Six Ways That Environmentalism Is Like Religion

I’m not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV—but I do believe that there is a brilliant legal case just waiting for someone with enough ambition and money to take it on. In our world where everything is solved by oligarchs in robes, it strikes me that it may be time to dismantle the superstate by any means necessary—including using their own systems against themselves. The separation of church and state is a fundamental calling card of liberal thinking. While that phrase does not actually exist in the Constitution, the idea of the non-establishment of religion by the state does.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Its initial intent was to stop the government from creating a state religion or mandating taxes on behalf of the church by the state. It actually helped create a robust religious landscape in the original 13 states as well as set the tone for the next 150 years of the American experiment. Religion became a robust institution that helped moor the culture and set norms for societal behavior. The church, while not being sponsored by the state, actually became much more dynamic and important to the American citizen. People were free to choose who they worshiped, when, and how much influence it had in their life. All along the way in the early history of the United States, there was an understanding by government that they couldn’t pass laws to make anyone comply with religion, but they held in balance that the Christian aesthetic was a fundamental part of the society they were governing.

Enter the Oligarchs

Something began to change in the early 20th century. The court’s profound insertion of themselves into the legislative process, something they had been doing since the court’s inception, but with relatively neutered results comparative to Congress, began to be the pinnacle of the federal system of government. They asserted that they were the final say in all matters of law, and that even if Congress had made a law, it was only with the permission of the court that the law could remain in effect. As always the influence of government started small—court cases that nibbled around the edges of what religion was and how it would be defined. Most of the early cases were still based upon the Protestant Christian ethic but left room for future courts to broaden their interpretations. By the 1950s and 60s the court had expanded its definition of religion. In the court case of Torcasso v. Watkins, the Supremes stated that the establishment clause prevents governments from aiding “those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.” A footnote of that case expanded the thinking and extended it across a wide definition of then established religions. “Religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God, Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others…”

In 1965 another case, United States v. Seeger, the court was charged with resolving the issues of a contentious objector and the mandate of service in the Vietnam War. The party in question was not a traditional believer in a monotheistic god—in fact his objections were about personal conviction rather than that of religious belief. The questions surrounding the law revolved around whether a given belief that is sincere and meaningful occupies the same place in the life of a person as an orthodox belief in a God. The court ruled that this deeply held belief constituted enough similarity to religion that the young man in question was complying with the objector clause and therefore was not required to serve—not based upon traditional religion, but rather on a more broadly defined “conviction.”

This was strengthened in 1970 in the case Welsh v. United States which essentially merged religion with a deeply held conviction. Other court cases have endeavored to define religion less broadly, but the general consensus is that religion is a much broader definition than America’s original religious heritage. There are a multitude of denominations, non-denominations, non Jewish or Christian religions, Eastern religions, cults, secular beliefs, and systems of living that, if pressed, would likely be defined by any court as a “religion.”

A little background before I get into the meat of my argument about the separation of church and state and environmentalism—I have an undergraduate degree in Theology. Something not all that useful vocationally, but something that has served me well in my real estate endeavors and other entrepreneurial pursuits because it has helped me understand the nature of humankind.

Theology and the philosophies behind it have typically helped me spot trends coming over the horizon and analyze them in real time to ascertain their viability or impact they will have on culture and politics. I started hearing about environmental disasters from an early age. Three Mile Island was something I remember hearing about, as well as acid rain, holes in the ozone, global warming, global ice ages, climate change, and any other litany of terms that all had impending deadlines, dastardly outcomes, and death and destruction just around the bend. I also realized early on that there was always one convenient solution—let the bureaucrats and politicians solve it by levying taxes and imposing lifestyle regulations so that everyone can return to a peaceful life and avoid the doomsday deadlines.

During my years in college, we spent a lot of time in my courses on theology looking at world religions and the basic tenets of what they all had in common. There were several things that were consistent in all religions and generally speaking, most people accepted that there were some fundamentals that are consistent in most every belief system of the people of the world. They are generically the ones that follow in this article. They may vary in importance or impact but generally speaking, these six fundamentals all exist and are part of what takes something from the empirical to the ethereal:

  1. A Belief in the Fall of Humanity—there has to be a need for something, behavior, savior, meditation etc, to save you
  2. A Remedy for the Fall—a savior, a behavior, meditation, etc.
  3. A Holy Set of Standards—something to demonstrate the depravity
  4. Sacred Texts—something written down that describes above said issues
  5. Holy Men and Women—someone who can help navigate the nuances and paths to enlightenment
  6. A Belief in Redemption—this can be in the here and now, or at some future date

Without those six items, it was pretty difficult to defend anything as a “religion.” However, based upon the Supreme Court in the United States, the definition of “religion” is far more broad than even those six requirements. For the sake of this argument, I am going to attempt to show that from a legal and definition standpoint, the federal government has not only established a religion, it actively promotes and mandates belief in their religion.

