Compassionate Spirit

This blog is concerned with a number of subjects, often very different, but with the unifying theme of “compassion.” It has been operational for over two decades, since September 1, 2001. When I first started, it was primarily a vehicle to promote my earlier book The Lost Religion of Jesus, but quickly grew into a place for thinking about many other topics, including the broader history of religion, vegetarianism, veganism, the environment, simple living and nonviolence, limits to growth, peak oil, climate change, ecological economics, and other things.

Ecological economics and limits to growth

  • Because we need a U-turn in environmental policy, including difficult-to-implement and fundamental social changes, which need to happen at the individual, local, national, and international levels
  • Because the peak of world oil production will likely occur soon, if indeed we didn’t pass it already in 2018, and our leaders and most of the public are completely oblivious to the catastrophic economic consequences this will have
  • Because we are now experiencing the greatest mass extinction of plant and animal species since the mass extinction of the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago, this time due to human activity
  • Because deforestation, soil erosion, habitat destruction, pollution, and global warming are ripping apart the ecosystem, and this cannot fail to affect human beings at some point

Simple Living and Nonviolence

  • Because we live in a materialistic culture which emphasizes consumption
  • Because this consumption is rapidly destroying the environment which supports life
  • Because our culture makes it difficult to live simply — because simple living is so “complex”
  • Because environmental destruction, climate change, and resource depletion will become a major social issue within the next few decades
  • Because the twentieth century had more violence between humans than any other century in history
  • Because we face a highly divided, heavily armed world with increasingly contentious environmental issues coming to the forefront

Vegetarianism / Veganism

  • Because a vegetarian or vegan diet is much healthier; vegetarians and especially vegans have dramatically reduced risk for heart disease, cancer and other degenerative diseases — diseases which have led to medical expenses which are spiraling out of control in the USA.
  • Because a vegetarian, and especially a vegan diet, requires only a fraction of land resources such as soil, water, forests, and energy, which are now being devastated by the world’s meat-eating habits
  • Because nine billion animals are needlessly killed each year in the USA alone
  • Because these animals, killed for food, do not live easy lives, often cooped up in “factory farms,” nor do they die easy deaths

Jesus and the Ebionites

  • Because Jesus preached a message of simple living and nonviolence, a message which the world needs, and which the “Christian” countries which are responsible for most of the cars, consumerism, meat-eating, fossil fuel usage, and environmental devastation in the world need especially urgently
  • Because too much of Christianity is silent about, or actually rejects, Jesus’ message of simple living and nonviolence
  • Because the message of simple living and nonviolence was preserved best by those early Christians who were Jewish — the “Ebionites,” or “the poor,” who practiced simple living, pacifism, and vegetarianism
  • Because disillusionment with Christianity is increasing by leaps and bounds