Streams of Justice: Against recycling

The latest endorsement from Streams of Justice, Dave Diewert’s social justice group, is of “The One ‘R’ Posse”:

Communiqué from The One ‘R’ Posse!

Operation Knock Over Recycle Bin and Strew The Contents All Over The Street!
Just say no to Recycling! If you Reduce and Reuse, there is no need to Recycle. Recycling is just a way for capitalism to ride the back of environmentally conscious people with out ever having to actually change their fundamental system.

In Seattle during the anti-WTO convergence, in 1999, we set a dumpster of cardboard recycling on fire. This action was widely misconstrued as a bunch of hooligan police provocateurs attempting to besmirch the good name of respectable protesters and rioters alike.

Our goal in Operation Set Cardboard Dumpster On Fire was to prevent the recycling trucks from coming to pick it up, using fossil fuels and ever increasing road networks to bring it to the recycling depot, process it then transport it in more trucks to factories to manufacture it into goods consumers would drive their cars to malls to yet again purchase, starting this whole ‘recycling’ charade all over again. How many times can one recycled box be recycled before the recycling process itself becomes just another toxic pollutant!

After being lambasted in the corporate media and ruthlessly chastised by all factions in the Left, we stopped everything we were doing and retreated to re-evaluate and perfect our strategies. After a decade of intensive internal theoretical and strategic development, we finally returned, only to find our actions meeting the same merciless critique by our allies.

On Feb 13, 2010 as part of the convergence against the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, the One ‘R’ Posse knocked over a recycle bin in solidarity with the Left, and to move forward our own cause of stopping the ‘recycling’ ruse consumers have been duped into by so called environmentalists who are decreasing their carbon footprint with one foot while just making another one with the other foot!

The One ‘R’ Posse took into consideration that setting that cardboard dumpster on fire, while preventing the production of greenhouse gasses in transport and manufacturing only added to Global Warming by adding milligrams of smoke into the atmosphere. After being thrust into the global spotlight of criticism and a decade of internal reflection, we changed our tactic. We realized the world just wasn’t prepared for the radical reality of a dumpster fire. We needed to take action that makes sense under current social conditions. Littering was the solution we chose. City workers were thus employed to clean up the plastic bottles, creating jobs and showing solidarity with Union workers. At the same time Environmentalist NGO’s can rest easy that no carbon emissions were unnecessarily created. Workers and environmentalists are finally united over the same bin!

This is beyond satire. I’ve tried to satirize these people. But the reality is so much more farcical and ridiculous than any satire that I could imagine.

This sort of thing on the part of Christian social justice group makes Glenn Beck’s recent statements seem not only justified but eminently fair and sober minded:

In recent radio show, that was broadcast on more than 400 affiliates, he told his listeners to leave any church that uses the phrases “social justice” or “economic justice.” “I beg you, look for the words ’social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church Web site,” he said.

“If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!” He went on to say, “If you have a priest pushing social justice go find another parish. Go alert your bishop and tell them. [Ask them] are you down with this whole social justice thing?”   (Read more: http://network.nationalpost.com/; The National Post is now on Facebook. Join our fan community today.)

Of course in the National Post article did not interview Canadian theologian Dr. Craig Carter who has a series on the problem with the term “social justice” that pretty much agrees, in a sophisticated manner, with Glenn Beck’s warnings.

Craig Carter did two recent posts on “social justice”:

What is my beef with social justice I

What is my beef with social justice II

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O Anarchist, Where is your faith?

Christian anarchists, communists, and socialists seem to view the economic world as a pie.  You can only cut it up so many ways.  So if a rich person has a lot of money, then he has a larger portion of the pie.  For them, economics is a zero-sum game.  A poker game is a zero sum game:  at the end of the game there is only as much money as what the players originally brought to table–it’s redistributed differently, but its the same amount of money.  Thus, in the view of these people, if wealthy Christians have money, they have defrauded the poor.  That is why perhaps they support political systems that would force the wealthy to relinquish their riches; but in the end, where ever such a system is tried, everyone ends up living in dire poverty; communism shrinks the pie.  We’ve seen it in dozens of countries.  In my view, these Christians do not understand economics nor do they have sufficient faith in God:  “And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11.6).

