The Cancun “Green Dragon” Freak Out!

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  December 8, 2010 — 184 Comments

Remember how I mentioned the invocation of the Mayan goddess Ixchel at the opening of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico? At the time I noted that it would most likely confirm the greatest fears of those conservative Christians who see environmentalism as a stalking horse for Pagan religion, a “Green Dragon” that must be opposed.

Well, now a variety of religious and political pundits have seized on the invocation and are using it as proof that the conference is either crazy, laughable, or outright demonic. From the crazy/laughable camp you have this anonymously-penned Investors Business Daily editorial that uses the invocation to prove environmentalists aren’t rational, and even takes some time out to take a swipe at Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

“Still think those who continue to push the idea of man-made climate change are well-grounded and rational? Think again. Consider Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She opened the U.N’s global warming conference last week with a prayer to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of the moon. This mythological supreme being of fertility is supposed to be good for sending rain for crops. Maybe that’s the sort of blessing Figueres had in mind when, from Cancun’s — no joke — Moon Palace, she called Ixchel “the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving” and hoped delegates would be inspired by her. And did we mention that the multitasking Ixchel is also some kind of jaguar? Given her many roles, is it really reasonable to ask her to also save the planet from global warming?”

That mocking scorn is echoed by conservative pundits at Fox Nation, Gateway Pundit, and the Michelle Malkin blog.

“Watch out, Al Gore, your moonbat congregation is starting to direct their prayers elsewhere […] It just makes sense: When you’re pushing a myth, there’s no more appropriate entity to pray to than a mythical goddess. Why be inconsistent? Here’s an image of Ixchel found on a Wikipedia page. If Helen Thomas and Code Pink had a love child…”

That mocking turns into full-throated demonic panic when you turn to the more religiously-focused outlets.

“So now we are invoking Mayan deities to call blessings upon a scheme largely designed to wreck the Western World, the desiccated remains of what had once been called Christendom. That the weaving of the new tapestry, the kingdom of the goddess, is difficult is beyond dispute, but the forces that have been at work in the war against the Kingdom of God are nothing if not diligent. It starts with stealing wealth.”

Michael Youssef at the Christian Post whips out his Godwin and goes the full Nazi in an editorial entitled: “the Enviro-Nazis Come Clean in Cancun.”

“Now that they have left us without a shadow of doubt as to their true agenda, it is time for evangelical leaders across the world to rise up and acknowledge the truth. I realize that, for many leaders who have buried their heads in the sand of cultural popularity, speaking out in truth will be a new experience. But for the rest of us who know the truth, let the words of the prophet Elijah ring in our ears, “Choose ye this day whom you will worship.” If it is Jesus, the Creator of the universe, then say so. But if it is a mixture of Jesus and Ixchel, then this must be confessed.”

No matter what emerges, or doesn’t emerge, from the Cancun talks you can bet this incident will be used as grist for these pundits for years to come. Further proof that environmentalism is a secret plot to overthrow Christianity (and free-market capitalism).

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • http://quakerpagan.blogspot.com/ Cat_C_B

    The perfect alliance: climate change deniers, monied interests, the Religious Right, and Fox. And meanwhile, the chance to preserve the health of our ecologies is being squandered.

    I could weep. (Though I suppose I'd better get to work instead.)

  • http://threeshoutsonahilltop.blogspot.com gorm_sionnach

    Yes, because the belief in an ancient Mayan goddess is far less rational than the belief in an ancient Semetic god…

    • Crystal7431

      And how is a deity being depicted as a jaguar any weirder than a deity being depicted as a bird or lamb?

      • Praxidike

        Or a burning bush?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1008131810 Chelsea Rose

    Oh Mighty Green Dragon, Protector of Trees, cast Your reptilian eye upon these tasty mortals and devour them and their Kingdom of God…

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

      Amen. Hallelujah. So say we all.

      • Robin Artisson

        So say we all!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

      I'm not going to take part in this one. In the early days of the Abramic faiths, some of its adherents prayed that those dirty, immoral Pagans and their false practices be obliterated so their new religions would reign supreme. Now that said religions are reigning supreme, they find their numbers shrinking as new Pagan faiths crawl out of the woodwork.

      If you believe in the Law of Return (Rule of Three, for you Wiccans), consider this: Do you want the cycle of hatred and violence to continue, or do you want to take steps to let it end, so that it does not come back to harm you and your kind?

      Be careful what you wish for.

      • Robin Artisson

        You're not seeing a cycle of hatred and violence here. You're seeing a cycle of truth and falsehood.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

          What truth and what falsehood?

          • Robin Artisson

            Truth: We are part of this world
            Falsehood: We are in this world, but not of it

            Truth: we are in a state of horizontal equality with all other life
            Falsehood: We are exceptional, bearing an eternal spirit or soul that other life lacks

            Truth: There is a multiplicity of divinity and an ecology of power that exists beyond "good and evil"
            Falsehood: There is only one divinity and all powers subordinate to it are either good or evil

            Truth: There is nothing wrong with us; nature shaped us sacred and complete as we are
            Falsehood: There is something very wrong with us: we are sinful and fallen, and incomplete without Jesus

            Truth: We are not the judges of our Ancestors; they are our judges
            Falsehood: We are better off today- wiser and happier- than people have ever been. Our Ancestors were largely barbaric and ignorant.

            This list goes on and on and on.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            How are these ideas moving in a "cycle"?

          • Robin Artisson

            First these truths were in mainstream acceptance, then they were not. In time, they will be again, then, in time, they will not be. And so on.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            And so you want this cycle to continue, even though people have demonstratively been hurt by it?

          • thehouseofvines

            It doesn't really matter what Robin personally wants or not. As the supremely wise H?rakleitos observed, π?ντα χωρε? κα? ο?δ?ν μ?νει

          • Robin Artisson

            The cycle will continue because it is Fate, not because I want it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            A cycle continued by human behavior can be stopped by human behavior.

          • Robin Artisson

            The cycle isn't continued by just human behavior. Fate is not just human behavior. It's something deeper, which human behavior emerges from.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            Even if this were true, why resign ourselves to fate?

          • Robin Artisson

            You don't have a choice. Fate is Fate. If you resign yourself to it, that was Fate. If you fight it, you lose, but you were Fated to fight it and lose. Of course, Fate conceals an important mystery- the mystery of the one thing that can be said to be stronger than Fate, and that is the courage to face Fate unshaken. The greatest heroes understood Fate, accepted it, and still fought all the way to their Fated conclusion.

            Fate says that everything will ebb and flow, and ebb again and flow again. In this larger cosmic drama of ebb and flow, every being or thing is an agent of the ebb or the flow. The age of revealed religions is ebbing now. A new era is flowing, gaining strength. I am an agent of that flow. I don't resign myself to this as though it were a bad thing; I accept it happily. By accepting what (at any rate) I don't have a choice about, I live quite contentedly. The weight of the unstoppable flow of things moves with me, not me against it. Psychosis and destruction awaits those who put themselves contrary to the flow.

            …And some people are Fated to do just that- resist the flow. Poor beggars. Consider it an object lesson, the universe demonstrating important statements of deep truth to us. Each of us is a demonstration of concealed principles and Fates. I hope, that when all is revealed, you won't have been one of the people Fate marked to be broken against a tide that can't be stopped. For all your whiny insistence on being pro-Christian, or your naive beliefs that Christianity can be sanitized of the evil that defines it, and persist in some "nice" form, your Ancestors and mine came from the same place. In the spirit of Kinship, I hope your ends are happier.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            So, essentially, you accept this as "Fate" because you perceive that you will benefit from it, even if it is at the expense of others.

            All right.

          • Robin Artisson

            I don't accept it because I perceive that I will benefit from it. Are you not reading what I've said? I never had a choice in this matter. Whatever I "perceive" about Fate is secondary to the fact that it makes me what I am. It makes you what you are, too.

            I celebrate my acceptance of it because it is wise to accept the most pervasive, formative, powerful, and omnipresent force in reality, the force that actually IS reality. The more world-aware you become, the more likely it will be that you'll find your place in Fate, too. Whether or not you find that place, or accept it, you are still in your place, and weaving right along as you must be.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            What if a person does not like certain elements of his or her "place" and wishes to change those things? Would it be unethical for him or her to do so?

