The Green Swastika Environmentalism in the Third Reich

From Malthus to Mifepristone: A Primer on the Population Control Movement

The History of the Population Control Movement 1798 to 1998

Dictatorship of the Landlords - The Green Roots of the Housing Crisis

Cultural Marxism and the Alt-Right

The Meaning of Corporatism

356 Enviro-critical Websites and additional info about the organized enviro-critical movement

Pierre Trudeau: Eco-fascist

A Primer for the Paris Climate Talks

Jorge Bergoglio's Green Encyclical

Environmentalism and Aboriginal Supremacism (Part 2): The Mobilization of Aboriginal Opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Environmentalism and Aboriginal Supremacism in Canada - Part 1 - Idle No More

Of Buffalo and Biofuel - More Tales of Environmentalism in Alberta

War on Coal

In Praise of the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act (Bill C-38)

Environmentalism and Edmonton Land Use Politics

The "Tar Sands" Campaign and the Suppression of North America's Energy Potential

Desertec and Environmentalism's North African Campaign

The Environmental Movement in Alberta

Environmentalism 400 BC

Spirit of NAWAPA

Waldheim's Monster:
United Nations' Ecofascist Programme

Early 19th Century British "Environmentalism"

Environmentalism's Appropriation of Christianity

Environmentalism's Environment

The Continental Counter-Enlightenment

The American Eco-Oligarchy update

If Only This Were About Oil


Who is Affraid of The Big Green Wolf

The Gore Presidential Bid

The Groundbreaking Career of Doctor Science

The English Environmental Elite, Global Warming, and The Anglican Church

The Great Global Warming Hoax

The American Oligarchy's Economic Warfare Campaign on British Columbians

Environmentalism's Appropriation of Christianity

Environmentalism's Appropriation of Christianity


"The ecological reformation of Christianity," according to one scholar, "may be one of the most significant, though least noted events of this age." (1) The environmental movement has conducted a 50 year campaign to appropriate the world's Christian Churches. This is a top-down affair involving the recruitment of key clerics, theologians, Archbishops, Patriarchs and Popes. The stakes are huge. Churches claim 2 billion followers and assets worth trillions (US$). The reformation is partly complete. While Churches now promote Ecology they have yet to convert most Christians into green consumers, activists and voters.

Table of Contents

Christianity as a Human and Material Resource
King X Bishop – Elite Mobilization
Bishop X Pawn – Grassroots Eco-Christianity
Ecological Jesuitry
Freddy Krueger and other Monsters
Assessments and Strategies

Christianity as a Human and Material Resource

Environmentalists covet Christianity’s human and material resources. Human resources are clergy and congregations. In the clergy environmentalists see a reservoir of local leaders each with communication systems, meeting places and loyal followings. In congregations environmentalists survey an ocean of voters and consumers.

Two billion people self-identify as Christians. They are all over the world: Africa 430 ml, Asia 350 ml, Europe 560 ml, Latin America 530 ml, North America 280 ml, and Oceania 27 ml. Roman Catholicism claims 1.1 billion adherents: Africa 150 ml, Asia 130 ml, Europe 280 ml, Latin America 490 ml, North America 80 ml, and Oceania 8.6 ml. Eastern Orthodoxy being divided along national lines is less centralized than Catholicism, nevertheless 275 ml are nominally within the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch. Anglicans claim 80 ml members: 45 ml in Africa, 26 ml in Europe, 3 ml in North America, 5 ml in Oceania. Lutherans claim similar numbers, mostly in Europe and Africa. 700 ml are in hundreds of Protestant, Independent and “marginal-unaffiliated” denominations on the Christian belief system’s fringe – Unitarians, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Christian Scientists, etc. (2)

America’s 160 ml Christians are mostly Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant. There are 20,000 Catholic parishes in America and 65 ml Catholics. The main Orthodox Churches are: Greek Orthodox (510 churches, 1.5 ml members), Orthodox Church in America (721 churches, 1 ml members) and Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (177 churches, 480,000 members). Protestant denominations are too numerous to list. Lesser but substantial ones are: Adventist, Brethrens, Friends, Reformed, Mennonites, Amish, and Nazarenes. (Tallying “evangelicals” is difficult because the adjective “evangelical” [gospel-based] is used by sects in many denominations.) Baptists, the most common Protestants, are divided into 20 conventions the largest being the Southern Baptist Convention (43,000 churches, 16 ml members). National Baptist Convention USA claims 5 ml members while National Baptist Convention of America claims 3.5 ml. Of the 10 Lutheran sects, the largest is the Evangelical Lutheran which operates 10,600 churches for their 5 ml members. The largest of 11 Methodist sects, United Methodist, has 35,000 churches and 8.3 ml members. Two African Methodist groupings have a combined following of 3.8 ml. Of the 20 Pentecostal Churches, the biggest is Churches of God in Christ (15,000 churches, 5.5 ml members). Presbyterians come in 9 types, the biggest being Presbyterian Church of USA (11,000 churches, 3.5 mil members). The most environmentalist denomination, the Episcopalian, has 7,000 churches and 2.5 ml adherents. America’s 170,000 religious organizations (churches, temples, church-run schools and seniors’ homes) collectively have 1.5 ml employees. (This figure includes non-Christian enterprises but Christian ones constitute the vast majority.) (3)

In the 2001 census 72% of Brits (37 ml) self-identified as Christians. 26 ml are Anglican. 6 ml are Roman Catholics. There are dozens of smaller denominations: Pentecostal, Methodist, Orthodox, Baptist, Lutheran, etc. The Anglican Church of England’s influence is magnified by its formal integration into the state through the House of Lords and the Crown. They also run 25% of elementary schools in the country (4,450 schools) and 5% of secondary schools (210 schools). (4)

Environmentalists covet Church wealth: donations, real estate, and stock/bond portfolios. Sunday collections and other donations are a guarded secret and are the least important resource as far as environmentalists are concerned. In a 2007 survey, the respondents (1/3 of US Churches) claimed $34 billion in annual donations. (5) The Church of England pulls down $1.5 billion per annum. (6) Many European churches get money from the state. Thus globally, Churches collectively rake in a few hundred billion (US$) a year. While environmentalists would love to redirect some of this flow, their main appropriative target is the stock portfolios owned by Christian organizations. Here the goal is not outright appropriation but the marshalling of fund managers into a coordinated lobby. Christian fund managers lead the “Corporate Social Responsibility” movement. The Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility represents US-based religious investment funds with a combined portfolio worth over $100 billion. (7) The US Methodist Fund is sitting on paper worth $12 billion while the Church of England owns about half as much. (8) In 2000 the Alliance for Religion and Conservation (ARC) issued an analysis of assets owned by 23 global “faith communities” (this included Buddhist, Shinto, and Hindu “faiths” but Christianity is by far the richest). ARC researchers were stunned by “the vast holdings of stocks and shares which so many faiths have.” They estimated religions owned $7 trillion in shares and bonds. (9)

ARC researchers came to astounding conclusions about religious land-holdings. They uncovered the obvious – religious organizations own “literally millions of buildings” – churches, temples, monasteries, seniors’ homes, etc. They also uncovered religions “manage many tourist sites around the world.” They concluded religious organizations, primarily Christian Churches,own a substantial portion of the habitable land surface of the planet. (10) If that sounds like hyperbole, consider the following. The Lutheran Church of Sweden, in addition to vast urban holdings, owns several thousand square kilometres of forest. The Maronite Church owns vast parts of Lebanon including the Harissa Forest; the suppression of development therein has been the source of such strife the WWF declared it a top ten Mediterranean forest “hot spot.” (11) In Japan, home of the world’s most expensive real estate, the Shinto religion owns 100,000 shrines. Most are small properties but thousands are not – the Meiji Shrine owns 175 acres in Tokyo’s central business district. (12) The Anglican Church of England has an embarrassing weekly attendance of 1.2 million yet owns 16,000 churches. (13) Add to these properties their cemeteries and campuses and they are the island’s largest landowner. The USA’s most aggressive “ecological reformation” church, the Cathedral of St. John (Episcopal), sits on 11 acres of forest in downtown New York City. (When God wasn’t looking, St. John’s pieced off a parcel for a paltry $20 million.) (14) Environmentalism, being a social movement of landed upper classes, seeks to ensure Churches do not wantonly sell off land. The movement also appropriates church-owned buildings for office spaces and meeting places for environmentalists. 

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King X Bishop – Elite Mobilization

In 1961 University of Chicago Theology Prof Joe Sittler gave his “Christology of Nature” lecture to the general assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC). Sittler, a Lutheran, had been decrying Christianity’s repudiation of the Earth since his 1954 article, A Theology of the Earth, accused industry of “raping the Earth like a tyrant.” His lecture was such a hit the WCC placed him charge of their new Faith-Man-Nature programme in 1963. Over the next 10 years Faith-Man-Nature organized conferences and disseminated Sittler’s ideas. (15) In 1966 the American Academy of Arts and Sciences invited historian Lynn White to lecture on how “Christianity bore a huge burden of guilt” for the ecological crisis. (16) The lecture was so apropos Science magazine published an essay version. White’s The Historical Roots of our Ecological Crisis argued Christianity provided “psychic foundations” for the West’s technological drive by glorifying innovation and resource exploitation. His ideas were reprinted in Time Magazine and the New York Times. Over the next 20 years White’s Thesis would be the subject of 200 books and articles. (17)

While White’s Thesis resonated, the National Council of Churches (US) formed the Corporate Information Centre to issue reports often dealing with negative environmental consequences of industry. Not long after, six US Protestant churches formed the Interfaith Committee for Social Responsibility in Investments to mobilize churches as shareholder activists to lobby corporations. In its first year, 1971, it postponed a copper mine in Puerto Rico. In the 1970s both groups attacked the coal industry with critical publications, public hearings, and shareholder resolutions. During the Vietnam War they held forums in churches near Dow Chemical’s headquarters to protest Dow’s supplying Agent Orange to the US Army. In 1974 they merged into the Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). Anti-nuclear activism was ICCR’s original Cause and environmentalist issues remain its main focus. (18)

Central to American Christianity’s greening is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Episcopal). Located in the world’s largest Gothic cathedral, St. John’s is mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. The “Green Cathedral” created vanguard programs in green architecture, eco-spiritual art and recycling. Reverend James Morton became Dean of St. John’s in 1972 and embraced “sacred ecology” soon thereafter. St. John’s houses several environmental outfits such as The Gaia Institute which runs the Urban Rooftop Greenhouse Project. St. John’s runs a recycling depot servicing the Upper Westside. The Cathedral’s “ecology trail” has an authentic Native American medicine wheel! Their annual Festival of St. Francis has animal blessings and a Gaian Mass. Solstice services draw 3,000 celebrants. Guest speakers gracing St. John’s pulpit include eco-celebrities: Amory Lovins, James Lovelock, and Al Gore. (19)

