The Dandelion Liberation Front

One keeps coming back to the dictum attributed to GK Chesterton: “When a man ceases to believe in God, he does not believe in nothing. He believes in anything.” Europeans of course have taken this further than anyone else. The most secular continent on earth, Europe is also the most radical when it comes to attacking human dignity and the sanctity of life. It is also the most radical when it comes to conferring legal status and rights on non-humans.

Not long ago Spain declared certain animals to have basic human rights. Now Switzerland has gone even further, declaring that plants may well have inherent moral dignity. One writer sets the scene: “A few years ago the Swiss added to their national constitution a provision requiring ‘account to be taken of the dignity of creation when handling animals, plants and other organisms.’ No one knew exactly what it meant, so they asked the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology to figure it out. The resulting report, ‘The Dignity of Living Beings with Regard to Plants,’ is enough to short circuit the brain.”

I have before me the said document (see link below). It is indeed a lulu. Let me offer a few choice quotes from the report:

“The only criterion on which all the members could agree, despite their very differing intuitions, was that we should not harm or destroy plants arbitrarily. Whether concrete ways of acting could be derived from this prohibition on the arbitrary handling of plants, and what they might be, remained unclear.”

“The great majority of the ECNH members holds the opinion that prima facie we do not possess unrestricted power over plants. We may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community is not in danger, or if our actions do not endanger the species, or if we are not acting arbitrarily.”

“No member takes the theocentric position.” Theocentrism means, “The basis for this position is the idea of a God who is creator, and therefore the creative ground of all living organisms. What counts for its own sake is God. All organisms count because of their relationship to God.”

“A clear majority takes a biocentric position.” Biocentrism means, “Living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive.”

“Not quite half of the members are doubtful, based on current knowledge, that plants are sentient. Conversely, a small group considers it probable that plants are sentient. A group of equal size considers this question unanswerable on the basis of current knowledge, while the smallest minority in the committee considers this question as fundamentally unanswerable.”

“But it could be that plants nevertheless fulfil the necessary conditions for a kind of sentience. Although plants do not have a central nervous system, the question arises of whether sentience necessarily depends on a central nervous system, and whether disturbances have to be perceived consciously.”

“The Committee members unanimously consider an arbitrary harm caused to plants to be morally impermissible. This kind of treatment would include, e.g. decapitation of wild flowers at the roadside without rational reason.”

I think you start to get the drift. These Swiss eggheads actually spent countless hours meditating on the moral status of tulips, and the sentience of sagebrush. Not surprisingly, none of the committee members accepted the theocentric view of things, but most advanced the biocentric view.

This is just more mother earth paganism, gaia worship, and New Age hokum. While Europe is allowing countless millions of unborn babies to be aborted every year, the Eurosecularists are wringing their hands over whether it is morally acceptable to decapitate a dandelion.

One can see a Dandelion Liberation Front opening up soon in major European cities. Mass marches protesting the immoral act of lawn mowing will soon become commonplace. Of course any tree-felling will soon become a capital crime – oops, sorry, they don’t do the death penalty there.

But given the horrors of speciesism and plant genocide, they might be persuaded to reinstate it. After all, if it comes down to a choice between humankind and a bunch of blackberry bushes, those Europeans sure have their priorities straight.

One can see streets and parking lots being dismantled all around Europe. After all, Joni Mitchell once bewailed the fact that we “paved paradise, and put up a parking lot”. So plant liberation movements around the continent will seek to get us back to the garden.

The problem is, the more extreme plant libbers will rule out even being allowed to walk on the grass. We will be forced to remain immobile, for fear of stepping on one poor sentient bit of crabgrass. Indeed, soon the logical call will come to cull human beings so that poor turnips can flourish, and those sentient tomato plants can run free.

Free Willy campaigns will be supplemented by Free Dandy campaigns. One simply wonders why it took those enlightened Europeans so long to realise the precious nature of plant life, and the expendable nature of human beings.

I of course have been having a bit of fun at the expense of some Swiss loony tunes. But there is a very serious side to all this. Indeed, several things can be noted in closing. One, we need to get back to the biblical story line.