          • Robin Artisson

            What do you mean by "place"? Life circumstances? Like living under an oppressive government? Most people will just endure that situation. Some- a few- will fight it. Both are Fate.

            If you're one of the people that feels the need to fight, feels the need inside to always seek what you perceive as the better for yourself, that's not something you choose to have in you; it's a part of you that's natural to you, Fated and not chosen. And no one can really ignore their own nature, no matter what other conditions appear on top of it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            All right, I think I better understand your interpretation of Fate; it's much like my own. Thank you for the explanation.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1008131810 Chelsea Rose

        Fine, be a stick in the mud. Christianity is waning for more reasons than a few chicks in the forums that prayed for the destruction of their spiritual foes. I don't think we have anything to worry about as far as the "Law of Return" or whatever is concerned because they've essentially asked for it. Besides, once the perpetrators of said cycle of violence and hatred are gone, there won't be any more violence or hatred, now will there?

        Don't worry. In two thousand years, the people praying for our downfall will probably remember your comment here and spare you.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

          I don't know about that. One of the reasons ethnic conflict keeps perpetuating itself is because people living are angry at the offenses of people long dead.

          If the Law of Return is true, then the influence of a religion that used force and hatred to further itself will find its numbers waning as people are put off by said force and hatred. Why take that upon ourselves by piling on more resentment? Just let it wane.

          • thehouseofvines

            So, let me get this straight. In the early days some Christians prayed for the defeat of their enemies and now almost two thousand years later the religion is starting to lose its strangle-hold on the world, and on that basis you want us to avoid making such statements/prayers? If it'll take a similarly long stretch of time for "the law of return" to work itself out, I don't see why we ought to be concerned.

            Now, I'm not advocating that we should all start making such statements/prayers (indeed, they are less than worthless unless we're willing to put some action behind it) I'm just pointing out the lack of logic within your statement.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            The video makes the claims that evironmentalism threatens human prosperity (ie, keeps the poor poor), life and freedom, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not one shred of evidence is adduced.

          • Crystal7431

            Evidence is for liberal intellectual elitists. They have Glenn Beck and Jesus on their side. That's all the evidence anyone needs.

          • Robin Artisson

            Ha! Superb! And absolutely correct!

          • MertvayaRuka

            Come on Baruch, you know how this works. They don't need proof but even if they did and couldn't provide it, that would STILL prove they're right because of the insidious machinations of the godless heathens opposing them. Also, I scoff at their concern for the poor. These folks are the ones usually pushing the Calvinist position that the poor are poor because they're lazy, stupid and evil.

          • Ian

            There is a lot of hysteria in the responses to the Ixchel quote (tiresomely hysterical, when it's so painfully clear she is being used in a strictly rhetorical sense; you could substitute "My grandma" for "Ixchel" without really losing much).

            Still, there are a few kernels of truth lodged in the swollen mass of hysterics. A serious response to the environmental situation will probably demand some curtailing some of our 'freedoms' (scare quoted, because I think some of those freedoms are also entanglements). In the same way, many polluting industries do employ the poor and their regulation may entail some poor people losing their present jobs which at least allow them to survive (though rarely to thrive).

            Facing up to that is important and helps to cut through the hysteria and get closer to honest fears. It also means thinking hard about how to answer those honest fears. What do we get for those sacrifices? What new and better ways of life might a more environmental world make available to those poorest of the poor who currently depend on those jobs?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            Because what that can mean is that Paganism will make the same mistakes that other religions have made– essentially, harming others and justifying atrocities for the sake of its dogma. Then, in two thousand years, when Paganism is crumbling. Pagans will wonder why people brought up in the faith are leaving it in droves, for, say, Neo-Christianity.

            I don't want that to happen to Paganism. Other things may bring it about, true, but perpetuating the cycle of anger and hatred won't do anyone any good, regardless of whether religions rise and fall.

          • thehouseofvines

            Ah. That isn't really what I thought you were getting at with your earlier comments, so I apologize for misunderstanding you. Incidentally, I agree with a great deal of what you've said here. If we embrace those social dynamics and power structures, the results will be pretty inevitable and certainly not to our liking. More immediately, and personally, I don't believe it's a good policy to allow one's self to constantly be riled up and on the war-path. When we hate something we bind ourselves to it deeply, no differently than if we loved that thing. Indeed, the true opposite of love isn't hate – it's apathy, a complete lack of regard or emotion. So, the greatest victory we can score against our enemies is simply to live our own lives well, to be concerned with our matters above all else, to be completely independent of them. (This, of course, is not a childish rebellion – though often one must go through that stage – but if your sense of identity is shaped entirely by what you're opposed to, then you're nothing more than a slave. There are bound to be similarities, as we're all human, and we shouldn't reject those out of hand. But we should only embrace them if they are an organic outgrowth of our own beliefs and practices.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            Thank you; I find myself agreeing with you. I don't think you have anything to apologize for though– if people misunderstood what I said, I should have been more clear in my explanations.

            It's nice to see that we're on the same page– for now. Who knows, maybe next week we'll be swearing plagues on our respective houses.

          • thehouseofvines

            Well, as long as long as you don't speak ill of Dionysos or the ones I care for, I think that's rather unlikely. I'm generally not in the habit of getting offended over what people say on the internet, even when their comments are particularly vexing and ignorant. (Which, sadly, is all too frequently.) I have a very strong live and let live philosophy regarding most things. And so fa,r I've never had occasion to curse anyone. I figure their stupidity is usually punishment enough.

            Now, that's not to suggest I won't say anything deserving of your wrath! LOL

      • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

        "If you believe in the Law of Return (Rule of Three, for you Wiccans) …"

        I very much believe in the Law of Return, although I prefer Plato's Tenfold return, as described by Socrates at the end of the Republic.

        Ridding the earth of repression is a good thing. Tolerating intolerance is not. I personally do not engage in or condone any form of malefic magic, and I think that the principle of non-harming is the foundation for all genuine ethics, but I definitely appreciate the sentiment of Chelsea Rose's little prayer to the Green Dragon, Protector of Trees.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

          That I can understand– I've felt it on several occasions. I just think if anger really only begets more anger, we're not accomplishing much.

          May religious hatred fizzle and die out in a boring and uninteresting fashion.

          • Robin Artisson

            You're struggling hard against "religious hatred", but I've not seen any of that here. Opposing an ideology is not "religious hate". Your quickness to assume that it is… is very telling. Still feel connected somehow to Christianity?

  • Pagan Puff Pieces

    I'd prefer a Republic of the Goddess, or a Friendly Neighborhood of the Goddess.

    But wait? What Kingdom of God is there to fight against? I can't seem to find any place where things like servant or free and woman or man don't exist anymore.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

    I'm going to get a callus on my forehead from all the facepalming I've been doing about this.

    Seriously…is it that radical an idea to take inspiration from a Mayan goddess, even if you're not a Pagan of any variety? That's what Figueres was doing, in her statement (I found it here: http://unfccc.int/files/press/statements/applicat….

    And of all the rational criticisms and serious-minded concerns that could be laid at the feet of the UNFCC, social conservatives take aim at a bit of poetic license and spiritual allusion made by one official, who was attempting to make a case for dispassionate consideration and compromise.

    That's it. The Right has officially lost me.

  • Alejandro

    It would be interesting to know what Figueres has to say about all this fuss. Thing is, most Mexicans don't even know that Pagan faiths exist.

  • Rombald

    I kind of agree with a lot of this, Robin.
    Can there be a non-Pagan environmentalism? That at least is worth discussing.

    • Robin Artisson

      For me, the term "environmentalism" is a bit broad. I can't imagine a paganism, a world, a culture, or any person- human or non-human- apart from the "environment". What is the environment, but the extended body of all creatures? The womb of every idea, and it's final resting place? The mother of every aesthetic? I never restrict the term "environment" to just green, growing things and weather patterns, nor that term to just ecologically-minded activists. If we aren't all spiritual ecologists of a type, we're all "doing it wrong."

    • Kath

      Yes. There can be and are environmental practices that are taught and encouraged by the scientific community, leaving religion out of the mix so there's not so much conflict due to divergent belief systems. In that way, humanity can clean and heal our worldly house (earth) so we may all walk here without remorse over having destroyed one of God's creations. After all, don't you think God might appreciate us all showing a little respect and love for ALL his creations, not just the Holy Spirit's temple (our bodies)?