Environmentalism is the cause del-dia. If you are not a supporter of the policies and a believer in the premises presented, you tread dangerously close to apostasy. There is an orthodoxy about the “science” that stands upon the wonderfully oxymoronic statement that the “science is settled!” Set aside for a moment that science is by nature un-settled, the advocates for government intervention in the environment insist that it is only by government force that the problems can be solved. After all, they claim, it was the lack of intervention and regulation that got us to this precipice in the first place. It must be now accomplished by force since the marketplace and capitalism didn’t address it quickly enough. I have observed the panting and consternation around this cause over the course of my lifetime, and I have noticed that there is never a solution that is good enough. Companies can change their product, reduce their consumption, paint slogans and green thingys all over their labels, and it isn’t enough for the zealots. People can buy electric cars and even be required not to charge them, and the zealots insist for more. Recycling can be at all time high, packaging reduced, cars at the most efficient state of their entire existence, transit options in every city, clean water acts, EPA bureaucracies with tens of thousands of employees, all the funding they could hope for and culture pressing in media, entertainment and other avenues to insist on us all coming together to “do our part,” and in the end… it remains, never enough to satisfy the bloodthirsty sacrifice of the environmental fanatics.

It sounds eerily similar to religion.

In instance after instance, the people participate and the zealous require more from them. More is always required. The high priests of the movement position themselves to handle the apostates and squash all dissent. Heresy is everywhere in their opinion, and the message must be contained, the rebellion squashed and conformance to the belief system must be imposed upon all. Make the people in charge the people employed by the government, and it sounds a lot like a state religious institution.

I think a tremendous case exists for someone to prove this press towards an environmental orthodoxy that holds all six tenets of religion in its core—and that the government is the leading creator and establisher of this holy religion. While I have argued that rationalist documents have no hold on the minds of irrational people, the legal background seems to be present to demonstrate a case that the federal government has established and promotes a religion; creating a conflict between the First Amendment and its insistence on the States’ abstention from religion and the religion the state created.

I think it might be helpful to break down all six of the tenets and show practically where they all exist in the environmental movement and how the federal government supports and advocates for it. I also think it might be enlightening to show each issue and demonstrate how if the Christian religion did the same with a part of their faith or religion, how bluntly absurd the environmental movement looks, and how eerily similar it looks like the church and religion itself.

A Belief in the Fall of Humanity

The environmentalists insist that Earth is nearing its final days of sustainability. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has famously stated that Earth is only 12 years from its failure. King Charles (then Prince of Wales), chimed in with his verse of that same song, Al Gore, Barack and Michelle Obama, governors, pick-your-celebrity-of-the-day, and also-ran politicians all have joined in unison to sing their chorus of “We Kill The World.” Anywhere one looks, the apocalyptic song of destruction can be found. We are just a few minutes, just one bad decision, just one shortfall of regulation, just one extra pipeline built, just one too many oil wells, away from the end. Environmentalists have said that man-made climate change is real and we all need to recognize it. And therein, just as it is in religion, is the statement of the fall of humanity. They hold to a premise that once upon a time there was a healthy and static planet… bopping along through space without the scourge and cancer of humanity. The animals enjoyed the perfect climate, free of any issues and carbon dioxide. Then… (play the Darth Vader theme song) man entered and screwed the damn thing up. They lit their fires, created their cities designed to ruin the oceans with their dirty waters, and flippantly used their combustion engines to fart around in the panacea and wreck it all. Before man, everything was Eden. A place of perfection and wonder. Mankind entered and decided to eat of the fruit of fossil fuels, and they’ve been occupying their inherent destiny of destruction since. Humor aside, the reality is that environmentalism requires a “fall” by humanity. It needs to place us at the center of the destruction. There has to be a before, and there certainly exists an after; a moment whence it was once wonderful, and a moment it became different and dark. All of this exists in the legends of environmentalism—all of this is a fundamental part of most religious systems.

