Environmental Fundamentalism is a Religion

December 19th, 2006 Posted by Thought Tools 5 comments

With little attention, Television Week and Variety, the Hollywood trade magazine, recently announced something that simply fascinates me here: Sundance Channel, which is a joint venture of actor Robert Redford, NBC Universal, and Viacom’s Showtime Networks will soon launch Sundance Channel Green, a weekly show on environmental topics. I wasn’t shocked to read that Sundance Channel claims to be the first network with regular programming dedicated entirely to the environment. And, in my view, “dedicated” is exactly the right word because it sounds religious. And religious is exactly what we’re talking about here.

You see, it is my firm conviction that much of the environmental project is almost an inevitable pantheistic response to a post-Christian culture. Created as we are with a deep instinctive psychological drive to give of ourselves, I see western elites happily preaching self-deprivation as modern secularism’s expression of the animal sacrifices of Biblical times. Turn down the thermostat; ditch your SUV in favor of a silly little electric car that resembles a flashlight on wheels; hobble American industry by means of vague ‘international’ protocols and all the other many examples are really little more than chest-beating displays of moral virtue. Of course every ostentatious exhibition of virtue requires sacrifice in order to resonate with authenticity.

All of this environmental hysteria has another enormous advantage from the point of view of its high priests—it requires action from other than the individual. By contrast, Judeo-Christian traditions require devotion and dedication from the individual but Environmental Fundamentalism demands action from government, or better yet, a federation of governments, say, the United Nations. With the possible exception of the sacred sacrament of secularism—recycling—environmentalism demands little of the individual, which makes it a rather comfortable and seductive faith. Whereas devotees of the Biblical faiths see redemption from the big ‘G’ of God, Environmental Fundamentalism sees redemption coming from the little ‘g’ of government. It interests me that, knowing this full well, Environmental Fundamentalism has recently recognized the compelling need to locate some figureheads with conventional religious credentials to come aboard.

Each morning I give thanks to God for His gift of Scripture and his requirement that I serve Him and sacrifice in accordance with His wishes only. This saves me from feeling a lot of unnecessary guilt and making a whole lot of sacrifices of dubious utility.

5 comments

Anonymous says:

How sadly deluded you appear, rabbi. I hope you can look into your soul and find that you truly believe the things you say.

If the best you can come up with against environmentally-friendly cars is that they look “silly”, then you are clearly swayed by the cult of appearance that is so prevalent in the culture you seek to defend.

I truly hope for you that you will find enlightenment and oneness with the universe – for there lies paradise.

Anonymous says:

The environmentalist has a need to see that which they worship. Save the trees, fish etc. they find their peace in doing and trying to force others to see things their way. Such as the Letter to Exxon from Rockefeller and whoever demanding they stop supporting those who do not believe in global warming. They accuse people of faith of forcing their view on others but they work harder at forcing their view by forcing legal compliance.

I to thank GOD for all the blessings and especially of Scripture. Thank you Rabbi.

Anonymous says:

The environmentalist has a need to see that which they worship. Save the trees, fish etc. they find their peace in doing and trying to force others to see things their way. Such as the Letter to Exxon from Rockefeller and whoever demanding they stop supporting those who do not believe in global warming. They accuse people of faith of forcing their view on others but they work harder at forcing their view by forcing legal compliance.

I to thank GOD for all the blessings and especially of Scripture. Thank you Rabbi.

Ray K says:

I beg to differ with Rabbi’s assessment of Environmentalism being “an inevitable pantheistic response to a post-Christian culture.” Instead, I believe pantheism is not a response but instead a return to the very old tradition and superstitions that predate the enlightened views of monotheism. There’s no doubt in those old days of pantheism, not much was placed in the way of demands on the individual. Thank God He revealed Himself to Abraham! Where pantheism’s adherents aspire to be ‘one with Nature’ (note the capitalization), and creates nothing, causing societies to collapse on themselves, Judeo-Christian societies, whose adherents aspire to conform to hold themselves accountable to God’s laws, help both themselves and in doing so are most responsible for the growth and prosperity of the societies they live in.

Bob King says:

“Environmental Fundamentalism is a Religion”

One is tempted to simply shrug, but I shall ask, “and your point would be?”

As you observe – there is such a thing as “environmental fundamentalism” and it has all the qualities about it that make every other form of fundamentalism irritating to those who have different values, or who prefer to eschew any unquestionable doctrinal ‘truth’ that mandates impositions on their fellow persons.

(I’d say “men,” but if it were left up to men alone, most religions would fail in the first decade due to lack of interest and disorganized confusion.)

Fundies of all sorts tend to suck all the fun out of the world around them – and in doing so, discredit themselves as positive examples of what they purport to represent.

But it’s worth listening to what the saner specimens have to say.

Remember – “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the word was God.” I’m going with my King James memories, so if I’m mangling the intent, please correct me.

I take that to mean that all words in a row should be considered for that certain resonance that tells me that God has something to say.

And besides, them li’l “flashlights” have head-snapping acceleration, brakes that can stand them on their noses, and the turning radius of a rally car.

But as one stretch Hummer driver said – there’s no bad cars, only bad fuels. A photo-voltaic array runs every toy known to man – even with the engine off – while it’s exhaust reminds one irresistibly of “freedom fries.”

Oh, and ain’t home-brew fuel tax free? A man with Rabbi in front of his name has to have the inside track on used cooking oil.

Of coruse, if you prefer to run with ethonol or methonol – so does Nascar. Vrrrooom!

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