      • Robin Artisson

        If I thought that any such creature as the judeo-christian God existed, I imagine that your condescending worldview points might be thought salient and even reasonable. But the truth of the matter is, nature had no creator and needs none; "creations" don't "belong" to any god (the economic model of ownership and possession was bad enough when bloated out of proportion on earth- the last thing we need is this same model cast into the heavens) and the spirit of holiness- such that it is- extends a lot further than just to human bodies.

        The earth is not just our worldly house. It is simply the house of sacredness and life everlasting, period. You aren't going to float off to heaven when you die; you're going to sink into the great below, and become a part of this world in a new way. You're from here. There's no leaving here. Everything ends where it began.

      • Robin Artisson

        The only excuse I need to hate certain segments of my fellow men happens to be the "fellow men" themselves. I never made the statement that my activism with respect to gays was nothing but hating and attempting to persuade others to hate anyone. My activism always goes back to its philosophical base. And that base- which annoys you, a closet christian, to no end, is my rightful distrust for and righteous denunciation of Christianity- itself the ultimate expression of human exceptionalism which has carried this world to such woeful extremes.

        Now, as for your statement here:

        "All Christians. All the time. And you can totally trust this, because Robin Artisson has said it. The man whose dispassionate and open-minded evaluation of other religions is legendary here at The Wild Hunt. "

        Yes. All Christians. All the time. And the reason why it's "all Christians" is because to be a Christian, one must accept the authority of bible and/or church tradition, no matter which denomination or tradition you belong to. And those things unavoidably preach human exceptionalism. Those things- all of them- unavoidably lift humans to the center of the cosmos, spread the lie that the cosmos was created for humans by a human-like God, and that natural resources, including other animals, were put here for the "use" of human beings.

        So, there is no Christianity apart from these basic, formative ideas. I know that people like you often dream that you can somehow 'sanitize' christianity from any and all such notions, and somehow be a "real" christian, but this is only wishful thinking on your part.

        If I really made you mad this time, good. Now you are beginning to feel what I am saying. What I say is the enraged voice of this world and the countless dead at the hands of the monotheists and human exceptionalists. What I say is what countless have died because they tried to say it. What I say is the truth that stalks you and your co-religionists like a ghoul that just won't go away, no matter how much the warm blanket of political correctness tries to shelter you.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

          Criminy, Robin. If I worked for The 700 Club, I'd come to this blog and collect your posts as fuel for talking points on how Pagans are filled with vengeful hatred towards Christians.

          Regardless of the Pagan community's very wide and differing opinions on the Abramic religions, not all of us believe that Christians are our enemies. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that very few of us do– the vast majority of us simply don't care and would just like to be left alone. Give it a rest.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1211404661 Ellen MacInnis

            I definitely don't think Christianity is my enemy. In fact, some of my best friends, and some of the best supporters of the Pagan group I run on my campus, are Christian.

          • Robin Artisson

            Have you ever been in one of those conversations where some racist person tries to show how they aren't really racist by saying "I've got black friends…" ?

            You just did that.

            Something tells me that just because you know some "good" christians that support a pagan group, that the entire ideological group-responsibility and the oppressive history of christianity isn't wiped clean. Call me crazy. And by the way- Christians are not allowed, by their religion and their scriptures, to "support" Pagans.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1211404661 Ellen MacInnis

            *shrugs*

            I don't hold individuals responsible for what their groups have done. I've met Christians who support Pagans. If you don't think they're Christian… well, whatever. I've read your arguments before on this blog, and I really disagree with just about everything you say. There's no point in arguing.

            And by the way, some of my best friends ARE black. And Jewish, and gay, and Mormon, and Catholic, and atheist. :D It's great having friends of all shapes, sizes, and creeds. It would suck to only be friends with female-bodied queer Pagan/UU white Anglophone Americans.

          • Robin Artisson

            I don't hold individuals responsible for what their groups have done, either. But I do criticize ideologies that lead individuals to believe false things. And I do hold individuals responsible for what they do.

            Glad to hear you're a walking rainbow coalition. I'm sure everyone here can see what a great person you are.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442700105 Paul White

            "I don't hold individuals responsible for what their groups have done…" Nor do I. But I have yet to understand why people align themselves with groups whose history and doctrine is questionable at best and catastrophically disastrous at worst.

            I believe too many Christians see the Bible like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click "I agree."

          • Robin Artisson

            "I don't hold individuals responsible for what their groups have done…" Nor do I. But I have yet to understand why people align themselves with groups whose history and doctrine is questionable at best and catastrophically disastrous at worst. "

            Superbly stated. Excellent.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Um, Robin, it's more like a black person saying "I've got white friends." Race and religion do not map perfectly but you can tell who's basically running the show and who's got their nose pressed against the outside of the window.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            Well, that's my point. I don't see Pagans and Christians as enemies, natural or otherwise. I suspect most people on both sides don't.

          • Robin Artisson

            Question: What's the widest ocean in the world?

            Wrong Answer (usually given): The Pacific Ocean

            Right Answer: The ocean between a Christian and a Pagan.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Is that a line from "The Vikings"?

          • Robin Artisson

            Superb, Baruch! I'm going to have to take back some of the nasty things I said about you!

          • Robin Artisson

            Jennifer, you must be new here. This has been "given a rest" for 1700 long years. The sleeping dragon (as it were) has awoken now. The wrongs of nearly two millenia can now be directly addressed; the long period of rebalancing has begun- the pendulum's aeonic swing. Don't stand in Fate's way. Be part of the solution, not another apologizer for the broken mechanisms that drowned this world in absolutism, ignorance, and arrogance. If you insist on being one of the problem children of the advancing era, that's fine; the universe has use for even one such as you. Marcus did say that everyone, even those sleeping through the play, had a purpose.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            What do you predict will happen in this "advancing era," and how does my statement mark me as one of its "problem children"?

          • Robin Artisson

            1. The return of spiritual ecology / nature oriented spirituality
            2. The rise of liberty-oriented secularism, the breaking of theocracies
            3. The reappraisal of the past in terms beyond mere "barbarism"
            4. The end of the myth of "progress"
            5. Ecological awareness penetrating government policy

            The problematic part of your statement was the extent to which you tried to silence a voice calling out for the recognition of the ideologies that have brought us to the brink of ruin, and tried to portray most pagans today (which you, sad to say, are right about) as complacent.

          • http://threeshoutsonahilltop.blogspot.com gorm_sionnach

            I like the idea of the end of the myth of progress, though I think it is ingrained too deeply in modern western culture, thought and identity to be going anywhere in the next couple of decades. Still if the exceptionalist philosophy of both the religious and technological camps can be eroded, or at the very least no longer be the default position, it would be very beneficial.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            What ideologies have brought us to "the brink of ruin"? Also, what do you mean by "ruin"?

            Criticism is hardly the same thing as silencing– the latter falls under the realm of censorship, confiscation of the press, threatening authors with harm, and the like.

          • Robin Artisson

            Human exceptionalism is the chief ideology that has brought us to the brink of ruin- and "ruin" means total isolation from the rest of this sacred reality that we are parts of, and unconquerable divisions between one another, which stand behind all of our social and ecological problems. "Ruin" might be said to be a condition wherein the truth about our condition is not allowed to be known or flourish.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            If that is the case, how will the destruction of any religion result the death of human exceptionalism?

          • Robin Artisson

            Religions created exceptionalism and promulgate it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            And yet, religions can survive without it. Why not get rid of human exceptionalism, and let the religion itself evolve?

          • Robin Artisson

            Christianity can't survive without it, nor Judaism, nor Islam, because they are foundationally based on it. Their entire message relies on it. Why are you trying to defend religions so much?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            A very narrow definition of Christianity, Judaisim, or Islam cannot survive without human exceptionalism, but a more liberal approach may be able to do so. There's no reason why any of the Abramic faiths cannot at least try to leave that idea behind– attempts to do so have resulted in some Christians joining the environmentalism movement on the grounds that they are stewards of nature and not its masters. If that element can change, perhaps others can as well.

            Why does the thought of my defending "religions" bother you?

