Robert Knight

Really? How about the implied sideswipe at Western Civilization and Christendom, in which she grew up and which spawned her freedom to get grants in order to study hapless Samoans? Her claim is not only ungracious but inaccurate. Earth Day is emblematic of the Earth religion, which has a decidedly strong sense of superiority of its vision. If you don’t believe it, here’s the first stanza of the “Earth Day Anthem,” set to the tune of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”:

Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment
Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise
Now we must resolve to protect her
Show her our love throughout all time

For contrast from the world of old-time religion, here’s the first stanza of “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” written by Henry van Dyke in 1907 and found in most hymnals:

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

There’s a clear line between worshiping the Creator and mistakenly worshiping the creation, and it’s not a new error. In the first chapter of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul warned nearly 2,000 years ago about humanity’s penchant for this:

“[A]lthough they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools…and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator….”

Besides pining for global governance and an end to coal- and oil-based energy and its many industrial products, Earth Day’s backers continue to insist that destroying fossil fuel-based energy plants and sinking yet more billions into loser companies like Solyndra and Fisker Automotive will turn things around and – get this – create jobs.

In a 2011 fact sheet, “Energy Efficiency Creates Jobs,” the Natural Resources Defense Council claimed that, “For every fossil fuel job made unnecessary by energy efficiency, up to 50 new jobs are created across California’s diverse economy.”

Apparently, not enough fossil fuel jobs have been wiped out and replaced by people making windmills and solar panels. With California sporting the nation’s most progressive environmentalist agenda, unemployment has hovered around 12 percent for the past three years, with businesses leaving the state for friendlier, if not “greener” pastures. It’s beyond ironic that Anaheim-based Fisker’s very first –and doomed – electric car line is named the Karma. What goes around, comes around.

Earth Day is fine when it comes to planting trees, cleaning up parks and streams and renewing a commitment to good citizenship. It goes off track when it strays from conservation into worship.

For the antidote to the Earth worship nonsense, the second verse of Henry van Dyke’s marvelously uplifting hymn points upward:

All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise!
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flowering meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain,
Call us to rejoice in Thee.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.