Skim the article to get a sense for the issue: “Emotional Oak Flat hearing caps two-day prayer vigil, run (Links to an external site.)” (AZ Republic 2/5/21)
What do you think? Should the Oak Flat copper mine project be built, providing much needed jobs and a boost to the AZ economy? Or are the claims of sacred land by Native Americans a religious priority that should take precedence over economic needs? Although this is a current and hot button topic with political implications, avoid partisan political debate. The intention is to look at the issue somewhat separately from the political dimensions, if possible.
Compare this project with the Hindu Temple building projects in the chapter and the specialists they hire and bring in. How does an area become sacred and how does it become profane? Would this type of mining project go forward if it was being proposed for a site seen as religious to larger religions by population or with global connections? Can you image a mining project in Jerusalem or India, for instance, at a sacred site? What are the media implications if the project moves forward? What about if it doesn’t? How does network television versus social media coverage compare when it comes to tribal issues of religion?
In what ways are prayer used to “demonstrate” in the events the article and the chapter are describing? What type of demonstration is being put on by praying? Who is the audience? Does this type of demonstration of prayer happen in other religious contexts or social settings? Is it effective?
Who should ultimately make this decision about the mine? Is it the White House? The AZ Governor? Should it go to a vote in AZ? Some other decision-making mechanism?
Krol, D. U. (2021, Feb 05). Emotional oak flat hearing caps two-day prayer vigil, run. Arizona Republic http://login.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/login?url=https://www-proquest-com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/newspapers/emotional-oak-flat-hearing-caps-two-day-prayer/docview/2486412860/se-2?accountid=4485 (Links to an external site.)
Position 1: Yes, build the mine and bring in the good paying jobs!
Position 2: No, save the land as sacred to the tribe and religiously protected.