On April 22, people around the world celebrated Earth Day—or, as the United Nations rebranded it, “International Mother Earth Day.” Yet rather than focus on real solutions to real environmental problems like acid rain, soil degradation, urban sprawl and ozone layer depletion, UN officials sought to tie the covid-19 pandemic to man-made climate change by taking a page from the playbook of ancient Greek pagans.
“Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action,” said UN Secretary General António Guterres. “Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records and the worst locust invasion in Kenya. Now we face covid-19, a worldwide health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem.” This is a strange statement. One theory of the outbreak’s origin in Wuhan, China, is that a coronavirus passed from bats to humans. But the Chinese have eaten bats since ancient times. Habitat degradation has nothing to do with this practice. Yet a number of environmentalists have embraced the notion that covid-19 is “Mother Nature’s” revenge.
On March 18, climatologist Michael Mann asked whether pandemics were Gaia’s immune system fighting back, and shared a link to a Guardian article on Twitter attempting to connect coronavirus to habitat loss.
Yes, a so-called scientist is linking a pandemic to the immune system of the pagan Greek earth goddess Gaia, and people are taking it seriously. There is a growing trend among radical environmentalists to describe Earth as a sentient being. They link every natural disaster (whether there is a scientific link or not) to this being’s immune system. Now they link covid-19 to urbanization and overpopulation.
Last year, the Federalist published an editorial titled “Climate Worship Is Nothing More Than Rebranded Paganism.” It reported that students at Union Theological Seminary in New York were instructed to confess their sins to potted plants as an “expression of worship.” It also reported that 250 people in funeral garb mourned the melting of a glacier in Switzerland. The notion that Gaia is punishing humanity is gaining ground.
nbc News even has a website where people can confess ecological sins like blasting the air conditioning, throwing away half their lunch, and grilling a steak every weekend.
You might think that religious leaders like Pope Francis would take offense at this budding Gaia worship. Yet even the pope is talking about “Mother Nature’s” revenge. “There is an expression in Spanish: ‘God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives,’” he said in an interview published in the Tablet. “We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods? I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses.” Is the pope really suggesting that if people emitted less carbon dioxide, then bushfires would stop, glaciers would spread, and coronavirus would go away?
British journalist Melanie Phillips wrote an April 10 editorial titled “Is the Pope a Pagan?” She noted, “In the Bible, the ultimate moral authority is God who dispenses justice, both forgiveness and punishment. The pope absolves Him of the punishment element, which he ascribes instead to the Earth, depicted as a female victim taking her revenge upon humanity for the harm it has done her. Thus the pope selectively edits the Bible’s moral teachings, strips justice itself of meaning, and invests the Earth with both human and divine qualities.”
Many people are coming to view natural disasters as punishment for sin, but they mock the notion that this punishment is coming from the God of the Bible. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, droughts, wildfires and disease pandemics are not part of Gaia’s immune system. They are punishments sent by the God of the Bible to wake people up to the fact that they have turned away from Him and His laws, which reveal the right way to live, interact, care for the environment, and succeed in every aspect of human existence.
Several chapters in the book of Job cover God’s explanations of how He controls the Earth’s climate. The systems He created and uses are beyond human comprehension. “God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things that we cannot comprehend. For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ likewise to the downpour …. By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. Whether for correction or for his land or for love, he causes it to happen” (Job 37:5-6, 10-13; English Standard Version).
This passage explicitly states that God commands the weather to work His purposes, whether to correct human beings or to show mercy to them. Rather than confessing to nbc News for eating steak, people should pray to the actual one, true Creator God to forgive them for attitudes of greed and selfishness and help them turn to a way of life that produces actual respect for God’s law and God’s creation!