The word “sustainable” first gained currency at a 1975 World Council of Church assembly in Nairobi. The WCC responded to allegations of ignoring the environment (made during the UN’s Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, 1972) by declaring “sustainability” a core mission. After 1975 WCC’s trinity became the “just, participatory and sustainable society.” They held meetings around the world to define sustainability, concluding it meant imposing limits on economic growth – limits the West already exceeded. (20) Their conference at M.I.T., “Faith, Science and the Future 1979,” issued a plea for new biblical interpretations of nature-human relations. The conference concluded Christians must expose how science and technology’s escape from “community control” undermined traditional values. (21) This blended into WCC’s critique of colonialism; of the “North’s domination of South” through diabolical “multi-national corporations.” To the WCC’s environmentalism was a continuation of efforts to contain industrialization and colonialism. Although their Vancouver 1982 assembly focused on peace, environmentalism figured prominently in the final slogan: “peace, justice and the integrity of creation.” This was followed by meetings held all over creation criticizing anthropocentricism (humanism). (22)

In 1979 Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla, declared St. Francis of Assisi “heavenly protector of environmentalists”. This genuflection in the direction of Big Green, made mere months after Wojtyla’s election, signalled the Papacy’s turn toward Ecology. In 1981 he complained “the heritage of nature is limited” and was “being intolerably polluted.”In 1987 he wrote of “limits of humanity’s dominion over the earth” and of our affinity with all creatures of creation. His reference to Adam having been ordered to “cultivate and watch over” Eden was a resounding Eco-Christological salvo. (23)

The Vatican’s green-ward arc was mirrored by initiatives in US Christendom. In 1980 the Au Sable Institute, a Michigan summer camp, was transformed by “evangelical biologist” Calvin DeWitt into a venue for theology and science conferences aimed at “produc(ing) a pattern of thinking, research and publication that helped develop the concept of environmental stewardship in secular and religious communities.” (24) At the same time, the Responsible Lifestyle Task Force was building a community of Christian energy conservation and organic food activists. This Task Force was absorbed by the National Council of Churches in 1983 to form the core of their Eco-Justice Working Group. EJWG began the EGG Journal in partnership with the Eco-Justice Project at Cornell U. EJWG’s 1986 Stony Point conference, “Eco-Justice Agenda: Loving the Earth and People”, spurred many churches into action. Tales of environmental poisoning told at Stony Point were turned into the first “environmental justice” video: For Our Children. (25) The 1980s were also busy times for the Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility. They pressured Westinghouse not to build reactors in the Philippines. They capitalized on the Love Canal brouhaha to attack Occidental Petroleum and the Bhopal disaster to go after Union Carbide. In 1989 they joined several state employee pension funds and environmental groups to form the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies. CERES released a flock of shareholders resolutions calling for internal environmental report cards and endorsements of the Valdez (later CERES) Principles. (26)

The 1980s also witnessed multiple UN efforts to co-opt religions into the green agenda: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched an Interfaith Partnership for the Environment to distribute eco-religious info; the UN’s Commission on Environment and Development floated the Earth Charter idea; and UN Fund for Population Activity’s Akio Matsumura, together with Reverend Morton, Claes Nobel (27) and the Temple of Understanding (28) created the Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival. (29) “Global Forum” was, for a period, the most influential religious-environmentalist alliance. Angier Biddle Duke (30) chaired Global Forum’s International Advisory Committee. Sir George Sinclair (31) was the Forum’s man in the UK and Claiborne Pell (32) their man in the US. Matsumura was awarded a “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation and spent it bankrolling the first Forum (Oxford 1988) which was attended by 200 spiritual and secular VIPs including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama, Cardinal Koenig, and MacArthur Chairman T. Bradshaw. Celebrity scientists Sagan and Lovelock provided the entertainment. (33)

Back in 1986, for the WWF’s 25th anniversary, Prince Philip (WWF President) joined prominent environmentalists and reps of five religions on a pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy – St. Francis’ birthplace. The pilgrims agreed religions were an “alternative to a purely materialistic, dualistic, anthropocentric and utilitarian worldview which has been partly responsible for creating the environmental crisis.” Such thinking was incorporated in the “Assisi Declarations” and formed the charter of the Network for Conservation and Religion. NCR was dispatched to organize interfaith meetings, eco-religious celebrations and religion-centered conservation projects. These activities were accompanied by NCR’s New Road journal and the WWF’s World Religions and Ecology book series. (34) Ever in step with Philip, the Anglican General Synod issued Our Responsibility for the Living Environment in 1986.

Two eco-holy days were announced in 1989. Eastern Orthodoxy’s Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios christened September 1 as an annual day of prayer for environmental protection. (35) The man who would soon replace Dimitrios and become “Green Bartholomew” (Bishop Archontonis) was at this time Dimitrios’ personal secretary and his rep to the WCC. The second holy day, Environmental Sabbath, was a project of UNEP’s religious adviser Father D. Martin who capitalized on the event by establishing the International Coordinating Committee on Religion and the Earth (ICCRE) “to address the spiritual dimension of the ecological crisis imperilling the earth.” On ICCRE’s board sat top Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists and reps from Global Forum, Temple of Understanding, Audubon Society, and WWF. (36)

On New Year’s Day 1990, Pope John Paul II issued The Ecological Crisis: A Common Responsibility to inform Catholics of their “serious obligation to care for creation” and “the larger community of life”. Western “overconsumption” was fingered as the cause of the crisis. (37) US Catholic Bishops toed the line months later with their Renewing the Earth statement. Philippine Bishops needed no prompting, having issued What is Happening to Our Beautiful Land a year earlier. (38)

With John Paul’s New Year’s address making news, a second Global Forum – Environment and Development for Survival – kicked-off in Moscow with Gorbachev as host. The Forum attracted 1,300 religious and government reps from 83 countries. Stars tripping up the red carpet included: former Norwegian PM Brundtland, World Watch Institute’s Lester Brown, and Al Gore (a Global Forum exec). UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar arrived behind a flying wedge of UN directors. (39) This Forum sprouted two offshoots – Gorbachev’s Green Cross and the Joint Appeal by Religion and Science for the Environment (JARSE) headed by Paul Gorman (Cathedral of St. John) and Carl Sagan. JARSE began as an “open letter” signed by 34 scientists (mostly Nobel laureates) warning of grave environmental peril and accusing industry of “crimes against creation”. The signatories reached out to religious leaders because:
Problems of such magnitude, and solutions demanding so broad a perspective must be recognized from the outset as having a religious as well as a scientific dimension...As scientists, many of us have had profound experiences of awe and reverence before the universe. We understand that what is regarded as sacred is more likely to be treated with care and respect.” (40)

After Moscow, Global Forum met at Harvard Divinity School, Aspen Institute, and Redford’s Sundance Ranch but declined as a centralizing mechanism for the enviro-religion alliance. (41)

Steven Rockefeller organized his own 1990 forum. Rockefeller, a Buddhist, teaches comparative religion at Vermont’s Middlebury College. “Spirit and Nature,” held at Middlebury, attracted many Christian and Buddhist VIPs. The Dalai Lama gave the keynote. Speeches given at Middlebury were made into a PBS broadcast (and video) hosted by Bill Moyers. Spirit and Nature, the book, followed in 1992. All “Spirit and Nature” media manifestations argue conservation is a religious duty. Rockefeller used his forum to cream off Religious Studies profs to work on the Earth Charter – a tract claiming all life is miraculous and possessing intrinsic value and that governments must take up conservation as a “sacred trust.” (42)

The National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE) coalesced in the early 1990s. (43) While the clique around JARSE’s “open letter” became NRPE, pleas for something like NRPE date to the initial ruckus around the Lynn White Thesis. NRPE founders were veteran Eco-Christian missionaries. Most of the credit for pulling NRPE together beams down upon the Cathedral of St. John’s Morton and Gorman but other founders were: California state senator Tom Hayden, Father Thomas Berry, Au Sable’s Calvin DeWitt, and the Lindisfarne crowd. (44) NRPE has four components: the National Council of Churches’ Eco-Justice Working Group, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Environmental Justice Program, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN). In 1992 the components were at different levels of development. The NCC’s Eco-Justice Working Group was a decade old and the Catholic and Jewish components were quickly up and running. The “evangelical-fundamentalist” component was problematic because it consisted of thousands of churches without national hierarchies to provide endorsement. NRPE invented EEN. (45) They took Evangelicals for Social Action, a small “left-leaning” advocacy group, and helped them draft the “Evangelical Declaration on the Care of Creation”, for which they secured an endorsement by Billy Graham’s Christianity Today magazine. The Declaration rejects nature worship, affirms scriptural authority, and posits “stewardship” as the rationale for environmental care. It claims sinners degrade creation through deforestation and atmospheric change but fortunately: “Christ came to heal and bring to wholeness not only persons but the entire created order.” All NRPE components were pumped with money. Gorman wrote the cheques. Funds came from the Ford Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts. At NRPE’s 1993 launch, Gorman boasted they could deliver timely messages to 100 million Americans. (46) Within a year EEN distributed Let the Earth Be Glad to 30,000 congregations. NRPE sent out 53,000 “education and action kits” to churches and synagogues for Earth Day, 1994. (47)

In 1991 Bishop Archontonis was elected Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of the Orthodox Church. His first act was to summon an environmentally themed Inter-Orthodox Conference in Crete. Next he announced the first of five annual Ecology seminars at the Theological School of Halki. In 1994 he formed an environmental committee to host sea-borne symposia where Orthodox clergy could strategize with the European Commission and WWF. The first symposium, held on the Mediterranean in 1995, was followed by ones on the Black Sea (1997), Danube (1999), and Adriatic (2002). (48)

The World Council of Churches announced a Climate Change Program in 1988. Their next assembly, Canberra 1991, was more environmentally focused than any previous. Canberra’s slogan was “theology of life”. Their new mission was “sustainable communities”. The assembly proclaimed Nature was God’s creation, thus sacred and intrinsically valuable, thus not to be determined by humanity. (49)  After Canberra WCC sponsored programs on human mobility, bio-technology, and genetic engineering. (50) Canberra well-positioned WCC for the 1992 UN’s Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro and attended by 178 heads of state. At Rio WCC herded Christian leaders into endorsing a “Letter to the Churches” decrying the eco-crisis. (51) WCC’s pet phrase, “sustainable development”, was Rio’s mantra.

