Climate Change, Neo-Paganism, And The End Of The World
Written by Dion J Pierre
The climate change movement has become the “modern world’s secular religion,” declared Wall Street Journal columnist Gerard Baker recently.
Climate activists preach a gospel of conservation that aims to redeem humanity’s environmental sins.
They counsel us to abstain from eating meat to reduce our “carbon footprint,” and prophesy that Earth will perish unless governments worldwide trust the oracle from whom we received this hallowed revelation.
Climate cultists appropriate aspects of Christianity to call the world to repent for its “Original Sin of a carbon industrial revolution,” wrote Baker. They do that and more.
Baker wasn’t the first to spot traces of the eschaton in the climate gospel.
Researchers Rachelle Peterson and Peter Wood remarked in “Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism” that “sustainability, like Christianity, offers a view of the Earth as once-pristine and pure but now fallen; recognizes the sinfulness of humanity,” and “offers forms of expiation and absolution.”
However, rather than seeking to redeem humanity in the “next life,” sustainability promises to stave off the end times and save sinners in the “here and now.”
Some episodes have emphasized the climate cult’s resemblance to neo-paganism. Sumantra Maitra at The Federalist pointed to an event at Union Theological Seminary in New York City where students confessed their sins to plants.
Maitra argued that this means climate activists are “pagan animists.” In other words, they believe that worshipping nature enables one to “grow as a living soul connected to the universe.”
Maitra also highlighted a gathering at the Glarus Alps where 250 Swedes hosted a funeral to mourn a melting glacier.
And Martha Sheen at The Irish Times identified shades of paganism in the climate gospel’s code of how to live, which prescribes “ritualistic sacrifices” like abstaining from meat to “satisfy the gods.”
Maitra and Sheen noted that, as opposed to Christians, Jews, and Muslims, who worship a personal creator that engages humanity from without space and time, neo-pagans worship Earth and other created things.
The emergence of pagan themes in climate activist circles is part of a trend away from Judeo-Christian-based faiths and toward religions like Wicca, which has surged in popularity among millennials, the demographic that worries most about climate change.
Wiccans aren’t the only neo-pagan sect. “Druids, Goddess worshipers, Heathens, and Shamans” count too.
And although neo-pagan beliefs vary, historian Ronald Hutton of Bristol University has said that neo-pagans practice “forms of worship which regard nature as sacred.”
Some worship inanimate objects such as “trees, plants, and animals” to glorify the “soul” of each.
Pre-Christian Celts, for example, worshipped the River Boyne in Ireland as Boann, the “Celtic Goddess of Poetry, Fertility, Inspiration, Knowledge, and Creativity,” to quote one feminist writer. Almost all pagans consult an astrology guru and play with tarot cards.
Neo-pagans form a small segment of Americans, but their ideas have permeated elites. Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in March indulged fans who obsessed over what her time of birth and horoscope meant for the future of the republic.
In response to “fervent public interest,” she allowed astrologer Arthur Lipp-Bonewits to tweet the information.
She bade her Twitter followers do the same, directing them to “bind” the president on dates that “corresponded to monthly waning crescent moons.”
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady trumpeted his connections to neo-paganism after winning his sixth Super Bowl title in February.
He told reporters that his wife, supermodel and climate crisis apologist Gisele Bundchen, “always makes a little altar” for him before the big game and provides him with “healing stones and protection stones.”
Bundchen allegedly predicted that the Patriots would overcome the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53 and said to Brady later that night, “You’re lucky you married a witch.”
There have also been reports claiming that conservative icon and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who played a formative role in persuading the United States to sign on to the Montreal Protocol in 1987, consulted an astrologer after she was nearly assassinated in 1984 by IRA terrorists.
The Irish Times in 1996 quoted astrologist Marjorie Orr alleging she was asked by Thatcher to “warn her of future threats.”
Former President Ronald Reagan, without whom there wouldn’t have been a Montreal Protocol, leveraged his influence to help the treaty along for reasons, said The New York Times in 2013, “no one has ever quite understood.”
Reagan was, of course, warned that failing to join the protocol would deplete the earth’s ozone layer.
But according to former White House Chief of Staff Don Regan, “virtually every major move” at the Reagan White House was cleared by Joan Quigley, an astrologer hired by Mrs. Reagan after John Hinckley Jr. failed to assassinate the president outside the Washington Hilton in March 1981.
At one point, as historian H. W. Brands wrote in “Reagan: The Life,” it appeared to some in the administration that Quigley’s consultations determined even the president’s medical regimen.
None of this suggests that all climate crisis believers are neo-pagans, but wherever one hears among elites a call to save the planet, one also finds neo-paganism.
The outbreak of essays revealing the climate change movement’s religious underpinnings bothered at least some of its defenders.
According to a blog post at Sightings, an outlet published by The University of Chicago’s Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion, conservatives have made similar arguments about everything from, “Marxism to socialism, liberal progressivism, [and] Silicon Valley capitalism,” all of which also combined the Christian eschaton with its own worldview.
Critiquing secular ideas about the eschaton isn’t a niche market for right-wingers, however.
In “God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World,” historian Walter Russell Mead traced the Christian, or, Abrahamic origins of today’s secular ideologies not to discredit them, but to explain how they influence domestic political movements and foreign policy.
Read rest at Daily Caller
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