Earth Day and Relativism

Last Friday was Earth Day. Did anyone celebrate? Nope, I didn’t. But I did reminisce about my very first Earth Day on its 20th Anniversary. I know many of you don’t have a memory of 15 years ago—the time before the Internet and when recycling and recycled products were “New Age” ideas. I was 15 years old then, a freshman in high school, and I made sure everyone knew then what “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” meant. I was the school’s “bleeding heart liberal” on any issue.

Reminiscing about that year of my life and thinking about the person I was a half a lifetime ago, I have to chuckle at the changes I’ve gone through. A word that’s been popping up everywhere we look in the news lately because of Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict is “relativism”. My vocab isn’t all that large, so I had to look it up just to be sure, and the definition in the Oxford dictionary is: the belief that truth is not always and generally valid, but can be judged only in relation to other things, such as your personal situation. For those of you who haven’t been following the news on Pope Benny, he is a staunch opponent of this philosophy. But the word itself got me thinking.


I come from a blue collar family of a line of steel mill workers from Cleveland, Ohio. With the exception of my parents, the members of my extended family are republicans. I am the black sheep. To them, my ideas are left of liberal, and my salvation is on the line. Even when I moved toward the right, as a moderate democrat, I was still too left.

I’m sure many of you find that funny—Kim Vlach being “left of liberal”. Here amongst all these diverse perspectives, I feel like the “Rush Limbaugh of Saga” (even though I’m no where near that conservative!).

If my relatives think I’m too liberal, then what would they think of the viewpoints here?

I guess everything is relative.