All eyes were on Denver a few weeks ago as the DNC held its national convention. Among all the hoopla, there’s one thing I found spellbinding: the Democrats’ obsession with being green.

Some of the highlights of these efforts included:

  • The Molson Coors Brewing Company donated fuel made from beer waste to power the DNC car fleet. (What the heck, good for Molson.)
  • The Sheraton Hotel replaced all its plastic room keys with swipe cards made from “sustainably harvested” birch wood. At first this was a resounding failure as the key cards simply didn’t work – all those sustainably harvested trees almost died in vain – but they later fixed the problem.
  • Delegates with the “highest percentage of members offsetting their carbon” were seated in special sections.
  • At least 70 percent of food ingredients were certified organic and/or raised in Colorado. (Only 70 percent? Is that the best they could do?)
  • The 70 million pounds of carbon generated by the convention (despite their efforts) were offset by “green” investments. I’m still not sure if this included all the carbon necessary to get everyone to Denver.

All this took a tremendous amount of work, coordination, coercion (on the part of reluctant vendors) and necessitated the hiring of experts – thus illustrating that going Green on a large scale is horrifically costly, difficult and complex.

And what was the purpose of all these green efforts? Why, the answer (if you ask a liberal) is simple: to reduce our footprint. To combat (ahem) “global warming.” It doesn’t matter what it costs or how much effort it takes. The important thing is to save the planet.

The DNC isn’t alone. Everyone, it seems, is on the bandwagon to save the planet. So what’s going on here? Why is it that in the last few years you can’t even turn on the radio without hearing how, say, your local insurance company is going green? Why is it now so important for the survival of a business to illustrate its environmental friendliness?

I believe it’s because, for the first time in a long time, businesses and politicians can appeal to a religious zealotry that isn’t either illegal or politically incorrect. Many in our country are rejecting the religion of our founders and embracing a new creed (complete with its own high priests) with rabid and unrepentant fervor.

If I were to place a newspaper ad that said, “House for rent, Christians only” – can you imagine the reaction? I’d be accused of discrimination faster than you can say “ACLU.”

But if the ad said, “House for rent, environmentally aware tenants only” – well, then that’s different.

Your local insurance agency would never advertise, “We’re going more Christian!” But it can advertise, “We’re going more green!” and be hit with a veritable deluge of grateful customers. In other words, it can appeal to the true believers of the new religious movement.

For these true believers, it makes perfect sense to patronize a business that advertises its environmental awareness. For the cynical and exploitive, it gives a business owner the chance to cash in on a huge body of religious fanatics.

But the funny thing about the green movement is that it has no human-based moral philosophy tied to it. The Judeo-Christian theology, as well as most other established religions, emphasizes kindness and compassion to fellow humans. But the green movement is all about how we can protect/worship/guard the Earth … and people (except as useful idiots) be damned. Humans are ruining the planet anyway. The fewer of us, the better. Right?

The extreme extensions of the greenies are the actual Earth worshippers, those who treat the planet as a deity and direct prayers to it.

And see, this is where I lose it. I don’t understand how people can take a natural ecosystem – the planet Earth – and elevate it to an object of worship. While most greenies don’t go this far, that element of deism is present, sometimes strongly.

For some, the beauty of nature is beyond compare and is vastly superior to anything mankind can create. A gorgeous sunset is enough to overwhelm the senses until reverence bursts forth in a form of adulation.

I understand this. I experience it all the time. It’s one of the reasons why my husband and I chose to live closer to nature on a farm. It’s why I can classify our family as green. I believe in individual responsibility for the stewardship of resources. I like the idea of voluntarily living lightly on the Earth. Believe me, I am second to none in my admiration of the natural world.

But I do not consider the planet a deity. I fail to understand how anyone can. The Earth is a big rock, a nonliving object orbiting around a smallish star in a minor part of the Milky Way galaxy. It is not a deity.

I see no conflict between green living and a religious life. I’m quite certain God takes pleasure in the responsible stewardship of our planet. I’m equally certain He would frown upon rampant pollution and littering.

But to transfer our worship from God to a complex ball of rock, dirt and gases makes no sense. When they do that, the greenies lose their perspective. Being green becomes the end – worship – rather than the means: stewardship.

I do not bow down and pray to rocks, fields and mountains. I might as well bow down and worship my shoes, my oatmeal and my soap. I would get about as much response, too.

From the earliest days, man has searched for the face of God in nature, and I truly believe that it’s possible to find Him among the rocks, fields and mountains. But we cannot select a “thing” (mountain, golden calf, oatmeal, whatever) and have it become a deity. Even the DNC delegates should recognize that.

So don’t hesitate to look for God in the natural beauty around you. Just be sure to direct your prayers to the Creator, not the created.

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