February 19, 2018

What’s All This Praying and Politicking for the Mountains About, Anyway?

I often use social media to encourage my friends to pray for the mountains, or to contact their legislators to protect the mountains. Those posts don’t always get a lot of comments, but sometimes someone will ask me in person,  “WHAT are you talking about?” So here’s a bit of background information, and a great music video that helps explain.

Living on a very flat piece of middle Tennessee, I’d never heard of a mining process called mountaintop removal (MTR) until I started attending writing conferences in Appalachia a number of years ago. At those conferences, amidst folks who know and practice the power of words, I gradually learned the stories of people affected by this environmentally devastating practice, as well as its cultural and economic complexities.

I was convicted by those stories, as my essay “Something Got a Hold of Me: The Passions of Author Silas House,” which appears in Muscadine Lines:  A Southern Journal, reflects. For several years now I’ve been a volunteer with LEAF, a Tennessee organization dedicated to protecting the environment as a matter of Christian stewardship and which is also working legislatively to stop the practice of mountaintop removal in our state.

I love how the metrobilly band 2/3 Goat tells the story of MTR in this song/music video “Stream of Conscience.”


As I was inspired by a child’s poem to think about the mountains, I challenge you to do the same, in whatever way works for you. Pray about the mountains. Politick for the mountains. Write a letter. Tell a friend. Sing a song. Sign a petition. Share this blog. Connect with LEAF on Facebook or Twitter. Help change the story.

Note: A music-filled, interdenominational service in Nashville on Tuesday, January 10th, will celebrate the end of 40 Days of Prayer for the Mountains. See LEAF’s announcement Come Celebrate With Us for more details.

Recommended reading: 

Recommended viewing:  


Only God should move mountains - LEAF billboard.


Photo from quinn.anya on flickr, some rights reserved.

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