Today there is a new faith. Mother Earth is replacing Father God.
For years Christians have been mocked for taking parts of science they can't understand and saying "That is God."
Outsiders claim religion is a panacea. Scientists viewed those with faith in a higher power as weak-minded.
They condemned the church as merely a means of controlling the masses. Religious people were deemed intolerant for not accepting views different than their own.
But today there is a new faith.
Mother Earth is replacing Father God.
Global warming, climate change and carbon footprints are the new trinity.
The problem with climate change is that the earth has withstood many far more drastic changes in the past. There have been ice ages and warmer period for thousands of years.
That leads to the great debate with two main questions:
1) Is the earth really warming?
2) If it is, did mankind cause it?
The beautiful irony of the scientists who mocked organized religion was that they relied on "the facts."
Unfortunately, there are scientists on both sides of this issue citing fact as their foundation. Facts - like faith - are open to individual experience and interpretation.
Though the church was criticized for its intolerance of people who disagreed with, or ran afoul of, prevailing theology, the new religion is finding a much smoother path.
Governments, universities and the media are standing in line to encourage the new religion's prophets.
Al Gore has won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. He has been an active proponent of taxes assessed on companies and individuals for exceeding a limit on their "carbon footprint" - a calculation of the carbon dioxide emissions each person is responsible for.
Of course, few would pay a higher "carbon tax" than Gore, whose 2006 utility bills exceeded $30,000 - more than 20 times the national average.
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has vetoed a bill that would have allowed a new coal-fired electricity plant in Holcomb - a town in the state's rural western region. The nearest population center to Holcomb is Garden City - population about 30,000.
This new electrical producer would have existed without any taxpayer-backed funding.
That is not the case with the new "green" technologies.
According to a 2000 study by Phillip Suckling and Martin Mitchell, only two of the 10 hottest years on record statewide occurred within the past 50 years, while eight of the state's 10 all-time hottest years, including the six hottest years on record, occurred prior to 1956 -- more than a half-century ago.
Global warming is blamed for gradual melting of the polar ice caps. But in 10 years, those same scientists could use new facts to say they were wrong.
It seems a little alarmist to begin making policy on unproven theory. But the proponents of carbon taxes and those who would veto power plants "believe" in their facts.
Obviously recycling and conservation make sense. The fewer natural resources we use, the fewer landfills we'll need and the more we'll have for future generations and ourselves.
The prevailing "green" theories may have been based in good intentions, but their application has become a political power struggle.
There is no proof that any environmental change has occurred. It will take decades to measure it if it has.
Use less, reuse what you can, and recycle when possible. It only makes sense.
But we need to stop making public policy based on a theory just because one side of the fight has better public relations skills.