Sesame Street and green religion

In: Uncategorized

22 Apr 2009

It is evidently never too young to inculcate children to behave in what is deemed an environmentally correct fashion. Sesame Street has recently released a DVD called “Being green” which features Paul Rudd as “Mr Earth”. Evidently in the DVD for pre-schoolers: “Mr Earth teaches Elmo and Abby how ‘it can be easy being green’ by recycling, re-using, and conserving water and energy.”

In some respects this resembles the traditional teaching of religion to children in schools. However, as Tom Jacobs argues in an article for Miller-McCune on “getting religions to worship ecologically” environmentalism is not a human-centred perspective. Jacobs quotes Bron Taylor, author of the forthcoming Dark Green Religion (University of California Press) to the effect that:

“Taylor believes these ‘post-Darwinian religious forms’ will look a lot like the traditional religions that flourished before the Judeo-Christian traditions, such as animism (which views the natural world as enspirited) and pantheism (which considers the biosphere “part of a divine intelligence”). “All over the world, people are articulating, developing and promoting such spirtualities, sometimes without even knowing it — just by doing the work they do,” he said.”

It is hard to think of anything more primitive than worshipping nature. Hardly the kind of thing we should be teaching our children.

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