          • Robin Artisson

            It's not a "narrow definition". It's their definition, THE definition. These are revealed religions with scriptures. They have long ago set what they are. You can't come along and decide to ignore large portions of their traditional identity, and then defend your fantasy creation as though it were "THE" Christianity, or even "A" Christianity. It's just wishful thinking that you're defending.

            You defend what doesn't need defending, which is a very covert (some would say overt) way of showing where your loyalty, below the skin, really lies.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            If there was only one definition of Christianity, there would only be one kind of Christian. The faith has changed over its two thousand year plus run, as it figures out what is central to itself.

            A thousand years ago in Europe, it was impossible to be a Christian without being part of a church– The Church. And yet today, people call themselves "Christian" without needing to belong to a church at all. That changed, and other poisonous doctrines can too.

          • Robin Artisson

            So, you can believe whatever you want, and be Christian?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            That's never stopped Pagans, has it?

          • Robin Artisson

            Christians aren't Pagans. You can't believe whatever you want and be Christian.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            And when Pagans believe what they want, Paganism changes. Why should Christianity– or any other faith– be different?

          • Robin Artisson

            Because Organic religions- which all Pagan religions are and were, are fundamentally different from Revealed religions, of which Christianity is one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            How are they fundamentally different? Also, how does this difference imply mutual exclusivity?

          • Robin Artisson

            Do you even know what the terms "organic religion" and "revealed religion" mean?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            Yes.

            You still haven't answered my question. You also didn't answer my question from earlier, as to why the thought of me defending "religions" bothered you.

          • Robin Artisson

            Defending Christianity is bothersome in any venue. It has lost any claim it may have had to deserve defense, some 1700 years ago. Defending it merely shows that it has a terrible hold over you still. And that hold appears in countless forms- trying to defend the "nice core" of christianity (which supposedly exists) from the "bad elements" in it is always a classic sign of a closet christian, which I hope you are not.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            I find it unfortunate that you won't answer my questions. If you would like to continue this discussion, please feel free to send me a message via Facebook.

          • Robin Artisson

            I've gone out of my way to answer your questions, and spent more time on you and this than I probably should have. I don't know on what grounds you could say I haven't answered your questions. I've replied to nearly every one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            So you won't, then? Again, unfortunate.

          • Robin Artisson

            I've answered every question I've seen here except one: your question, (which does not dignify an answer) about why revealed religions and organic religions are mutually exclusive. They are mutually exclusive i the same way fire and water are, just by nature. I don't need to spell out the reasons why if you really know what the terms mean, as you said you did.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            You also didn't answer my question about why the thought of my defending "religions" troubled you so.

            Fire and water make steam, if I recall correctly.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            No, I am wrong about that first statement– you did answer me. Thank you.

          • Ian

            (I want to scribble in the margins, too!)

            What Jennifer said about steam is key. You're one step away from a fully organic religion, Robin, because the organic religiosity absorbs revelation, too, into the process.

            If you look at the history of revealed religion, you see that. It's shot through with organic religiosity, it churns with it, just as organic religion is peppered with sharp, hard to absorb bits of revelation, like grit in a bird's gizzard.

            "You cannot go against nature, because when you do, going against nature is part of nature, too."

          • Robin Artisson

            This margin writing is getting real old.

            This all depends on what you mean by "revelation". To have something revealed to you that was hidden (as through a divination) is not the same as "revelation" in the revealed religious sense. In organic religions, revelations are for individuals, and sometimes families or tribe; in the revealed religions, the revelations are binding on all mankind. This is a very important distinction.

            Also, we can look at the long-term impact of these two religious "types" on the world and see another important difference emerge.

            Love that quote!

          • Ian

            (Okay, just one more bit of marginalia)

            Basically agree with distinction you make between revealed religiosity and divination, but I still think there is a real element of religion in the revealed sense in organic religion.

            And, inversely, I don't think the 'revealed' aspect makes monotheism fundamentally flawed. Yes, the ascription of universality to the particulars of a monotheistic practice, does introduce a terrible flaw, but I see that as having its source elsewhere.

            We surely aren't going to get to the bottom of our philosophical differences and/or similarities here, though, so I'll leave it at that.

          • Crystal7431

            I realize I'm going to get skewered here but Christianity as a revealed religion, well, you kind of have to accept all that was "revealed", don't you? I have friends who are Christians and I'm married to one (well, a guy who calls himself one, though he follows few of it's tenets) and although they are good people our outlook on life is still widely different. My husband and I go camping a lot in the spring and summer. We love hiking and he usually takes along a camera to get some nice shots of our surroundings. When he doesn't have a camera, the conversation usually goes like this, "Quit- Stop!- No- Don't poke- Do you have to whack everything with a stick?!" Even though he enjoys being outdoors, our approach is completely different. He treats nature like a conqueror, there's always something to slay or subdue. He can't just be there, quietly. There isn't the reverance there that anyone who knows we are only a small part of this planet has. And I think it is due in part, if not all, on the teachings of exceptionalism which has absolutely saturated western culture.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            I don't think that's skewer-worthy; it makes sense. If you've been taught that nature is something you own rather than exist as a part of, then you won't have much consideration for the life of the things around you ("Why did you tear down that spider's web? That was her house." "Oh…")

            I'm not convinced that Western culture has the franchise on this, though…particularly when you notice that the modern environmental movement came from the West. I could be wrong, though.

          • Crystal7431

            Well, the 50's gave birth to the beatnicks but it was still a generally repressive era. All times and places have their subcultures. Luckily, the environmental movement is catching on. Let's hope that it remains popular.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            Well, even the Evangelicals have clued into conservation and respect for nature, so let's hope it's reached its tipping point.

          • Thriceraven

            The modern environmental movement did come from the West, but it began as a reaching out beyond Western ideals outwards to other ideas opposed to what was going on the the mainstream thinking.

            I do not share Robin's rabid anti-Christian sentiment, but I do believe it is way easier to think sustainably and carefully about the world and its resources if you don't believe, at your core, that the world belongs to you and was given to you by God for your express use. This domionionist thinking is part of what has gotten us in this mess and is one of my main beefs with Christianity and one of the four or five interconnected reasons that I left it.

            I am watching as several friends make a valiant effort to save the remains of Christianity — to make a peace-loving, social justice-focused, environmentally sound version because they know it's the way they want and need their spirituality to run. I don't know if they are going to be successful and ultimately I doubt the fruits of their labours will be worth their great effort. But I do believe they are allies, not enemies.

          • Robin Artisson

            Have you ever questioned why these friends feel the need to make "valiant efforts" to save Christianity? Why save something so inherently flawed? Their efforts are directed largely at their own comfort zones, and not the bravery needed to go beyond those things, and find a true solution.

            We need a second order change, not a first order change. A second order change is a real change. Creating another sort of Christianity isn't.

          • Robin Artisson

            And you should be "rabidly" anti any ideology that teaches disastrous wrong views about man and nature.

          • Jack Sprat

            So, what if he's not? What will happen then?

            Come the Pagan Rapture, will he have the earth to himself (again)?

          • Robin Artisson

            If he isn't, then he won't be part of the solution that we need. The solution is each individual taking a personal stand against false ideologies that destroy this world and the bonds between people.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            That's something I've noticed with Christian environmentalists. They cite some discrepancies in the Bible as a way of pointing out that they don't "own" the planet, they're just here to take care of it.

            There are still some issues that arise out of anthrocentricism, but Christians are hardly the only ones to believe that.

          • Robin Artisson

            What other "anthropocentrisms" do you know of, that exert such enormous pressure on our world?

            The problem with these people is precisely how they must look for "discrepancies" in a book. Nature is the only book we need; any sane person can open themselves to the reality that they are a part of and see clearly what is, and what must be done. Being chained to a single book- and such a terrible one- is 90% of the problem here.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            Some elements of Atheism and secular humanism also embrace the idea of human exceptionalism.

          • Robin Artisson

            They are products- however ironic it may be- of the monotheistic worldview.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            Possibly true. But they're also proof that religion is not necessary for a belief in human exceptionalism.

          • Robin Artisson

            If they got their crap from religions, then religions are absolutely necessary for it to arise. If religions had not had it first, they wouldn't have gotten it. Now that they exist, they don't exist independently of religion- anyone who knows anything about the "atheist" team knows how much they rely on religion.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            An Atheist with an anthropocentric worldview is just as capable of doing harm to nature as a Christian with the same– and both will justify it on fundamentally the same grounds.