Also working the Rio crowd was Global Forum. They held a summit-within-a-summit co-starring the Dali Lama and Al Gore. Anglicans were there waving their new, brazenly Eco-Christological Conservation and the Environment petition to the UK Government. (52) The International Coordinating Committee on Religion and Environment (ICCRE) used Rio for a “Day of Commitment and Prayer” which, with real-time global participation, was the largest religious ceremony in history. Earth Charter promoters led a full court press at Rio to get their manifesto endorsed by world leaders. They came so close that UN reps and NGOs dispatched ICCRE to try again at the UN’s upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations. (53)

Rio’s science-religion love-in prompted two quick follow-ups. The first was in Washington, D.C when 100 scientists and clergy, including Nobel laureates and heads of denominations, declared: “Our two ancient, sometimes antagonistic traditions now reach out to one another in a common endeavour to preserve the home we share.” They were invited inside to meet Congress. (54) This was upstaged by the Union of Concerned Scientists’ “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.” Signed by 2,000 members of scientific academies, including 200 Nobel laureates, the Warning declared: “Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course”. It asserted “fragile earth” was being “ravaged” and “irretrievably mutilated.” It estimated “no more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost”. Signatories pled “we need the help of the world’s religious leaders” to disseminate a “new ethic” to stimulate “a great change in our stewardship of the earth.” (55) The “World Scientists” also asked big business to join the rescue. Sunoco was the first to step up. Pushed by the Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Sunoco endorsed the CERES Principles in 1993. (This was lubricated by Sunoco being partly owned by ultra-green Pews.) General Motors followed Sunoco. GM was followed by Bethlehem Steel, Ford, ITT, Bank of America, Polaroid, Coca-Cola, Nike, and American Airlines. (56)

In 1993 Hindu missionaries from Chicago’s Vedanta Society organized a Parliament of World Religions in Chicago to celebrate the 100th anniversary of a previous religious parliament that is considered the start of the interfaith movement. (57) At the 1993 Parliament 7,000 religious reps endorsed Catholic theologian H. Kung’s “Declaration of a Global Ethic” condemning “the abuses of the Earth’s ecosystems” and declaring support for “the community of living beings, for people, animals and plants, and for the preservation of Earth, the air, water and soil.” The Parliament included ecological seminars like “Cosmic Beginnings and Human Ends” starring biologist Lynn Margulis and Gaia-logian Mary Hunt. While the 1893 Parliament excluded Native Americans, they were guests of honour in 1993 as were “Earth-centered” religions (Wiccans and Pagans) for whom Chicago was a coming-out party. A Pagan-sponsored full moon ritual attracted 500 attendees. The Parliament agreed to reconvene in 1999 in Cape Town where again environmentalist themes dominated the agenda. (58)

The Earth Charter initiative was boosted in 1994 when Maurice Strong’s Earth Summit and Gorbachev’s Green Cross secured financing from the Dutch state for an Earth Charter Secretariat. An Earth Charter Commission of eminent persons convened to oversee the project. Rockefeller complained tepid interest from governments forced the Commission to proceed as a “people’s treaty”. They solicited participation from thousands of individuals and hundreds of organizations including 45 Earth Charter national committees. Rockefeller called the process the most open, participatory consultancy ever conducted. The process blended the “wisdom of the world’s religions” into 200 NGO declarations and “people’s treaties”. The process drew on “the new scientific worldview being shaped by discoveries in physics, cosmology and ecology.” Drafters avoided explicit theological language but stressed the importance of religions in achieving sustainability. (59)

By 1995 the National Religious Partnership on the Environment touched base with 125,000 American churches and synagogues. In that year NRPE’s Eco-Justice Working Group published the popular God’s Earth: Our Home. In spite of NRPE’s success, its host, the Cathedral of St. John’s Reverend Morton, facing accusations from inside and outside his Church of promoting Paganism and New Age worship, left to found the Interfaith Center of New York. (60)

In 1995 WWF re-organized the Network on Conservation and Religion (NCR) into the Alliance for Religion and Conservation (ARC); a registered charity and independent foundation connected to the Pilkington Foundation and Japan’s MOA International. (61) Not that NCR had failed. In the decade following Assisi, NCR led 100,000 religious communities into conservation activity. (62) NCR expanded the number of “faiths” involved from five to nine. ARC was to build on NCR’s success through practical projects. ARC’s marching orders were: create educational projects furthering the involvement of religions in environmentalism; organize events uniting religious and conservation groups; and publish materials linking religion and conservation. (63) ARC’s debut was divided over two summits; one in Japan in early April and the second, held weeks later, hosted by Prince Philip at Windsor Castle. Windsor summiteers included: Patriarch Bartholomew, B. Przewozny (Papal environment adviser), WCC’s Rev. Kobia, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Crown Prince El Hassan bin Talal. Each brought staff who presented papers on their religion’s ecological accomplishments, commitments, and prospects. They met executives from the World Bank, UNEP, and the BBC. (64) Within weeks the Anglican General Synod announced a new ethical investment strategy and a new working party on the environment. The World Bank formed a “World Faiths Dialogue” committee. (65)
Capitalizing on the “Ark” metaphor in vogue in the mid-1990s, the Evangelical Environmental Network campaigned in support of the US Endangered Species Act by calling the Act “the Noah’s Ark of our day.” At a well-attended press conference EEN accused Congress of trying to “sink the Ark.” Republicans, accustomed to Evangelical support, were caught off guard and distanced themselves from proposed changes to the Act. The Sierra Club acknowledged EEN’s intervention as decisive. (66)

In 1996 a three-year conference series, “Religions of the World and Ecology”, began at Harvard Divinity School. 800 experts channelled through to discuss how religions conceptualize human-earth relations. The series, supervised by John Grim and Mary Tucker, summoned religious scholars, scientists, and environmentalists. Papers presented were re-worked by Grim and Tucker and published in ten separate volumes by Harvard University Press. Three culminating conferences brought religious principals into contact with educators and policymakers. Speakers included E.O. Wilson, Thomas Berry, Steven Rockefeller, Maurice Strong, and UNEP’s Adnan Amin. At the second culminating conference (at UN headquarters) 1,000 enthusiastic supporters cheered the announcement of long-term funding for a Forum on Religion and Ecology to carry on “the greening of religions.” (67)

With the Harvard conferences in mid-stream, another Environmental Symposium was held in Santa Barbara (1997). Here Patriarch Bartholomew declared: “a crime against the natural world is a destroy the biological diversity, destroying its wetlands, causing changes in its climate...these are sins.” (68) This statement occurred as Orthodoxy’s involvement in US Eco-Christianity was forcing a re-organization of the Eco-justice Working Group. Orthodox clerics demanded a purge of secular groups.

In 1998 the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies unveiled their “global environmental metric” upon which businesses would be judged. CERES followed this with an announcement of a “Global Reporting Initiative” to better scrutinize corporate behaviour. This drive reflected efforts of church groups inside CERES. (Few are aware of the extent of the religious involvement in CERES.) (69) At this time, the Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility’s Corporate Examiner magazine announced initiatives against food irradiation and genetically modified organisms.

The turn of the millennium provided a pretext for eco-religious climactics. In August 1,000 preachers and gurus convened at UN headquarters for the “Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders.” The “environmental crisis” was the major theme. Secretary General Kofi Annan’s keynote pled for a stewardship ethic to address the emergency. Coterminous with the Summit, Boston’s Catholic Bishops released And God Saw That It Was Good, and the Earth Charter Commission released the Charter’s final version. Thousands of churches, schools, NGOs, and governments immediately endorsed the Charter, pledging to use it as a policy guide. (70) WWF/ARC joined millennial festivities with an interfaith celebration hosted by the King of Nepal. They unveiled a Sacred Gifts awards program to honour conservation achievements by religious groups. Also in Nepal, ARC announced the number of participating religions had grown to 11. (Currently 41 “faith groups” are on board the ARC.) (71)

NRPE components were hyperactive in the new millennium. EEN undertook a mass distribution of Creation Care magazines, blitzed member congregations with recycling suggestions, and inaugurated an annual “Creation Sunday” holiday. They launched their “Healthy Families, Healthy Environment” initiative in 2001. EEN has partnered with 23 organizations including: Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, Youth with a Mission, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Also in 2001, Eco-Justice Working Group launched a national global warming campaign complemented by Au Sable Institute’s “Climate Forum 2002” culminating in yet another shrill Declaration by scientists and ethicists. In 2003 NRPE components ran a national ad campaign supporting the Kyoto Accords asking “What would Jesus drive?” The NRPE, then a decade old, boasted thousands of new enviro-organizations had been created by member congregations. (72)

When Patriarch Bartholomew accepted the Sophie Prize in Oslo (2002) he delighted the audience by declaring: “our original sin with regard to the natural environment lies – not in any legalistic transgression, but – precisely in our refusal to accept the world as a sacrament of communion with God.” (73) Months later he co-signed the “Venice Declaration of Environmental Ethics” with Pope John Paul II. (74) Such pronouncements were timely help for Rockefeller, Strong and company as they pitched the Earth Charter at the UN’s World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg). Alas, they had to settle for “respectful comments” from the world leaders.

