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Environmental activists to protest Oilfield Prayer Day message

Photo courtesy of Ashley Nicole McCray
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OKLAHOMA CITY — Last year, Governor Mary Fallin declared October 13th “Oilfield Prayer Day,” a special day of “faith” where she asked the citizens of Oklahoma to “pray for oil.” With few people actually finding in the Bible where Jesus asked us to bow our heads before fossil fuels, the ensuing backlash forced Fallin to change to original mission to “praying for the workers” toiling away in the oilfields instead.

Native activist Ashley Nicole McCray believes this pro-oil proclamation was an “intentional and purposeful” slight, not only announced last year on what should’ve been Indigenous People’s Day but also as a response to the numerous Native activists that had been working on bringing the dangers of oil pipelines and fracking both locally and abroad to the forefront of the media.

“You can tell, in the general proclamation, how pro-oil it is because it talks about how the oil and the resource extractions “take care” of the people of Oklahoma,” McCray said. “Because of all the problems our state is dealing with because of oil, we felt this day needed to be addressed. We’re not going to stand for leadership that upholds the needs and wants and desires of Big Oil, so we feel like it is really important to draw attention to this issue as much as possible.”

Numerous groups of environmental activists and water protectors including the Stop the Plains All-American Pipeline and the Good Hearted People Camp will be coming together outside the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, 2101 North Lincoln Blvd. on Friday, October 13th at 9 a.m. for a peaceful rally and demonstration in response to Oilfield Prayer Day, one that McCray repeatedly reassures is not irreligious or anti-prayer.

“We’re not mad people are praying because I know a few people have thought we were protesting the idea of prayer and we’re definitely not,” McCray said. “We’re just mad at what Fallin is asking us to pray for. We’re instead asking people to pray for Oklahoma’s water, land, air, people and future instead, trying to bring attention to all of the people who are fighting against Big Oil in the Bible Belt. We’re hoping to let people know that yes, we do want to pray, but praying for the oil is the wrong way to go about it.”

Oct. 19th marks the "7th Annual Oilfield Prayer Breakfast" at the Tower Hotel in Oklahoma City. The message of the event, notes the website, is "to build a stronger Christian fellowship in the oilfield."

With people “finally realizing” just how detrimental fracking has become to the environment, McCray believes this protest will be the most important one yet, especially now that earthquakes have started hitting larger and more metropolitan areas like Edmond.

“I think people are beginning to realize these earthquakes don’t care what color we are, don’t care how much money we have or where we live; they’re going to destroy all of our comminutes if we don’t put a stop to this,” McCray warned. “Everybody is going to be affected by this eventually, so we’re hoping enough people care about this land and care enough about having an Oklahoma for their grandchildren to live, wanting people that want to come and stand with us to see what they can do to help tackle the issue and create real solutions."

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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