In Tennessee, legislators are used to seeing church ladies with a range of traditional social concerns. Recently they’ve discovered a new set. The women of LEAF (the Lindquist Environmental Appalachian Fellowship) are among the most informed and eloquent advocates fighting the most destructive form of coal mining threatening eastern Tennessee, mountaintop removal mining (or MTR). Their deep faith, reasonable theology, and encyclopedic knowledge of the dangers of mountaintop removal mining has begun to earn them a reputation in Nashville, as recounted in this recent story from The Tennessean.
I’ve met Pat Chastain and Pat Hudson several times now (and look forward to meeting Dawn Coppock). I wish that every environmental advocate could take lessons from their gracious demeanor and their sacrificial determination to see justice done for the people Appalachia. Learn from them. Pray for them. Support them!