A Remedy for the Fall

If there is a fall as the environmentalists purpose, there has to be a way to be saved or redeemed from it. The sacred redemption in this spiritual space is compliance. For the environmentalist, the Climate Scientist is the Mohammad or Jesus of their faith. They only accept the doctrine as orthodoxy if it comes from that particular strain of science. Disregard that the Earth is multifaceted, and that it requires a multitude of scientific disciplines to gain a fractional understanding of how the Earth and its surrounding universe works. Any one discipline would host a lifetime of study in any one individual space—but to the environmentalist, the Climate Scientist is the only voice with credibility. For the these zealots, these limited “scientific” voices are the holy writ of how to view the world. They pronounce their findings from computer models, and dutifully their disciples and acolytes rush to the media and pulpits of Twitter to pronounce what has been found. Questions that arise are to be tossed out, censored, or discarded by legal muscle until the apostates are silenced. Compliance with the accepted doctrine is the only way to be redeemed. In our sad world, politicians take these conclusions and rush them to the floor of their closest legislative body and pass flowery sounding bills that empower the bureaucratic minions to eat out the substance of the plebiscites with taxes, regulations, and heavy handed thuggery to force them into compliance with these holy mandates. To the religi-environmentalist, the marketplace and efficiencies that are inherent, and a public that wants a car to get 30 miles to the gallon instead of 10, would never have happened without the force and compliance of government influence. They believe that redemption only happens with compliance to their doctrine—you must tithe with your taxes, you must be corrected in your thinking with their orthodox doctrine, and you must be proselytized with images and tales of the hellscape that is coming if we all don’t comply with their doctrine. Sound familiar to any churchgoers?

A Holy Set of Standards and Sacred Texts

In environmentalism, there is a set of standards that are the backbone of illustrating the depravity of mankind. They are couched in terminology like the Green New Deal, Climate Change, Global Warming, The Great Reset, Net Zero, Carbon Neutral, Zero Emissions, etc. Each of these demonstrate the gap for the environmentalist between what is and what “should” be. The holy elite press these standards in front of their followers to showcase how demonstrably bad humanity actually is (and how brilliant they are as the elites in charge of these scriptures). They showcase statistics, issues, anecdotal crises, and dying polar bears to arouse the congregants to action. They show how far apart we are from utopia and use the tactics of shame and guilt to woo the masses into accepting the premise that holiness can be achieved and that the standards demonstrate just how hard someone must work to be redeemed. This demonstration of depravity helps standardize compliance and showcases just how much must be done to be atoned. Christianity and Judaism have their holy scriptures; the East has their Buddha and other teachers who wrote down the “right way” to holiness. Environmentalism has the same. Consider this section from the preamble of the Green New Deal: “Whereas climate change, pollution, and environmental destruction have exacerbated systemic racial, regional, social, environmental, and economic injustices (referred to in this preamble as ‘systemic injustices’) by disproportionately affecting indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this preamble as ‘frontline and vulnerable communities’).” If you head over to the actual legislation, it has the little points and verse numbers just as if you were reading the New International Version of the Bible. I’m certain that if a politician were to mandate legislation based upon Leviticus it might cause a slight bit of consternation in American society. Call it climate change and the whole cabal gets a free pass.

Holy Men and Women

Enter the demonstrative Greta Thunburg—because who doesn’t love an angry, angst filled teenager to tell us all how to live. One of the most important sustaining factors of any religion are the holy men and women who actually guide the converts. They tell people the needs of the faith, set direction, interpret the scriptures, and council the flailing on how to maximize their redemption. The environmental movement is no different than any other religion in this way. It has its faces of the movement: King Charles, the aforementioned Greta, Al Gore, Bill Nye, David Suzuki, et. al. all contribute their thoughts, directives, and imperatives to the masses. They star in television shows, are guests of the news media mouthpieces, and hold court with Oprah on how the rest of us should live. They are the directors and shapers of thought that receive a veneration from the masses for their consciousness and capabilities. They receive a full pass on all hypocrisy because they are the “good guys.” We are scolded, reprimanded, and shamed for not caring for the polar bears, or wanting the poor to not be oppressed by governmental lunacy related to fossil fuels. They tell us how ashamed we must all be for our failures to fulfill their holy scriptures and mandates. Without them we are told, the world would never have a chance to be redeemed by our actions. Their celebrity draws necessary attention to the failing world—and also private jets, motorcades, luxurious houses on the coast, foie gras dinners, and opulent lifestyles, all while telling us to drive electric cars and set thermostats to 80 degrees to “do our part.” These are all behaviors accepted by believers because these Holy Men and Women are the justified individuals that can help save us from the inevitable destruction ahead. They are the high priests of perfection—do as I say, not as I do. Their indiscretion as humans will be forgiven because the ends justify the means. I wonder if that same ideology resonates with the young men who were molested in the Catholic Church. It appears that the priests were given a similar pass for their hypocrisy because they were the “holy ones.” Parents of young men and women looked the other way because these were people with a holy calling. Their indiscretion and sin was understandable—they were doing the Lord’s work.

