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Orson Scott Card: Obama's Real Religion [Environmentalism] ^ | May 25, 2008 | Orson Scott Card

Posted on 06/04/2008 4:52:05 AM PDT by Tolik

In all the flap about Obama's reckless comments about Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela not posing a threat to the U.S. because they're small and spend less on their military than we do, one statement he made has gone virtually unnoticed.

Yes, it's important to realize that we have a presidential candidate who actually believes that the Soviet Union once told the U.S. "We're going to wipe you off the planet" (they never did).

Is it as important as Gerald Ford's gaffe when he declared that Poland was a free country -- back when it was under Russian domination? Let's not forget that Gerald Ford lost that election.

And it's disturbing that he seems not to understand that it's Iran's declared willingness to unilaterally initiate nuclear war against a civilian population, for religious reasons, and without regard for retaliation, that makes them a far greater threat than the Soviet Union's vast nuclear power ever was.

But if Obama gets the whole ignorant-of-history-and-world-affairs vote, he'll win by a landslide.

No, what troubles me most is what he said right after that, while campaigning in Oregon: "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."

"That's not leadership," Obama declared. "That's not going to happen."

What's not going to happen? Us continuing to drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes at 72 degrees? Or other nations saying OK?

We already know, from Obama's comments at a private meeting with big-pocket donors in San Francisco, that he's an elitist who sneers at the common people who cling to religion and guns because they're bitter about job losses twenty years ago.

But what this statement reveals is that Obama's real religion has nothing to do with Reverend Wright.

Obama is a true believer in the religion of Environmentalism.

Not the science of the environment. Where that science survives, it provides us with a vital service; and it doesn't take any faith to believe in the findings of genuine scientists doing science properly.

No, I'm speaking of the religion. It's not an organized religion (though the U.N. did organize the great testament of faith in the utterly unproven doctrine of human-caused global warming), but neither was the English Puritanism that it so strongly resembles.

But don't take it from me. Take it from Freeman Dyson.

For those who don't know his work, Dyson is a scientist and a great imaginer of possibilities. Half the science fiction of the past thirty years has been based on ideas that Dyson sprays out casually; but the man doesn't believe his own speculations, he remembers clearly the difference between solid science and "cool idea" conversations.

That's what puritan environmentalists have forgotten.

I've actually met Freeman Dyson, at a conference on science, religion, and science fiction held by the Templeton Foundation in London a few years ago.

There were some extremely bright scientists there. I'm not saying that Freeman Dyson was the smartest person in the room. I'm just saying that as long as he was there, I was definitely not the smartest one.

Yet I found him to be a softspoken, genial man who never pontificated, never even spoke critically of other people's ideas.

So it makes it all the more impressive -- to me at least -- that in a recent review in the New York Review of Books, he wrote the following paragraphs that refer specifically to the Religion of Environmentalism:

"All the books that I have seen about the science and economics of global warming ... miss the main point. The main point is religious rather than scientific.

"There is a worldwide secular religion which we may call environmentalism, holding that we are stewards of the earth, that despoiling the planet with waste products of our luxurious living is a sin, and that the path of righteousness is to live as frugally as possible.

"The ethics of environmentalism are being taught to children in kindergartens, schools, and colleges all over the world.

"Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion. And the ethics of environmentalism are fundamentally sound. Scientists and economists can agree with Buddhist monks and Christian activists that ruthless destruction of natural habitats is evil and careful preservation of birds and butterflies is good.

"The worldwide community of environmentalists -- most of whom are not scientists -- holds the moral high ground, and is guiding human societies toward a hopeful future. Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful.

"Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate.

"Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true.

"Many of the skeptics are passionate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and social injustice.

"Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their arguments on these issues deserve to be heard." (See

These paragraphs were sent to me by a friend who is seen how much heat I've taken for calling Environmentalism a religion and for pointing out that the claims of human-caused global warming are faith-based rather than science-based. He thought -- correctly -- that I would find it vastly reassuring to know that Freeman Dyson agrees with me.

