Earth Day in History: How Environmentalism Resembles the Protestant Reformation

NOTE: This is an excerpt from Byron Kennard’s just published book written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970:
YOU CAN’T FOOL MOTHER NATURE: The Once and Future Triumph of Environmentalism
 
The book is now available in paperback & ebook at Amazon
 

    The Protestant Reformation challenged fundamental religious ideas that had long been dominant. Specifically, the reformers challenged the teaching of Catholicism that the Church — and only the Church — was the route to salvation.  For a thousand years the Church claimed to be the intermediary between God and the individual. Most everyone believed that only priests could grant redemption, and all the poor wretches who lacked it were doomed to burn in Hell.
 

    Martin Luther begged to differ. The Bible, he argued, is the supreme religious authority, not the Pope. Through the Bible, each individual can find a path to salvation on his or her own. The liberating force of Luther’s ideas on the people of his time can scarcely be imagined. For an eon, they’d been taught that God was off-limits to ordinary mortals.Now they could seek salvation on their own. 

 
  • To sum it up, the Protestant Reformation fundamentally altered the view that people had of themselves in relation to the Creator.
  • The environmental revolution fundamentally altered the view that people have of themselves in relation to Natural Creation

    For a thousand years (or more), people had been taught that humanity is the crown of natural creation, the highest, grandest expression of divine intent.  Creation is a pyramid — so we’ve long been told — with humanity perched on top of everything else.

    Then, in 1970, along came Earth Day to promote an idea that totally invalidates the pyramid scheme: ecology. Ecology reveals that natural systems consist of complex, interdependent webs in which all life forms are embedded, including such magnificent specimens as you and me. 

 
    If you compare being on the top of a towering pinnacle with being embedded in a complex, interdependent web, I’ll take the web any day. 
 
    It’s lonely at the top. And vulnerable too. You can be knocked off a pinnacle mighty fast. Or you might slip or fall off. It’s hard to keep your balance on a pinnacle. And there’s no place to sit comfortably. The pinnacle is a sharp point. Who wants to sit on that? 
 
    But, ah, the web! It’s comfy in the web and cozy too. It’s like being in a king-sized featherbed surrounded by lots of pillows and comforters — not to mention other warm, friendly bodies. 

The book is now available in paperback & ebook at Amazon

3 Comments

  1. Byron. I’m loving this for another reason. Of course you remember Dena Dietrich who was the “You can’t fool Mother Nature” she and I have been friends for over forty years. She is now in the group of residences for actors out in Woodland Hills. She is about 88 or thereabouts but physically frail. However she is as curmudgeonly as ever which is a good sign. I see her once a month or so. I was sure you would like hearing about her.

    On Sat, Apr 11, 2020 at 2:47 PM Byron Kennard’s Capers wrote:

    > byronkennardblog posted: ” NOTE: This is an excerpt from Byron Kennard’s > just published book written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the > first Earth Day in 1970: YOU CAN’T FOOL MOTHER NATURE: The Once and Future > Triumph of Environmentalism The book is now available ” >

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  2. Claudette, It’s wonderful to know you keep in touch with Dena Dietrich, who was famous for “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!.” That commercial, in my opinion, is on par with Clara Peller’s “Where’s the beef?” in terms of jumping the shark with one performance! People really remember that commercial. Nice to know she’s still around. Good for her!

    Like

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