Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase “the fierce urgency of now,” articulated in his 1967 sermon, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”, is more relevant now than ever. Although the context is different (in 1967 King spoke of violence towards races and nations, now we recognize that our violence extents to the earth itself), the fact remains that the essence of his argument is even more significant today.
We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The “tide in the affairs of men” does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.”
The globe is interconnected intricately, and the violence that we are doing to each other is magnified by the violence that we are doing to the earth and its resources. Once holy and sacred, given as a gift of grace, the earth is now reduced to solely its economic value to humans, not as the source through which all life may flourish.
Climate change is upon us; its affects are seen globally and locally. Our faithful response can’t wait. We need all of you who support the work of the Council to get engaged. Personal change is important, but engaging in the political process is essential.
To learn more and take action go to NCIPL’s Faith in Action page and scroll down to North Carolina State Priorities by clicking here.
— Richard Fireman, NC IPL Public Policy Consultant