Right down to the point that I am, in fact, a passionate environmentalist -- but one who thinks that it's the science, not the religion, that will lead us to solutions of real problems.

Barack Obama's comments, however, reveal him to be in the religious-faith category. The Environmental Puritans believe that any opposition to their dogmas is heresy, and that anything that doesn't match their vision of how humans should live is a sin.

Since their vision of how humans should live is "without making any difference in how the world would be without humans," we are all, alas, sinners. However, some are more sinful than others, and the United States is the most sinful of all.

No, not China, because the Environmental Puritans, like the rest of the world, expect America to live by a higher standard than other nations. Fair enough -- we claim to be a special nation, and so we should meet a higher standard.

Still, the Environmental Puritans agree with the ayatollahs on this one point: America is the Great Satan. And Obama echoes that view when he refers to our gasoline consumption, our eating, and our air-conditioning and heating as if they were sins for which we are accountable to the rest of the world.

The conservative ex-Republican in me immediately wants to reply sharply that what we drive, eat, and air-condition is the business of no other nation, and I don't want a president who thinks it is.

In fact, though, it is everybody's business how much petroleum we use up, because we're sucking up a huge portion of the world's supply and when it's all gone, we will have used far more than our share.

It's the tone of his remark that I find repulsive. Because the "eating" part is what gives him away.

We have fed the world, through direct sales of our crops, through American-born technologies, and through the Green Revolution in which American scientists have played a disproportionately strong part.

If we overeat (an arguable concept, by the way; America did not invent obesity, even if we're unusually good at it) it's because we respond to plenty according to the biological imperative of the beast. Those who have a genetic disposition to overeat or to pack on pounds are, in fact, behaving exactly according to our evolutionary nature. So much for their love of nature -- apparently human beings are the only animals forbidden to act according to their evolutionary history.

When Obama says we eat too much -- we, whose surpluses feed so many nations that when we cut back a little on food production in order to make ethanol it causes near famine elsewhere -- what is he suggesting?

Is he saying that, as president, he would put us all on a diet?

Is he going to wave his hand and make people whose genes predispose them to gain weight suddenly have the metabolism of naturally skinny people? Can't wait for that change!

Or is he simply going to ration food, so we don't eat so much? What, exactly, is his solution to the problem of environmentally sinful America?

The problem of our vast overuse of and overdependence on oil is a real one -- and a dangerous one. We fund our worst enemies because we need so much oil; we pollute our environment; and our use of cars kills us at the rate of 835 a week; and we face a devastating economic crisis if we don't have non-petroleum energy sources already in place when the oil ends.

The correct solution to the oil problem, according to the Puritans, is to have fewer humans. Now, I haven't noticed them volunteering to lessen the population starting with themselves; nor have I seen their heroes bicycling everywhere (environmental ayatollah Al Gore's plane being a legendary instance).

But they do systematically resist every solution that doesn't involve wrecking the American economy and destroying the American way of life.

It's so Calvinist, so Jonathan Edwards. To the environmentalists, the only reason we aren't a spider suspended by God's will over the fires of hell is that spiders are natural and don't deserve to be punished.

We have to do something -- the Environmentalists are right about that. But they are so puritan that there isn't actually anything that you are allowed to do because all the solutions are also sinful.

And if you challenge them on precisely this point, they get a smug, pious expression on their faces and chant their mantras: "sustainable," "renewable." It's just that anything you try to do that is sustainable and renewable, they'll hold up in the courts for years.

Until you finally begin to suspect that the goal of the purest of the puritans is gotterdammerung, apocalypse, the environmental armageddon: The collapse of the world economic order, the abandonment of advanced technology, and the death of nine-tenths of the human race.

Only when we are reduced to half a billion people, or less, will we finally have a chance of being saved -- in the view of the Puritan Environmentalists.

That is the religion whose doctrine Obama is quoting when he says, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK."

