Wingnuts Finally Find Establishment Clause Violation

It’s always amusing to see religious right loonies suddenly discover the separation of church and state only when other religions take advantage of the same rights and access that they have, especially when they don’t even acknowledge the existence of that concept much of the time.. But Calvin Beisner is taking this to an absurd degree. He thinks it’s a violation for the EPA to promote environmental protection:

The film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax features a tiny, but tenacious creature who “speaks for the trees” and fights industrialism. Cal Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, says this is just one of many films geared toward children to spread such a message.

“Disney movies stretching all the way back into the 1940s had environmentalist themes and still do,” he notes. “This is not a Disney production, but The Lorax is certainly picking up what was truly an environmentalist theme in Seuss’ book.” And he says it is taking it a step further than, for example, Disney’s Pocahontas.

Still, what really concerns Beisner is the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency is among nearly 70 partners with Universal in promoting the film.

“What you’ve got there is the mixing of taxpayer dollars into the promotion of a clear ideology that has a particular religious flavor to it,” the Cornwall Alliance spokesman concludes. “And frankly, I think that this is a violation of the separation of church and state.”

On Planet Wingnuttia, it’s not a violation for a school to have mandatory assemblies to teach kids about Christianity or force them to recite government-written prayers, but it is a violation for the EPA to promote the protecting of the environment. And Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship — whatever the hell that means — but environmentalism is a religion. Just bizarre.

17 comments on this post.
  1. dingojack:

    The film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax features a tiny, but tenacious creature who “speaks for the trees” and fights industrialism. Cal Beisner, national spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, says this is just one of many films geared toward children to spread such a message“.

    Anyone wanna send this bozo a copy of the book? That is the message you complete moron! It’s what Geisel had in mind when he wrote it.
    What’s next complaining that ‘Gone With the Wind’ has the Civil War in it?

    OBTW. Does Environmentalism postulate a supernatural being or beings? NO? Then it ain’t a religion.
    How hard could it be?
    Dingo

  2. timberwoof:

    As seen by the denizens of Wingnuttia, environmentalism proposes that humans can alter God’s creation. Since it contradicts their religion, it is a violation of the separation of church and state.

  3. d cwilson:

    “Disney movies stretching all the way back into the 1940s had environmentalist themes and still do,” he notes. “This is not a Disney production,

    So, what is the point of mentioning Disney then?

    Wingnuts have a tendency to label anything they don’t like as a “religion”, whether it makes sense to call it one or not. Former MTV VJ Kennedy was on Real Time the other week insisting that atheism was a religion and we know she was right because she told us she was a philosophy major. Evolution is of course, a religion, too. As is global warming. See how easy it is?

    When I watched the trailer for The Lorax, I was left wondering if anyone involved in the production of the movie had even read Dr. Seus’s book.

  4. Zugswang:

    They might as well give up this facade, and just come out and say it:

    “Words mean what we want them to mean, when we want them to mean it.”

  5. Bronze Dog:

    I’m pretty jaded, yet I expect some wingnut to use the same rationale against government promotion of a value so basic to society, I’ll still manage to be surprised and appalled to find out that anyone could object to it.

  6. daved:

    When I watched the trailer for The Lorax, I was left wondering if anyone involved in the production of the movie had even read Dr. Seuss’s book.

    That’s standard operating procedure for Disney. Their version of The Jungle Book was an abomination. They didn’t even pronounce all the names right, much less preserve the nature of the characters.

  7. Chiroptera:

    You know, they can save everyone a lot of time if they’d just consolidate everything they don’t like into the single word crimethink.

  8. Deen:

    I doubt Calvin Beisner actually believes his own argument. It’s probably just an attempt to use his opponents’ arguments against them, to either gets what he wants or discredit the arguments. Seems to be a popular tactic nowadays. And what’s a bit of underhand tactics if you fight the Good Fight, right?

  9. tbp1:

    @#8: I dunno. My wife has relatives who are missionaries (note the distancing from my side of the family). They are actually intelligent, educated, and well-informed people, so I am perpetually astonished at some of the things they claim to believe, both religiously and politically. But…they really do, as far as I can tell.

  10. umlud:

    And Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship

    If religions are actually relationships, then by the identity principle, relationships are religions!

    Well, that’s disconcerting. Does this mean that I am in a serious and committed religion with my girlfriend? If so, who is the god and who are the clergy? (And what does this mean about acquiring and commanding followers…?)

  11. abb3w:

    My impression is that “Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship” is an expression trying to signal emphasis within the cultural tradition on (as Dale Cannon terms) the Way of Devotion over the Way of Sacred Rite. That is, trying to signal what type of “religion” it is, and that the particular type isn’t subject to the restraints it’s trying to suggest should apply to other types of “religion” like (Way of Right Action emphasizing) environmentalism or (Way of Intellectual Inquiry emphasizing) science and engineering based progressive worldview.

    (For shallow background, see short web page summary; for in-depth anthropological religious studies, see Dale Cannon’s book.)

    It’s bullshit, but bullshit that resonates well with the “we’re SPECIAL people” crowd.

  12. The Lorax:

    What the hell is this shit? I’m not a deity, I’m the goddamned Lorax! These bozos think that protecting the environment is a religion? You might as well call their own ideology a religion and kick it out of the government! And them with it! Why, if I had my way, I’d shove my hairy foot right up their…

    … *ahem*

    I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees,
    And I’m getting annoyed by these dim GOP’s.
    They blather on lies and hypocrisy needs
    As if they were selling Americans Thneeds.
    They cut down the forest of science pursuit
    Leaving thinkers, like trees, horrifically mute.

    Although their stupidity, like all things, must pass,
    ‘Till then, I’ll be shoving my foot up their ass.
    So bend over, fuckers, and get what you got,
    ‘Cause your world will crumble by our Free Thought.

  13. John Hinkle:

    Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation

    What, there’s no “Family” in the name? Can’t possibly be a real conservative Xian organization then.

    dingojack says:

    OBTW. Does Environmentalism postulate a supernatural being or beings?

    Well no, it doesn’t. But his religion apparently postulates something about environmentalism, ergo, um… hold on, I’m recalibrating my logic regulator…

    *SPRINGENWERK SCHNAPPEN*

    *BLOWENFUSEN*

    *POPPENCORKEN MIT SPITZENSPARKSEN*

    Ah the hell with it. *deep sixes the logic regulator*

  14. Chiroptera:

    Huh. Environmentalism is pretty much like routine home maintenance — it’s no different than making sure your roof doesn’t leak and your toilet is clean.

    Maybe that’s a religion, too, but if so, it’s a good one.

  15. Ace of Sevens:

    OBTW. Does Environmentalism postulate a supernatural being or beings? NO? Then it ain’t a religion.

    I think he’s posited that the Lorax is a dryad or something and the movie promotes paganism.

  16. Modusoperandi:

    Don’t worry, people, I just sold Calvin Beisner a nice parcel of land. On a future Superfund site. He’ll be calling for Big Government once the headaches, rashes and nausea kick in.

  17. Kaessa:

    He thinks it’s a violation for the EPA to promote environmental protection.

    He thinks it’s a violation for the Environmental Protection Agency to promote environmental protection.

    *spoing*

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