Surrounded by Tea!

Environmentalism to Become a Legal Religion

Deep Thoughts, Perhaps Too Deep
Posted by: John Schroeder at 06:09 am, April 29th 2009 — 1 Comment »

It has long been argued that the left holds their political philosophy in a religious fashion. This argument is often used in Christian apologetics, and even creeps into the political discussion as the Christian view is pushed from the public square as being “religious,” while the left view is thought to be purely “rational.”

Well, enter a British court case:

In the landmark ruling Tim Nicholson was told he could use employment law to argue that he was discriminated against because of his views on the environment.

The head of the tribunal ruled that those views amounted to a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations, 2003, according to The Independent.

The plaintiff seeks redress for what the court has now ruled is essentially religious discrimination. It is going to be fascinating to see how this one plays out and if it makes it into the American legal system. There is little question that much of the liberal philosophy is held as a matter of faith more than rationality. The court of public opinion in this nation has typically drawn the line between religion and irreligion at the line between the natural and the supernatural. “Climate Change” while held out of faith (the evidence is just to thin for an anthropomorphic element at this point) is purely natural. It involves no dieties or miracles.

“Religious” people have long countered that there is much more to religion than just the supernatural, a fact on which this ruling relies heavily. And were its manner of thinking to make it into the greater public consciousness, it would represent a radical change in the general public perception of what is and is not religion. But this provides us with an interesting opportunity to put the shoe on the other foot.

Suppose “Climate Change” became the key issue in an election and the conservative candidate won. Could the left cry religious persecution? Should they? How would a Democratic primary look under such circumstances? Would it look like the showdown we experienced in ‘08?

And now the really interesting question - would people try to delegitimize the issue since it is “religious”?

This is why it is terribly important that we attempt not to eliminate religion from the public square, but to place it in its proper focus. As Romney supporters in the last election, we worked to neutralize his religion as a factor. And I am sure that in the hypothetical posed here, we would not care what the candidate believed about Climate Change, we would try limit our concern to the policies they proposed, but I do think this hypothetical gives us an opportunity for a gut check on this issue.

Lowell notes: Let us remember Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s now-immortal words in Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas statute making it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.
[can i throw up now?]
Doesn’t that sound like a description of religion? And yet the good Justice — a Republican appointed by Ronald Reagan — was writing an opinion about sodomy laws. It’s not a very big step from that loosey-goosey reasoning to the very result John describes.

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