Gaianism is alive and well in what we call Western civilization. In advance of the United Nations Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23, leftists are actively practicing their faith. Man has despoiled the Earth and now must ... confess to the Earth.
Think we're exaggerating?
On Sept. 17, New York's Union Theological Seminary, a progressive Christian adjunct to Columbia University, put out a tweet that many people must have assumed was a satire from the religion pranksters at The Babylon Bee. "Today in chapel, we confessed to plants," it began. "Together, we held our grief, joy, regret, hope, guilt and sorrow in prayer; offering them to the beings who sustain us but whose gift we too often fail to honor." Then they asked for an Amen: "What do you confess to the plants in your life?"
The photo accompanying the tweet shows a young female seminarian seated cross-legged on the floor, facing what looks like an assortment of cattails, a peace lily, a majesty palm and potted basil.
Thank God (the other one) for sane people's sense of humor. Twitter ridicule quickly followed. "I think you smoked one of the plants first," someone tweeted.
The Catholic blogger called the Curt Jester used Catholic confessional words: "Bless me ficus, for I have sinned. I promise to turn over a new leaf and nip the root of my sin in the bud. I want to grow in hollyness. I firmly resolve with the hope of thy grapes to sin no more."
But the New York Union Theological Seminary isn't the only place where folks are apologizing to weeds. On Aug. 31, The New York Times tweeted: "Dr. Monica Gagliano says that she has received Yoda-like advice from trees and shrubbery. In 2012, she says, an oak tree assured her that a risky grant application -- proposing research on sound communication in plants -- would be successful."
So why not pray to plants and wait for the answers?
NBC News also broke out a confessional, with an interactive webpage titled "Climate Confessions." It explained its brainstorm: "Even those who care deeply about the planet's future can slip up now and then. Tell us: Where do you fall short in preventing climate change? Do you blast the A/C? Throw out half your lunch? Grill a steak every week? Share your anonymous confession with NBC News." Categories of "sins" against Earth were shown. Here's an example in each category:
Energy: "I sleep with the air conditioner on year-round and justify it to myself by recycling."
Transportation: "I fly private jets. We will often burn an extra 500 gallons of fuel to save 10 minutes."
Plastics: "I admit to using far too many plastic grocery bags while my reusable ones sit in the trunk of my car."
Food waste: "I toss food that's fresh enough to eat, but isn't visually ok (e.g., freezer burn). Getting a vacuum sealer to help with this."
Paper: "I use enough Q-tips for a family of 8. I have an addiction to them in hygiene purposes, makeup application, even cleaning."
Meat: "I was a vegetarian since 1980. But the last few years I started eating ground turkey. So sad."
Some people turned it into bragging instead of confessing: "I LOVE meat. But I love the earth more. Vegan for over 4 years now." Some seemingly conservative people wrote in mocking responses: "I run my AC 24/7. I'm not going to sweat to appease this climate religion."
Liberal guilt has never been more pronounced. We recommend as proper corporal punishment using the switch, provided liberals then apologize to the bamboo.
Even Gaia is running for the hills.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.