In point of fact, I don't think Obama really understands the implications of his statement -- any more than he understood what he was saying when he said he'd sit down and talk with Iran, Cuba, and other enemies like Hamas and Hezbollah, or than he knew how clueless he was when he declared that Iran was less of a threat than the Soviet Union because it was smaller.

Nor are Hillary Clinton and John McCain noticeably smarter in the area of environmentalism. They have all swallowed the dogmas of this puritan religion without realizing how little of it is based on science -- and how much of it is openly contradicted by scientific findings, if they would permit themselves to examine it.

But only Obama is reciting the mantras. He seems to have internalized these ideas without ever consulting sources critical of the dogmas. It's hardly a surprise when your research brings you to certain conclusions -- if you only study the writings of the true believers.

Isn't that why fanatical Islamists insist that the only good education is to study the Quran -- and nothing else.

Isn't that why Al Gore invited only true believers in anthropogenic global warming to testify when he held Senate hearings on the subject?

Obama is not a leader of the Environmental Puritans. He's one of the sheep.

But isn't that even scarier?

Here's the odd thing: George W. Bush, in his personal life, in the home he lives in when he's not at the White House, is easily the most environmentally conscious president we've ever had.

But he is excoriated as the personification of environmental evil, because he thinks that maintaining the economy is also important. Puritans don't have to think of real-world consequences. They simply demand perfection.

The frightening thing is that Obama might follow their agenda. The result would be strangulation of the economy without any serious plan for the only alternatives that are known to work -- nuclear power, hydroelectric power, windmill farms -- because they are also "sinful."

If I thought he would translate his beliefs into a program to get our petroleum use down to zero -- a program as intelligently managed and intensive as the ones that created the interstate freeway system and got us to the moon -- then I wouldn't be alarmed.

But the true believers don't want technological solutions. They really don't. They will talk Obama out of any such ideas -- and Obama has shown us that he listens to them -- uncritically, without understanding the real-world implications of their dogmas.

The Environmental Puritan movement is anti-American to the core. You can't follow their advice while being president of the United States -- we don't need an anti-American president.

Mr. Obama, it's a good thing to have plenty to eat, to have vehicles that do the work we need them to do, to have homes and workplaces that are cool in summer and warm in winter. Through all of human history these have been the goals that all have aspired to, and we have achieved them.

The rest of the world imitates or envies us, because we live, technologically, the way they would like to live.

Now we're finding out that the means we've used are finite, exhaustible, and environmentally harmful. It doesn't mean that our achievements are evil. It only means we have to keep searching for alternative methods of continuing to achieve them, and making those same benefits available to everyone.

But you don't get to that goal by declaring that other nations have a right to judge us, and that our achievements are in themselves wrong. If eating, driving, and heating and cooling our buildings are sins to you, you have damned the whole human race.

Let me guess, though, where Obama's thermostat is set. You can't run for president and have people see you sweat.

TOPICS: Editorial; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: climatechange; environmentalism; globalwarming; obama; orsonscottcard; osc; religiousleft
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1 posted on 06/04/2008 4:52:05 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; neverdem; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; ...

Combined PING to 2 ping lists

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card - PING  [please freepmail me if you want or don't want to be pinged to Orson Scott Card political articles]

Links: his articles discussed at FR:  and archived here (it is a must go place for all new to OSC political writing):

His fresh articles appear in the Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC:  (before being posted permanently on his The Ornery American website).

Read his books/movies/and everything reviews: 

His "About" page:

Nailed It!
Moral Clarity BUMP !

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about). Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  


2 posted on 06/04/2008 4:53:03 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: xcamel; Tolerance Sucks Rocks


3 posted on 06/04/2008 4:55:58 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik; Calm_Cool_and_Elected

ping for later

4 posted on 06/04/2008 4:56:14 AM PDT by Calm_Cool_and_Elected (So many books, so little time!)
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To: Tolik
The Environmental Puritan movement is anti-American to the core.