My goal as a wanna-be righteous investor is to increase the size of the pie.  Christian ministries don’t usually generate wealth themselves but depend upon Christian men and women who work jobs or who have successful businesses or other investments.  Those ministries like Streams of Justice which aim toward political advocacy requiring more funding for the poor will have a negative impact on the bottom line of these Christians and decrease their ability to give.  If we are smart, Christians donors must begin to resist the politics of envy and so-called Christians ministries which have lost faith in a big God and instead turned to big government for solutions.

I found an example of envy and of lack of vision on PoserorProphet’s blog, where he, in his typically jaundiced and imbalanced fashion, criticizes a large Vancouver church for mistreatment of the poor. The sycophants of his blog–I call them that because I’ve learned that if like me you are highly critical of Poser, he will not even allow you to comment on his blog–some of the sycophants of his blog believe that Broadway Church has defrauded the poor with the buildings which are “a country club” for its members.  The Pastor of Broadway, Darin Latham came online and defended the ministries of his church, saying that they do devote considerable resources to helping the poor:

You failed to mention, however, that hundreds of thousands of those dollars we raise feed over 150 homeless every Sunday morning of every week of the year, plus we supply groceries to 120 families every week, free of charge. We also run a free clothing depot… Not to mention a few geared to income housing complexes we operate throughout the city.

But despite his efforts, some of Poser’s readers were unimpressed:

Subversivechurch writes (sic):

Notice Darin does not touch on the topic of the operating expenses (salaries, ultilities, upkeep, etc.). And the chances are pretty high that he won’t either because when people start looking at the revenue… I mean income… I mean tithes of a church and where they go, you start to see why I refer to the IC [institutional church] as a country club. The amount of money that stays within the IC for the benefit of the members is vastly greater than the money that is used outside of the building. [snip]

Would a congregation realize that if they hadn’t built such a large structure, they could have helped a mother avoid depression by feeding and clothing her child, or a father not decend into violence because he can’t find work and feed his family?

Pastor Darin rightly defended his church as having the building to do all kinds of ministry: Christian education, counseling and worship.  For the subversives, the only thing they know is envy which sees economics as a zero sum game and God as so puny that he cannot provide all of our needs according to his riches in glory.  So they begrudge the church’s use of an expensive PA system:  Envy.  So why not have big mega-church?  Personally, I don’t like mega-churches and I think they come with their own challenges.  But if God called the founders of Broadway Church to build a mega church, then that is up to God, isn’t it?  I will testify, however, that the one time that I suffered from want I was helped by Frank Merriwether, who was at the time a College & Career Pastor at Broadway.  So I owe a debt of gratitude to that church.  Why is it that these arrogant anarchists believe that their agenda is the only one that Christians should concern themselves with.  They insist:  become like the poor, become homeless, identify with poor homeless, have solidarity with the poor–the whole world revolves around the poor.  Yet the homeless in Vancouver number about 3000.   I hate to tell you this, but there is over 600,000 people in that city and they all have spiritual needs, every single precious one of them.  It is not just about the poor.  It is about reaching out to the grandmother whose grandchild was killed in an accident and she can’t pray anymore.  It is about the parents who live in an upscale neighborhood whose daughter can’t be found.  It is about that depressed computer programmer who wants to swallow a bottle of pills.  It is about the widower who lies awake at night wondering if God is there. It’s about teaching kids about God in Sunday school; it’s about helping young people find their vocation in the Lord; it’s about helping the working poor and the working well-off, because we have spiritual needs too.  God cares for the poor, but he also cares for every single one of the rest of us too.  And it is about that guy at Regent College who was lonely and ran out of money while waiting for his student loan cheque.  John 3.16 says that God so loved the poor, right?  No, God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son …  And what about these passages:

The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3.9)

This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2.3-4)

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. (1 Tim 4.10)

But why can’t a church like Broadway, if some have a vision, have strategic ministries for the poor (which they do) and keep their building?  Is God so weak that he can’t provide both everything the church needs to pay for that wonderful facility and staff in addition to ministries for the poor?  Where is your faith?  These people have a puny view of economics and they have a puny god.

What happened to the Pauline concept of the body of Christ?  Isn’t it possible to have some people care for the poor and others who care for the elderly?  Some to care for the teens and others who dedicate their time to missions?  Why should the toe or eye say I don’t need you?  Why should the belly button say if you aren’t a belly button and do exactly what I do, you are not a member of the body, and you are not doing what you should be doing for the Kingdom.  Poppycock!

