- Jun 2015
John Muir, a naturalist, writer, and founder of the Sierra Club, invoked the “God of the Mountains” in his defense of the valley in its supposedly pristine condition.
The "Gods of the mountains" line was a piece of Muir's larger metaphor for the holiness of natural places that figured those who would develop them as "temple destroyers." Here's the full quote from Muir's defense of the Hetch Hetchy in his book The Yosemite.:
These temple destroyers, devotees of ravaging commercialism, seem to have a perfect contempt for Nature, and, instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the mountains, lift them to the Almighty Dollar.
Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.