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Environmentalist Makes Case For Making Earth Day A Religious Holiday


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Earth Day is upon us – that forlorn little non-holiday that some years sandwiches itself between Easter and Passover, or other years trails in the wake of those “real” holidays. If the Super Bowl is America’s unofficial national day of celebration, Earth Day is the collective yawn that brings a shrug. No recipes offer Earth Day chips and dips to serve when friends and beloveds gather in celebration of the miracle of a living planet. Because they don’t. Not even ours.

For the two of us environmentalists – one of us nominally Jewish, the other a recovering Catholic – we find the ill-defined nature of the only day honoring the place that makes life itself possible more than a little sacrilegious. So, on this 53rd Earth Day we thought it useful to pose what a real Earth Day should represent and how it could form a central time for a new approach to worship.

Before we step further into that loaded word, let’s back up. Even as Earth has sizzled—New York City had its warmest January on record and a February more like April—the idea of honoring this planet with its miraculous coating of life has somehow fizzled.

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