          • Robin Artisson

            Actually, atheists, who believe in evolution, don't tend to have an exceptionalist worldview for humans. They don't tend to think that this world was "made" for human beings exclusively. Their similarities to Christianity are in other places.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            So if an Atheist is anthropocentric, he or she got it from religion– which they by definition don't follow. And if the Atheist isn't anthropocentric, he or she must believe in evolution? I don't think I understand this.

            The Roman Catholic church supports the theory of evolution, as do some Jewish sects. If support of evolutionary theory indicates a lack of human exceptionalism, does that mean these groups aren't anthropocentric?

          • Robin Artisson

            They support evolution, so long as it is not taken in such a manner to interrupt their belief that God created mankind in a special fashion for a special purpose, above all other beings in creation.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            So again, the culprit is human exceptionalism, which can exist outside of religion, not the religion that attempts to justify anthropocentricism.

          • Robin Artisson

            It cannot persist for long without religions promulgating it. And it wouldn't be here without them besides. Religion can't be exonerated from this one. Your fierce attempts to exonerate it make me want to wish you well when you find yourself attending First Baptist again.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            It can't be proven one way or the other which came first– the Abramic faiths, or a belief in human exceptionalism.

            It can be proven that a belief in human exceptionalism can thrive outside Christianity, Judaism, or a belief in divinity at all.

          • Robin Artisson

            It can't thrive without promulgation. So far, atheists aren't the ones promulgating it; revealed religions are.

            There is no historical basis to say that a belief in human exceptionalism came before Abrahamic faiths.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            The only people who can promulgate an idea are people who believe in it. If some Christians believe in human exclusivity, why are they able to promulgate it but Atheists are not?

          • Robin Artisson

            Give me an example of an Atheist group that defends a notion of human exceptionalism.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            I do not know of any groups. Richard Dawkins has espoused a weak form of anthropocentricism, as has Julian Baggini.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            Apologies– I should have also mentioned that earlier Atheists such as Ludwig Feuerbach also strongly supported the idea of human superiority over anything that was non-human.

          • Robin Artisson

            Peanuts as people. So? Thanks to the Christianity you've so ardently defended here, these men and nearly everyone in our society has this false notion impregnated deep in their heads. Thank your pals the Christians.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            The point is that human exceptionalism can and does exist independently of any Abramic faith.

          • Robin Artisson

            And you don't seem to understand that anthropocentrism is not the same as human exceptionalism. One implies a focus on humans. The other implies that humans are not bound by the same rules and laws that govern other creatures owing to divine election.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

            We do agree that both ideas have been used to justify exploitation and harm done to non-humans .

          • Don

            See my post below. Cicero, Plato, Aristotle, and others understood humans to be superior to other earthly creatures because of reason which allows us to share in the divine.

          • Robin Artisson

            I responded below. And Don, just for your info, I consider Plato and Aristotle to be Pagans only by virtue of when they lived. They created these ideas of "reason" and the anthropocentrism you're talking about- these things are not in keeping with the Pagan religious traditions of their times. These men also denied the existence of the Gods, especially Plato- who was a monotheist. These are bad examples of "pagans" for your case. Cicero (like nearly all Romans) didn't have an original thought; he was parroting the Greek philosophers. And these Greek Philosophers hardly speak for the entire Greek Pagan religious world, and they sure as hell don't speak for the entire Indo European Pagan world. Just a PS.

          • Don

            I have to question your understanding of these philosophers and history then. Plato and Aristotle were pious pagans and worked with and within the religious concepts of the Greek world and articulated them well. Plato was no monotheist, neither was Aristotle. These are post-Christian myths. Anyone who has actually read Plato and has understood his works knows he was no monotheist, and that his dialogues include numerous theophanies from various traditional gods. Plato even makes provisions for the execution of atheists in his Laws as well as strict enforcement of public religion. Aristotle also emphasized the importance and value of worshipping the gods in the polis.

            It is hard to argue that neither Plato nor Aristotle are representative of Western paganism when the Platonic and Aristotelian schools, especially the Platonic, were among the most influential in pagan philosophy, theology, ethics, ritual, etc.

            Cicero had many original thoughts, the first articulation of natural law theory being one of them.

          • Robin Artisson

            Plato and Aristotle agreeing that women were 'deformed men', and (in the case of Plato) being totally anti-poetry and art, against the heroic ideal, and so critical of the traditional religion's myths and sacred stories as to call people who understood them as anything other than abstractions "superstitious" or "simple" hardly makes me willing to give them "Greek Pagans of the Year" awards. Neither did Plato's insistence that the senses were not to be trusted. Such a belief is nonsense beyond nonsense.

            Beyond that, No Greek or Roman philosophical school is "representative" of anything except itself. What the Pagan Norse- also Western Pagans- believed is not summed up in Platonism. And that's just the beginning. Don't over-magnify your Greeks.

            The only reason you know about Plato is because the Christian Church believed that he was a "prophet among the Pagans" and even called a "Christian before there was Christianity", owing to his very monotheistic belief in "The One" and "The Good" and his despise of the sensual world, preaching a turning away to meditation and abstraction.

            There's nothing remotely representative about that, with respect to the many sensual, poetic, and mystical pagan traditions that existed all over the known world, and which still exist.

          • Don

            Yes, their views on women were unfortunate, but hardly exceptional in the ancient world. And Plato had much more generous things to say about women…I don't think he ever said they were deformed men.

            Plato was critical of myths, poetry, and art only to the extent that they might wrongly portray the gods or lead people into religious zealotry, fundamentlism, and mythological literalism–the very things you inveigh Christians for.

            Of course the Greeks don't represent all of Western paganism, but their civilization was most widespread and influential and that should be taken into consideration.

            The One and the Good is not monotheism, nonetheless because the One and the Good is not a god but the divine substance from which all emanated from, including the worlds many gods. And, again, it is hard to argue that Platonism was anti-poet, sensual, and mystical when Platonism was the basis for much of Greco-Roman mysticism, theurgy, hermeticism, etc.

          • Robin Artisson

            The Pagan world is much, much broader than the Greek and Roman sphere. The over-emphasis we see today on them has to do with their use of the written word, and the fact that so many early Christian fathers were Neo-platonists, than anything else.

          • Don

            And there is the fact that the Greco-Roman world produced the most sophisticated and systematic treatment of pagan religion than any other IE people. The same cannot be said for Germans, Celts, or Slavs.

          • Don

            And paganism. Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and others believed humans to be the superior animal. Pagan philosophy, the fount of humanism, has always had a strong anthropocentrism and there is nothing wrong with that. It is anthropology severed from Nature's order and limits that it becomes problematic.

          • Robin Artisson

            There's no doubt that Pagans from east to west and north to south believed that humans were qualitatively different from other animals. I never denied that. You're reading "superiority" into something that I don't think adds up in the way the original peoples understood it.

            Humans were thought elevated in possessing reason, compared to a non-human animal that was thought to not possess it, but this is not the same thing (at all) as saying that the entire world was created for humans, and animals were put under the boots of humans to dispose of as they see fit.

            Beyond this, the Greeks and Romans- or should I say the three men you've cited- don't speak for the totality of European Pagan views on ontology and epistemology, etc. Saying that humans can reason and therefore it was believed by these ancients that humans were lifted above the world in some exceptionalist way does not follow. None of these people had an delusions about man's origin within Nature, and his final destiny within the same- sinking into the interior of the earth and becoming one of the "People of Demeter", i.e. the Dead.

            Furthermore, all it takes is one Greek or Roman source to mention the fact that animals were accorded souls, or some share of an afterlife, and you have another major difference between later Hebraic and Christian Anthropocentrism (the true wellspring of later human exceptionalism for the west) and the reason-focused distinguishing of Greeks and Romans. Bremmer's "The Early Greek Concept of the Soul" includes a discussion about the original belief in animals having souls.

            One of the distinguishing marks of Christianity and Judaism is precisely in how they deny non-human animals any sort of eternal soul or spirit. Primal peoples (including Pagan peoples) do not.

          • Don

            "Humans were thought elevated in possessing reason, compared to a non-human animal that was thought to not possess it, but this is not the same thing (at all) as saying that the entire world was created for humans, and animals were put under the boots of humans to dispose of as they see fit. "

            True enough.

