Posts Tagged 'environmentalism'

The Creepy Obama Cult

The video at the end of this blog is about the creepiest thing I have ever seen. I found it in a piece on Human Events called “A Short Visual History of the Creepy Obama Cult.

I watched it  in astonishment, unable to fathom the cause of these people’s devotion. Clearly they aren’t really thinking, or even relating to reality. They have — or had — laid their own desires and fantasies into the persona of what was then Candidate Obama.

“We’re going to change the world!”

They say it over and over, but what does it mean? Change the world how? Well, a couple of them say…

“The world will finally respect us.”

Really? I mean… really?

This is delusional. Or perhaps merely naive, a fantasy indulged in by those who have no clue about life, about people, about history, about much of anything, it would seem.

“I want a cleaner world.”

So says a young mother (probably some sort of star but I don’t know who), as if all you need do is get the Ajax and a paper towel. Even then you have to deal with the leftover plastic bottle and the paper. And that’s not even considering where you’re going to get the plastic and the paper and the Ajax in the first place.

For example, I just saw an article in the New York Times today that said wind power will shrivel away without the millions of federal subsidies it needs to survive.  In fact, the industry is already shriveling and soon the tax credit will expire. Without it the wind business “‘falls off a cliff,’ said Ryan Wiser, a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who studies the market potential of renewable electricity sources.”

And the biggest thing is that everything these people on the video have, wear, use — their clothing, their cosmetics, their cars, their cell phones, the very system they used to record the video and then to play it back — almost all of it is reliant on oil. Many things come from petroleum, plastic being a huge one.

A cleaner world? If we shut down the oil drilling here, that might make it cleaner here, though I doubt it, but what about in the Middle East? Do they really think that Middle Eastern drilling and refining operations are cleaner than ours? And just because they are on the other side of the world, do they think we can be free of them?

Power Line Blog cited a report that air pollution in the form of aerosol particulates from China is blowing across the Pacific and reaching our shores. “We estimate that the mass of aerosols arriving at North American shores from overseas is comparable with the total mass of particulates emitted domestically,” says an abstract of the report. Which means we could demand zero emissions of particulates from our industries, and it wouldn’t change a thing. Yet here in Arizona liberal politicians are campaigning to shut down the power plants and such, protesting against the building of a new copper mine which will provide hundreds of jobs, and urging for clean energy in solar panels and windmills… which don’t come free, as mentioned above. Not free to make, not free to install, not free to maintain.

The people in this video are like children, really. Living in a fairy tale. And all there is, for them, is the picture they want to see, and none of the nitty-gritty that goes on behind the scenes to make any of it happen. Even in the printing of a Fairy Tale Book you have logging, (or possibly paper recycling plants), machinery, paints, dyes, inks, power, buildings, trucks, oil… And a Fairy Tale movie? The list is endless.

Nothing comes free and easy in this world. And almost four years later now, we can certainly say it didn’t with  O….. BA….. MA!

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Asceticism

The Buddha as an ascetic

This post has been sitting in my drafts box for some time. I thought it was unfinished. In fact, I thought I’d barely started it and so had been ignoring it. Today I was moved to click on it, intending to see if there was something here I could develop, or if I should just delete it and move on.

Instead I was surprised to find an entire post, finished but for the final editing. And, oddly enough, it ties in to what I’ve been thinking and writing about lately in regards to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The original date on it was March 18, 2011, a kind of prologue thoughtwise to more recent ruminations. Here’s what I was thinking last year:

Most Christians are aware of the fact that they still have a fallen nature even after having believed in Christ. But how many of them have considered what this fallen nature is like beyond “bad,” “evil,” “selfish,” “prideful”  and “something that sets itself against God?”

My pastor has considered what it is like and taught us a number of things as a result of his studies. One of the big things about it is the fact that it has an area of strength (most of us have certain sins we’re not even tempted to commit) and an area of weakness (sins we fall into all the time). I think the area of weakness is pretty well-known, but the area of strength is something that doesn’t get as much attention. The area of strength is often the source of human good, which of course, is disgusting in God’s eyes, but often very attractive in people’s eyes.

In addition to an area of strength and weakness, the sin nature also has a trend, either toward lasciviousness or asceticism. Or, put more simply, some people trend toward self-indulgence and others toward self-denial and self-discipline.

Examples of the latter include the Flagellants I just posted about, as well as fasting, vows of silence and poverty, dietary rules, and one I find most amusing, the stylites… Eastern orthodox monks who lived on small platforms atop long poles for years, fasting, praying, and preaching, they believed that the mortification of their bodies would ensure their salvation.  Many Eastern religions embrace ascetic practices as well, with followers vowing never to use their left hand or right foot, restricting their diet, wearing neither clothes nor shoes as they moved from place to place, not staying in any one place so as not to get attached, etc. Clearly there is a strong tendancy in some sin natures to be abusive of self in the name of “holiness,” or just in the name of getting something they might want.

Few people in our day practice the type of asceticism I’ve just described (at least in the United States) but that doesn’t mean they don’t practice it in some other form. Exercise regimes, abstaining from certain foods or drinks, supporting “green” practices, abstaining from smoking, card games, dancing or watching movies, even practices associated with Lent all have to do with denying self certain pleasures in the interest of achieving “holiness” by our own efforts.