The Christian God, the one and only God, is big, and he has the resources of glory at his disposal.  He can provide Broadway Church both with resources to maintain their church building and to provide for the poor, as he calls the congregation to movement.  It is just simply silly to suggest that God would insist that they use that facility for the homeless or as a warehouse for feeding the poor, etc., when it is used by the congregation for worship, Christian education, and all the other ministries.  Beware, these anarchists are trying to sow seeds of dissension and envy, and the rest of us, the evil institutional church people, don’t have to put up with it.

Leftist, anarchist Christians against the Winter Olympics in Vancouver

My friend the Brooks pointed out a conversation at the blog of Nathan Colquhoun, in a blog post, “The Enchanting Economics of Death, Spectacular Resistance, and the Pursuit of New Life: a reflection from the streets of Vancouver“, in which Colquhoun repeats the anxious rant of an anonymous protestor at the games.  It has aroused a discussion in which Dan Oudshoorn, a.k.a. Poserorprophet, insults everyone who disagrees with him and basically condemns wealthy Christians.  Poser offered on his own blog another post by the same anonymous poster called “F— the police”.

Many of the institutions with which I do business, Royal Bank, oil sands, Latin American mining companies, TD Bank, were mentioned.  So I decided to write the following comment against Poser, against the anonymous Poster, and against the generally anarchist marxist tendencies among certain Christians today:

This conversation really baffles me. The other day on his blog Poser said that he needed to raise funds for his new job: amongst whom was he going raise this funding this except ordinary Christians who have money and jobs? He studies at Regent College which is richly endowed by wealthy Christians. He then condemns them all with a sweeping, Bourgeois Christians: “my friend is now being vilified by a bunch of bourgeois Christians who are far removed from the struggle for justice”.

I don’t have a particular ax to grind about the Olympics but the disconnect to me is related to the “economics of death”. Besides the poor Georgian luger, who has died? When Christians talk about the culture of death it is easy to see who has died, 100s of millions of babies. But “economics of death”? That is a play on the term “culture of death”, and yet it is hallow. Who is dying? Who did TD Bank kill that they deserve to have their windows smashed? And for that matter, just because RBC is behind the oil sands, why is that so bad? If it weren’t for oil, you poor folks would have to walk everywhere you go. That’s fine if you live in some African country where it is warm all the time, but some of them work 18 hours a day carrying firewood on small carts for $3 a day. I’d much rather burn oil sands in my Toyota than die at 38 of exhaustion in that kind of misery. But walking everywhere you go is not really an option for living in Canada, particularly in winter.

What are the protesters doing to create life. Anyone can smash a window. The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. Vandalism is theft by destruction. That is not what Jesus did. He overturned the tables to prevent the moneychangers from stealing from the people of God and thus charging them to worship God which the moneychangers had no right to do.

Finally, the poster refers to destroying the structures of the economics of death, forewarned that others who have done this (communists around the world) have created misery. Yet Canada is one of the greatest countries in the world and the envy of many millions who long to have an opportunity to come here to live, to study and to raise their families. Yet all the protesters, the poster, and Poser can think about is how to destroy what other people envy. Is that not a sign of their own envy? There is something deeply wrong with that. TD Bank, by employing thousands of people, by extending mortgages to allow young couples to buy their first house, and by providing a safe place where people can put their investments, has done more to promote the welfare of the many than these sad anarchists. That is why I am a proud, bourgeois Christian stockholder of TD.

“In order to construct a society that is more just, less just ways of organizing life together must be destructed. This should be obvious.” This is an extremely scary prospect. When people who hold such views have succeeded only misery results. Please name one case where death was not the result of destruction of capitalism. 100,000,000 people were killed by communists in 20th century alone. Is that not enough?

Signed, an investor in oil sands and Latin American mines, shopper at the Bay, a proud-soon-to-be Canadian, Bourgeois Christian, who owns more than one pair of shoes.

Poser responded, and I replied:

  1. dan says:

    Shame on you, Peter. That’s my cue to exit this conversation.

  2. P. W. Dunn says:

    Poser, your response confirms what one of the professors at Regent told me a few months back: he said there is among the students a new generation of Pharisees. This reminds me of Matt 23.4: “They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger.” You leave in a huff, telling me to be ashamed, but you fail even to explain for what things I should be ashamed or even to give a single counterargument. I can only suppose it is because I am a proud-soon-to-be Canadian. Or is it just because I am wealthy, owning two pairs of shoes?