Posted by: davenlu | November 13, 2009

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Read the founding statement for the Faith, Economy, Ecology, Transition coalition (FEET).

See the list of 80+ signing organizations. 

Sign on to the statement.

View a reading of the statement with accompanying photos, click here.

Read and comment on our draft Ecological and Economic Principles.

Finally, follow us by clicking on the “follow” button at the bottom right of your screen and receive an email each time a new article is posted.

Throughout the Lenten season, the Faith, Economy, Ecology Transformation (FEEt) Working Group will be producing a short weekly reflection in an effort  to connect our principles to Lenten themes of renewal and reparation.

Week #4 focuses on God’s call for us to work in harmony with the Earth.

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FEEt Lenten Reflection Week #4

Throughout the Lenten season, the Faith, Economy, Ecology Transformation (FEEt) Working Group will be producing a short weekly reflection in an effort  to connect our principles to Lenten themes of renewal and reparation.

Week #3 focuses on how we can choose to align our economic decisions with our values.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Lenten reflection 2015 Week #3

Throughout the Lenten season, the Faith, Economy, Ecology Transformation (FEEt) Working Group will be producing a short weekly reflection in an effort  to connect our principles to Lenten themes of renewal and reparation.

Week #2 focuses on the impact of harmful free trade agreements on the most marginalized among us.

(Click on image to enlarge)

FEEt Weekly Reflection in Lent #2

Throughout the Lenten season, the Faith, Economy, Ecology Transformation (FEEt) Working Group will be producing a short weekly reflection in an effort  to connect our principles to Lenten themes of renewal and reparation.

Week #1 focuses on our covenant with creation:

(Click on image to enlarge)

FEEt Lenten Reflection Week #1

The Faith, Economy, Ecology, Transformation group (FEET) that maintains this website hosted a series of Webinars that look at the roots of corporate power and influence and what roles people of faith can play in diminishing that power and influence. Please click on the titles of the webinars to watch the video (note that the first webinar is audio only).

See the program for the four webinars:

October 1A Paradigm Shift in the Understanding of Corporations

Speakers:

David Korten (Yes! Magazine)

William Quigley (Loyola University)

October 15 – Alternative Forms of Corporations

Speakers:

Heather Van Dusen (B Lab)

Ed Lorenz (Alma College)

John Duda (Democracy Collaborative)

November 5 – Confronting corporate power nationally

Speakers:

Mateo Nube (MovementGeneration)

Aquene Fairchild (Public Citizen)

Liz Ryan Murray (National People’s Action)

November 19 – Confronting corporate power internationally

Speakers:

Nathaniel Meyer (Corporate Accountability International)

Melinda St-Louis (Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch)

Posted by: kathymcneely | July 2, 2013

What about a maximum wage?

Contributed by Pamela Haines

The moral imperative for a minimum wage is clear. But what about a maximum wage?

It’s not hard to make the case that something needs to be done.  Back in 1965, US CEOs in major companies earned 24 times more than the average (not minimum wage) worker. A typical American CEO now makes 380 times more than the average worker.

Around the world, change is in the wind.  An Egyptian ruling that a maximum wage in the public and government sectors be no more than 35 times the minimum wage has been in force since January 2012.  France’s president last summer promised to cap the salary of company leaders at 20 times that of their lowest-paid worker.  In February, new code amendments of the German Corporate Governance Commission, which all German companies follow, were released, including a mandate that all publicly-traded firms place a cap on executive compensation. While the specific executive pay maximum is left up to each corporation, the Commission made it clear that current pay levels have soared too high.

The immorality of our current situation is clear.  Perhaps the time has come in the US to talk about a maximum wage as well.

http://toomuchonline.org/the-scruffy-and-stuffy-agree-cap-ceo-pay/

http://www.yesmagazine.org/new-economy/should-there-be-a-maximum-wage?utm_source=ytw20130628&utm_medium=email

Posted by: davenlu | June 3, 2013

How to “Mainstream” a new Cosmology?

David Korten has written an article (“Religion, Science, and Spirit: A Sacred Story of Our Time“) that could serve as a clarion call for all people who are unsatisfied with the current dichotomy of science and mainstream religions, both of which fail to appreciate and care for Earth and the amazingly interdependent world of life created by God. He left me wondering about how those of us who are part of a shift to a more holistic worldview can be more visible and invite others to the exciting opportunities opening up.