Unfortunately holiness is far from the result of asceticism. What it leads to is moral degeneracy, a state wherein a person is moral and often religious but thinks far more highly of himself than he ought. His self-denial and self-discipline,  his avoidance of the lascivious or self-indulgent sorts of sins (drug addiction, fornication, etc) make it seem that he is a better person than say, the woman working the corner down in the ratty part of town. Which is, of coures the point: to make of oneself a better person, a more spiritual person, purer, more enlightened than everyone else.

I’ve recently read several articles noting how self-righteous and holier than thou some people in the global warming/environmental movement are, how it has, in fact become a religion in itself to those who follow it. Michael Crichton was one of the first, or at least the most famous first, to point this out in a speech he gave to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco in 2003.  (Read it here) Ditto vegetarians, the defenders of animals and even those who eat only organic foods, pr so  claims an article on MSNBC titled “Does Organic Food Make People into Jerks?

In addition to the holier-than-thou syndrome, ascetism leads to legalism — not only in the sense of judging others, but of judging self. Not the judging of self where you confess your sins to God, but where you come up with a set of rules you have to follow so everything will turn out right; or so someone will be pleased with you or happy or at the very least not displeased; or perhaps a set of rules to follow so God will be pleased,  or so you can gain health or wealth or success or …  the list is endless.

And once you have your set of rules in place, you’ve created a launching pad for guilt and worry. You have these rules!  And you have to follow them; if you don’t, disaster will ensue! If you don’t, you can never have any peace. Who cares what God’s word has to say? You have your rules of what it means to be good or successful or responsible or compassionate or whatever…

Which means now you can also worry you might not follow them all, and then beat yourself up when you don’t.  And if there’s someone around who fails to follow them even more than you do, then you can focus on that person and beat them up instead of yourself for their infractions.

And it can all look very nice on the outside, while inside it tears you apart.

What a contrast to the life our Lord intends for us to live. A life of peace and rest, confident that we don’t have to follow our silly little rules, because in Christ we’ve already been made holy. By His work, not ours. There’s not one thing we can do that will make us one ounce holier than He’s already made us the moment we believed in Christ.

All we have to do is keep learning His Word which, if we believe it, will slowly transform our thinking into His.  Our new life in Christ is one that offers tremendous peace and freedom; why would we not want to live in it?

Avatar

Our son was here over the holidays and he and his fiancee went to see Avatar, the new 3D Sf flick that is all the rage these days. Already it’s grossed over a billion dollars worldwide and is expected to exceed the amount its director made with Titannic, which is so far the highest grossing film ever.

I read a few initial reviews, saw the trailer and decided I probably wouldn’t see it because I didn’t expect to like it. As I emailed to a friend, “Since the story’s supposed to be like Disney’s Pochahontas and I didn’t like what I read of their rendition — evil white European Christian males attempt to invade, despoil and exploit the good, pure, nice native cultures but the lovely female native saves the day — I don’t expect to like (Avatar).” Not only that but it really looked like it was very anti-military, anti-business, pro-environmentalist and typical Hollywood.

My son and I discussed it before he saw the film and afterward he said my assessment was correct in that those elements were definitely part of the story. He enjoyed it, primarily because of the world, which was apparently very well done, not only in the quality of the technology but in the wondrous way it was presented. It was just fun to be in, he said. Because it was so different from anything we have here — which has long been a staple of science fiction and fantasy, ie., the attempt to create worlds of wonder that will fascinate and live on in reader’s minds. Lord of the Rings was exactly that.  I guess Avatar’s Pandora is too…

In fact, so compelling is it that, according to an article on Drudge thousands of fans are depressed and suffering from withdrawal from Pandora after seeing it.  Some of them talk of suicide. The real earth is just so dull and dreary. We have destroyed it! Ruined it! They are banding together on forums to console each other and try to find their way back to purpose in life.  (And the  accompanying picture of all those blue-tinted, glasses-wearing, enrapt audience members is really kinda creepy)

Another article reports on the opinions of a Chicago alderman who is also a war veteran. He charges the movie with making “marines look like lunatics,”  and is not pleased.

My favorite, though, was the review from The Weekly Standard’s movie critic John Podhoretz, who said the film was “blitheringly stupid” and “among the dumbest movies” he’d ever seen.

Avatar is an undigested mass of clichés nearly three hours in length taken directly from the revisionist westerns of the 1960s-the ones in which the Indians became the good guys and the Americans the bad guys. Only here the West is a planet called Pandora, the time is the 22nd century rather than the 19th, and the Indians have blue skin and tails, and are 10 feet tall.

…the natives are wonderful in every possible way. They are so green it’s too bad their skin has to be blue. They’re hunters and they kill animals, but after they do so, they cry and say it’s sad. Which only demonstrates their superiority..”

It’s a very funny review,  one that pretty much confirms everything I’d concluded about  the movie. In fact, I was struck by Podhoretz’s reference above to the revisionist westerns because I’d already thought that it seemed kind of like a sci fi version of Dances With Wolves

According to him Avatar unquestionably promotes a green/environ-theistic religion  while eventually asking its audience to root for the destruction of American soldiers at the hands of a native insurgency… even so, he doesn’t think it’s a big political statement, just the result of such values being so entrenched in Hollywood that writers think nothing of putting them forward in their quest to please as many people as they can. The question Podhoretz raises is, would the movie be anywhere near as interesting without the snazzy special effects? My question as well.


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