The Fate of Secular Saint Greta Thunberg
After seeing the cover for Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” award, who can still pretend the Left is irreligious? It is clear Time has officially sainted Thunberg. After all, the magazine proclaims, “By clarifying an abstract danger with piercing outrage, Thunberg became the most compelling voice on the most important issue facing the planet.”
Thunberg -- for now at least -- has become the secular equivalent of Joan of Arc, whose portraits and statues are depicted with a similar expression denoting transcendent holiness.
One suspects that in a very short time, St. Greta will invite St. Joan's fate. No, she won't suffer a literal execution, but she will be "executed" nonetheless; and by the same crowd that currently is elevating her to sainthood. For now, she is proving to be very useful in promoting the religion of climate change. She would not be the first nor would she be the last of saints who have been exploited and then deserted in favor of another. We can be reminded Charles VII of France willingly used and manipulated St. Joan for his victories in battles against the English. But when the young saint was tried and martyred, he did not lift a finger to come to her aid.
We should feel compassion for Greta, because she also probably will not understand why she will eventually be targeted for destruction and another will take her place. In a few years' time, it's doubtful very many will remember her, as she will be found to be as human as the rest of us.
In the near future, she will probably fall in love with someone. Her present passionate intensity then will be diverted. She will find falling in love with a human being will mean “clarifying an abstract danger with piercing outrage” will be no substitute for true love. Abstractions, however intellectually satisfying, will not go out to dance with her under the midnight stars; will not send bouquets of flowers to her and certainly will not cherish and love her.
Abstractions whose viability depends on continually stoking rage will start to become tiresome and wearing, as they will provide no word of comfort, no strong shoulder to lean on and no cups of tea when she is sick and tired of trying to live out the legalities attendant to her crusade. Continual anger is hard to maintain and winds up isolating even child termagants.
She will begin to tire of abstractions when as the flag bearer for an ideology, she has to continue to endure weeks’ long journeys by sail boats while those who photograph her fly off in carbon emitting planes. She will find assiduously adhering to the strict demands of veganism coupled with the expectation she will remain childless lest she contribute to the despoliation of the planet exhausting. In short, she will find the expectations of the fundamentalists adhering to a sere climate change ideology impossible to keep. In the meantime, the ideologues will watch for every minute transgression. She will never be good or pure enough for fanatics demanding perfection. Saints are allowed no sins.
Eventually, the now maniacally devoted followers who presently adore her will become diverted by other Pied Pipers and begin to wander away, leaving her alone with only her abstractions for company.
That is the way it always is for religionists of every stripe who desert the human race for the sake of an abstract future that may never materialize. After all, that is the way it has been for fundamentalists who set a date for the return of Christ only to find the Son of Man does not comply with their speculative and abstract end time predictions. That is the way it is with secular religionists who also prophesy end apocalypse now or in twelve years’ time. That’s the way it has been for every religionist married to abstractionism detached from the real world.
As for those who are presently elevating her to secular sainthood… they are to be condemned more than she, for she is still just a kid who is probably just enjoying all the attention with the expectation it will last forever. Children are easily deceived and manipulated by propaganda. They are easily led to battle on behalf of abstractions because their hearts run far ahead of their brains. That is why wars are fought by the very young, who believe easily and who think they are absolutely right about everything.
It is to be hoped that someone bursts the intellectual bubble Greta has doubtless lived in for most or even all of her young life. Her world is presently sealed off from opinions that contradict the tenets of the cult to which she presently belongs and which she has been chosen to lead. She will hear nothing but what her handlers wish her to hear as long as they find her useful.
Perhaps, when reality shatters the Truman Show that is presently her world, she will then have access to truth of the outside world, which is teaming with ideas contrary to and larger than those of the cult she is presently promoting. We can hope and pray she will grow and mature in all respects: intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
It’s a huge universe out there, mysterious, rich, deep and wide—far greater than the limited and abstract boundaries of her present belief system. We’d like to see her disengage from her dismal apocalyptic prophesies and explore the limitless wonders of the here and now.
--Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her the prize for excellence in systematic theology. Her thoughts have been published in many online magazines. She has been a regular contributor to American Thinker. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org