Oil Prices Fuel Fury from the Pulpit

June 26, 2008

Author: Ronald D. White

Source: The Los Angeles Times


Record gasoline prices have been painful, but now they have begun to test the limits of faith.

In houses of worship nationwide, preachers are railing against the forces of energy evil, and congregations are praying for lower fuel prices.

So far, no results.

The Energy Department's weekly survey Monday showed U.S. pump prices hitting a fresh record of $4.08 a gallon. Oil neared $140 a barrel, but then retreated.

The problem is affecting even the holy business, driving down attendance at churches, synagogues and mosques. Religious leaders are struggling to help their members cope, spinning new themes about a society that has become almost sinfully reliant on motorized transport. Others are viewing the energy-price squeeze as a test of the way they serve God and their communities.