            "Saying that humans can reason and therefore it was believed by these ancients that humans were lifted above the world in some exceptionalist way does not follow."

            It does follow when reason is understood as consubstantial with the divine essence.

          • Robin Artisson

            Don, I don' t have enough time left here tonight to argue this out, but your over-focus on the Classical Pagans is your weakness. They didn't speak, and still don't speak, for the entire range of Indo-European Pagan traditions. So some Greeks- a few Greek philosophers, from a later age in Greek history- came up with some "cult of reason" notions and embraced some new conceptions of divinity. So they accorded humans some great hallowed place of similarity with the divine.

            Grand! Doesn't change a thing. Within organic religious realms, many ideas may emerge, but none have the weight of divine revelation and scripture. Even your Greeks didn't leave the world itself to be "dead matter"- the "Perennial Philosophy", going back to your Greeks, would have stated that all matter had a divine substance at its core.

          • tomb23

            Isn't the sleeping dragon for you Jormungander who will help unleash Ragnarok?

          • Robin Artisson

            No. I was speaking metaphorically. There's lots of Dragons in the Provenance tradition that underlies Western civilization.

  • Rombald

    I'm not sure whether Figueres is actually a devotee of Ixchel, or whether she made this speech in a purely symbolic sense.

    However, I tend to think she shouldn't have made this invocation. Suppose you were at a secular meeting, campaigning for a cause with which you agree, attended by Christians, atheists, Pagans and others, and someone stood up and invoked Jesus Christ – wouldn't that annoy you?

    Even if a cause is religiously tinged, as long as the meeting is not specifically religious, explicitly religious statements should be avoided in public.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

      No, it wouldn't offend me, not if it was done in the spirit in which Figueres did– by drawing inspiration. You can see the statement at http://unfccc.int/files/press/statements/applicat

      And even if someone was expressing his or her spirituality in the context of the conference, it wouldn't bother me too much, though I'd wonder at its relevance (Genesis 2.15 might be relevant). Figueres brought up Ixchel because the site of the conference, Cancun, is very close to Chichen Itza, where the Maya probably worshipped her.

    • Crystal7431

      I think it shouldn't have been done basically because it's just more fodder for the crazies who use religion for their political ends. I understand that they will never be on board with the Climate Change Conference. It cuts too deeply into their profits. However, they might prod others who might've been leaning that direction into running back into the deniers' closet because of some perceived religious confliction.

      • sarenth

        I think silence is the wrong approach. In my view, it comes down to binaries. You can be a 0, a gap, shutting your mouth, or a 1, active, causing change. Without 1, 0 does nothing in binary equation. It is mere potential for action. The more people the Religious Right pushes back into being 0s for climate change, the more opportunity we who believe this environment is worth saving should push our collective 1s. Yes, this is oversimplification, and yes, 0s are needed in binary, but the point is, that ultimately we should not silence ourselves nor mute our causes simply because someone else won't come on board with us.

        • Crystal7431

          I respect your opinion but I think that there is a time and a place for certain battles and this is one time where pushing a religious agenda, even one of merit, takes a backseat to the main objective, which is bringing people together regardless of beliefs or political affiliation to fight climate change.

          • sarenth

            You're right. Let me rephrase this another way; my opinion ultimately boils down to this: if they deny the science and drag their heels and kick and scream at every attempt to push climate change to save this planet, what use is their voice to our cause anyhow?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442700105 Paul White

    I greatly appreciate your thoughts, Robin. I frequently struggle with xtians who claim to be tolerant and understanding toward other faiths. If that were true of them, then would that not mean they are discrediting their own faith? Thereby negating everything their church tells them to believe and making them non-xtian. Does this logic make sense to you? I have some colleague friends who claim to be dedicated Nazarene xtians, yet claim to understand and let people be who they are. They have done nothing to make me think otherwise, but doesn't that tolerance alone mean they are not adhering truthfully to their proclaimed faith?

    • Robin Artisson

      Woe to them, Paul, who hold faiths that will not allow them to be tolerant without undermining their own basic principles. They were almost the death of us all.

    • http://witchesandscientists.blogspot.com Gene

      That bothers me as well. I think the problem is with the concept of "tolerant". Being tolerant is good on many levels, but it also seems to imply that all they are doing is "putting up with you". It seems to say they really deep down can't stand you, but yet they are being polite.

      • Baruch Dreamstalker

        Tolerance, in biology, is the ability to put up with an irritant. There are things that should not be irritants to us, and we need to work on ourselves if they are. There are irritants we should tolerate. There are irritants we should not tolerate. A big part of the examined life is working out what goes into each slot in this triage.

  • http://bladeandcauldron.com/blog Mama Kelly aka Jia

    This just makes me, at once, angry, sad and a little scared.

    • http://quakerpagan.blogspot.com/ Cat_C_B

      You do have the arrogance to make the entire planet and her health into a blunt instrument with which to assault your fellow man. Amazing.

      You know everything about hate. Nothing about love, or change, or growth. The Christian Right could not have a better friend than you, Robin.

      • Robin Artisson

        Why delete your comments, Cat? Tsk tsk. What you're seeing isn't arrogance. That's how you take it because any perspective that is adversarial to your own is taken in whatever ad hominem way suits you at the moment.

        I'm attacking an ideology, primarily, not the humans who are its victims. I only dislike them insofar as they make themselves into thoughtless, redemptionless vessels that carry out the mechanical and human/world degrading-commands of the cursed creed. I'm working in the defense of mankind, not to assault mankind. You'd see that if you weren't so invested in protecting christianity and seeing that none are allowed to critique its ideology without attacking them back (a strange paradox).

        You don't know me, or see me at life with my children, my wife, my kin, my fellows. You don't know a thing about my capacity to love. As for my beliefs on change or growth, I have made them well-known all over the internet and the world of books offline. I would tentatively say that my capacity for love is roughly equal to my capacity for rage against the machine that destroyed this world and still threatens it.

        However, the endgame is not yet played…

        • Alex Pendragon

          They always whip up the hysteria before they do what they do so well…….attack anyone "different" than them; the true face of "Christ's love". Without an enemy "attacking" them, they have nothing but their own empty dogma to keep them warm, which apparently doesn't.

        • http://chrysalis1witchesjourney.wordpress.com/ Pax

          "Why delete your comments, Cat? Tsk tsk. What you're seeing isn't arrogance. That's how you take it because any perspective that is adversarial to your own is taken in whatever ad hominem way suits you at the moment. '

          Because she does not wish to sink to your level of hatefulness, pettiness, bullying, or bigotry.

  • mimmy

    Even if there is no global warming, what's wrong with wanting to take care of the earth. I mean really, I've never meet an eviromentalist or a pagan that wanted starving people to go hungry. And I just want to make a note that not all christan's are like this, but unfortuanly the ones that scream and yell 'devil worship' are always the ones that get attention. That video makes me sick and scared.

  • http://military.pagannewswirecollective.com Lori Dake

    Ha! I was hoping this was going to show up on TWH! :D Thanks Jason!

    I saw Glenn Beck cry about this the other day (Tuesday?), about the Jaguar Goddess opening prayer and whatnot. He was saying this is the direction America is heading, and how it ties in to the indoctrination of our young people in liberal colleges, and why WikiLeaks is gaining in popularity when it should be abhorred, and some other conspiracy theory tangents. Probably something about "Spooky Guy Soros" was in there too, as well as Acorn, Mexicans, Obama… meh, I lose track. Oh and yes, we need to be buying GOLD, because TEOTWAWKI / SHTF is coming! Start stockpiling your guns and 10# cans of mylar bags filled with wheat berries NOW! Read "Patriots" – it'll scare you awake!! =:o

    I <3 conspiracy theories. It's why I've yet to miss an episode of Jesse Ventura on TruTV, especially with his sidekick, Alex Jones! Dum Dum Dummmmmm! Yup, that's why I keep my cable package, fo sho! 8D

    • Robin Artisson

      You're down with TEOTWAWKI! Awesome!