By 2003 eco-religious events become too numerous to list. WWF France organized an interfaith colloquium. Canada’s Catholic Bishops issued a solemn ecological warning. The Council for the Parliament of World Religion announced their upcoming Barcelona Parliament would focus on the “water crisis” and on how better to promote the Earth Charter. (75) (Their 2009 Parliament, slated for Melbourne, is titled “Making a World of Difference, Healing Each Other, Healing the Earth.” Forum on Religion and Ecology is a partner in organizing this Parliament and Green Faith is doing publicity.) (76)   
By 2005 the Anglican Church was a de facto environmental movement organization. At their 13th Lambeth Conference (1998), attended by all Bishops of the global Anglican Communion, the environment was declared a “key moral and religious issue of our time.” In 2002 the Communion sent the eco-manifesto, Stewardship of Creation, to the UN’s Johannesburg Summit and to all Anglican parishes. This two-page document refers to the planetary crisis nine times. It blames “greed and overconsumption” for “climate change, flooding, habitat destruction, desertification, pollution and urban expansion.” In 2005 they launched a national campaign – Sharing God’s Planet – which included an internal church initiative to reduce energy usage called “Shrinking the Footprint”. In 2007 the Bishop of London told the House of Lords climate change was not just another issue. He told them there were 630,000 Christians from 4,000 churches in London being mobilized for this Cause. Every diocese now has a designated, salaried Eco-Lieutenant. “Education Sunday 2009” will focus on the environment. (77)

2005 was the start of ARC’s 3iG initiative (a globalized version of Interfaith Centre on Corporate Responsibility). 3iG stands for “international interfaith investments group.” More than an information clearing house for religious investors, 3iG is an activist project forming “clusters” of religious investors to pool funds for sustainable forestry, organic agriculture, and alternative energy ventures. 3iG dreams of a “cascade” where not only will churches invest according to a common plan, they will get their parishioners to follow. This would give them control of most publically traded businesses. 3iG was glowingly endorsed by Bartholomew I, the Crown Prince of Jordan, and the PM of Mongolia. Also on the Eco-Christian corporate social responsibility front: in 2008 the Interfaith Centre for Corporate Responsibility published “Don’t Get Burned” to discourage investment in coal-fired electrical generation. ICCR’s 275 members now sponsor 200 shareholder resolutions per year. (78)

The World Council of Churches’ 2006 assembly created a “Justice, Diakonia and Responsibility for Creation” programme to carry on WCC’s role as a forum for discussing “the uses/misuses of science and new technologies.” The division takes aim at biological technologies and continues to “raise awareness” of climate change. It also hosts the Ecumenical Water Network. (79)

In 2008 the Lutheran World Federation, which represents most Lutherans, held a conference captioned “Christian Witness Amidst Suffering Creation” at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro whose declining icecap highlighted global warming. One conference document (posted on their website’s front page), “Why are Earth and God Angry?”, claims it is a “sin” to neglect the environment. The author asserts “the earth is angry because of the harm we have inflicted on ‘it’.” The solution: “we must move beyond narrow anthropocentric views.” Another conference document, “Melting Snow on Kilimanjaro – a Witness to a Suffering Creation”, was penned by a team of reverends and theologians representing Lutheran Youth. They quote Joe Sittler. They also quote the Bible, sort of:

“The biblical witness is clear that God our creator loves the world so much that God gave his only begotten son to save it. (John 3:16). The effects of climate change are overwhelming and we need God’s help. God’s word convicts us for our inaction and the destruction we have caused creation...” (80)

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Bishop X Pawn – Grassroots Eco-Christianity

The greening of Christianity was a reformation from above. Environmentalists won over, with little difficulty, Christianity’s Bishops, Patriarchs, Cardinals, Deans, and Popes. This victory at the top must now be turned into a mobilization of the base.

US churches have been useful in the “environmental justice” sub-movement. “EJ”, NIMBYism for ghettos, usually consists of anti-industrial activism in non-white neighbourhoods where alleged toxicities are blamed on alleged racism of white-owned businesses. Revisionist EJ historians date EJ’s origins to a 1982 sermon by an Afton, NC United Church preacher denouncing a landfill proposal he said demonstrated blacks were forced to assume a heavier toxic burden than whites. However NIMBYism long pre-dates 1982 and Big Green was mobilizing beyond its privileged white base since the 1960s. Christians embraced “EJ” before the Afton campaign took off. The National Council of Churches moulded the Eco-Justice Working Group out of existing groups in 1983. The Afton campaign, supported by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, lasted years. It did not stop the landfill but was a successful mobilization – over 500 arrested. (81) The United Church was given a grant to do a national study, Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States (1987), which alleged the siting of toxic industries and dumps was motivated by anti-black racism. The report’s wide media play helped other environmentalists, often church-affiliated, cultivate EJ groups and networks. Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers’ campaign against pesticides used EJ rhetoric (and ecological statements from the Pope). One of Clinton’s first Presidential orders directed the EPA to get into EJ. A Black Church Environmental Justice group soon emerged. Activists within the EJ sub-movement claim “the environmental justice movement, (is) now recognized by its veteran voices as the largest and fastest growing social movement in the world.” Churches continue to play a central role in EJ and the race card is ever at the fore. EJ theorists preach: “we see Jesus in the faces of Black women; we see Jesus in the face of the Earth.” (82)

There is more to grassroots Eco-Christianity than EJ. Floresta Inc. is a Christian agency resisting deforestation. In 1984 a California businessman began the first leg of the project by establishing of a for-profit tree nursery to provide saplings for re-forestation. In 1987 Floresta’s Agro-forestry Revolving Loan Fund began providing loans, training and marketing assistance to help farmers in Mexico, the Caribbean, and later Thailand, enter forest-related businesses. Here “community development” and “sustainable forestry” mean steering rural economies away from clearing bush for farmland. By 2008 farmers working with Floresta had received 4,000 loans and planted 3.6 million trees. Floresta combines re-forestation with “stewardship” by offering “Christian discipleship” programs to “share Jesus Christ’s love and develop a biblically-based ethic of stewardship for God’s creation”. (83)

Stewardship” is also the key word at Michigan’s Au Sable Institute (ASI). After pioneering work synthesizing religion and science, ASI began planting “Christian stewardship” on American campuses. Seeking to make “earth-keeping and environmental stewardship part of the public life in college and university education, ASI canvassed church-associated colleges for partners. ASI credits are now accepted by 50 post-secondary institutes – all members of the Council for Christian Colleges’ “Global Stewardship Initiative” (Pew-funded). ASI’s “biblically and scientifically based” curriculum emphasizes leadership development. Funding comes from tuitions and “a substantial endowment to which contributions are made by philanthropic individuals and organizations.” Scholarships are available from the endowment. Students at ASI campuses gain certification in Environmental Studies toward post-baccalaureate Stewardship Ecologist diplomas. ASI grads are certified to teach faith-based Environmental Studies but often find careers in practical research and stewardship. Au Sable Pacific Rim began in 1996 and a fourth ASI college was recently installed on the scenic 30 acre Bishop Heber College campus in India. ASI campuses also serve as venues for environmental groups. (84)

Also in the stewardship education biz is Target Earth. TE started as the Hidden Lakes Retreat; a Bible school in the Sierra Nevadas run by Roy Goble. In 1992 Christianity Today reporters put Roy in touch with people who made TE possible. TE is in the Evangelical Environment Network. TE’s Campus Programs Division has 45 chapters across America. TE-International offers seven-day missions or eight-week internships to Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and several other countries. TE runs the 8,000-acre Jaguar Creek facility in Belize, the Lasting Impressions Wilderness site in Zimbabwe, and the Soda Mountains Retreat in Oregon while continuing to operate its Hidden Lakes Retreat. TE teaches environmental justice, simple lifestyles, and recycling management with biblical references supporting each activity. TE combines practical projects with faith-based environmentalism. They publish Target Earth and maintain a website. (85)

Another type of education is undertaken by “Eco-Church” and “Eco-Ministry” groups. Eco-Churches were started by the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology (NACCE) in the late 1980s. One NACCE President said Eco-Churches were needed because: “existing local churches, in my humble estimation, will never make the radical changes we envision.” NACCE’s Eco-Church guidelines were: Bible-study, prayer, and song combined with bioregion exploration and Earth literacy cultivation. For churches wishing to become eco-friendly NACCE sent action teams of consultant-catalysts. As NACCE faltered, the concept was kept alive by groups calling themselves “Eco-Churches” but not adhering to NACCE guidelines. The few remaining NACCE Eco-Churches are now called “Earth-keeping Circles”. The Eco-Church model was adopted by Catholic lay groups for whom Father Al Fritsch is the apostle. Fritsch views Eco-Churches as a second coming of early Christian house churches and as pressure groups for lobbying church bureaucrats. Fritsch’s “cells” are committed to study and action. His Eco-Church: an Action Manual (1992) offers instructions on how to “green” your church. (86)

Earth Ministry was founded in 1992 by the “ecology and spirituality group” of Seattle’s St. Mark’s Cathedral (Episcopal). Initially they struggled to convince parishioners there was a Christian ecological tradition, but with persistence and purges they became an incorporated non-profit with a paid staff of five. They published several books: Ecological Healing (1993), Simpler Living (2002) and Greening Congregations Handbook (2002) etc. The Handbook provides biblical references, excerpts from contemporary authors, an appendix listing resources by denomination, and suggestions on how to get your own Earth Ministry going. It emphasizes examining your congregation’s unique tradition and bioregion for starting points and available resources. Being west-coasters, EM suggests taking up salmon habitat restoration. EM provides speakers and organizers for interested congregations. EM has a website and a newsletter with thousands of paying subscribers. EM recruit Leroy Hedman, Pastor of a poor Pentecostal church in a racially diverse Seattle neighbourhood, won the EPA’s Energy Star Award for switching to fluorescent lighting! An EM congregation in suburban Seattle organizes Bike-to-Church-Sundays and hikes where parishioners learn about endangered species. They switched to fair-trade, shade-grown coffee in solidarity with the people and birds of coffee-producing areas! (87)

In 1993 Sister Mary Southland started “Sisters of the Earth” to offer environmentalism as a Cause for nuns wishing to carry on the activist habits their forebears displayed in the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements. Sisters were inspired by Father Berry and in turn inspired many “Green Sisters” groups who, after “hearing and answering a call from the Earth,” founded eco-learning centers. Not all Green Sisters are affiliated with Southland but many are, and her network remains the most visible manifestation of eco-nunnery. Green Sisters tactical repertoire includes: anti-toxics work, farmland renewal, heritage seed conservation, earth literacy education, and organic farming (“sacred agriculture”). They create wildlife sanctuaries on their properties and lock up their lands in eco-trusts. They disrupt shareholder’s meetings, contest landfill sitings, and combat urban sprawl. (88)

One landmark eco-Catholic grassroots outreach was the “Columbia River Watershed Pastoral Letter”. The Letter, Spokane’s Bishop Skystad’s idea, was the first bioregional statement from North American Catholic Bishops. Drafting the Letter took four years of hearings soliciting input from denizens of the Columbia’s banks. The Bishops were keen to hear from natives and environmentalists. Professional environmentalists completed the Letter in 2001. The Letter poeticized stewardship of the sacramental universe, called for conserving the Columbia’s watershed and stressed environmental justice for natives. The Letter received formal acceptance from legislators, national media coverage, an ARC Sacred Gift award, and led to a school curriculum module and a video. (89)

A grassroots outreach facilitating program is run by National Religious Partnership for the Environment’s New York office. The “Directory of Environmental Activities and Resources in the North American Religious Community” maintains a catalogue of good deeds done by churches like the Maryland Catholic parish’s testimony about pollution at state hearings or the New York Presbyterian congregation’s monitoring of pH levels in a local creek. The Directory has a hotline for congregations wishing to report suspect activities or desiring information on how to engage in environmental conflict. (90)

