Religious Views About The End of the World

The Onion, as you may know, is an American news satire organization. The video below is a spoof of a typical cable news segment. This video is on the imagined controversy of Christians who want to have the biblical account of the end of the world taught in public schools alongside the theory of global warming. The video is hysterical but also thought provoking. You can view it here:

Christian Groups: Biblical Armageddon Must Be Taught Alongside Global Warming

While this satirical spoof obviously ridicules Christians who seek to have creation taught along with evolution, I think it is just as much of a slap at the ardent global warming fanatics. It ridicules them also.

I abandoned my childhood faith in atheism in my early twenties and have, ever since, been impressed by the zeal of secular atheists who have a commitment to naturalistic evolution that rivals those of any religious believers. The same zeal is now found in the advocates of a global warming apocalypse.

Michael Crichton was the first one I’m aware of to point out the similarities between modern day environmentalism and the religions he encountered all over the world and which he studied as an anthropologist. The talk he gave to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco in 2003 was called Environmentalism as Religion but I can no longer find the transcript on the Internet.

Basically, Crichton pointed out that Environmentalism (the religious version with a capital “E” — not to be confused with a legitimate concern for a clean environment which any sane person shares) perfectly maps the Judeo-Christian belief system. There was an original Eden — a pristine world. There is a fall — the pollution of the plant by mankind, especially Western man. Salvation however is available — it is called sustainability. People everywhere must repent and sacrifice to save themselves and the planet from a looming judgement — an Armageddon.

Here he is talking to high school students about it — the comments about “mapping” of Judeo-Christian beliefs start at the 1:15 mark in the short video but the whole 4 minutes are worth watching especially for the thoughtful and respectful tone of both the freshman female student and Crichton’s response:

Personally, I’m much more concerned about the harm that will come from the uncritical teaching of global warming orthodoxy than from any harm that might come from teaching biblical views on creation and eschatology. We are much more likely in our culture to see unexamined acceptance of the former and are in essentially no danger from unexamined acceptance of the latter. And it is the acceptance of the former that could lead to massive death and misery — a case I’ve made before in a post that can be found here and in other posts on this blog related to the issue of global warming.

I’d love any thoughts you have either pro or con on these matters.