The biblical understanding is that only human beings have unique dignity and worth, because they are made in the image of God. All of the other created order is to be treated with care and concern, and we are to be good stewards of the rest of creation. But only human beings have souls, only human beings will live forever, and only human beings have been the object of God’s love through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

Two, whenever we jettison God – or in this case, reject theocentrism – we end up worshipping the creature rather than the creator. Paul of course warned about this in Romans 1. It is a sure sign of human autonomy and revolt. But whenever man seeks to elevate the creature to the level of the creator, trouble always occurs.

As Vincent Miceli wrote in his 1971 book, The Gods of Atheism, “Whoever strikes against God strikes down himself. The atheist denying God degrades himself. The atheist exalting himself above God sinks below the level of animate and inanimate beings. Liberation from God is enslavement in creatures. Absolute humanism is the sure road to absolute despotism. Denial of God as truth begets the imprisonment of man in the self-imposed darkness of his own myths.”

Or to quote GKC once again – this time, a sure quote of his, from Orthodoxy: “The secularists have not wrecked divine things; but the secularists have wrecked secular things, if that is any comfort to them. The Titans did not scale heaven; but they laid waste the world.”

Today Switzerland is debating the human rights of dandelions. Who knows what they may be debating tomorrow. But until they – and all of us – start getting back to a bit of theocentrism, and start easing up on all the anthropocentrism, things will only get a heck of a lot worse, and real soon.

Click to access e-Broschure-Wurde-Pflanze-2008.pdf

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19 Replies to “The Dandelion Liberation Front”

  1. Yes ‘absolute humanism is the sure road to absolute despotism’.
    Stan Fishley

  2. We are already ‘culling’ the human race, only it is caaled ‘termination of pregnancy’. Stilling a viable human heart, whether before birth or after is murder, and whoever does so will have to answer for it in the end.
    Christian P.J. Bahnerth

  3. So, I guess making daisy chains could be out now?

    I think these people have watched “The Happening” way too many times and are definitely reading into it a bit more than the rest of the global population.

    Seriously though, how sad is the path that leads away from God. The image of the city, Vanity Fair, from the book Pilgrim’s Progress comes to mind. The absolute insanity and godlessness portrayed in the image fit well with the thinking currently coming out of Europe.

    Megan Fisher

  4. Bill, what you’ve shown is the extremist point to which the green agenda can ultimately lead. I live in a bushfire prone area. Green driven local councils have caused the many extreme cases that came to light after the Black Saturday fires – people who over the years were fined for cutting down dead trees, fined for removing broken branches from the road, forced to plant trees up to the walls of their homes, denied permits to cut down overhanging trees. As you may be aware a number of class actions are already under way.

    Where were the greenies during the bushifires? Where they at the front with the volunteer fire fighters? Where they risking their lives to save their precious trees? NO! They ran for cover and are hiding in silence. Since Black Saturday all I hear in my area every weekend is chain saws as people remove the fire hazard trees up against their houses. Not one greeny council officer has dared to show their face. And frankly they had better not!

    Be warned. As the new age mother earth religions gain momentum, the biblical view of man is diminishing and what may seem like a loony exercise today will one day be government policy.

    Frank Norros

  5. The British people remain blissfully unaware that the fundamental freedom of thought and free will, or choice, that which marks us as being human, as opposed to being a dandelion – not given by the Human Rights Club but by God – is being signed away in the UK Parliament right now. I heard last night from Andrea Minichiello Williams (and I urge everyone to sign up to receiving her emails) of Christian Concern for Our Nation that parliament spent 100 hours debating fox hunting and one hour over abortion laws.

    Terrifying it is indeed to watch debates taking place in UK parliament where just a handful of MPs are seen discussing issues of eternal significance and to see those who stand for righteousness, clearly and irrefutably winning the argument for retaining a clause like 29Ja of the Public Order Act 1986 (which was designed to safe-guard free speech with regard to discussing or critiquing homosexuality) only for them to be overwhelming defeated by those who were not even present during the debate. Even during which, unchallenged assertions were made that forbade anyone making a connection between homosexuality, paedophilia, disease and degradation. Indeed one would have thought they were talking about dandelions or knitted pullovers and not the greatest threat to society since World War 11. If MPs are even censored what hope can there be for the general public?