Similar Eco-Christian activism goes on in Europe. As in North America, most Eco-Christian “cells” function within existing church structures and do not form external structures. Still, there are sufficient numbers of semi-independent Eco-Christian NGOs to warrant structured networks in Sweden, Norway, Holland, and Poland. The European Christian Environmental Network (est. 1998) has a dozen staffers working as a Pan-European network for the national networks. ECEN cooperates closely with the European Conference of Catholic Bishops’ environmental working group. ECEN also works with UK’s “A Rocha” conglomerate which was founded in 1983 and is now the largest in the field with chapters in 20 countries. An even more influential British society is the John Ray Initiative (JRI). Founded in 1997 and interlocked with A Rocha and the Au Sable Institute, JRI has attracted many VIPs dedicated to “connecting environment, science and Christianity.” JRI President, Sir John Houghton, as former Co-Chairman of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (1988-2002) and former CEO of the UK’s Meteorological Office (1983-1991), is one the people most culpable for the concoction and dissemination of the human-caused global warming myth. (91)

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Ecological Jesuitry

According to one scribe: “During the last half of the 20th century, ecologically aware theologians and ethicists discovered that the conventional theological and ethical interpretations of the faith did not fit ecological realities.” (92)A more engaged compatriot put it: “the problem of human distortion of ecological processes, to which much attention has been given since the 1960s, was not directly considered in most of Christian history.” There always were “opportunities for the development of an ecological theology” but until the late 20th century these opportunities were neglected. However, after much scribbling, “Biblical scholars at the dawn of the 21st century can show that there are rich resources for the development of an ecological theology in the Christian canon.” (93) Science was spiritualized, and Christianity scientisticized, into Pantheism.

There were Jeremiahs.In 1940, amidst the soil erosion hoax, W. Lowdermilk, a forester/propagandist with the US Soil Conservation Service, demanded all nations make land stewardship a priority. He christened land stewardship the “11th Commandment”. (94) Also in the 1940s, fellow US conservation bureaucrat Aldo Leopold called for a land ethic, to wit: “a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community; it is wrong when it tends otherwise.” In A Sand County Almanac (1949), a green must-read, he threw down the gauntlet with his claim that when it came to conservation: “ethics, and religion have not yet heard of it.” (95)

While Leopold scolded Americans, Europe’s Eco-Christian scholars onward marched. Out front of the crusade were Teilhard and Whitehead. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was born in 1881 unto an ancient aristocratic family of the Auvergne. His father was a gentleman farmer and amateur geologist. Pierre, sent to the Jesuits as a youth, remained loyal for life. After reading Bergson’s sensation-making Creative Evolution (1907) he devoted himself to subordinating evolutionary theory to Catholicism. He was centrally involved in the skilfully designed Piltdown Man hoax of 1912; a fraud unexposed for a generation. In 1922 he was appointed Geology Chair at the Catholic Institute of Paris; but when Cardinals expressed concern over his theories, he went to China, doing field research for Chiang Kai-shek’s Geological Service until 1946. There he wrote The Divine Milieu and The Human Phenomenon. These were considered too radical to publish; however, they circulated within the church; and while much is made of church opposition to Teilhard, he was a “prophet” among Jesuits. Moreover, when his books were published after his death (1955) Pope Pius XII issued only a monitum warning against uncritical acceptance of his ideas. His writings were not listed in the Forbidden Index and the value of his work, and the righteousness of his intentions, unquestioned. Jesuits wrote books praising him and his theories were incorporated into the Second Vatican Council. Teilhard’s books were bestsellers. The English version of The Human Phenomenon was introduced by Aldous Huxley. (96) After Teilhard’s death several committees were established by Queen Marie Jose to promote Teilhard thought. (97) Julian Huxley, Arnold Toynbee, and Prince Louie de Broglie figure prominently in this project. A British Teilhard Association was formed in 1963. The Fondation Teilhard de Chardin was chartered in Paris in the following year and an American Teilhard Association (ATA) got going in 1967. (98)

Teilhard’s Christogenetic evolutionary theory begins with the Big Bang. He describes atoms, emerging from a creation event, congealing into micro-molecules, then into macro-molecules, then into cells and complex life forms. This process was guided by God. The universe was evolving toward the Omega-Point – a final communion with Christ. Humans were not to be passive observers. The righteous should facilitate Omega’s coming by working as “technicians of the spirit”. (99) Teilhard did not have to look far for the Big Bang theory. The author of this scientistic variation of Genesis was his contemporary and fellow Jesuit, Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966). Lemaitre (ordained, 1923) was Astrophysics Professor at the infamously reactionary Catholic University of Louvain for forty years. In 1927 he published his “fireworks theory of the universe’s origins” dressed in trendy Einstein-esque lingo and relying on Hubble’s primitive, discredited work on galaxy recession. In 1951 Italian aristocrat Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, whose relationship to Fascism/Nazism went beyond the sympathizer/collaborator epithet, said the Big Bang showed modern physics confirmed the doctrine of creation. In 1960 internationally acclaimed Monsignor Lemaitre became Pontifical Academy of the Sciences’ President. (100) His hypothesis achieved the status of orthodoxy in Cosmogony orbits.  Catholic retreats are often adorned with spiral mosaics leading guests on Teilhardian “cosmic walks” from the Big Bang through the Jurassic to the Passion of Christ. (101) One biographer claims Teilhard was “profoundly ecological, adding redundantly his theories are “best described as pantheism.” (102)  

Teilhard’s counterpart in the Anglican/Episcopalian sphere, Alfred Whitehead (1861-1947), was born unto a prestigious academic family. His father, an Anglican Vicar, was Dean of Chatham – a school Alfred’sgrandfather founded. At Cambridge Whitehead was welcomed into the reactionary vanguard Apostles clique. After a Mathematics career for which he would not have achieved fame, Alfred, age 60, embarked on a new career as a metaphysician. He wrote books merging Einstein and Bergson into a quasi-Pantheistic/quasi-Christian quantum quandary. In Science and the Modern World (1925), A Religion in the Making(1926), and Process and Reality (1929) he assailed the materialist’s view that nature was merely matter in motion. He drew on romantic poets, Wordsworth and Shelley, to invest nature with value. He reconfigured God into a not-quite-omnipotent Demiurge credited for all things good and novel. His idiosyncratically worded “philosophy of organicism” was a hard sell during his life but after his death served as the base for Process Theology – a school countering dualism and anthropocentrism and re-working biblical themes for ecological purposes. (103)

Whitehead used his mathematics jargon and references to Einstein to argue there was no specific location for anything and that matter was ephemeral. Quantum physics exists sometimes as earnest minds wrestling with enigmatic elements and sometimes as devious obscurantists sabotaging the practical, mechanical universe. Quantum pioneer, Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) won a Nobel Prize for sensible (and rather Newtonian) work on electron exclusion. However Pauli’s second career consisted of collaborations with fascist ideologist Carl Jung in writings emphasizing the subjectivity and irrationality of the universe. In 1952 Pauli claimed his work revived “anima mundi” (soul in the world) theology, which he complained was driven underground by the Enlightenment. (104)

A watershed in Eco-Christianity in the English-speaking world was the 1967 publication of Lynn White’s “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis” by Science magazine. His “Thesis” reached a wide audience because of the unprecedented media attention given to what was, after all, an attack on Christianity. White (1907-1987) received a Ph. D. (Hist.) from Harvard in 1938 and lectured at Princeton, Stanford, and UCLA before retiring in 1974. His opus was Medieval Technology and Social Change (1962). (105) White believed, even operating below the level of conscious expression, religions shaped societies. He argued: “what people do about their ecology depends on what they think about themselves in relation to things around them. Human ecology is deeply conditioned by beliefs about our nature and destiny – that is, by religion.” (106) Deep-seated Christian values made technological progress appear virtuous. In Genesis, God gave humans “dominion over the Earth”. Christians, viewing matter as inert, erased pagan animism. White argued Western monks’ active participation in agriculture led them to support the development of agricultural, and other forms of technology. Monastery clocks and organs were medieval mechanical masterpieces and, according to White, the beginnings of Western technological domination. He pointed to medieval paintings of biblical stories adorned with medieval technological advances. (107) Because Christianity’s desacralization of wilderness and promotion of technology caused the “environmental crisis,” the solution was a new Christianity – less anthropocentric and without the duality of a God apart from nature. (108) White jarred theologians from their dogmatic slumbers, compelling them to explore relationships between Christianity and Nature. This benefitted Theology by giving it relevance. Theologians while opposing White used his thesis to reinforce their views that religions mattered and that environmentalism was a religion. They leapt upon his assertion religion was the solution to the crisis and were titillated at his idea St. Francis be made patron saint of ecologists. White’s thesis shaped a generation of theologians and remains a discursive touchstone. (109)

Forgotten by theologians and environmentalists was White was an historian. His thesis is a history paper and it is bunk: Medieval theologians discussed Genesis in regard to God’s covenant and gender relations, never in regard to the technological domination of nature. Monastic orders, by the 1200s, did not perform farm work; they had serfs for that. Many non-Western and pre-Christian economies caused “environmental damage”. Greco-Roman writings supporting the domination of nature pre-date Christianity. In the Middle Ages, Christianity permeated culture, so art linking technology to Christianity is irrelevant because medieval art linked Christianity to everything. (110)

In 1971, with White’s Thesis ringing in their ears, Teilhardians and Whiteheadians rushed up the steps of New York’s Riverside Cathedral. The ATA’s “Hope and the Future of Man” conference discussed technology, extinction, and the transformation of Christianity along lines recommended by their mentors. 2,500 theologians and clerics attended. The German Government picked up the tab. (111)