The whole article is spot on.

5 posted on 06/04/2008 4:56:41 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Et si omnes ego non)
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To: Tolik

It is a religion.


Faith is believing in what is true. Faith has two elements: 1) being convinced of the truth, being certain of reality, having evidence of unseen things, and 2) believing, hoping in, embracing, seizing the truth.

Heb 11:1 (KJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Heb 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Heb 11:1 (NEB) Faith... makes us certain of realities we do not see.

Heb 11:1 (Mof) Now faith means that we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see.

Heb 11:1 (Wey) Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see.

# While faith requires being convinced that what we believe in is true, just knowing the truth is only half of faith. God’s word must be hoped for, embraced, seized!

Luke 17:5 (NIV) The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

# Believing is not exactly the same as faith. For belief to be faith, it must light on what is certainly true. Yet Scripture gives examples of situations where belief alone is required, even commanded. There’s no time for evidence collection, to wait, to hear, for certainty. Just believe. Like Peter walking on the water—don’t think, act! God even requires us to believe in him when, temporarily, the evidence looks bad: to trust. [We will study belief and trust separately.] God requires belief and trust in moments of human weakness, but faith is what makes us strong. Faith is the state of being convinced about what we hope for.

How To Get More Faith

# Contrary to popular teaching, faith is not mental delusion, presumption or self-deception, but a work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

Rom 10:17 (NIV) Faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Rom 10:17 (Phi) Faith, you see, can only come from hearing the message, and the message is the word of Christ.

Rom 10:17 (Wey) And this proves that faith comes from a Message heard, and that the Message comes through having been spoken by Christ.

6 posted on 06/04/2008 5:07:34 AM PDT by Crawdad (If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck.)
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To: Tolik

ping for later read -

7 posted on 06/04/2008 5:07:42 AM PDT by Abathar (Proudly posting without reading the article carefully since 2004)
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To: Tolik

One of my all-time favorite authors.

8 posted on 06/04/2008 5:09:09 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: Tolik

OSC makes some good points here, but he completely loses me by arguing that it’s the world’s business how much petroleum America uses. And exactly who gets to determine how much is a “fair share” which OSC says America has gone far beyond?

Instead of just looking at consumption, wouldn’t it be more reasonable to use as a standard how much productivity comes out of each unit of energy consumed? America would ahead of many other countries using that metric.

But other parts of the article make excellent points.

9 posted on 06/04/2008 5:09:16 AM PDT by ScreamingGreenAlienGorilla (The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. Ecc. 10:2)
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To: Tolik

Oh really, the Soviet Union never said, “We’re going to wipe you off the planet?”

Kruschev said, “We will bury you.”

Same thing in my book.

10 posted on 06/04/2008 5:09:33 AM PDT by july4thfreedomfoundation (The road to victory in Iraq is through Iran.)
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To: Tolik

OSC is a great fiction writer, but I’ve read nothing better than this on the eco-puritans.

11 posted on 06/04/2008 5:15:52 AM PDT by Vigilanteman ((Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud))
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To: Tolik
IMO, people better start to reevaluate this nonsense that we're such oil hogs that we're ruining the world. Our entire way of life, not just ours, but the entire modern worlds way of life depends on petrolium and it's by-products.

