Degrowth and economic justice (video)

We want to get to a smaller economy in order to protect the environment. But it’s hard to get all warm and fuzzy about the environment if you’re just trying to make ends meet.

This is my fourth video on “limits to growth and veganism,” based on the ideas for the talk I gave last fall on “Limits to growth and veganism” via Zoom. Please comment below.

7 Replies to “Degrowth and economic justice (video)”

  1. Amen! Good job. Yeah UBI and sustainable living are our tickets out of this mess. I’m reading the Richard Shwartz book now – excellent! More and more, I’m thinking Jesus was ascetic in addition to vegetarian. I had a problem accepting your assertion Jesus drank no ? because the principle of embarrassment used in historical reconstruction would not permit them to distort Jesus INTO an alleged heavy drinker. But the more I chew on it, the more I think this was the perfect whitewash of Jesus as the movement went into its post-resurrection marketing phase. A drinking, fish eating Jesus was much more appealing to the affluent whose money was needed to grow the movement. In other words, capitalism corrupted the image of Jesus! John was his mentor and he was clearly ascetic. This alone makes it unlikely in my mind that Jesus was trained by the Baptist and then washed his hands of his key teachings.

    1. That’s basically my thought as well. Whenever anyone cites a text as likely true because “it would be embarrassing, and therefore unlikely to have been added later” — you have to ask, “embarrassing to whom?” It’s the ascetic, vegan Jesus who would have been more embarrassing to the Christian movement as it progressed towards social acceptability in the Roman world. Islam, in this case, remembers Jesus more correctly than does Christianity.

  2. Deep conversation, Keith and Drew. Thank you.

    Is it safe to generalize that Trinitarian Christians consider Matthew 11:16-19 accurate, inspired and canonical, while Muslims consider Matthew 11:16-19 a false attribution to Jesus?

    Are either of you suggesting there should be at least one state in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or in the United Nations more broadly, that prohibits both animal products and alcohol, in addition to providing a UBI, and that this would be in accordance with Jesus’ real teaching?

    1. Your generalization about Trinitarian Christians, Muslims, and Matthew 11:16-19 (“the Son of man came eating and drinking”) is generally safe. While it’s not spelled out, most people would think that what is being talked about is eating meat and drinking wine, the very thing that Paul says make your brothers stumble (Romans 14:21).

      I’m not suggesting at this point that any countries necessarily prohibit animal products or alcohol. I’ll deal with that in a future video, I hope. I’m not sure what Jesus would have thought about such political questions, though Mohammed obviously was quite different.

      1. Thank you. I very much look forward to future video(s) on the topic.

        If we put ourselves in ecumenical dialogue between sympathetic Unitarian vegan Christians and sympathetic Trinitarian vegan Christians, it seems that two things are happening.

        On one hand, Unitarian vegan Christians (and vegan Muslims) are highlighting the vegan, teetotaling ethic of John the Baptist, which Jesus plainly in part supports. John the Baptist in this case represents a religion and a nation-state profoundly reorganized around vegan, teetotaling laws and works. “Repent, and embrace a new Way of Life, or suffer Hell in the afterlife and collapse in this one,” John the Baptist seems to say, and Jesus appears to be in considerable agreement.

        On the other hand, Trinitarian vegan Christians are highlighting the flesh-eating and wine-drinking of Jesus as evidence that salvation comes not by vegan, teetotaling works and laws, but rather by faith in a supernatural Messiah who puts the forgiveness of our brothers’ sin – and the tolerance of our brothers’ diversity – first. Trinitarian vegan Christians seem more likely to view veganism as a voluntary ethic, not as a rule imposed by the church or state, and as a selective charism, but not as the primary means (instrument) or proof (evidence) of salvation.

        These are crude generalizations, Keith, but I am trying to understand how Trinitarian vegan Christians might be interacting with your work in the Lost Religion of Jesus and in Disciples.

        1. And here are my (somewhat tardy but brief) thoughts.

          People are still buying and reading The Lost Religion of Jesus. When someone writes me and likes the book, if the conversation gets to this point, it usually turns out that they’re not in any Christian church; they fall in the category, roughly, of “spiritual but not religious.” Sometimes, in fact, they are explicitly not Christian at all; they are Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or Jewish, and just want to know more about Jesus. Just as Christians admire Gandhi, so many non-Christians admire Jesus, and for these people, the book has quite a bit of resonance.

          It’s extremely rare that questions of theology, Trinitarian or otherwise, come up. Since I don’t view theological beliefs as that important to begin with — how could a theological belief make you a better or happier person? — I regard this as a good thing.

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