I use the term “collapse” intentionally. With Jim Kunstler (WARNING: Kunstler uses a fair amount of salty language in making his points.) and a host of others, I do think that that is what is basically happening in this country right now.
Two articles struck me today. The first one comes from the New York Times and discusses how homeless and poverty advocates around the country are helping to place squatters in foreclosed properties.
The second is a discussion of a bill before Congress — H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. Ostensibly aimed at dealing with the food contamination issues that have been popping up with greater frequency in the industrial agricultural system of late (in the U.S. and China — think about the E. Coli-laden tomatoes from California, the contaminated peanuts from Georgia, and the chemical-laced baby formula from China), the bill would also have the effect, it seems, of making the selling of food in farmers’ markets, CSAs, and other small farms and orchards, much more problematic (even if the worst predictions of some of the bill’s critics might be far-fetched).
So, I suppose my question is this: Do you think these are appropriate responses, given our current situation? Is the civil disobedience (in effect) of the advocacy groups ethical? In light of the great need in this country, should the government even be hindering/attacking the local food movement in this fashion?
More broadly, what is the role of the Church in the midst of an economic downturn? Does it even have a role?