90 Miles From Tyranny : Lettuce Pray: Climate Change, Neo-Paganism, and the End of the World

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Lettuce Pray: Climate Change, Neo-Paganism, and the End of the World



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. Climate cultists, whether consciously or unconsciously, have adopted the schema of the Christian eschaton, or end of the world. They have also incorporated into their faith elements of neo-paganism.

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...

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