    Winston Churchill, though no angel, when trying to alert Parliament to the threat of Nazism, in 1938, said: “I foresee and foretell that the policy of submission will carry with it restrictions upon the freedom of speech and debate in Parliament, on public platforms, and discussions in the Press, for it will be said –
    indeed, I hear it said sometimes now – that we cannot allow the nazi system of dictatorship to be criticised by ordinary common English politicians. And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year, unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.”

    Well Mr Churchill that bitter cup is with us like never before and I fear that Britain has indeed lost the moral health and martial vigour to rise again and take its stand for freedom as in the olden times.

    For those who can stomach watching live the final death throws of Britain, look out for Clause 58 of the Coroners and Justice Bill, “Incitement to Homophobic Hatred” being debated in both Houses of Parliament

    David Skinner, UK

  6. And here’s a home-grown version of the problem:

    Reported in a number of places by now, a devout Muslim student teacher applied to Heathdale Christian College for a short-term trainee placement.

    When she was (predictably) declined despite the clear and careful explanation supplied by the principal, she took the matter up with the Equal Opportunity Commission.

    John Angelico

  7. John, The equality law minimises offence experienced by Christians but maximises those experienced by Muslims and Homosexuals. Will theological colleges and Christian schools be forced to employ Muslim/homosexual lecturers? Maybe it’s already happened. What’s the homosexual equivalent for Dhimmitude?

    David Skinner, UK

  8. What about my vegies? My roast won’t be the same without roast potatoes, pumpkin and greens. Will I have to apologise to my meals instead of saying grace? And what about the greeny vegetarians? The radical left seems to be turning on itself. What a potential abyss of confusion.

    Anthony McGregor

  9. Thanks Anthony

    Yes good point: if it is immoral to eat meat, and presumably also immoral to eat veggies, that does not leave us with a lot of options. Except death – which may be what some of these radical secularists prefer.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. Thanks David

    I am still intrigued by your question, “What’s the homosexual equivalent for Dhimmitude?” I am trying to come up with something. Homotude? PCtude? Help me out here readers. The best response will be trumpeted far and wide.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  11. Green driven local councils have caused the many extreme cases that came to light after the Black Saturday fires – people who over the years were fined for cutting down dead trees, fined for removing broken branches from the road, forced to plant trees up to the walls of their homes, denied permits to cut down overhanging trees. As you may be aware a number of class actions are already under way.

    Class actions? That’s good news.

    What’s the homosexual equivalent for Dhimmitude?

    Breedertude. (Heterosexuals are called “breeders”).

    Louise Le Mottee, Hobart

  12. Bill, I have just been re-reading the beloved GKC’s “Orthodoxy.” In this very volume he predicted the Dandelion Liberation Front. Probably in the same chapter you quoted from. And yes, the secularists have wrecked even secular things.

    And what did he say about humanists? He said that the humanists prized everything above humans.

    He died in 1936. The man was a prophet.

    Louise Le Mottee, Hobart

  13. Hi Bill,

    Sodhimmitude (and Sodhimmis to describe the practitioners) would fit the bill.

    Mansel Rogerson, Melbourne

  14. Thanks Mansel

    Sodhimmitude – hey, I like it! That could be a winner! But keep those suggestions coming in folks. The best entree will win fame and renown, having coined an important new term to use in the culture wars.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  15. Brilliant Mansel. You must have had a supernatural revelation. No one could have thought that one up!!

    David Skinner, UK

  16. If every conceivably living thing (amoebas etc;) gained rights as well as plants, we would have a kind of Institutionalised Jainism wouldn’t we?

    That is of course every living thing except for human embryos…

    With the homosexual dhimmitude thing, I can’t read Arabic, so my one won’t be too witty. But I did consult the New Testament for some Greek terms which may be appropriate. I came up with symphemitude – from the Greek for “assent/consent to.” Because dhimmis submit to Islamic domination in order to peaceably carry on with their lives, I wanted something that encapsulated “tolerance” in the case of homosexuality.

    Yarran Johnston

  17. Chesterton sounds like he’s describing Gnosticism, which seems to be able to invent a reason for anything its practitioners _want_ to believe — then blame justification for it on a distorted interpretation of “knowledge.”
    Leon Brooks

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