Is your old-time religion getting a little stale? Do you feel in need of some spiritual revitalization?
If you are interested, then V. P. wannabee Al Gore may be just the prophet you’ve been waiting for. In his much ballyhooed new book, Earth in the Balance, Gore attempts nothing less than the construction of a new religion out of his pet cause — the environment.
We’re not just talking about saving the environment, which he calls “the central organizing principle of civilization.” (Think about that for a moment. Organized where, and by whom?)
A1 Gore’s agenda is really much grander than that. He cuts right to the heart of the matter in his chapter on spiritual environmentalism.
“The jury is still out,” he says, “on whether God chose an appropriate technology” when he put man in charge of the earth. One wonders who is serving on this jury, and what kind of a sentence God will get if He is found guilty. Maybe some Democrats do support the death penalty, after all.
The main problem, according to Gore, is that we are victims of modern technology. Powerless to withstand the assault from greedy businessmen and advertisers, we lie helpless, inert, unable even to notice “the forgotten human fodder chewed up by the cogs of industrial civilization.”
Of course, once you have the cogs in place, it’s a short step to “an elaborate edifice of clockwork efficiency capable of nightmarish cruelty on an industrial sca1e, Hitler and Stalin might have been inconceivable” without the modern industrial mindset. Gore really deserves the gold medal in the long jump for that leap of logic.
Gore seems terribly bothered by what he sees as the artificiality of modern life. “Our economy is called post-industrial; our architecture is called post-modern; our geopolitics are labeled post-Cold War. We know what we are not, but we don’t seem to know what we are.”
In the 1960s, lost young people used to talk about searching for their identity. Most of them grew up and found out who they are. Some didn’t.
The Senator’s book is just the latest in a long and famous tradition of attitudinal arrogance. That’s the state of mind that says: I’m enlightened, you’re not. I see the truth, you don’t. I speak from an exalted leve1 of pure motivation, but you are too burdened with materialism.”
Translated, this means, you like different things from what I like, and since I have basically what I want, I’m ready to stop the game now. Wrap it all up with some Aquarian marketing and take the show on the road.
Also, be sure to throw in a little something that looks like science because that impresses and intimidates those who look upon science as a gigantic mystery. However, the Senator’s penchant for making socioeconomic analogies from rigorous theories of mathematical physics makes one question his grasp of the scientific method.
Now, we can all aspire to be God, or at least we can be part of the divinity of nature. With control of the federal spending power and an army of bureaucrats, Gore would be able to implement his vision of a brave new world where the elitists will regulate our standard of living and restrain our consumption habits in order to offer sacrifice to environmental deities.
In ancient societies, people worshiped the earth and the elements of nature. Humans were helpless before the whims of the deified sun and moon. Only by constant sacrifices to the gods could the ancients hope to affect their own destiny.
Pantheism sought to locate divinity in every person, rock, bush, and bug. That was before the development of modern religions with what Gore complains is their “distinctly masculine orientation.”
Gore surely knows the buzz words to get the feminists to board his environmental train. They will like his new religion so much that they may even forgive him for having a homemaker wife and four children.
The jury will report its verdict this November. Gore must be hoping that some voters will read his book, and also hoping that others won’t.
Maybe I’m being too harsh. After all, as Gore states, “the environmental crisis seems completely beyond our understanding and outside of what we call common sense.” Amen to that.