Whom Do We Thank?
by Berit Kjos, November 2006
“The first Thanksgiving feasts were harvest festivals. ‚ People gathered to celebrate successful harvests and to thank the Earth for its fruits.” :”(Scholastic News, November 2, 1990. Circulated to about half of all our nation”s elementary schools. )”: Scholastic News, 1990 (Distributed to about half of U.S. elementary schools)
“….his dogs led the sled smoothly around the final bend and past the finish line. Accepting his medal, Tore thanked… the animal guides” ”and of course, Sedna [Sea Goddess].” :”(Carole Douglis, Tore and the Town on Thin Ice, United Nations Environment Programme UNEP, March 2006; pages 26-27. Part of the “Tunza Environmental Series for Children sponsored by UNEP.” “About the Mother of the Sea: In the Inuit traditions of Greenland and North America, water animals first sprang from Sea Mother”s body. Depending on the region, people also call this goddess at the bottom of the ocean ” ˜Sedna,” ” ˜Nuliajuk,’ or ” ˜Arnarquassaq.” All the evil and pollution of the world is said to flow to the sea and settle in Sedna”s thick hair. The community must send a healer to dive into the deep and comb away the grime.” )”: From a children’s book published by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15
The UN has little tolerance for the God who is our Father. Instead it welcomes the mother goddess of the Intuit people, the pantheistic gods of the world’s cultures, and an evolving union of all religions. Any alternative to Biblical Christianity — including Islam — strengthens its assaults on the “poisonous certainties” of God’s Word.
A recent UN book for children, Tore and the Town on Thin Ice, fits right in. In fact, this short tale published by United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) promotes three key strategies behind today’s global transformation. It introduces:
1. A captivating spiritual alternative to our God and His Word,
2. A scary story that motivates children to join the global crusade to “save the earth,” and
3. A postmodern worldview that trains children to base opinions on myths and feelings, not on truth and facts.
The story begins with a doomed sled dog race in an Arctic village:
“‘We’re going to win” ¦.We’re going to win!’ Tore yelled to his dogs as they sprinted across the frozen river toward the finish line. … But just as his sled was gliding toward the river bank, it crashed through the ice, dumping Tore into the shallow but freezing water…. Tore ran home, trying not to cry as his fists clenched in anger.”
“‘…it’s ALWAYS frozen solid this time of year,’ he complained to his parents. ‘It’s not fair!’
“‘You’re right,’ said Tore’s mom, running a warm bath for him. ‘The ice is changing. We can’t rely on it as we used to….’
“Tore’s dad, maddeningly calm as usual, said, ‘The question is, What are you going to do about it?’ :”(Ibid., pages 4, 5. )”:
Like Rescue Mission Planet Earth (A children’s edition of the United Nations’ Agenda 21), this motivational story plants dreadful suggestions in the minds of children. These are designed to arouse fear, anger, and determination to fight for the planet. But no genuine environmental problem can be solved without factual understanding, and this mythical story doesn’t provide reliable facts. It stirs the emotions, not the mind:
“That night, after sleep had finally shut Tore’s eyes, he heard a voice. ‘You have a right to be angry, Tore. But use that anger to learn and see what you can do.'”
“Tore saw a woman with wrinkles like waves and hair twisted like seaweed. ‘I’m the one who created and cares for the sea creatures” ”whales and walruses, seals and fish. Some call me Sedna, the Mother [goddess] of the Sea.But I can’t help the sea creatures or the people the way I used to, not alone. This thing is bigger than you know…. Take your sled to find out more. I’ll send you guides.'”
In the context of Inuit spirituality, the “guides” would be mythical nature spirits speaking through animals and other parts of creation. The first to arrive was a Snowy Owl, who gives Tore a lesson in UN environmentalism:
“The ice melted on the river because the planet’s heating up. The last couple of decades have had the warmest years since people started taking weather measurements. The Poles” ”here in the Arctic and in Antarctica” ”are warming almost twice as fast as elsewhere…. Nearly all the world’s glaciers are melting. Even the great ice cap here in Greenland” ”mountains of snow and ice up to about four kilometres thick” ”is thawing….” [See Wise Old Owl]
The second “guide” is a Polar Bear. He tells Tore,
“I’m hungry. I need to stand on sea ice to hunt seals” ”wait and catch them when they come up for breath. But there’s not enough ice…. Our friend the climate” ”the climate that animals and fish and everybody has depended on for thousands of years” ”is acting strangely…. It looks like many, many animals and fish and birds will go extinct….”
By the time the Whale “guide” arrives, Tore is bursting with anger. “Listen,” he cried. “I’ve had all the bad news I can stand. Our world is melting. Polar bears are starving and all sorts of animals won’t survive. I don’t want to hear any more!”
“‘That’s the spirit!‘ said Whale. ‘Get good and angry. You’ll need all that energy to make a difference….’
‘”Tore turned to storm away. But Sedna’s face flashed through his mind, reminding him to keep calm and try to understand.
“‘With all this ice melting,’ Whale continued, “…the oceans are swelling. That means the sea level is rising and might drown major cities along the coasts.’
“‘Yikes,’ said Tore. ‘Don’t a lot of people live on the coastline?’