A Belief in Redemption

Every religion needs redemption as the pinnacle for the reason it exists. Environmentalism is no exception. Without the high hopes of being redeemed, there is no need for the religion itself. You must have a way to be redeemed through the religious process in order for it to have any weight with the people you are proselytizing to. The redemption process for the environmentalist is simple. Listen to the experts, support their efforts, tithe your taxes, and you too will have been passed over by the Deathangel of the polar bear. You will not be held responsible for the darkness of the Earth and the humanity that inhabits it. You will be forgiven—your sins absolved and your soul washed clean from the guilt of carbon. All religions need redemption in order to have any hold on the belief systems of people; environmentalism is no different in this space. The fear of the Earth failing and you being culpable to its demise is a weight that most cannot bear. So the masses capitulate and go along to get along. If the two-year COVID Spectacular taught us anything, it was that humanity is much more disposed to suffer at the evil hands of sufferable fools than to change their direction. Humanity has a predisposition to lean away from confrontation and instead embrace the very people who put them in their wall-less prisons. Religion has been a helpful way for people to suffer through the pains that come at the hands of power. The difference this time, is that as Jefferson so wisely observed, this religion is in the hands of the politicians and it has created a dangerous recipe. This current batch of voted in bozos is hellbent on obtaining as much power and money as possible, using the manipulation of their state-created religion, in order that the bright oppressive future they dream of is secured.

I sound snarky and a bit bitter about religion as I write this. I actually think the Christian faith is very valuable to Western society. It is after all, the very framework that the society is based upon. I think wholeheartedly that people need redemption and that there is a universal order not created in the minds of man. I have spent my life in religion, so I know one when I see it. They say that people who look for counterfeit money as a profession study the original so that when a fake one comes along, the differences are obvious. The same is true for me in the case of this concocted witches’ brew that has poisoned the minds and sensibilities of the people of the world. If you don’t believe it, just ask the average person on the street what they think of rational things. Most will be able to string a patch of logic together for many issues. Change the subject to the environment, and watch the wheels come off the logic bus. They parrot phrasing from previously heard statements with a hubristic confidence that the climate change matter is settled. While the man on the street may give the benefit of the doubt to a topic, or even humbly admit that they don’t have all the answers on a number of subjects, the environment is one that in their minds and belief system is as certain as Newton and his apple. As a writing hero of mine, Mark Steyn, points out in his marvelous book After America, people can look around and observe the failures of the state in innumerable areas—the crumbling infrastructure, the DMV experience, the potholes in the road, the porous southern border—and listen as the government explains its incompetence in these areas. They might even complain and advocate that government stay out of these areas, but when asked about government’s ability to change the ENTIRE climate of a planet, “that they can do!”

I think it’s time to call out this nonsense. The world really is falling apart. The experts who claim to have all the answers have demonstrated with profound proficiency that they stink at everything. They have no answers and yet have all the power to enforce their ignorance. Their faith in their religion needs desperately to be called to account. The insistence that what has been Western civilization’s belief system of monotheistic values be replaced by this pseudo religion that was created in the minds of the pseudo intellectuals as a nefarious sheep in wolves clothing needs to end. This religion of environmentalism needs to go. It’s time someone uses the courts to call a spade a spade and see what may come of it. Brighter minds and deeper pockets than my own certainly exist. There may be a legal-eagle reading this that is willing to fight this fight the next time a farmer is dragged in front of the Greenzo tribunal. With the right arguments, there’s a chance that some of this could begin to unravel. I would love nothing more than to see the government have to deal with the nonsense laws that have all been based on this cornucopia of plastic fruit, and be forced to unwind it. All of it. The government has no place in religion—even the ones it creates itself.

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Free the People publishes opinion-based articles from contributing writers. The opinions and ideas expressed do not always reflect the opinions and ideas that Free the People endorses. We believe in free speech, and in providing a platform for open dialog. Feel free to leave a comment!

Aaron Everitt

Aaron Everitt is an entrepreneur from Colorado, a father of four, and an avid skier and fly fisherman. He has his bachelors in theology from Rocky Mountain College in Alberta Canada. He currently works in real estate and development specializing in land use.

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