will join 50 or more of these citizens at Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church to receive training in non-violent protest in preparation for joining the demonstration on Friday, August 26. Because we will be illegally occupying space that is reserved for tourists taking photos of the White House, there is a possibility of arrest with a $100 fine. To me it’s worth it. The decision to stop the pipeline is an opportunity for President Obama to begin living up to his promises and ideals of ending dependence on earth-endangering fossil fuels and supporting clean energy sources.
What’s the connection between racial and ecological justice? Both advocate for God’s kingdom and against the kingdom of money that threatens basic human rights and the well-being of children and grandchildren. Today corporate environmental devastation and oil addiction, like slavery and segregation in the past, are society and often church-sanctioned signs of serving mammon rather than God.