      • http://military.pagannewswirecollective.com Lori Dake

        Oh yes, I'm well-versed in survivalism armchair-wise. I'm locked onto several sites, though I don't participate in them. (Survivalism 101 is OPSEC: to not let the Golden Horde know what you have, what you know and who you know, and most of those sites are heavily fundy Christian, so I consider THEM the Golden Horde ala their favorite book, "Patriots" LOL)

        Let's see – Survival Blog, Zombie Squad, Survival Mom, SHTF blog, American Preppers Network… there's plenty more, as well as several homesteading sites. Two Pagan sites I visit are The Pagan Porch and The Practical Herbalist. (All are easy to Google.) That's not of course excluding Mother Earth News – that's for everyone ! ;)

        I do believe in always being prepared AND being comfortable no matter where I am or what I'm doing, which is why I put up a big Pagan camping site. (It's http://www.doomdiva.com/camping.html if you're interested.) I'm also a Foodie, but I keep it on a budget, so I watch Alton Brown a lot to learn the science behind the food. It helps me create masterpieces out of nothing more than some non-perishable food stores I've had sitting around! Put the two together, and it's little wonder why people like hanging out at our camp site, even if we're not the purest hippie Pagans or most elite Metalheads at the fest. We just have our shit together in relative comfort and make it look easy!

        We have an ideal BOL, we do store food, and we have many Mad Skillz, but by no means are we extremists. I get cranky if my food staples are down to a few days' worth, because there have been many instances where having a couple weeks' worth has made a real difference in our lives. I, however, do NOT have gold coins hiding in the rafters, or bags of nickels or pre-'64 quarters, or a years' worth of Mountain House in the pantry. And no, there are no #10 cans of wheat berries, either, much less Spam! LOL! And, we do not have any guns in the house, primarily because we haven't had a real need.

        So yeah, I'm down with it, but I'm not a nutjob. At least I don't think so.

    • Crystal7431

      Lol, Lori! But I'm gonna have to look up TEOTWAWKI. Have no idea…

      • Crystal7431

        Oh, I see. I suck at acronyms. I suppose the other stands for "sh** hits the fan"?

        • http://military.pagannewswirecollective.com Lori Dake

          Yup. Google that and you'll find even more sites! I like reading them and watching Beck because I genuinely have a need to know how crazy people operate. Not all of them ARE nutjobs but quite a few.

      • http://military.pagannewswirecollective.com Lori Dake

        The End Of The World As We Know It. google the acronym, and you'll come across all kinds of survivalist sites! Fun! Think Y2K panic on steroids!

  • Chris

    It's always so amusing to hear people who think that only by "believing" that a dead body came back to life and floated off into the sky can they be "saved" from eternal torture at the hands of the dead body's father demean other religions as "mythical" and "false." I mean, at least the Moon and the Earth are real things to be worshiped; it's not just some made-up man. On a darker note, it shows the contempt they have for every religion but their own; only THEIR supernatural beings are worthy of respect, and they're only too happy to trash those of other people (sometimes literally, as their book burning, centuries of violent "evangelization" and witch hunts can attest to.)

    This only goes to show you how much of a threat Christianity remains, not only to Pagans but to the whole world. When they deny science in favour of their mythology, there are very real and dangerous consequences. There have been prominent US government officials lately saying that we don't need to worry about global warming, because "God told Noah he wouldn't ever destroy the Earth again." Sadly, he was serious. Never mind their attacks on education, gays, non-Christians, the poor, and others; our environmental policies (and sometimes our weapons!) are in the hands of people who think the Earth is 3000 years old, and that its destruction will mean they get whisked off to heaven while all those bad "different" people are tortured…..and that this is a GOOD thing.

    Christian fundamentalism has always been, and remains one of, the greatest threat to respecting the Earth, other cultures, and basic human dignity and rights. I very much fear that unless things change, they will be the ones to bring us all down.

    • Pagan Puff Pieces

      If God told Noah that he wouldn't ever destroy the Earth again, then isn't that Biblical backup to the idea that if the earth is being destroyed, only humanity, and not some natural cycle, could do it?

      • Crystal7431

        Shhh…That sort of logic will cause a gray matter meltdown.

  • Tara_Devotee

    As a Vajrayana Buddhist, I find the use of the term "Green Dragon" very fitting, and apt. In the East it is associated with weather control, water, the season of spring and it's life-giving powers, heaven; it's image has been used to relieve droughts by carving it into jade for centuries. It is a powerful protector, especially against lies and gossip. The dragon is also the vehicle of Vairocana, who sits upon a dragon throne. Vairocana – whose name means "illuminating" – is associated with all-encompassing wisdom and freedom from ignorance and delusion.
    So when I see these fundamentalists saying that people should "resist the green dragon", what I see them advocating is the resistance of illumination, the resistance of truth, the resistance of all-encompassing wisdom. I see them as encouraging people to remain in ignorance and delusion, hearing only lies. So I find it fitting that such individuals would want to "resist" – were they to embrace the dragon, their sham beliefs would fall apart in an instant.

    • sarenth

      …Wow. Nice, I never thought of it from that perspective! Thanks for the fresh perspective.

  • blah

    i welcome anything that might bring more people into paganism without coercing them. however, i feel that environmentalism and AGW has started to become dangerous ideology, and in some ways mimic fundamentalist religious behavior. that's how that "environmentalism = religion" started, after all, it takes one to know one. imo it could reflect badly on paganism, so i dislike bringing pagan deities in these matters.
    i'll supply few points why i think environmentalism is dangerous-
    1 )http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mims%E2%80%93Pianka_controversy professor Pianka wants to kill of 90% of humanity. gets applause and ovations.
    2 )http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSTLDel-G9k&feature=related movie by UK 10:10 group.
    3 )http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/mar/29/james-lovelock-climate-change James Lovelock proposes abolishing democracy. "Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while."
    all above listed groups and individuals are prominent in environmental movement (10:10 group became discredited only after they made video public), and not some easily dismissed fringe activists who do not reflect whole movement. they support some truly heinous stuff that worries me deeply, considering it is now politically incorrect to even dare question them or their ideology.

  • blah

    i apologize for not linking properly. just copy and paste the links without ")".

  • Blarg

    It amuses me watching people react to Robin's comments. Many get drawn in by his piss and vinegar rhetoric and seem confused that they are agreeing with a person who they harbor negative feelings towards. Robin is a person, despite what his Encyclopedia Dramatica article says about him, and is allowed his own opinions. Some are right, some are wrong. Its amusing people having difficulty agreeing with someone ( or some character) they hate. If you are open minded and feel everyone can have their opinion let them. Preaching to folks especially over the internet does little good

  • A.C. Fisher Aldag

    When Christians act like this to me, I gently and tactfully remind them that THEY fear a red-faced guy with horns, a tail and a pitchfork, and worship a dead criminal nailed to a stick. Works every time. Neither of these mythological beings produce oxygen, which is my favorite thing to breathe. Trees produce oxygen, therefore I honor and revere trees.

    • Robin Artisson

      Superb response.

      • Zebster

        Yeah … I'll have to mix that one up with my usual "Your god was nailed to a cross, mine carries a hammer" line.

        Edit: The Jewish Zombie Criminal part is what I was specifically talking about yoinking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

    Nicely put.

    • thehouseofvines

      You get that I'm not actually agreeing with you (or him, necessarily) right? Just pointing out that change is the only constant in the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

    Oh, I know– if anything, you're pointing out the one thing I think all three of us agree on.

    • thehouseofvines

      Good. The thing is, I think most everyone in this discussion has raised some valid points. Likewise, there seems to be a tendency to take it too far or ignore what doesn't conform to one's own presumptions. I suppose that's just the nature of discourse on the internet.

  • saffronrose

    I could only stand about 30 seconds of the first video–what hatefulness!
    I had no idea, but then, I don't go looking to hear the other side of environmentalism, either.

  • gitana

    "However, I tend to think she shouldn't have made this invocation. Suppose you were at a secular meeting, campaigning for a cause with which you agree, attended by Christians, atheists, Pagans and others, and someone stood up and invoked Jesus Christ – wouldn't that annoy you? "

    Hello? The xtians do this all the time. The US government has a tax-funded chapel, Congress opens with a xtian prayer, – the list is endless in just about every element of our society.

    No. Invoke, reference and/or mention whom you wish, metaphorically or literally. Until we do, religious/personal freedom is merely a nod, a legal technicality, or worse – a forced illusion of freedom, begrudgingly allowed.

    We must, simply must, cease playing to both the lowest common denominators and/or allowing our actions to be defined/dictated by potential responses of others we already know are against ANY variations in beliefs or thought.

