By John Klar
Ambitious Vermont climate warriors seek to eliminate Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in schools and replace them with “climate vacations” that will “prevent shopping stress and pollution from manufacturing merchandise.”
That’s not a joke. They’re serious and their proposal would also shift all students to a completely plant-based diet, regardless of the health threats and poor nutrition that this would inflict on Vermont children, and this doesn’t even get into the matter of what the kids will actually eat.
The silliness about eliminating meat from human diets persists in agitators too ignorant of farming and nutrition to spare themselves this public embarrassment. But Vermont’s climate warrior class strives toward an even higher level of absurdity in the attempt to ban the two most prominent historical holidays in the American calendar, feigning a moral “climate cause” in what is really an open attack on Christianity.
The new cult does not wish to have reminders of gratitude (Thanksgiving) or care for others (Christmas) persist in its government-controlled moral charge “…to get real about the absolutely most important thing in the world with the absolutely most important people in your world.”
An educational campaign for students to be more mindful of what they buy at Christmas, and what they eat for Thanksgiving — appealing to personal responsibility in consumption — might serve well enough. But these proposals go much further:
The proposed ballot would ask voters to make the climate crisis “the top priority” by becoming a carbon-neutral district by Jan. 1, 2025; immediately adopting a plant-based food system; devoting one school day each month to a Climate Emergency Day where education is focused solely on mitigating climate change and living with its consequences; immediately having one day each month for staff development on current climate emergency reports with a focus on how to present findings to students on Climate Emergency Days and creating climate action plans; and making climate costs a higher priority than financial costs.
Climate responses are dependent on “financial costs” — as to feasibility, but also in that a people suffering economically (say, from massive job losses and spiking inflation) cannot allocate resources to climate remediation. What will be taught to Vermont’s students for a full day each month — how to turn off the lights at night, take fewer showers, and stop buying junk food and climate-destroying tech gizmos? (That is, personal responsibility.) Or will they be taught that polluting, manufactured, regressive electric cars and solar panels will save the planet (when nothing could be more wrong)?
The truth of far-left motivations must be discerned from the blatant lies. Last summer, Vermont’s capital canceled Independence Day under the pretense of COVID…. then scheduled an African drumming exhibition in its stead. The pretense was COVID-19, but no one with a functional mind believes the City will ever acknowledge the Fourth of July again.
The pathetic (and wildly unpopular) effort to ban Christian holidays in the name of saving the planet is equally disingenuous. There has been no discussion of banning fireworks displays for celebrations — how many of these social justice climate warriors mow their lawns, or fly on vacations in polluting jets? If there were ever a group of naked emperors picking at the twigs in others’ eyes, this group takes the prize for most unclothed.
This unconscionable effort in Vermont’s schools arises from a partisan political ideology that is judgmental, unforgiving, fractious, and tolerates no dissent. The effort to eliminate sacred holidays (and shift from teaching children toindoctrinating them) seeks to erect this new cult/church by those who deny God and hate the American creed.
As G.K. Chesterton has observed, gratitude does not exist in a vacuum — it must have an object. What is to be the new focus of these climate holidays, if not the church of big government? Are children and families expected to genuflect in submissive gratitude to these new priests of the climate, and express thanks that they have been “saved” from doom? These are precisely the grand terms employed by those launching this sociology experiment in Vermont schools. Says one proponent: “It would be a great achievement for our district if it was enacted. … It would help give the coming generations a chance at a decent life.”
Wise Vermonters will withdraw their children from these failed schools in large numbers — to protect them from overzealous bureaucrats. The schools can then focus on financial costs — as in, why they should get paid to abuse and betray the children entrusted to their care. Income-sensitive school subsidies for those who seek alternatives to this failed “public education cult system” will be in the mix next year — how can public school leaders object to letting parents have a choice? (Heck, some parents may even believe that the cross of Jesus Christ is “…the absolutely most important thing in the world” that they instill in “the absolutely most important people in [their] world.”)
Vermont schools are creating an extremely toxic climate for educating young people. There is no promise of joy, nor expression of gratitude, in these hate-filled plans to displace important family holiday celebrations with climate indoctrination. The true darkness on our horizon is from a political, not a physical, climate — and it is much easier to identify and eliminate than CO2.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield, and pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westfield. This commentary originally appeared at American Thinker.