The world is going barking mad with religiosity! While many of us feel that we have known this for a long time, it has always been difficult to find substantial evidence that wasn’t countered by arguments of religious vilification.
However, I’m not talking about Islamic suicide bombers, Protestants vs Catholics in Ireland, the abhorrent members of Westboro Baptist Church, ‘pro-life’ radicals bombing abortion clinics, or any of the other examples of minority groups being less than good examples of the faiths they follow.
Instead, I would like to open your eyes to a new pervasive religion that is steadily growing and insidiously lurking in your community. If successful it will have a terrifying impact on the existence of life as we know it.
Regardless of your political views, spiritual beliefs, faith or lack thereof, please bear with me for a moment while I tell you a short story. Even if it sounds a bit familiar, please persevere.
This story is set on a unique world; a smallish blue-green environment with abundant vegetation and teeming with wondrous life forms on land, air and water. In this world, there is a sentient humanoid species who believe that their world has an undefinable, immeasurable and yet omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent energy force that interacts with all life forms.
This forcegives them life, nourishes, teaches and provides them with all that is needed to live well and, as if they were its own children, they call this force "Mother".
They recognise that Mother is an indivisible community of diverse and interdependent beings with whom they share a common destiny and to whom they must relate in ways that benefit Mother.
However, their world is confronted by an evil that is attempting to dominate and exploit Mother and other beings. This evilis causing severe destruction, degradation and disruption of the life-sustaining communities, processes and balances of Mother which now threatens the wellbeing and existence of many beings.
They are conscious that this destruction is also harmful to their own inner wellbeing and is offensive to the many faiths, wisdom traditions and indigenous cultures for whom Mother is sacred. These clans are acutely conscious of the critical importance and urgency of taking decisive, collective action to prevent the evil enemy causing impacts on Mother that threaten the wellbeing and survival of all species.
Sound familiar? No, it isn't the plot from James Cameron's blockbuster, Avatar - but the resemblance is not a mere coincidence. While Avatar has been justifiably compared to the historical and current issues of our own world, it now seems that the lines between fantasy and reality have blurred even further.
Apart from a few tweaks for syntax, everything above in italics is a direct quote from the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, which was passed in Bolivia on 22 April 2010 at the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earthand has since made its way to the plenary floor of the United Nations and was incorporated into Resolution 65/164 of the General Assembly (15 March 2011).
'Mother Earth' has been transformed from a metaphoric and mythical euphemism into pseudo-scientific woo! You have not entered the Twilight Zone. You are not watching a CGI enhanced movie. This is reality and the world is about to enshrine the beliefs of a new-age religion (or a revival of ancient mysticism) into legal rights on par with those of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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