Fern has a nice blog post on green living, and how what we consider low impact is in fact “lower” impact, and our society still uses a ton of resources:
She brings up a great point. But there is an implication in her connection between green living and paganism that has always bothered me.
I flatly reject the notion that pagan have a religious obligation to be “green.” In fact, throw that whole nature worship crap out the window. That does not define my religion.
I worship the gods of ancient Rome. Those gods rule over the forces of nature, and entreat with spirits immanent in that nature. This is not “nature worship.” I don’t really think that qualifies what I do as an “earth religion.” I acknowledge and honor the spirits and cycles of nature, but as with most ancient pagan religions, the goal is to win their favor and/or hold them at bay, so they don’t kill me.
That is not to say I don’t have a connection with nature, or revere it and the spirits that live in it. But my gods place much more of an emphasis on furthuring civilization and improving the standard of living. I like those earth-killing things like a warm home, clean clothes, modern medicine, and fast transportation, and everything I know about my gods says they do to.
Conserve. Follow your need to advocate environmental reforms. That’s fine, even if I think what you are advocating is a return to more primitive lifestyle we have struggled to leave behind. (And I should emphasise I’m not picking on Fern, as I respect her opinion, and agree with a lot of what her post says). But please don’t take what is essentially a political position and conflate it with a religious one. I like my modern life, and I’m no less pagan for it.