“‘You’ve been studying after all!’ answered Whale. ‘Yes. Hundreds of millions in fact. More hurricanes, tornadoes and other things you call ” ˜natural disasters’ are on their way, too” ”and they’re getting harsher…. ‚ The ocean currents that swirl around the planet and carry heat with them could actually change direction. If they do, watch out! Great Britain could freeze while the United States bakes.'”
Back in the nineties, I read a book published by the Club of Rome, a prestigious global think-tank. Titled The First Global Revolution, it includes this statement:
“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…” :”(Alexander King & Bertrand Schneider, The First Global Revolution New York: Pantheon Books, 1991, 115. ‚ )”:
In other words, the Club members — various heads of state and global power brokers — conceived the crisis! Yes, there were lots of environmental problems already, especially in the former Soviet Union and in poorer countries where pollution and erosion had devastated water, land and air. But those local and national issues had to be repainted as catastrophic global issues in order to capture the imagination of the masses. And our children became key targets for their propaganda. :”(www.crossroad.to/articles2/Reinvent1.htm and www.crossroad.to/articles2/006/conspiracy1.htm)”:
An article on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (EPW) website shows us the other side. Titled “New UN Children’s Book Promotes Global Warming Fears to Kids,” it provides factual answers to Tore’s concerns:
1. Is “the great ice cap here in Greenland” thawing as the snowy owl claimed? This Senate Committee article assures us that a “2005 study by Ola Johannessen and his colleagues showed that the interior of Greenland is gaining ice mass.” [EPW Note: The Arctic, according to the International Arctic Research Center, was at its warmest in the 20th century during the 1930s, and both the journals Science and Nature have published studies recently finding ” “ on balance ” “ Antarctica is both cooling and gaining ice.]
2. Are polar bears starving and dying because of climate change? [EPW Note: In May of 2006, biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor from the Arctic government of Nunavut, a territory of Canada, noted that ‘of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.'” ] :”(“Silly to predict their demise,” The Star, May ‚ 1, 2006. www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1146433819696&call_pageid=970599119419)”:
3. Will melting ice cause massive coastal flooding of millions of people in coastal areas? [EPW note: Many scientists dispute the notion that mankind has created a climate doomsday.] See “Renowned Scientist Defects From Belief in Global Warming ” “ Caps Year of Vindication for Skeptics.” :”(http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=264777)”:
4. Can we expect more destructive hurricanes and other natural disasters? ‚ [EPW Note: The relationship between global warming and hurricanes is currently under debate, with the great majority of scientists believing there is little connection. For instance, 2006 was anticipated to be a record year for hurricanes, but turned out to be one of the calmest seasons in many, many years.]
Myth-Making And Global Transformation
An assignment from the “Kids” page of the United Religions Initiative (URI) website illustrates the mind-changing tactics that speed this transformation. Working with UNESC0 and its partners around the world, the URI envisions a united world “freed” from the bounds of Biblical absolutes. Its march toward solidarity must exclude our sovereign God — the actual Creator and Sustainer of our planet. It accepts only those who can walk the wide popular road together toward inclusive spirituality and collective thinking.
B y the time this assignment is given, most young minds — “Christian” or not — have already been introduced to all kind of alluring gods, goddesses, nature spirits, and chi forces. Here’s their opportunity to practice visualizing their favorite spiritual blend:
“For this assignment, students will be writing a paper or story in which they will create their own religion. It should include the major components they have studied, including sacred texts, basic beliefs, holy places and spaces, as well as holidays or festivals. It could also include special passages, symbols, icons, and whatever concept of God or holy guides the religion has…. The possibilities are endless — their imaginations and your boundaries are the limits…. Another possibility would be for students to make presentations… and answer questions as if they are the leader of the religion.” :”(“ URI Kids – Activities ” at www.uri.org/kids/act_indiv_createrelig.htm)”:
At a teachers’ workshop on global education ten years ago, I saw another example of outrageous myth-making. Demonstrating a lesson in world cultures, the facilitator/teacher asked, “Are you familiar with the story about Israel’s sudden departure from Egypt?” Many heads nodded.
“But have you heard the other side? [Silence] The Jews had become so obnoxious that the Pharaoh had to get rid of them. ‚ So he sent his army to chase them out!”
After the workshop, I asked the instructor where he found that interesting bit of information. ‚ He laughed. ‚ “I just made it up,” he answered, as if rewriting history is perfectly legitimate.
Myth-making makes sense to pragmatic change agents who pursue solidarity by slandering Christianity and undermining appreciation for our wonderful Lord. Their myths and stories will usually contain a measure of truth — enough to sound right without being right. They rarely prompt people to honor the true God of ‚ the Universe.
Thanks To God
While world leaders seek “helpful” religions that serve their purposes, ‚ our sovereign Lord watches over those who know and follow Him. Refusing to compromise, they walk the narrow road — but never alone. Their Shepherd walks with them no matter how rocky the road or lonely the miles.
Like His faithful pilgrims through the ages, they know Whom to thank for sunshine and rain, for freedom and restraints. Trusting His wisdom, sovereignty and love, they praise Him for strength through life’s storms and for peace amidst problems. For He has promised never to leave them. So “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” ‚ Romans 8:37
“Rejoice always… in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18