Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Loehr: the cowardice of the pulpit

At the request of UU Word, Boston College professor and political economist Charles Derber sat down and interviewed Davidson Loehr. The interview starts off explaining use of the “F-word,” when Davidson calls literalistic religion the mortal enemy of democracy. So why are so many religions sticking with strict and literalist interpretations of the bible? “It’s rare that ministers won’t care if they lose their biggest pledgers—who often use their money as a tool to restrict the preacher and the church to stay within their comfort zone. It’s embarrassing to think of how many times these people demean religion in this way—with the all-too-willing compliance of the ministers. It’s human nature, just as it’s natural for ministers to want to be liked…But right now, in the most dangerous time our country has been through in my lifetime, the silence—I want to say, the cowardice—of the pulpits is especially disturbing.” Loehr uses a Buddhist metaphor that says all religions, priests, and sages are fingers pointing at the moon, and that the object of religion is to see what they are pointing at–not to worship the fingers. Most people would agree that worshipping the fingers would be absurd. In recounting Loehr’s sermon from this past Sunday, Texas Oasis mentioned this quote by Voltaire: “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”


A Dictionary to Survive the Future

When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making—an intellectually evocative and inspiring dictionary, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological, […] Read More

Michael Ableman’s 15-Point Urban Food Manifesto

What if farms and food production were integrated into every aspect of urban living—from special assessments to create new farms and food businesses to teaching people how to grow fruits and vegetables so farmers can focus on staple crops.That’s the crux of Michael Ableman’s Urban Food Manifesto, which has been ten years in the making […] Read More

Q&A with Michael Ableman: How Urban Farming Can Improve Society

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood.Street Farm is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing […] Read More

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More

The Future Is Hopeless, So Give it Your All

The never-ending national election in the United States, the “surprise” pro-Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, climate change … the list goes on and on about how easy it can be to lose hope in the future.Like many of life’s frustrations, or overwhelmingly large topics, most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the […] Read More
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