Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Don’t you listen to the street preacher. He ain’t nothing but a false teacher.
I heard some live music over the weekend. A bluesy Toronto band called The Sinners Choir.
Good art resonates in unexpected ways. Whatever universe a listener happens to inhabit, a song may seem powerfully applicable in a context the composer almost certainly didn’t anticipate.
In recent months, climate preachers have garnered immense publicity. Greta Thunberg, a mentally disabled child from an extraordinarily dysfunctional family, has been telling us we’re out of time. The end is nigh. If we don’t heed her warning we’ll be punished for our environmental sins.
Rather than comforting this disturbed child, rather than urging this family to get its own house in order before it scolds the rest of us, journalists, politicians, religious leaders, and activists have instead made Greta famous.
This is madness. We’re now taking moral instruction from a household in which children decide to starve themselves for months, in which adults are told they’re not permitted to go to the toilet.
Exploitation takes many forms. Greta has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Let us hope the relevant people think carefully before making this year’s decision.
At the end of the day, Greta is just a street preacher. A false teacher. She’s one of a very long line, historically speaking, of individuals who’ve pretended to know what the future holds, who use predictions of fire and brimstone to try to scare us.
Because frightened people are easy to manipulate. Frightened people do irrational things.
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