Catholic Priest Thomas Berry lectured the Riverside conference on extinction. He would assume the Presidency of the ATA when Ewert Cousins moved over to the Temple of Understanding. Berry (b. 1914), a self-described “Geologian,” wrote his Ph. D. thesis at Catholic University (1951) on counter-enlightenment maestro Giambattista Vico’s philosophy of history. Berry taught Asian Studies from 1966 to 1979 at Fordham U where he founded the Ph. D. program in Religious History. His first book, Buddhism (1966), was followed by Religions of India (1971). In addition to Vico, Berry’s mentors were Jung, Eliade and, of course, Teilhard from whom he inherited the psychic drama of an unfolding universe with matter as a numinous protagonist possessing a spirit – a conscious interiority. Berry’s hit, The Universe Story (1992), was a re-working of ideas he published earlier in The New Story while an ATS director; ideas that came to him as he “pondered the magnitude of the social, political, economic and ecological problems facing the human community.” To Berry humanity was “between stories”, needing new myths to form “the basis of a more comprehensive ecological and social ethics...a new ecological orientation suggest(ing) that humans are a subset of the Earth, not dominant controllers.” Among devoted Berryites are Rainforest Action Network founder J. Seed and science populariser E.O. Wilson. Colleges were inspired by Berry as was the journal Earthlight. Reverend Morton was so moved by Berry he made him a Canon of the Cathedral of St. John. The 1986 Assisi Conference was partially inspired by Berry and prose snit-bits of his are in their Declaration. The Universe Story, considered “the most influential religious consecration of the scientific narrative,” is the basis of the Council of All Beings ritual and has engendered an “epic of evolution” genre. Berry was a team effort. Mary Tucker assembled, proofed, and pitched Berry’s essays. Her efforts bore fruit in 1988 when The Dream of the Earth sold 70,000 copies. She is the understudy of John Grim, the current and long-serving ATS President. Tucker was his VP. Grim and Tucker were instrumental in promoting The Universe Story (co-written by Brianne Swimme, Father Berry was getting on in years). (112)

Grim and Tucker were key players in the American Academy of Religion’s (AAR) Religion and Ecology Group and helped develop its Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion journal. They did not start the Group however – Professors D. Barnhill and E. Bianchi proposed a religion/ecology “consultation” to the AAR in 1989. This “consultation” was quickly joined by Process theologian J. McDaniel and Buddhist scholar (and deep ecologist) S. Kaza – both promoters of ecologically friendly religion. This faction of AAR R & E scholars, being partial to environmental ethics/deep ecology, seeks to revitalize “environmentally benign” indigenous and pagan religions. A rival tendency endorses innovations such as Universe Story or Eco-feminism as correctives to anthropocentrism. Yet another faction “mines” the Bible for deposits of ecological wisdom. (113)

The biggest obstacle confronting the “mining” faction is Genesis wherein God creates humans separately from the animals, in the image of himself, and orders them to subdue Earth and multiply their population. To counter this non-ecological message, AAR’s Eco-Christians highlight God’s observation that creation was good before humans appeared; thus Nature has value beyond utility to humans. They re-interpret God’s command to Adam as to “dress and keep” Eden; hence, humans are Earth’s “stewards, not conquerors. (114) Similar solutions are sought by others (outside AAR) involved in the biblical “mining” project. Australia’s “Earth Bible” group publishes books through Sheffield Press (UK) and Pilgrim Press (USA). Starting in the 1990s they read scripture “from the perspective of the Earth” so “the suppressed voice of the Earth and the Earth community can be heard.” They approached the Bible “with the suspicion that it is probably anthropocentric rather than Earth friendly.” Suspicions were confirmed when they found that when God punished people, Nature suffered unfairly. Their books expose the negative role such passages play and balance them with alternative interpretations. (115)

Some in the AAR complain the Religion and Ecology Group are missionaries, not scholars. (116) Typical of Ecologists, the R & E Group openly declare themselves in favour of the “ecological reformation”. They are “united in sharing a concern for ecological integrity and a commitment to reinterpreting Christian symbols in ways that enhance that integrity.” (117) They unashamedly speak in apocalyptic terms regarding the planet’s future. Grim and Tucker’s forward to Religions of the World and Ecology begins: “the earth is amidst an environmental crisis that threatens the very existence of all life-forms on the planet...if current trends continue, we will not.” (118) Even Bron Taylor, a sympathizer, notes the series is grounded on apocalyptic faith, not empirical science. Taylor apologizes for such “engaged scholarship, writing: “apocalyptic framing is understandable for soberly presented ecological prognostications are certainly frightening enough to warrant such fears.” (119)

Grim and Tucker’s history of the Ecology-Religion engagement asserts the phenomenon is “largely situated in academic settings in the West.” The wedding occurred in the 1960s when “a period of intense self-reflection in the West” happened alongside a “growing critique of the unintended ecological and social consequences of globalization.” The marriage was made possible by changes in the teaching of religion at universities. Appreciation of cultural diversity amidst post-war affluence led to academic curiosity about religion but this was blocked by the monopoly on religious instruction held by churches. Religious studies were confined to seminaries; however, sociologists and anthropologists were exploring the topic and comparative religion texts were circulating. In the US it took legal victories to permit the establishment of Religious Studies faculties. The partner, academic Ecology, dates to 19th century Europe, crossing the Atlantic in 1915 with the founding of the Ecological Society of America (The Nature Conservancy after 1951). Ecology was, and is, an academic discipline and a campaign for restricting industrialization. Early spawn of the eco-religious marriage are Cobb’s Christian Natural Theology (1965), a variation on Whitehead’s theology, and Soper’s Geography of Religions (1967) which examines interaction between religion and landscape. More influential was Rappaport’s Pigs for the Ancestors (1969) which introduced the myth that indigenous peoples have environmental ethics coded in their rituals. Then, in pace with environmentalism’s expansion, the eco-religious field exploded such that in 1972, when deep ecology founder Arne Naess began jetting the globe preaching his “influential corrective to anthropocentricism and the objectification of nature”, Kaufman was releasing his seminal A Problem for Theology: The Concept of Nature and Cobb was pitching the classic thriller Is it Too Late? A Theology of Ecology. In the later 1970s Environmental Studies departments and ecological sub-disciplines like Evolutionary Ecology proliferated in Western universities. These were followed by Conservation Biology departments (a name betraying politicization of science) and by Environmental Ethics sub-departments in Philosophy faculties. This process accelerated in the 1980s as inter-disciplinary researchers grafted Ecology onto traditional branches of study. Ecology’s imposition occurred against a backdrop of “environmental crisis” hysteria generated by media outlets and state agencies. In the 1990s came “environmental literature,” “environmental history”, and “environmental economics”. Religious Studies birthed “world religions and ecology” and “eco-theology”. Religious Studies profs investigated nature religions and alternative environmental movements. The first edition of The Encyclopedia of Religion (1987, Eliade’s edition) had one entry on Ecology. The 2005 edition contains several essays on point and an overview – by Grim and Tucker. (120) Presently in academia:
Studies of place-based conservation and biodiversity are being integrated with an understanding of religious ecology and sacred place. The mutual relevance of land, life, value, and sustainability are all included in the network of inquiry identified with the intersection of religion and ecology.”  (121)

Grim and Tucker’s top picks are: Cobb’s For the Common Good (1989) (co-written with economist H. Daly) for exposing the harm growth-orientated economies inflict on culture; Kaufman’s In Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology (1993) for providing a “a new bio-historical understanding of humans embedded in complex processes of serendipitous creativity”; and, of course, Berry’s swansong The Great Work (1999). Taylor’s Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (2005) is also praised. (122) (Taylor now runs Religion and Ecology Studies at Florida U.) (123)

Like their favourite authors, GrimandTucker believe the environmental crisis is caused by defective religions. They pine: “we no longer know who we are as earthlings; we no longer see the earth as sacred”. (124) Such is the prevailing mindset within this milieu:
“Many critics have cited Western anthropocentrism in both its philosophical and religious expressions as an obstacle to a more comprehensive environmental ethics...anthropocentrism, in combination with the objectification of nature fostered by the scientific method of observation, has resulted in the economic exploitation of nature and consumption of its resources with little sense of restraint or limits.” (125)

Cobb, 40 years an Eco-Christian soldier, makes no secret of his bias. He bemoans how “secular modernity” has “rigidified inherited anthropocentrism.” He denounces: “Protestant thinkers” for whom “God seems to be an embarrassment”. Such religious failings “endanger the future of life on the planet.” Hence: “Unless the goal of mastery is checked by other attitudes toward the natural world, the human venture, now led by the West, is likely to end in catastrophe.” (126)
Eco-religious pioneer and Leopold protégé J. Callicott claims: “The environmental crisis....requires a revolution in our most basic beliefs and values – beliefs about the nature of nature, human nature, and the proper relationship between the two. That is a job not for scientists and engineers but for philosophers, theologians and historians of religion”. He lauds “apologists” who through a “fuller and subtler reading” of the Bible “succeeded in developing a powerful Judeo-Christian stewardship environmental ethic.” Callicott tramped the world pursuing religious examples of Leopoldian land ethics. He “filled in” Leopold’s ethical outline giving it a “fuller philosophical pedigree and expression.” Callicott takes issue with environmentalists who consider Leopold a fascist. To Callicott, Leopold silently assumed the “land ethic” was an “accretion” onto Western traditions, not a replacement. Leopold wanted the state to halt wilderness development; tightly restrict private landowner’s rights, and impose totalitarian Pantheism upon the masses. (127)

Grim and Tucker are at Yale now. They still run the well-funded Forum on Religion and Ecology: “the largest international and interreligious forum of its kind”. FORE’s “primary goal is the establishment of religion and ecology as an academic area of study and research in universities.” A secondary goal is to “encourage the exploration of environmental ethics within and among world religions.” (128)

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Freddy Krueger and other Monsters

Fred Krueger (b. 1943) began his mission as a “brother” in the Holy Order of MANS. (129) HOOM was the brainchild of “Father Paul” (a.k.a. “Dr.” Earl Brighton) who earlier founded the Science of Man cult in San Jose before being busted for practicing medicine sans a licence. HOOM began in San Francisco, 1968, when Father Paul and crew donned the garments and titles of Franciscan monks although they were in no way affiliated with that Order. Father Paul, a Rosicrucian, tossed a Theosophical salad of astrology, tarot, and Christ-consciousness. (“MANS” is an acronym of Greek words for mystery, love, god, and wisdom.) HOOM celebrated solstices and full moons amidst a Christian symbolic collage. They emphasized “discipleship” through communal living and initiatory rituals. HOOM continued to prosper after Father Paul’s ascension; by 1979 there were 1,000 disciples and 46 communes across America. HOOM owned the successful Brother Juniper restaurant chain. They bought houses in ghettos and ran homeless shelters. HOOM came under hostile scrutiny after the Jonestown massacre (1978) because HOOM had the same method of operation as Jim Jones – trawling California’s sidewalks for the desperate and disoriented, subjecting them to “mind control”, and putting them out as labourers or missionaries. The late 1970s anti-cult mood caused HOOM execs (Krueger and Rossi) to hide their Theosophy behind a mainstream Christian mask. As part of the remake, Rossi wrote ”The Eleventh Commandment: Toward an Ethic of Ecology” for a 1979 issue of HOOM’s Epiphany magazine. The article, a rip-off of Lowdermilk, extolled the spiritually-informed ecological lifestyle and blamed American consumerism for desecrating Earth’s bio-system. Rossi’s 11th Commandment was: “The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: Thou shall not despoil the earth, nor destroy the life thereon.” (130) The article launched the Eleventh Commandment Fellowship, which played a major role in building a corps of environmental activists inside American Christianity. ECF deployed a sophisticated ecumenical action plan to “educate” Christians about the “ecological crisis”. Utilizing HOOM’s infrastructure, ECF set up organic community gardens, food co-ops and public education groups across the continent. Their most consequential project, the North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology (NACCE), attracted support from the Au Sable Institute, Catholic Rural Life Conference, and the National Council of Churches. When discord broke out in NACCE over the inclusion of Pagans and secular ecologists, ECF, with the zeal of midnight converts, fought to banish non-Christians. When the incense cleared, Catholic Priest Al Fritsch and Krueger were atop NACCE. Krueger was executive director. (131)