  • http://www.mindonfire.com xJane

    ::sigh:: There seems to be no winning.

  • caraschulz

    I think (most of) the editorials have less to do with actual Paganism (as we mean Paganism) and have more to do with the meme that environmentalism is itself becoming a religion. Complete with dogma and heretics.

    The mocking is pointed at self-professed atheists who claim to only believe in science while they behave like fanatical religious converts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667952307 Jennifer Parsons

    Cara, that's a fair criticism, but I'm not sure that it applies here. If you read the links from this Media Matters post that Jason linked to, quite a few people commenting sincerely seem to believe that everyone who calls themselves Pagan must accept the idea of anthropogenic global warming as a matter of dogma, as part of the "Cult of Gaia." (Ironically, that concept that appears to be based on a misunderstanding of the Gaia Hypothesis.)

    Even if you are right, I'm still irritated by it, because all this focusing on the supposed relationship between environmentalism and Paganism implies that environmentalists are irrational– why? Because they worship Pagan gods, of course! Only an irrational person would take inspiration from a weather goddess! The grounds for that, of course, is the idea that Paganism is irrational and Pagans are deluded crazies.

    Try as we might, we're still not taken seriously.

  • Bookhousegal

    Well, Cara, I think it would be naive to think that distinction matters: what we have here is the Right using defamation and dishonesty and hatemongering to deny science in the name of their own dogma, and call anyone who disagrees or is not a Christian conservative 'evil.'

    Whether they say 'atheists' are 'really' the 'evil thing' they say Paganism is, or that Paganism is the 'evil thing' they say atheism is, or that environmentalism is both and either, and that that's an 'evil thing,' …It really doesn't matter. They're hate-mongers and people who actively want to devastate the world while blaming those who stand against them for the very things they're doing.

    If they get more of what they want out of it, they'll come after everyone. Bigots aren't known for really caring about such facts or distinctions.

  • caraschulz

    I think it is important to know where people are coming from and to be clear about what they are saying. It does matter. It matters greatly.

    Question: Don't you 'actively devastate the world'? Do you drive or ride the bus? Buy things? Mail envelopes? Flush a toilet? How do you know that you are any more or less 'devastating' to the earth than the people you are criticizing? Do words matter more than actions?

    I don't think any of us have room to talk when it comes to not shitting in our own nest.

  • http://witchesandscientists.blogspot.com Gene

    Yes, words do matter. So does jumping thru loops of logical fallacies to excuse something that is anti pagan on its face. Those scientists brave enough to speak up in the current anti-science climate deserve our support.

  • sarenth

    I realize that your writing here is directed toward Bookhouselegal, but I wanted to weigh in.

    Actually, many of us do have room to talk, and my room to talk is not incumbent on whether or not I'm 'shitting in the nest' too. Given how our modern world is set up, some shitting is required to make it long-term in this society. Most of us cannot afford, due to circumstance, and/or lack of ability, and/or resources, to live close to the Earth and keep our environmental impact down. This is because right now it is vastly cheaper and easier, both in terms of resources and abilities for change, for the lower classes to live as greenhouse gas emitters to make ends meet more so than those in higher positions of wealth and status.

    That said, for those of us in the lower income bracket, we have options and they are many, among them recycling, reducing and reusing. We can also petition our colleges, (I am a poor college kid) to adopt more green-friendly policies, renewable-resource plastics (i.e. corn) for things that need to be plastic, etc.

    However, that does not mean my right to be angry goes out the window just because I haven't hit some 'reduce my carbon emissions' gap, like a buy-in to a poker game, before I get to say my piece. Would I had more resources, I would do more with them to effect positive change. For those that DO have the money to do so and do not, they do deserve both my ire and my words desiring change for THEM. It's up to them to change or not; I can't force them alone.

    As to your points: "Don't you actively devastate the world?" I fail to see how this addresses Bookhouses very salient points. These bigots are actively attacking the policies that would help stop or reverse devastation upon the world, and are doing it through their political pull from bigoted, Dominionist, triumphalist impulses and encouraging others in their realms of influence to do the same.

    "Mail envelopes? Flush a toilet?" Until better options in message retrieval through official sources (i.e. email becoming much more secure than it is) and until there are better sanitations options and people trained to deal with those options, we are very-much stuck with the way things are. What you are looking for by implication, at least to my eyes, (and I will admit I may be getting you wrong in which case I apologize), is a total societal/infrastructure shift from people in a political climate that is getting more conservative, less Green-friendly, and less likely to enact positive changes that reduce emissions and pollution.

    As to your question "How do you know that you are any more or less 'devastating' to the earth than the people you are criticizing?": I know because I don't drive except on the weekends to pick up my son, and I walk everywhere on campus. I don't use private jets to fly all over the world exhorting my beliefs and truths; I don't insult hundreds of climate scientists who have made their understanding of climatology their life's work by calling them demonic or idiots. Their words, which translates into inaction, destroys much of the effort made to slow or stop climate change cause by humans where possible.

    "Do words matter more than actions?" Yes, in many ways they do.
    To quote V for Vendetta: "Words give us the means to meaning."
    If you think that climate science is bullshit, you know this by words, not actions. Most people do not have the understanding to work out climate science, or its impacts upon our understanding of this world and where it is headed. So we have words to communicate that to them, or completely block any understanding whatsoever. Much of this fight over climate change is done in words, words that halt the progress of action. Legislation, activism, the powerful changes needed to reverse what is being done, all require words to even get hope of action off the ground.

    On the local level, yes, there is much we can do, each of us, regardless of income bracket, to better the world around us. On a macro scale we are often halted in changing policies and procedures of living that we know devastate our world, regions, nations, states, cities, etc. This is done by the words of those who dismantle the processes of progressing into a world where living WITH Nature and what it can and cannot provide for us long-term, sustainability in other words, than simply doing as we wish with what it provides heedless to cost of natural resources or long-term hazards, in other words, consumerism.

  • blah

    or our condemnation, considering what falsehoods they spread.

  • Bookhousegal

    I didn't dignify Cara's ….stereotypically-political-Right accusation, "If you're not semantically-perfect you can't criticise anyone demanding worse and worse or total inaction, while calling you a demonic fraud in the process" but as a matter of fact, my footprint *is* a fraction of the average Westerner's, (conservative claim: maybe a quarter at most,) and that's counting all this electronic stuff it takes to say it, (And not any particular eco-technology, either, just not wasting) …with an answer, but for Cara, and 'the record:'

    And it'd be even smaller if the 'free market' had less of a mind to make everything disposable/packaged just so, or even decide a great thing to do in an energy and ecological crisis is make a little roll of weatherstripping cost five bucks for a roll in sandwich-bag-sized plastic packaging.

    Truly escaping the insanity is expensive, perhaps quixotic, but my trash bin's a good measure, of itself: it's about four times bigger than it needs to be even if they miss a pickup. It's not big enough for most of my neighbors in a week.

    That's without really feeling to be missing out on anything. We don't even eat all so very granola-earthy-crunchy, far from it: I still probably 'devastate' the earth more than ten people in much of the world, but that figure's not sixty or eighty, or worse as some want to 'justify' and say 'Well, you're not perfect, shut up, I'm trying to say that our excess and waste is the only alternative to digging roots with a stick, so shut up.'

    I'm here to tell you that that ain't so.

    That 'all or nothing' logic is neither based in fact nor fooling *me* about narrative-flipping and all those tactics they use hate and fear-mongering about 'Green Dragons' …as in *us,* to blame for wanting to continue making everything worse, …when all they really have to offer is *paying them for waste.*

    They say, ' There's no difference, even between between driving and and ever taking the bus! That's why buses should be too expensive for most if allowed to exist at all, cause it's *Communist!* 'Pagan. Atheist. Hate them. Believe in our apocalyptic talk and justifications for demonstrably screwing up the world, so the more the world gets screwed up, the more you can take it out on environmentalists and Pagans, saying, 'You made our God angry! It's your fault, environmentalist totalitarian conspiracy we didn't listen to!!'

    Yaknow. It's nonsense, Cara. And I know you seem to have wanted to think the Tea Party was really just about some economic theory that was supposed to make sense when it screwed all this up in the first place, but they're hatemongers against all of us. They say it right at us.