Products Made from Oil

 Ink  Dishwashing liquids  Paint brushes  Telephones
 Toys  Unbreakable dishes  Insecticides  Antiseptics
 Dolls  Car sound insulation  Fishing lures  Deodorant
 Tires  Motorcycle helmets  Linoleum  Sweaters
 Tents  Refrigerator linings  Paint rollers  Floor wax
 Shoes  Electrician's tape  Plastic wood  Model cars
Glue  Roller-skate wheels  Trash bags  Soap dishes
 Skis  Permanent press clothes  Hand lotion  Clothesline
 Dyes  Soft contact lenses  Shampoo  Panty hose
 Cameras  Food preservatives  Fishing rods  Oil filters
 Combs  Transparent tape  Anesthetics  Upholstery
 Dice  Disposable diapers  TV cabinets  Cassettes
 Mops  Sports car bodies  Salad bowls  House paint
 Purses  Electric blankets  Awnings  Ammonia
 Dresses  Car battery cases  Safety glass  Hair curlers
 Pajamas  Synthetic rubber  VCR tapes  Eyeglasses
 Pillows  Vitamin capsules  Movie film  Ice chests
 Candles  Rubbing alcohol  Loudspeakers  Ice buckets
 Boats  Ice cube trays  Credit cards  Fertilizers
 Crayons  Insect repellent  Water pipes  Toilet seats
 Caulking  Roofing shingles  Fishing boots  Life jackets
 Balloons  Shower curtains  Garden hose  Golf balls
 Curtains  Plywood adhesive  Umbrellas  Detergents
 Milk jugs  Beach umbrellas  Rubber cement  Sun glasses
 Putty  Faucet washers  Cold cream  Bandages
 Tool racks  Antihistamines  Hair coloring  Nail polish
 Slacks  Drinking cups  Guitar strings  False teeth
 Yarn  Petroleum jelly Toothpaste  Golf bags
 Roofing  Tennis rackets  Toothbrushes  Perfume
 Luggage  Wire insulation  Folding doors  Shoe polish
 Fan belts  Ballpoint pens  Shower doors  Cortisone
 Carpeting  Artificial turf  Heart valves  LP records
 Lipstick  Artificial limbs  Hearing aids  Vaporizers
 Aspirin  Shaving cream  Wading pools  Parachutes

12 posted on 06/04/2008 5:19:36 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: july4thfreedomfoundation

Soviet leaders wanted to live more than they hated America. That’s why MAD worked. And they did care (in their own way) about their country and people.

Our Jihadist enemies hate us more than they want to live. And they don’t care how many fellow Muslims will die.

13 posted on 06/04/2008 5:22:12 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
Ping bump!

Let the revolution begin.

We'll start by laying siege to WashingDon, De Sea ,and starve them into submission.

Of course perhaps we should wait, and the local natives will get rid of them when fuel goes to $10 or 20 per, and they can't afford food, or electricity.

14 posted on 06/04/2008 5:24:10 AM PDT by G.Mason (Duty, Honor, Country)
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To: metesky

Very good point. Petroleum usages are many and essential.

One use that can be replaced though is transportation. I don’t see why plug-able cars using nuclear power generated electricity can’t become a standard use for daily short range commute.

15 posted on 06/04/2008 5:27:19 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

Thanks for the ping!

16 posted on 06/04/2008 5:39:53 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Tolik
The way I see it, T, is that our modern America is so regulated that any modern Edisons, Fords or Wrights are discouraged beyond endurance by petty bureaucrats. And todays population would probably fear the lone tinkerer in his garage.

We need a lot more than electric cars, IMO we need a whole new technology that I hope and pray some genius somewhere is working on feverishly.

It's the political class that's choking us, again IMO.

17 posted on 06/04/2008 5:43:27 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: Tolik

Very nice piece.

18 posted on 06/04/2008 5:45:00 AM PDT by WayneS (Respect the 2nd Amendment; Repeal the 16th)
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To: Tolik

Card (who wrote one of the best SF books of recent years) is turning into another Crichton. Spot-on analysis.

I’ve always said that one could tell someone truly concerned over the environment from a totalitarian wannabe by how they feel about nuclear power.


19 posted on 06/04/2008 5:46:44 AM PDT by E Rocc (Resident smartass and Myspace Freepers group moderator. (
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To: july4thfreedomfoundation

Yes. Perhaps.

But please remember the forest. Let’s concentrate on the forest, shall we?

20 posted on 06/04/2008 5:50:12 AM PDT by WayneS (Feed a Polar Bear -- Club a Seal!)
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