Saturday, November 23, 2013

You won't believe the evil thing your favorite tech company just did

My latest email to the SierraRise community. And yes, I really did just pull an Upworthy here on Wayward. Is it really an Upworthy anymore, anyway? Buzzfeed, Godvine, even the Washington Post's Wonkblog and Know More are getting in on the act... sigh. Anyway, this is serious stuff, so moving on:

Google has joined ALEC -- right alongside Exxon and Philip Morris.

Demand Google stop funding climate deniers -- let's raise 50,000 voices by ALEC's conference!

Google's motto used to be Don't Be Evil -- what happened?

Take action today!
Dear Friend,

In February, a Utah slaughterhouse was caught painfully pushing a cow with a forklift. But when the police showed up, they weren't there to shut things down -- they were there to press charges against the citizen filming the cruelty, even though she never left public land. [1]

Many would call Amy Meyer a hero, but Utah called her a criminal. This is due to a new crop of state bills that ban the filming of industrial animal abuse without permission -- and even place whistleblowers on a "terrorism registry." [2]

Shockingly, Google is funding this madness.

Google recently joined ALEC, a shadowy organization that works with state lawmakers to ram through legislation for corporations like Exxon and Philip Morris. [3, 4] Google -- a major investor in clean energy -- should know better than to fund bills that would also require climate denial education in public schools and oppose fracking disclosure.

Thanks to public pressure, 50 corporations have already quit ALEC -- now it's Google's turn.

As an Internet user, Google needs to hear from you. Raise your voice and tell the tech giant: Stop funding climate deniers. Quit ALEC now!

Sign the petition today, and we'll deliver it to Google during ALEC's giant December conference, which features speakers like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan. 50,000 names will put Google on the spot!

Funded almost exclusively by major corporations like Koch Industries, ALEC -- or the American Legislative Exchange Council -- writes "model bills" for right-wing lawmakers to introduce as "grassroots" legislation. From Utah's "ag-gag" bill to "Stand Your Ground" laws and attacks on our voting rights, about 200 of these corporate scams pass every year.

One of ALEC's efforts pretends to disclose the chemicals used in fracking. But in reality, the Exxon-backed bill is pure deception, creating new loopholes that would make it even easier to hide the most toxic fracking chemicals. [5]

This agenda is so extreme that, thanks to grassroots pressure, many big-name corporations have already quit ALEC -- including McDonald's, Johnson & Johnson, and Wal-Mart. [6] Even Big Oil's own ConocoPhillips has had enough -- but not Google.

Google's supposed to be one of the good guys. It's up to us to remind them of their old "Don't be evil" motto, and bring the same public pressure that led all those other corporations to see the light.

Tell Google to stop funding climate denial today, and then tell your friends -- that way we can deliver a petition with 50,000 names during the ALEC conference!

Today's petition is just the beginning. SierraRise is teaming up with organizations like Forecast the Facts and the Center for Media and Democracy. We'll use people pressure and digital organizing -- much of it with Google's own tools -- to demand the tech giant do the right thing and leave ALEC behind.

It all starts with this show of force -- sign your name today.

In it together,

Nathan Empsall
SierraRise Senior Campaigner

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1. Woodhouse, Leighton Akio (2013 July 31). "Charged With the Crime of Filming a Slaughterhouse." The Nation.

2. Humane Society staff (2013 September 27). "Anti-Whistleblower Bills Hide Factory-Farming Abuses from the Public." The Humane Society.

3. Graves, Lisa (2011 June 20). "What is ALEC?" The Center for Media and Democracy.

4. Lennard, Natasha (2013 August 16). "Yelp, Facebook, and Google partner with ALEC." Salon.

5. McIntire, Mike (2012 April 21). "Conservative Nonprofit Acts as a Stealth Business Lobbyist." New York Times.

6. Graves, Lisa (2012 September 19). "Corporations that Have Cut Ties to ALEC." The Center for Media and Democracy.

Photo Credit: Carlos LunaCC BY-2.0

Monday, November 04, 2013

Musical Monday: You Are More

I haven't listened to CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) since middle school, so even though this song is from 2010, I just heard it for the first time tonight. I really like it.

Its message is very true about... you.

So give it a listen.

("You Are More" by Tenth Avenue North)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Adults or children? Dunking or sprinkling? Audience or congregation?

I saw two baptisms today - a baby sprinkled at my parish this morning, and 36 adults and older children dunked at a megachurch service this evening, including my roommate (so happy for him!).

I think the Episcopal and Catholic Churches get baptism wrong. Now, I absolutely do love our associated liturgies - we bring in context, remind the baptized and all present of the purpose, and involve the larger community. I think all churches should do something similar.

But, though I've not gone through it myself, I have to imagine that immersion is a more emotional and powerful experience. It's certainly more Scriptural. And the pastor's right in there with you.

More importantly, an adult is actively and publicly choosing to proclaim that they want to set aside the things of man and become a Disciple. When it's a conscious choice, it's the largest choice anyone will ever make, touching and ruling every aspect of their life. What a powerful statement - and it's very, very different than welcoming a baby into the Body of Christ and proclaiming we'll look out for it. So why use the same symbol or ceremony for two very different meanings? Don't get me wrong; the latter is a beautiful thing - but it's not the SAME thing. Why then do we say that if you have one, you can't have the other?

I'm not saying we should do away with that welcoming ceremony. But I do believe that the Episcopal Church should either allow people to be baptized a second time as an adult, or rename it when babies are welcomed - just call it christening, or whatever. But it's not the same thing and we should stop treating it as such.

Immersion would be cool, too, but one thing at a time. :P