Good Friday vs. Earth Day

Friday is Good Friday, the day Christians commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

Friday is also Earth Day, in which adherents, instead of worshiping God, worship the Earth. Any Christian church that observes the 2011 Earth Day at any point this weekend is committing what the Catholics would call a “grave sin,” not to mention violating the first of the Ten Commandments.

You might be able to tell that I am not a fan of the environmental movement. (As if I’m going to say anything positive about the environment after Tuesday’s thundersnowsleethail.) The original goals of preserving the natural environment (see Roosevelt, Theodore) and not wasting natural resources has metastasized into bigger government, scientific bias, the opposite of free enterprise, and shunning those who dare question the followers of Gaia. Environmentalists will stick their noses in your business in such areas as whether or not you have children, your distance from home to work, your transportation choices (driving: bad; mass transit: good), and even your menu choices (meat: bad).

(For a related week-long view, go to IowaHawk.)

Ed Morrissey nicely sums up what’s wrong with Earth Day:

I have nothing against Earth Day in and of itself.  While the politics of environmentalists are destructive, it’s not necessary to denigrate the efforts of individuals to help improve the environment through private and individual action. The problem with Earth Day is that it’s used as a platform to argue for statist “solutions” to environmental issues that will tend to keep people in poverty and create even more power for a small clique of elites at the top of government and big business.

Before you assume that I blithely waste natural resources: My car, purchased used, gets 25 to 27 mpg. Our house, also purchased used, is approximately one-sixth the size of Al Gore’s house. If you think our having three children makes us despoilers of the planet, send me an email and I will tell you exactly where you can go. (For those who believe people are the worst thing for the planet, I suggest you improve the environment yourself by committing suicide.)

I’ve always been amused by publications that try to demonstrate how green they are. What is the largest single component of your local landfill? Paper. You think printing presses run on solar power? And what about the semis that get newsprint or coated paper to the press, and then after printing, gets the publications to the post office, where copies are delivered via semi or, worse, airplane, to their readers?

Author P.J. O’Rourke has the funniest and yet most prescient observation about the greenies: “Worshiping the earth is more fun than going to church. It’s also closer. We can just step off the sidewalk. And sometimes we can get impressionable members of the opposite sex to perform sacramental rites with us. ‘Every drop of water wasted is a drop less of a wild and scenic river, Jennifer. We’d better double up in the shower.'”

Virtue Online reposted a FrontPage Magazine story that demonstrates the religious left’s confusion over what they’re supposed to be worshiping, with an added misreading of the Bible:

Lent is supposed to be a season for Christians to prepare for Easter through self-denial and reflection about God. But the Religious and Evangelical Left prefer to re-orient the focus away from Christ and instead on another very different Lord: Big Government.

At a Washington, D.C. press conference, Evangelical Leftist Jim Wallis announced, along with former Democratic Congressman Tony Hall and Bread for the World chief David Beckmann, that he has begun a “water fast” to protect “selectively cruel” proposed budget “cuts” by Republican congressional leaders. …

Former Congressman Hall was even more direct than Wallis: “We believe it’s time to call in God.” Hall has fasted before against proposed federal budget cuts. “A fast has to be first unto God to humble ourselves and to unleash him. Your faith is also unleashed when you struggle against injustice.” But what about the “injustice” of a nation potentially trapped beneath years of trillion dollar deficits, producing a stagnant economy unable to lift the poor out of poverty, and reducing the ability of the rich and middle class to help the poor? The Religious and Evangelical Left never answer this question, because they assume that only centralized, coercive government can guarantee “justice” and provide “charity.” Other social actors, like families, churches, private charities, philanthropies, and civic groups, not to mention private business, are all to submit unquestioningly to government supremacy in every human arena. Here is the Religious Left’s vision of “God’s Kingdom,” administered from Washington, D.C. …

Beckman and Hall also made it over to an ecumenical “prayer vigil” on Capitol Hill against federal budget cuts, dominated by old Religious Left types, like the National Council of Churches (NCC) and Mainline Protestant lobbies. One “prayer” came from NCC chief Michael Livingston: “For the poor of the earth who sustain our extravagance with their labor and whose environment we devastate with extractive industries and with our waste, may they be lifted out of poverty as we repent and make amends.”

Of course, American “extravagance” provides sustenance to tens of millions of previously poor people globally whose millennia of chronic poverty were finally broken by the growth of international markets. And far more millions around the world, especially the poor, depend on “extractive industries” for their survival. Livingston’s “prayer” did not explain how anybody would be “lifted out of poverty” absent the growing markets and extractive industries that fuel global economic growth. The Religious Left prefers its own grim, Malthusian myths that assume the poor can only hope for continued gruel ladled out by Big Government, domestically and internationally.

Exploiting Lent and Easter, which are chiefly about Christian hope and triumph, to perpetuate the Religious Left’s depressing, redistributionist, statist assumptions seems odd.

O’Rourke also pointed out that we are able to afford an environmental move because of our prosperity. The Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc tried mightily during the Cold War to economically outperform the West, but failed while simultaneously turning eastern Europe into a giant toxic waste dump.

Not surprisingly, the news media, which generally fails to understand religion anyway, prefers Gaia over God as well, reports NewsBusters:

Easter is the quintessential Christian holiday – the celebration of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

Although it has been celebrated by billions of people around the world for nearly 2,000 years, the mainstream media would rather celebrate the liberal holiday known as “Earth Day” and connect Easter to the abuse scandal that surrounded the Roman Catholic Church. …

ABC’s “World News Saturday” provided the perfect juxtaposition of how the networks disparaged Easter and praised Earth Day in 2010. “This is the holiest weekend in the Christian calendar,” said ABC’s Dan Harris on April 3, 2010. “But Easter is providing no respite whatsoever from what may be the gravest outrage in the modern history of the Catholic Church.” …

The tone of Harris’ reporting was a stark contrast to that of fellow ABC anchor Diane Sawyer’s April 22 Earth Day commentary.

“And on this Earth Day we told you about the plastic lying around the earth,” Sawyer said on “World News.” “Well what if you could take it and turn it into an answered prayer for some children? One woman did just that. It’s the American heart.”

None of this justifies despoiling the environment. God gave us humans dominion over the Earth, which also gives us the responsibility of stewardship of the earth. But the number of times the environmentalist movement has gotten things wrong — Paul Ehrlich’s dreams of environmental ruin due to overpopulation, or the confusion over which kills more, DDT or malaria (correct answer: the latter) — should make one skeptical about predictions of global warming, 30 years after predictions of an imminent Ice Age. And it takes quite a level of arrogance to assume that man is more powerful over God’s creation than God.

I can guarantee you which of the two holidays will be observed in the People’s Republic of Madison this weekend. (As a HotAir blogger pointed out, Earth Day is also Vladimir Lenin’s birthday.)


7 thoughts on “Good Friday vs. Earth Day

  1. >Steve: It takes a lot of misguided imagination to compare Earth Day to any organized religion. I'd like to see some reasonable, well thought out analysis comparing environmentally conscious folks to say, the crusades, where christians murdered millions of "pagans" in the name of religion. Or the strife in N. Ireland where it is christian against christian. Or modern Iraq, etc, etc.The fundamental principles of Earth Day may have changed over the years, but how can you argue against clean air, clean water, and a better, healthier environment for everyone? Unless of course you personally profit by being a polluter, or enjoy seeing your family and friends suffer from illness cause by the effects of increased pollution and exploitation of our resources. But them you always were a pretty narrow-minded and short-term kinda guy … Have a nice Earth day.

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