You are here

Religion & Spirituality

The High Price of Materialism

  • The problems of excess materialism
  • The promises of a healthier, more just, and more sustainable life
  • Celebrating Spiritual Death On Black Friday
  • Great holiday gifts for $10 or less

centernewdream, YouTube

Thanks to Evergreene Digest readers Michael Sodos and Jeanette Eastman for this contribution.


This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Psychologist Tim Kasser discusses how America's culture of consumerism undermines our well-being. When people buy into the ever-present marketing messages that "the good life" is "the goods life," they not only use up Earth's limited resources, but they are less happy and less inclined toward helping others. The animation both lays out the problems of excess materialism and points toward solutions that promise a healthier, more just, and more sustainable life.



Animation by Squid and Beard.

Produced by the Center for a New American Dream

Related:

Learn more at
Center for a New American Dream

Celebrating Spiritual Death On Black Friday, Coleen Rowley, Huffington Post
Martin Luther King Jr. warned that a country in continuous war approaches spiritual death. I wonder if he realized that this extinction would play out in the nation's shopping malls as, like the Romans, we distract ourselves with bread and circuses from the crimes and catastrophes that surround us, and the responsibilities we avoid.

Great holiday gifts for $10 or less, Dana Dratch, Bankrate.com

  • Gifts are meant to be thoughtful (and) not necessarily expensive," Mendelsohn says. "And this is where that comes in more than any other gift -- when you're in a pinch to spend just a small amount of money
  • The High Price of Materialism
     

Did Hana's parents 'train' her to death?

  • The deaths of the three children each allegedly happened at the hands of their parents. Though they lived in different parts of the country, the parents all had several things in common: They adopted children, home-schooled them and beat them with quarter-inch plastic tubes.
  • They also followed the child-rearing teachings of a Tennessee evangelist, Michael Pearl, and his wife, Debi.

Jeff Hodson, Seattle (WA) Times

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Hana Grace-Rose Williams Courtesy of Lemley Chapel

Sean Paddock suffocated when he was wrapped too tightly in blankets.

Lydia Schatz died after being spanked for several hours.

And Hana Grace-Rose Williams, of Sedro-Woolley, was left out in the cold, where she died naked, face down in the mud.

More...

Related:

Michael and Debi Pearl's website

Website opposed to the Pearls' child-rearing ideas:

Jesus and the 99 Percent


 

  • Occupy Wall Street’s message to the church is, “If you were doing your job we wouldn’t be necessary.” The message of the church to OWS is, “There is an ally in the liberal progressive Christian community, and not all Christians are on the right.”
  • Where Were You When They Crucified My Movement?

Rev. Madison Shockley, Truthdig

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Composite: Wikimedia Commons / Flickr / _PaulS_ (CC-BY-SA)

Many have asked whether the Occupy Wall Street Movement has a coherent message. It really seems pretty clear to anyone who is listening at all. Because of the greed of the 1 percent, the other 99 percent of the population has been reduced to working for lower wages (or not working), to trying to survive (unemployment insurance, welfare and family handouts), to renting or homelessness, to suffering environmental degradation with sickness but without health insurance, and to paying higher prices for food and education while getting lower returns on savings and investments. The unchecked greed of these capitalist elite (symbolized by the banks) impoverishes the majority of people and undermines our democracy. This much was obvious in just the first five minutes of OWS.

We in the Christian community are also asking how the movement’s message coheres with our theological precepts. Should the church be for or against OWS? Should the church offer spiritual support? Should the church lend physical and material support to movement members? As I write from here at Union Theological Seminary in New York City (my alma mater where I’m currently on sabbatical), I have observed and participated with OWS at Zuccotti Park and its Oct. 15 action in Times Square. Union Theological is the seminary of choice for progressive Christian clergy in the United States, so it is no surprise that it has spawned what are known as “Protest Chaplains”: seminary students who participate in OWS as spiritual support and presence. I have attended meetings and worship services conducted by local clergy Occupy Faith NYC who felt drawn to be involved, even before all the questions listed above have been answered.

More...

Related:

Where Were You When They Crucified My Movement? Chris Hedges <http://www.opednews.com/author/author28678.html>, Truthdig <http://www.truthdig.com>
Chris Hedges gave an abbreviated version of this talk Saturday morning (Dec 3) in Liberty Square in New York City as part of an appeal to Trinity Church to turn over to the Occupy Wall Street movement an empty lot, known as Duarte Square, that the church owns at Canal Street and 6th Avenue. Occupy Wall Street protesters, following the call, began a hunger strike at the gates of the church-owned property. Three of the demonstrators were arrested Sunday on charges of trespassing, and three others took their places.
Occupy Wall St - The Revolution Is Love
Jesus and the 99 Percent
http://evergreenedigest.org/node/14045

Catholic bishops assault health and religious freedom.


Official Catholic positions say that abortion is impermissible even in cases of rape and incest; that stem cell research to help cure and treat debilitating illnesses is unacceptable, and that all artificial contraception and sterilization methods, including birth-control pills, vasectomies and condoms, are a violation.
The Catholic bishops' efforts blatantly undermine religious freedom in our country.


Scott Dibble, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

A new, forceful campaign from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, pushing an extremist ideological agenda against literally every single form of birth control, family planning services and women's health care, has come to light in Congress.

During a hearing of the Subcommittee on Health, Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., made clear that he will push to overturn a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that ensures that health plans cover birth control.

More...

