Matt Riley, a Druid Priest, prayed to Mother Earth to bless the fight to achieve environmental perfection through legislation. (link to video here) at a climate action rally in the Montpelier State House.
And, this isn’t the first time paganism has been invoked during a Climate Change-related event. According to The Washington Post, “Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, invoked the ancient jaguar goddess Ixchel in her opening statement to delegates gathered in Cancun, Mexico.”
But Druid, Myan or Christian, religion is playing a growing role in climate change advocacy.
Those behind the Global Warming movement are currently attempting to infiltrate churches and faith communities of all kinds through organizations like “Interfaith Power and Light” (IFP). “Global Warming is the biggest moral issue of our time,” says Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, the organizations’ founder. On the website is a section called “Clergy Corner,” which contains various articles on “Faith and the Environment,” “Prayers, Poetry, and other Worship Resources,” “Sacred Texts with Creation Care Themes,” and, last but not least, sample sermons.
An excerpt from one of these ‘sermons’, titled “Ask, Seek, Knock” by Meighan Pritchard of the Mira Vista United Church of Christ in El Cerrito, CA, reads:
The planet is dying. Too many people, too much carbon in the air, too much carbon in the oceans turning them acid, too many oil spills, too many mountaintops removed for coal, too many rivers destroyed by silt and arsenic and mercury from coal slag, too much garbage dumped and forgotten, too many dead zones in our waterways because of fertilizers and pesticides, too many species pushed to the brink of extinction and beyond. This is not God’s reign.
Pritchard goes on to say:
Bill McKibben [environmentalist author of “Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet] recognizes this, and through his organization 350.org he’s trying to organize the entire global neighborhood to have a work party. The idea is to show our leaders that we are ready to take action to fight global warming, even if they are not. If the people lead, the leaders will follow–that’s the hope. He picked a memorable date, which unfortunately we have already booked: 10/10/10. …[W]e could join California Interfaith Power and Light.
Interfaith Power and Light held a ‘preach-in’ on Global Warming just this weekend. The website promotion says, “In addition to sermons, we are encouraging congregations to screen films and host discussions on putting faith into action. Resources are available for those who register, including a film, fact sheets on current legislation, and discussion guides.
350.org is also reaching out to churches via a “Carbon Fast” for Lent. “God is calling us to be the change we long to see”, the invitation righteously proclaims.
“350 represents more than just a scientific benchmark for a safe climate – there are also deeply moral and spiritual reasons for getting the world back below 350 ppm CO2,” the ‘Faith’ section of the website reads. (http://www.350.org/en/node/3542) The page also contains a list of “faith-based organizations, resources, and campaigns on climate change”. Beyond that are several articles about various religious groups and their efforts to end global warming, including a link to yet another religious site called “Counting Prayers“, founded by Jon Denn. Denn briefly mentions his beginnings in local social movements during his teen years in Chicago.
Denn is also a co-director of the Trinity Conference Center in West Cornwall, CT. Their mission, as stated on their ‘about us’ page: “To provide nonprofit groups a safe and productive place to plan their service to their constituents and society.”
All in all, it’s not a shabby establishment for environmentalists to plan how to take away luxuries from everyone else for the good of the planet.
Earth Ministry is another organization offering resources for churches seeking to “green” their congregations. Their “about us” section says:
“Earth Ministry is a 501(c)3 non-profit committed to engaging the Christian community in environmental stewardship. We work in partnership with individuals and congregations to respond to this great moral challenge through education, individual and congregational lifestyle choices, and organizing for social change through environmental advocacy.”
Although taking care of the earth is certainly something we all should do, some think that the global warming activists’ view of the church’s role is misguided.
“Though we are to be good stewards of the earth, we are not to worship it,” says Tom Enman, a Shelburne resident who leads a small local church. “We are to strive for morality, but by whose authority and at what point does one’s CO2 levels become immoral? Shouldn’t churches be teaching people to care for one another through Jesus’ examples and to understand that God is in control of our environment?”