In the article he describes three cosmologies that have influenced the Western worldview: monotheistic religions, science, and what he calls the Integral Spirit worldview. While the first two cosmologies have strong institutions and traditions representing their worldviews, the last has no real structure in Western society. This is especially problematic for Korten because the religious and scientific worldviews accept extreme inequalities as natural while also diminishing the value of the natural world; thus, creating the mindset that has brought about the rapid destruction of Earth we witness today. It is through bringing more people to adopt the cosmology of the Integral Spirit that humanity may be able to revert the situation in order to avoid further destruction and live in better harmony with Earth.

For Korten, the monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), focus attention on our individual relationship with a personal but distant God, making relations with each other and the natural world to be of secondary importance, at best. These religions can help justify the destruction of Earth and unequal societies since, as Korten writes, “Nature exists for our temporary human use and comfort.” And “[t]hose who demonstrate their closeness to God by their pious religious observance and special knowledge of His intention properly exercise authority over the rest of us.”

Meanwhile, the scientific worldview sees the cosmos as a grand machine where “…only the material is real. The formation and function of the cosmos and the evolution of life are consequences of a combination of physical mechanism and random chance. Life is an accidental outcome of material complexity and has no larger meaning or purpose. Consciousness and free will are illusions.” The basic law of nature “is a brutal competition for survival, territory, and reproductive advantage.” Social Darwinism, an extension of this worldview, easily accepts extreme inequalities as normal, a result of this competition.

The Integral Spirit story, by contrast,” writes Korten, “infuses all we behold in this life and beyond with profound meaning. All of creation is a sacred and ultimately unified expression of an eternal and intimately present divine will. All beings are interconnected and our fates are inextricably intertwined. As participants in and contributors to the ongoing process of creation, we each bear a sacred responsibility. Our lives take on profound meaning and purpose in relationship and service to the sacred whole.”

“The Integral Spirit cosmology is consistent with the findings of quantum physics, which reveals that the apparent solidity of matter is an illusion and at the deepest level of understanding only relationships are real. I find that Integral Spirit is the underlying cosmology of a reassuring number of religious leaders and devout members of many faiths, including a great many Catholic nuns, as well as most people who define themselves as spiritual, but not necessarily religious.”

“This cosmology has the elements of the needed story for our time. It remains, however, largely a private story without the institutional sponsors that give the Distant Patriarch and Grand Machine cosmologies authority and public presence. The absence of institutional sponsorship helps to secure its authenticity, but the absence of public visibility limits its influence as a guide to rethinking and restructuring our human relationships with one another and nature.”

This last paragraph really caught my attention. I think it touches on something very important that is lacking today. While more and more people are changing their worldview toward something like the Integral Spirit cosmology, it is a silent, invisible change. How can we, who want to encourage this societal shift to a more integrated view of Earth and life, make the change more visible? How can we bring together those who are already shifting their worldview so that others can see that change is happening and that they could be part of this paradigm shift?

It is not an easy task. To create new institutions based on the Integral Spirit runs the risk of creating bureaucracies that restrict that Spirit; of repeating many of the problems with our current institutions. Yet without recognizable organizations and institutions, it will be difficult for people to see the growth of this worldview and to know how they can participate in it.

Some of the reflections and small group processes that we have created on the Scriptural and Theological resources page of this website are a good start, I think, at helping people to discover the Integral Spirit and the need for a paradigm shift in Western societies. But much more will be needed in order to incorporate these new adherents and create a visible movement.

What more can we, as participants in the Faith, Economy, Ecology, Transformation coalition, do to help spread the word?

Posted by: mariannedc | April 3, 2013

From Fear of Austerity to Faith in God’s Abundance

We’re told that these are lean times. The United States no longer can afford to guarantee a secure retirement for the elderly, safety-net supports for low-income Americans nor assistance to impoverished nations, the message goes.

But as people of faith, we believe in a God of abundance. And as we look around, we see incredible riches in our midst.

Consider the concentration of wealth on Wall Street, even following the Great Recession: In 2010, the assets of the six largest U.S. banks equaled 62% of U.S. gross domestic product – up from 18% in 1995, according to members of the Senate Banking Committee.

What if the United States implemented a tiny tax on the most risky, high-volume transactions in this financial sector?

This type of tax has been recommended by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which has called on governments “to consider…taxation measures on financial transactions through fair but modulated rates with charges proportionate to the complexity of the operations, especially those made on the ‘secondary’ market.”

Pope Benedict XVI also prophetically taught in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate that “economic growth has been and continues to be weighed down by malfunctions and dramatic problems. The technical forces in play…the damaging effects on the real economy of badly managed and largely speculative financial dealing…leads us today to reflect on the measures that would be necessary to provide a solution.”