Celebrating Spiritual Death On Black Friday

Martin Luther King Jr. warned that a country in continuous war approaches spiritual death. I wonder if he realized that this extinction would play out in the nation's shopping malls as, like the Romans, we distract ourselves with bread and circuses from the crimes and catastrophes that surround us, and the responsibilities we avoid.

Coleen Rowley, Huffington Post

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

How many remember that this "Black Friday" marks the 10th anniversary of George Bush's famous presidential advisory just after 9/11 for citizens to do their patriotic duty by pushing their worries aside and going shopping? The idea of asking the American people to make sacrifices in the face of the coming "War on Terror" was too '70s, too Jimmy Carter.

The 2001 attacks were quickly seized upon by hard-core propagandists and "shock doctrine" advocates as the "new Pearl Harbor," sparking a decade of blatant social-psychological manipulation. The media onslaught has proved sadly effective in getting Americans to support the ongoing series of bloody and bankrupting wars and to overlook the root causes of this violence in today's world.

More...

Duty to Warn: Modern day Genocide in Canada


  • About the widespread and cunningly hidden crimes against humanity that were perpetrated against innocent First Nation children over the past century in residential schools across Canada.
  • Your Crime is Not Diminished by Time, or Apology

Gary G. Kohls, MD, Evergreene Digest

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

Reverend Kevin Annett is an internet acquaintance of mine from Canada. He is an ex-United Church of Canada pastor (no relationship to the United Church of Christ in America) who was scandalously driven from his small rural parish in western Canada by higher-ups in his church.

Rev Annett has taught me a great deal more than I ever wanted to know about the widespread and cunningly hidden crimes against humanity that were perpetrated against innocent First Nation children over the past century in residential schools across Canada. These residential schools, identical in most aspects to the infamous mission schools in the US, were managed, with financial subsidization by the Canadian government, by three Christian church denominations in Canada, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the United Church of Canada.

What happened to Rev. Annett is the subject of an acclaimed documentary film as well as a feature film that is currently awaiting a marketing partner. The documentary film is titled “Unrepentant” (meaning that the three churches have not admitted their guilt, have covered-up the evidence of the crimes, have shielded the clergy and other leaders who were involved, and have not repented). Nor have the churches offered compensation or testified as to where the bodies of tens of thousands of disappeared children have been buried. Excavations of suspected sites of mass graves are proceeding as this column is being written.

The impoverished and grieving families of the disappeared and abused children have been denied justice repeatedly. They have been ignored, demeaned, bullied and stone-walled by the Crown and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). They have had their traditional lands stolen from them and sold by the churches to multinational timber companies, with none of the money coming to the tribes. Unable to afford the legal representation that the churches, seeking to protect their reputations at any cost, were able to obtain, they have repeatedly lost case after case in the courts. Being denied justice repeatedly, the families continue to sink lower and lower into despair, poverty, homelessness, joblessness, mental ill health and understandable use of mind-altering drugs and alcohol.

That is, until the courageous Rev. Kevin Annett took their side.

Annett was fresh out of seminary, with a wife and two children and eager to preach the gospel when he was assigned to a small parish in Port Alberni, British Columbia. Observing that there were no First Nation church members in an area with a First Nation’s population of 30%, he started asking why. The answers he received were initially unbelievable to him, but they were so disturbing that he felt compelled to reach the truth of the matter, even when the church urged him, then threatened him, to forget about the stories of the genocide he was hearing and ultimately knowing he was hearing the truth What pastor Annett had stumbled onto, is the subject of his acclaimed documentary, ”Unrepentant”, and his website.

Kevin Annett is planning on being in the Duluth area on a speaking tour this early December 2011. Events are being planned for Duluth and the Fond du Lac Reservation.

Below is a recent essay written by Rev. Annett, who, along with a multitude of First Nations’ victims of the mission and residential schools in North America, is seeking truth and justice and offering a path towards true reconciliation between the perpetrators and the victims of their violence. For understandable reasons, a local tribe has named him “Eagle Strong Voice”.


 

Your Crime is Not Diminished by Time, or Apology, Rev. Kevin D. Annett

  • “It’s worse now, because I’m supposed to be healed. They get away with everything and I’m still here on the corner”. -- Bingo, a homeless native survivor of Catholic Indian Residential schools, Vancouver, August 10, 2009
  • Why Nothing has Changed for Victims of Church Torture – or for the Victimizers

Bishops Are Behind the 'Let Women Die' Act and the Push Against Birth Control--Even As They're Under Fire for Sex Abuse Scandals

  • The first bishop in the US is indicted for child sex-abuse coverup; meanwhile, his colleagues push for laws that will intrude on our sexual freedom.
  • The Men Behind The War On Women

Sarah Seltzer, AlterNet

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Photo Credit: AFP

Last week (Oct 9-15), the House's passage of the now-notorious H.R. 358 -- also known as the "Let Women Die" bill -- caused deserved outrage. But the bill's connection to the high-ranking Catholic group that fought for its passage, even while the American church is fighting a horrific new sex abuse scandal, hasn't been given the attention it deserves.

The new bill (which the president has vowed to veto) would essentially obliterate abortion coverage by both public and private insurers, and most egregiously get hospitals off the hook for refusing to perform abortions for women whose lives are in immediate danger. It would literally allow hospitals to let women die with impunity.

More...

Related:

The Men Behind The War On Women, Laura Bassett, Huffington Post
Lift the curtain, and behind the assault on women is the conference of (Catholic) bishops.

Pages

Subscribe to Religion &amp; Spirituality