NACCE’s 1987 convention was a monster.  Held at a Methodist camp in Indiana, it drew over 500 reps from 63 Christian organizations. The assembled resolved to form a body to “help Christians become ecologists”. Tensions persisted between interfaith, cosmological Berry types and a conservative biblically-orientated faction. The conservatives, led by Krueger, accused their rivals of Paganism. Epiphany ran articles denouncing Berry’s “beyond Christianity” theology and calling Berry’s man-in-NACCE, Matthew Fox, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. (132)

NACCE’s 1989 divorce was not amicable. There were threats of lawsuits and allegations of gentlemen opening other gentlemen’s mail. The Berryites left NACCE to form the North American Conference on Religion and Ecology (NACRE) and embark on an inter-faith path. NACRE scooped a NACCE WWF grant to organize 1990 Earth Day celebrations, using it to host an event at Washington’s Episcopal National Cathedral. Big Green organizations, following WWF’s lead, favoured NACRE over NACCE. (133) Flush with funds, NACRE unveiled its “eco3solution” program – ecologists, economists, and ecumenists. They partnered with PBS, producing a study guide accompanying PBS’s Race to Save the Planet TV series. In a climate change educational partnership with the EPA, their Solar Stewardship Initiative reached 340,000 organizations. NACRE took up anti-GMO activism, Earth Charter promotion, and animal rights advocacy. NACRE is a partner in “Earth-voice”; a division of the US Humane Society. (134)
Krueger and the HOOM/ECF chameleons slithered into Orthodox robes as the Christ the Saviour Brotherhood (CSB). (135) Pangriotis Vrionis, Bishop of a New York Greek Orthodox diocese, accepted CSB as a non-canonical order while Bishop Podmoshensky of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia bonded with “former” HOOMies on the west coast. Bishop Vrionis after multiple convictions for child molestation ran a day-care in his New York church complex where he was again found guilty of committing child sexual abuse. The scandal led Church authorities to question whether he was a legitimate Bishop. Vrionis fired back that he was ordained by the personal confessor to the Royal Family of Romania (Hohenzollern). He remains active in the church. (136) Bishop Podmoshensky, also accused of gross abuses, was ostracised by Russian Orthodox clerics but, as owner of his church buildings, he ignored them. CSB allies within Orthodoxy seem untouchable. (137) Several Orthodox Churches are run by “former” HOOMies and HOOM owns many properties, acquired during the 1970s, in neighbourhoods that underwent gentrification. Their future is bright because as veteran Theosophy/Ecology/Pantheist preachers they are well-versed in the hymns Patriarch Bartholomew is chanting. (138)

Krueger abandoned NACCE when the funding dried up. (139) NACCE withered. In 1991 its Firmament magazine was replaced by the humble Earth-keeping News newsletter. Au Sable’s DeWitt was one of a few Eco-Christian big-shots to stay with NACCE; however, W. Granberg-Michaelson also used the remains. A World Council of Churches’ cling-on, Granberg-Michaleson is founder of the New Creation Institute and author of eco-theology tomes. He used NACCE to secure a seat at the Rio Summit and was with NACCE when they hosted workshops at the 1993 World Parliament of Religions. NACCE sponsored conferences, established “earth-keeping circles”, and morphed into a mainstream Eco-Christian group far from its bizarro roots. Earth-keeping News mirrors NACRE’s Caring for Creation. The reincarnated “NACCE” now stands for “Network Alliance of Congregations Caring for the Earth”; however, there is also rival NACCE: the “National Associations of Congregations Caring for the Earth.”(140) Both NACCEs and NACRE are of much diminished influence.

After NACCE Krueger joined “Christian Society of the Green Cross” and edited Green Cross Quarterly, but when they joined Evangelical Environmental Network he split to found “Opening the Book of Nature”. OBN puts on ten-day backpacking trips to “turn Christians into Ecologists”. In 1998 OBN sprouted an activist branch: the Religious Campaign for Forest Conservation (RCFC) with an office in Santa Rosa, CA and a steering committee of execs from: Christians Caring for Creation, Religion Environment and Economics Project, Franciscan Environmental Network, Department of Earth Literacy of St. Mary’s College, and Larand International. RCFC advocates “right relationships, and “correct dominion” over “the interconnectedness and interrelatedness” of Nature. RCFC argues the financial focus of post-Enlightenment Western society degrades forests and deadens spiritual sensitivity. Believing logging is “unravelling the integrity of forest systems” they want it banned on public lands and limited to “sustainable forestry” methods on private lands. RCFC successfully lobbied Congress and the Departments of Agriculture and Interior. They have worked with the Wilderness Society and the World Bank. They even secured a World Bank loan for a Mexican reforestation project. (141) Krueger publishes anthologies of eco-statements by John Paul and Bartholomew, etc. He calls early conservationist John Muir “a prophet of God”. Krueger’s message resonates with a range of greens from “tree-hugging Jesus freaks, evangelicals and Pentecostals, to urban Episcopalian psychiatrists.” (142)

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Assessments and Strategies

Insiders are divided as to the ecological reformation’s success. Prince Philip seems amused but contrasts gains in the East with less impressive results in the West where Eco-Christology is often viewed as “paganism”. (143) This is a perennial problem for Eco-Christians. One scholar-crusader acknowledges the paganist label is an obstacle but claims “this criticism has faded as the greening of theology has become more mainstream.” (144) On the other hand, Professor Nash (Boston U, Theology) complains “many theologically and politically conservative Christians view environmental causes as anti-Christian.” Regarding the reformation’s success, Nash asserts: “Ecological reformers are not a majority and their movement is not a dominant one in Christian settings.” However, in the same breath Nash argues “the ecological reformation is firmly established in contemporary Christianity” and “reformers have exercised an influence disproportionate to their numbers.” (145) According to Cobb, “since the 1970s, Christians have scrambled, somewhat successfully, to contribute to the ecological worldview.” Cobb thinks: “in relation to where the church was in the 1960s, the change appears remarkable and profoundly hopeful.” He hopes that just as Christianity freed itself from “deeply entrenched teachings” about “the denigration of sexuality” it can overcome similar misbehaviour with “positive affirmations of the natural world”. Cobb is buoyed by the “new vitality” Orthodoxy enjoys since embracing Ecology and praises Bartholomew’s “leadership in the Christian world in bringing the church’s thought to bear on ecological issues.” Orthodoxy was uncorrupted by the Enlightenment. (146) Less optimistic is Professor Womersley (Maryland U) who argues that whereas winning over Christian churches “would be a considerable addition to a secular environmental movement,” as of 2004 “there is little evidence to suggest that this recruitment has or will take place.” Womersley elaborates:
“While the thousands of ‘green’ congregations and associated environmental groups now in existence certainly denote successful organizing within the churches, environmental thinking has not become a way of life for those congregation members not directly involved, and it is certainly not a major factor in voting behaviour for the great majority of American Christians...” (147)

Womersly’s views are shared by many who support Eco-Christianity but are sceptical it can reform Christianity to the point where Ecology is the Church’s dominant message. (148) Success depends on strategy. Womersley’s strategy is keyed to Eco-Christianity delivering votes in elections. Hoping for a replay of the Civil Rights and anti-nuke movements, he calls for a three-step process: public awareness is heightened by direct action, then clergy revises the morality of mainstream parishioners, then politicians embrace movement goals without fear of losing votes. (149) However the prevailing strategy, reflecting an academic orientation, advocates “comprehensive theory building”. A leading proponent of this strategy, H. Kung, believes the “transformation of consciousness” is unlikely within the span of a lifetime. Others, like B. Norton, advocate an action-orientated strategy where Eco-Christians fling themselves into opposition to bad development (hydro-dams, the example given), sorting out messy ethical issues on the fly. Callicott believes these strategies can be complementary. (150)

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Eco-Christology is not the central belief system of the environmental movement. Central movement myths are: industrial pollution is destroying the Earth; the wilderness can withstand no more human incursion; there are too many people; technology is out of control; there is an ecological crisis, etc. The environmental movement is not merely trying to get preachers to embrace these myths. They want preachers, teachers, professors, journalists, editors, baristas, barbers, and bartenders to embrace these myths. Environmentalism is a centuries-old arch-conservative social movement which gave itself a makeover in the 1960s. Planting the new eco-green-enviro frames into the minds of Christians is one part of a multi-faceted cultural revolution. It has been largely successful. Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism equal 80% of Christianity. These Churches, from the Bishops up, are co-opted.

Continental Western Europe’s Christians are Catholic or Lutheran. Lutheranism has been the religion of German princes for 483 years. Catholicism has been an instrument of the Mediterranean aristocracy for much longer. These Churches officially and overwhelmingly supported Fascism/Nazism. There was no purge of these Churches after WWII. Pius XII kept his job until he died in 1958. With the advent of the Cold War, the Allies allied with these Churches. Fascism was, and environmentalism is, a political expression of the landed upper classes of continental Western Europe. When the aristocracy embraces an ideology, so too does the clergy. The padre and the landlord hand-in-hand always do they go...

In America the trail leads to the office towers of the North-Eastern philanthropic foundations and the oligarchic dynasties whose bidding they do. The Pews, Dukes, Mellons, Motts, Kennedys, Fords, Pells, MacArthurs, and Rockefellers et al. have poured billions into the environmental movement for decades. They have poured billions into religion, primarily US protestant churches, for a longer period. They exert a profound influence on US Christianity. They control US environmentalism. In Eco-Christology the two initiatives overlap. As allies of Europe’s landed classes, and as a community materially affixed to properties situated in the metropoli of the North-East, this constituency is naturally and religiously opposed to the opening of the west, to the hydrocarbon industry, to the large dam industry, etc. They resist free enterprise and public enterprise. They hold progress and democracy in contempt.

