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April 25, 2010


George, I suspect somewhere along the line, from WSJ to CD to SIM, there is a toungues planted in cheek.

When uou look at the similarities uou offer in your post ... is there ANY activity to which they might not be applied? ... which might draw similarities between ANY activity and religion?

That being said, though, my annual Earth Day post, discussing a vriety of reasons I am an environmentalist, notes. "My father's family were farmers, and that provided an added lesson for me to respect the blessings that are the earth and its resources, and to do whatever I can - within reason - to nurture those resources, to use them well and wisely ... to be a good steward. My family had never heard of Gaia (that was something I learned later, in college), but there was still something spiritual - a matter of fundamental faith - in their relationship to the Earth and its resources. They had read in the Bible, the Book of Genesis, that their dominion over the Earth and its resources, and their command to replenish and subdue, came from God ..... pretty heady stuff, and a topic that is still the subject of heated debate today."

Jeff, this post was not targeted at you, and I'm sorry if you took it personally. I'm sure your ancestors were good stewards of the land they farmed as were all of our farming ancestors. And you are probably doing as much as you can to keep the earth and air clean.

Nevertheless, there are people for whom environmentalism is comparable to a religion. That article simply pointed out some of the similarities. But the thing that makes them comparable is the fanaticism some of today's environmentalists display, and in some cases, the inability to acknowledge that skeptics could be right.

George, absolutely no apologies necessary, my friend, since no offense was taken.

What I was noting was that the same argument for comparing environmentalism and religion, could be used to compare just about ANY activity or interest to religion.

And just as environmentalism has it's extremists and its fanatics - again - so does just about any activity or interest.

With your post, and this ensuing exchange, I'm wondering if the 'like a religion' theory might be be more fundamental and far-reaching than the author of the original WSJ article suggested ... if it might be something inside us, something genetic, almost, that drives us to survive, to succeed.

I'm not sure of this thread is going where you intended ... but THANKs for getting it started.

You are right, Jeff. There are plenty of other things about which some people have as much passion.

I'm sure you've seen articles in the past few years putting forth the theory that some people have a gene that makes them religious. If it's true, it could lead a person to believe other things with a religious passion. I'm not sure it's as powerful as the instinct to survive, but it's something to think about, anyway.

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