I was scanning radio channels on my short wave radio the other day and came across an interesting right-wing rant against environmentalism. First, the comentator refered to environmentalists as "greenies", "..that’s what we call them..," he stated. The pamphlet he was promoting on air tries to show that the concept of global warming is actually a religion, and is dangerous to Christianity.
Apart from the silliness of the argument in the first place, there are two things that stand out about this attempt. First, there is the name-calling. Slap a label on something and you can ignore it. By using the label "greenie" the concept is demeaned, and any message put forth by its proponents can be dismissed without consideration. I’ve seen the same thing happen to the word "liberal." The same thing probably happens when I use the phrase "right-wing" – I’m probably going to dismiss anything associated with that label.
The second observation is a more disturbing trend, and it boils down to the separation of Church and State. Not happy with the fact that they (conservative Christians) can no longer proselytize in schools, they are now trying to label any other concept with which they don’t agree as a religion, and are trying to get that excluded from schools and public forums. As a teacher, I’ve seen the label "Secular Humanism" slapped on a variety of things as a religions that can’t be taught. Evolution has always been a target, and fantasy has been decried for promoting Satanism and witchcraft.
The problem is that some of these call these concepts such as evolution and environmentalism a worship of science. Is that so wrong? What is the problem with accepting rationalism over superstition? At the heart of science is the concept that we don’t know everything, that we are still exploring, and that we can change previously held concepts as new discoveries are made. I don’t see these as excluding one’s faith. The story of the Bible is a revelation of God’s work over time, and that relation is ongoing as science advances. Dogmatic religion tries to lock God into a specific method, to neatly cage God into a nice little set of precepts. To me, that is the height of hubris.