New congregations pop up all the time. Well, maybe not ALL the time, but often enough. Some of the new churches are Christian while others are of quite a different variety altogether.
Yesterday, I began hearing all over the radio and TV about a brand-new religion of sorts. Apparently, NBC has prompted its audience to come to their newfangled confessional. The confessional is posted on their website for all to participate. The lead-in to the would-be confessions is not, “Father, forgive me for I have sinned.”
Cleanse Your Soul
The exact wording is, “Climate Confessions: Even those who care deeply about the planet’s future can slip up now and then. Tell us: Where do you fall short in preventing climate change? Do you blast the A/C? Throw out half your lunch? Grill a steak every week? Share your anonymous confession with NBC News.”
So now, we have the Church of Climate Change. If you choose, you can not only join this august body of believers, you can anonymously cleanse your conscience by confessing your climate sins. If you press the “Write Your Confession” button, it will take you to a screen that offers you various categories of offenses. These categories include such evils as plastics, meat, and paper. If you click on a category, you can type in your transgression in the available text box.
As I said, it’s all anonymous. However, there’s another button labeled, “View Confessions.” This is much better than the Roman Catholic Church. The best you can do there is to attempt to stand outside the confessional hoping to get a whisper of scandal. At the Church of Climate Change, you can read the full-on revelations of these evildoers. There are no names, of course, but if you think long and hard, you might recognize the admission of one of your neighbors (or you can simply imagine who it might be).
I Hate to Walk
The individual confessions are rather startling. On person admitted, “I need to be better about using all the food I buy. Try my best but something always spoils before I get to it.” Judging by that one, my lovely Bride and I are chronic offenders. Another sinner confessed, “I commute 30 miles to work every day in a car by myself.” Horror of horrors! I hate to admit it, but I used to commute an hour each way. But I only did it because I hate to walk.
I mentioned earlier that this was a brand-new religion, but that’s not exactly true. People have been worshipping the earth, Mother Nature, the planets, and various other parts of God’s handiwork for centuries. This is merely another extension of an old theme. Worship the creation instead of the Creator.
While I don’t have a problem with taking care of the environment, bowing down to it as if it was some form of deity is a tad over the top. I seem to remember a command that states, “Thou shalt have no gods before me.” Maybe we should adhere to it.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]