How did “throw-away,” “disposable” and “planned obsolescence” become part of product design and marketing? It was deliberate. Wars are effective at getting economies moving. But how can a war-based economy continue in peacetime? One way is to continue hostilities, another way is consumption. Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, wrote in 1776, “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.” Retailing analyst Victor Lebow famously proclaimed in 1955: “Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life… We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced and discarded at an ever-increasing rate.”
“Beloved, war and poverty form a kind of toxic symbiotic relationship with each component contributing to the other. The more we wage war, and the war economy, the more poor young men and women die on the battlefield and die at home from the lack of healthcare. And at the same time we’re draining away more and more resources to the war economy, thus creating even more poverty. And when the current situation of escalating war and poverty is seen from another standpoint, from the standpoint of the military industrial political elites who make billions of dollars off of war it is easy for them to justify more war in order to take more resources of other nations and to give crumbs to the impoverished masses in this nation to blind us and keep us from seeing the truth. And that if we saw the truth, we would turn against them. And so we are in this cycle of perpetual war.”— Rev. Nelson Johnson
Rev. Nelson Johnson of the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro, North Carolina speaks at The Gathering. Learn more and take action at breachrepairers.org.
Nelson Johnson has been active in the movement for social and economic justice since high school in the late 1950’s. Though involved in a myriad of initiatives, Rev. Johnson centers his efforts on facilitating a process of comprehensive community building, which include a convergence of racial and ethnic diversity, social and economic justice, and genuine participatory democracy. He is is actively building relationships with and providing leadership within organized labor, faith groups and other public and private community organizations.0
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This is not a way of life at all, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953)
Christian escapism is really bad theology. If God so loves the world, then how does it makes sense that we’re trying to leave it? Rapture theology is dangerous theology because it essentially says that we aren’t stewards of creation – it’s all going to be destroyed anyway so why bother. Oh and war – no biggie, remember, all the unsaved will be killed by God and the earth will be ravaged, so why bother. Makes for great foreign policy, environmental stewardship, and more, doesn’t it? We are called to participate in the unfolding of the kingdom of God right now, here on earth. We’re called on to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit the sick and imprisoned, to go and make disciples. If God wanted to whisk us away, then why on earth would Jesus command us to do these things?
If anything should anger followers of Jesus at Christmas time, it shouldn’t be that we don’t say “Merry Christmas” as often as we did, but that we so seldom say “I forgive you.”
“We need to be much more vocal and proactive in speaking out against racism in all its forms — individual and structural. If we can’t do that, we’re going to be irrelevant as a church.” – Floerke Scheid
Anna Floerke Scheid is associate professor of theology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Her research interests are in the area of Christian social ethics. In particular she is concerned with ethical issues surrounding human rights, conflict, and post-conflict reconciliation. She explores Christian perspectives on war and peace-especially just war theory and just peacemaking theory-and studies how restorative justice has been enacted in truth and reconciliation commissions around the world.0
“Even more important for Christians than being on the front lines of the culture war is participating in the culture—and better yet, helping to create and nurture it. If the main contribution that Christians make to culture is complaining about it, we’re doing something wrong. Christians and the arts community start by learning to look at each other as potential allies, even friends, instead of as sworn enemies.” — Eric Metaxas
Eric Metaxas is an American author, speaker, and radio host. He is known for two biographies, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery about William Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy about Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ericmetaxas0
“It should be startling and infuriating that Trump is able to order a new attack on the Syrian Government without any democratic debate, let alone Congressional approval. Those who instantly fall in line behind Trump as he bombs people are ensuring that he will keep doing it. The one constant of American political life is that the U.S. loves war. Martin Luther King’s 1967 denunciation of the U.S. as ‘the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today’ is more accurate than ever.” — Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald is a journalist, constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times best-selling books on politics and law, best known for his role in a series of reports published by The Guardian.
Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ggreenwald0
“Resistance to Trump and Trumpism will succeed only if it mobilises both conservative and progressive forces opposed to authoritarianism, and it needs to stand for a better way to live in truth, with dignity.” — Charles Leadbeater
Charles Leadbeater is a leading authority on innovation and creativity, a British author and former advisor to Tony Blair.
See: The prophets of Trumpism: How the ideas of two pre-war intellectual refugees – the radical Herbert Marcuse and the reactionary Eric Voegelin – are influencing the new culture wars among Trump and his acolytes.0
“As Americans have left organized religion, they haven’t stopped viewing politics as a struggle between “us” and “them.” Many have come to define us and them in even more primal and irreconcilable ways.” — Peter Beinart
Peter Beinart is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and an associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York.0