Such a solution is being proposed in the U.S. the form of a financial transaction tax (FTT) of less than 0.5% on the buying and selling of stocks, bonds, derivatives, futures, options and currencies. Some economists estimate it could generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

On April 17, two days after Tax Day, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) will reintroduce a bill which is being called a tax for the people, rather than on the people. The bill would create tax on transactions over $300,000, ensuring that low- and middle-income households would not be impacted. Those who would be affected are a new type of investor called high frequency traders. These traders use complex computer programs to buy and sell thousands or even millions of times every second.

The FTT would not only raise lots of money. It also could slow down such high-volume trading, which has had destabilizing effects that played a role in the recent recession, foreclosure crises, unemployment rates, and government bailout money. Around the world, this type of trading has played a role in food price spikes, resulting in starvation and conflict.

Dozens of faith groups have signed onto a coalition promoting the FTT called the Robin Hood Campaign. For Catholics, the campaign’s name evokes not theft from individuals but a conviction to uphold the priority for the poor and marginalized by addressing a core set of habits contributing to the increasing inequity between the rich and poor.

The Scriptures speak out against excessive accumulation of wealth. When the Israelites wandered the desert, the manna provided to them lasted only one day:  “Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed” (Ex 16:18), and when they collected more than they needed, it began to rot. The Jubilee prescriptions in Lev 25 and elsewhere sought to limit economic inequities through the forgiveness of debts. The Robin Hood Campaign advocates a provision which seeks to limit increasing inequity in society in the spirit of these prescriptions of the Scriptures.

The burden of our nation’s financial problems should not be placed on the most vulnerable through cuts to vital safety net programs. The FTT could help alleviate the financial burden of global crises and contribute to a healthy future for humanity and the planet.

Advocate for the FTT with other faith-based groups here.

Posted by: mariannedc | March 20, 2013

Climate Justice as the Ultimate Human Rights Issue

By Pamela Haines, Quaker social justice educator with a concern for economics and the environment

I was delighted recently to hear a talk by Mary Robinson, the first woman president of Ireland, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and now an activist on climate justice, which she characterizes as the ultimate human rights issue.  Her humanity and her lifelong commitment to women and global human rights are impressive and heartening.  You may want to check out her website.  I’ve excerpted some of the principles below.  But just think for a moment:  climate justice as the ultimate human rights issue.

Respect and Protect Human Rights

The idea of human rights point societies towards internationally agreed-upon values around which common action can be negotiated and then acted upon. The guarantee of basic rights rooted in respect for the dignity of the person, which is at the core of this approach, makes it an indispensable foundation for action on climate justice.

Support the right to development

Climate change highlights our true interdependence and must lead to a new and respectful paradigm of sustainable development, based on the urgent need to scale up and transfer green technologies and to support low-carbon, climate resilient strategies for the poorest so that they become part of the combined effort in mitigation and adaptation.

Share Benefits and Burdens Equitably

Those who have most responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions and most capacity to act must cut emissions first [and] have an ethical obligation to share benefits with those who are today suffering from the effects of these emissions. People in low-income countries must have access to opportunities to adapt to the impacts of climate change and embrace low-carbon development to avoid future environmental damage.

Ensure that Decisions on Climate Change are Participatory, Transparent and Accountable

It must be possible to ensure that policy developments and policy implementation in this field are seen to be informed by an understanding of the needs of low-income countries in relation to climate justice, and that these needs are adequately understood and addressed.

Highlight Gender Equality and Equity

In many countries and cultures, women are at the forefront of living with the reality of the injustices caused by climate change. They are critically aware of the importance of climate justice in contributing to the right to development being recognized and can play a vital role as agents of change within their communities.

Harness the Transformative Power of Education for climate stewardship

Achieving climate stabilization will necessitate radical changes in lifestyle and behavior, and education has the power to equip future generations with the skills and knowledge they will need to thrive and survive. Done well, it invites reflection on ethics and justice that make the well-educated also good citizens, both of their home state and (in these global times) of the world as well.

Use Effective Partnerships to Secure Climate Justice

The principle of partnership points in the direction of solutions to climate change that are integrated both within states and across state boundaries… this must also involve partnership with those most affected by climate change and least able adequately to deal with it – the poor and under-resourced.

These principles are rooted in the frameworks of international and regional human rights law and do not require the breaking of any new ground on the part of those who ought to, in the name of climate justice, be willing to take them on.

Posted by: kathymcneely | March 13, 2013

Stations of the Cross with John Paul II:

On the path of ecological conversion

Drawing on the legacy of Bl. John Paul II, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) offers again this year “Stations of the Cross with John Paul II: On the path of ecological conversion” in English and Spanish.

Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM developed this resource in collaboration with FAN staff. The Stations and other Lenten resources are available on FAN’s homepage.

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