Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Some Secular and Non-Secular Perspectives for Earth Day

Gary Berg-Cross

Earth Day (ED) is, as they say, a 2nd chance to the wearing of the green in Spring. It’s celebrated in many ways and not just on the 22nd.  There is a nice   spill over for working folks into the weekend with Green events. And you can find any number of Inspirational Quotes for Earth Day. A favorite for the Deist crowd might be Frank Lloyd Wright’s:

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

Some years ago Yahoo music has its Top 10 Earth Day Songs:

Top 10 Earth Day Songs

It’s a good list although what about Pete Seeger singing Garden Song (Inch by inch)

 Since this is a day to raise children’s consciousness there are ones just for children with some good values, if some take a religious tone about god’s creatures.

I like the Celebrate Earth Day in Images that Google provided along with its  Animated Google Doodle.

But to all of these joyful connection there are a few suffers out there since Earth Day seems too secular a holiday celebration.  The New America site had a disgruntled Bob Adelman who started out noting that, “some consider it (earth day)the most holy of secular celebrations, the culmination of more than four decades of indoctrination of the theme that it’s moral to force people to go green.
Yep, and his analysis provided this revelation for the selection of the April 22nd ED date.

Various theories are extant about why April 22 instead of March 20, including trying to set the date during spring break, avoiding true religious holidays such as Easter and Passover, while honoring green believers. One of them, conservationist (not an “environmentalist” by today’s definition) John Muir, was born the day before, 132 years earlier, on April 21, 1838.
Perhaps more conveniently, April 22, 1970 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin, the first totalitarian to inflict his own view of Earth Day onto the hapless citizens of the Soviet Union. Called a “subbotnik,” the first day of enforced cleaning of streets and public parks occurred on April 12, 1919.

Wow.  Shades of conspiracy and the very Jewish Bob Adelman commiserates with Steven Landsburg who complained that his four-year-old daughter was being subjected in public school to the indoctrination without proof. Here’s the Landsburg scree:
At the age of four, my daughter earned her second diploma. When she was two, she graduated with the highest possible honors from the Toddler Room at her nursery school in Colorado. Two years later she graduated from the preschool of the Jewish Community Center, where she matriculated on our return to New York State.
At the graduation ceremony, titled Friends of the Earth, I was lectured by four- and five-year-olds on the importance of safe energy sources, mass transportation, and recycling. The recurring mantra was "With privilege comes responsibility" as in "With the privilege of living on this planet comes the responsibility to care for it."
Of course, Thomas Jefferson thought that life on this planet was more an inalienable right than a privilege, but then he had never been to preschool.
I think I know what side of this issue the Deist-like and naturalist Jefferson would have been on. As a fiddler he’s be playing some of the songs listed above and didn’t Jefferson say this?

“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting bands”

 Thomas Jefferson

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