“Ecological reformation” is a misnomer. Puritans never called themselves “puritans” nor were they the priggish party poopers they have been made out to be. “Puritan” was an insult hurled by the aristocracy. Puritans’ religious self-description was “Presbyterian.” They were the representatives, the presbyters (elders), of parishes at the forefront of a democracy movement within English Christendom locked in mortal struggle with old guard “Episcopalians” (Epistle = Bishop). The presbyters were pro-Reformation. The space opened by the Presbyterian-Parliamentary side of the English Civil War made possible the best features of modernity – industrialization, urbanization, secularization, and republicanisation. This progress required rolling back the power of the Crown, the landed oligarchy and their Bishops. Eco-Christology is a counter-Reformation; it is a restoration led by Bishops of a theology tailored to the interests of an arch-conservative landed upper class.


Beversluis, Joel (ed.); A Sourcebook for Earth’s Community of Religions, Co-Nexus Press, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1995
Borchert, Donald (ed.); Encyclopedia of Philosophy; Thomson Gale; Farmington Hills, MI, 2006
Catholic University of America; New Catholic Encyclopedia; Gale Group Inc, Farmington Hills, MI, 2003
Eblen, Ruth (ed.); Encyclopedia of the Environment; Houghton, Mifflin; New York, 1994
Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th edition); Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc.; Chicago, 2003
Europa World Book 2008; Routledge; London; 2008
Jones, Lindsay (ed.); Encyclopedia of Religion; Thomson Gale, Farmington Hills, MI, 2005
Joyce, Alan (ed.); World Almanac 2008, World Almanac Books, New York, 2008
Kelly, J; Oxford Dictionary of Popes; Oxford University Press; Oxford, 2005 
Lindner, Eileen (ed.); Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2008, Abingdon Press, 2008
Taylor, Bron (ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature; Thoemmes Continuum; Bristol, England; 2005
US Census Bureau; Statistical Abstract of the US: 2008, 127th edition, Washington DC
Ward, Inna (ed.); Whitaker’s Almanack 2008, A & C Black, London, 2007    

Website Bibliography


    1. Taylor, Bron (ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature; Thoemmes Continuum; Bristol, England; 2005; p 372
    2. Religious stats are averages drawn from: Joyce, Alan (ed.); World Almanac 2008, World Almanac Books, New York, 2008; Lindner, Eileen (ed.); Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2008, Abingdon Press, 2008; US Census Bureau; Statistical Abstract of the US: 2008, 127th edition, Washington DC; Ward, Inna (ed.); Whitaker’s Almanack 2008, A & C Black, London, 2007
    3. Ibid
    4. Ibid plus
    5. Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2008, Abingdon Press, 2008; p 14
    7. Taylor, p 848-9
    8. and
    13. Ward, p 471 and
    15. Jones, Lindsay (ed.); Encyclopedia of Religion; Thomson Gale, Farmington Hills, MI, 2005, pages 2604-16 and 2647-50; & Taylor, p 1551-2
    16. Taylor, p 588-9
    17. Ibid p 1735-6
    18. Ibid p 848-9
    19. Ibid p 274
    20. Taylor, p 1612 & Lindsay p 2604-16
    21. Taylor, p 1756 & Lindsay p 2604-16
    22. Taylor, p 1612 & Lindsay p 2604-16
    23. Taylor, pages 1193, and 328-32; and Kelly, J; Oxford Dictionary of Popes; Oxford University Press; Oxford, 2005, p 326-9
    24. Taylor, p 129
    25. Ibid, p 1152
    26. Ibid, p 393
    27. C. Nobel is the current elder patriarch of the Nobel dynasty (of Nobel Prize fame). He is quite a philanthropist in his own right and a rather wacky environmentalist.
    29. Taylor, p 526 & Lindsay p 2604-16; and Eblen, Ruth (ed.); Encyclopedia of the Environment, Houghton, Mifflin, New York, 1994, p 603-6
    32. see also   
    33. Lindsay, p 2604-16; and Eblen, p 603-6
    34. Taylor, p 1193 and 1770 &
    35. Taylor, p 158
    36. Eblen, p 603-6
    37. Taylor, p 331
    38. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    39. Eblen, p 603-6
    40. Ibid, p 603-6; see also Beversluis, Joel (ed.), A Sourcebook for Earth’s Community of Religions, Co-Nexus Press, Grand Rapids Michigan, 1995, p 279
    41. Eblen, p 603-6; and Lindsay, p 2604-16
    42. Taylor, p 1373-9
    43. Ibid, p 1158
    44. For Lindisfarne Assoc. see
    45. Taylor, p 624
    46. Taylor, p 274 & Eblen p 603-6
    47. Beversluis, p 217
    48. Taylor, p 158
    49. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    50. Taylor, p 1765-6
    51. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    53. Eblen, p 603-6
    54. Ibid, p 603-6
    55. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    56. Taylor, p 393
    57. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    58. Taylor, p 1263
    59. Ibid, p 516
    60. Ibid, p 274
    61. Ibid, p 1193 & MOA International is a for-profit Japanese-based organic food, holistic healing, and educational conglomerate.
    62. Ibid, p 1770-1 and
    63. Ibid, p 34
    64. Ibid, p 1770-1
    65. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    66. Taylor, p 625
    67. Taylor, p 1373; and Lindsay, p 2604-16
    68. Taylor, p 158
    69. Ibid, p 1263
    70. Ibid, p 516
    71. Ibid, p 1770-1 and 34 &
    72. Lindsay, p 2604-16; and Taylor, p 129
    73. Taylor, p 158
    74. Ibid, p 158
    75. Ibid p 1263 and 1770-1; and Lindsay, p 2604-16
    78. and
    79. Europa World Book 2008, Routledge; London, 2008, p 393; and
    81. Taylor, p 1152
    82. Ibid, p 608
    83. Ibid, p 666; and
    84. Ibid, p 129; and
    85. Ibid, p 1621; and
    86. Ibid, p 530
    87. Ibid, p 524
    88. Ibid, p 726
    89. Ibid, p 399
    90. Beverlius, p 217; and Eblen, p 603-6
    91. and and
    92. Taylor, p 372
    93. Lindsay, p 2647-50
    94. Ibid, p 2604-16
    95. Lindsay, p 2654-7 and 2604-16; and Taylor, p 1373-9
    96. and
    97. Ibid and see also
    98. Ibid
    99. Borchert, Donald (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Thomson Gale; Farmington Hills, MI, 2006, Volume 9, p 374; and Lindsay, p 9032-4
    100. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences was originally the “Academy of the Lynx”, and was founded by Galileo’s tormentors in 1603 and now consists of 80 scientists under the direct supervision of the Pope. Recently they have been directed to focus on the “environmental responsibilities of the scientific community.”
    101. Taylor, p 612-5
    102. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    103. Lindsay, p 2647 and 9727; Borchert, p 746-54, Encyclopaedia Britannica (15th edition), Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., Chicago, 2003, Volume 12, p 635-6
    104. Encyclopaedia Britannica re: Wolfgang Pauli; Taylor, p 1264-5 & Lindsay 7138
    105. Taylor, p 1735-6 and 1373-9
    106. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    107. Taylor, p 1735-6
    108. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    109. Taylor, p 1735-6 and 1373-9
    110. Ibid, p 1735-6
    112. Lindsay, p 2604-16; Taylor 164 and 1373
    113. Taylor, p 372 and 1373
    114. Lindsay, p 2647-50 and 2654-7
    115. Taylor, p 515
    116. Ibid, p 1373-9
    117. Ibid, p 372
    118. Ibid, p 1373-9
    119. Ibid, p 1373-9
    120. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    121. Ibid, p 2604-16
    122. Ibid, p 2604-16
    123. Taylor, p 1373-9
    124. Ibid, p 1377
    125. Lindsay, p 2604-16
    126. Lindsay, p 2647-50
    127. Taylor, p 1373-9; Lindsay p 2654-7
    128. Taylor, p 1373-9 &
    129. and www.orthodoxwiki.Holy_Order_of_MANS and
    130. Taylor, p 588-9 and 972
    131. Ibid, p 588-9 and 972
    132. Ibid, 1212-4 and 588
    133. Ibid, 1212-4
    134. Ibid, 1212-4
    135. Ibid, 588-9
    137. and www.orthodoxwiki.Holy_Order_of_MANS and
    138. Taylor, p 588 and 972 and and www.orthodoxwiki.Holy_Order_of_MANS and
    139. Ibid, p 588-9
    141. Taylor, p 1365
    142. Taylor, p 972
    144. Taylor, p 274
    145. Taylor, p 372
    146. Lindsay, p 2647-50
    147. Taylor, p 1158
    148. Ibid, p 372
    149. Ibid, p 1158
    150. Lindsay, p 2654-7



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Gasman's The Scientific Origins of National Socialism

Darwall's The Age of Global Warming

Musser's Nazi Oaks

Biehl and Staudenmaier's Ecofascism Revisited

Nickson's Eco-fascists

Gasman's Haeckel's Monism and the Birth of Fascist Ideology

Delingpole's Watermelons

Dowie's Conservation Refugees

Macdonald's Green Inc.

Laframboise and McKitrick on the IPCC

Markham's "Environmental Organizations in Modern Germany"

Petropoulos' Royals and the Reich

Plimer's Heaven and Earth: Global Warming the Missing Science

Dominick's German Environmental Movement 1871 to 1971

Jacoby's Hidden History of American Conservation

Cahill's Who Owns The World

The Persistent Profundity of Professor Mayer

Fascism 101 (Oxford Handbook)

The Nazi-Enviro Connection: Uekoetter's "Green and Brown"

US "Environmentalism" in the 1930s (Review of Phillips' "This Land, This Nation")

Gibson's Environmentalism

"The Deniers" Condensed
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Review of Moore's Social Origins of Dictatorship

Review of Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature

Review of The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements

Bramwell's trilogy on The Hidden History of Environmentalism

Review of Degregori's Agriculture and Modern Technology

Review of Nichols Fox's Against the Machine

Review of Brian Masters' The Dukes

Review of Joel Bakan's The Corporation

Review of Michael Crichton's State of Fear

Review of Paul Driessen's Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death

Review of Janet Beihl's Finding Our Way

Review of Bradley's Climate Alarmism Reconsidered

Review of Pennington's Liberating the Land

Precedents for the "Global Warming" campaign: A review of Richard Grove's Green Imperialism
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