Bible Fundamentalists, Cosmic Nirvana Creation-Worshippers and Joel Salatin

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on April 28th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

“My Dad and Mom, ultra conservative by any standard, routinely befriended hippies and our house often had dope-smoking mother-earthers hanging around talking about compost, dome homes, and Viet Nam war atrocities. On Sunday, of course, I spent the day with straight-laced Bible fundamentalists who made jokes about hippies and those mother earthers. ” –Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin is probably my favorite living author … every time he writes something, I read it in it’s entirety – I like how his mind works, and he’s a great writer. The following is a complete reproduction of his forward to a new book by Noah Sanders, entitled “Born Again Dirt.” I hope he doesn’t mind me reproducing it here (I didn’t ask). Maybe this will help Noah sell more books, a good thing right? Thanks to my friend, Dan Grubbs, author of the blog “It’s the Soil Stupid” for alerting me to this book.

Like Joel’s family, I too have some associations and friendships with “cosmic nirvana earth worshipper types” because of my involvement with permaculture and at times I have felt like I was getting odd looks from my fundamentalist friends for doing so.  So it made me feel better to run across this piece by Joel – made me feel like maybe I’m not so crazy after all for having some of these friendships – or at least if I am crazy, I’m in good company. Enjoy!

Growing up in a conservative Christian home on our beyond organic family farm in the 1960s, I lived in two different worlds. Our church friends lived in one world, but our family farm lived in another. My Dad and Mom, ultra conservative by any standard, routinely befriended hippies and our house often had dope-smoking mother-earthers hanging around talking about compost, dome homes, and Viet Nam war atrocities.

On Sunday, of course, I spent the day with straight-laced Bible fundamentalists who made jokes about hippies and those mother earthers. When Dad made Adelle Davis’ Tiger Milk, a concoction of brewer’s yeast, honey, raw milk from our Guernsey cows, and I can’t remember what else, our church buddies called it Panther Puke. I grew up on Bible memory programs and Mother Earth News magazine.

While our church friends made jokes about environmentalists, in our house The Whole Earth Catalogue stimulated many great discussions. Our family routinely patronized the health food store when it first came to town, a place our Christian friends thought cultish. How could a Christian patronize a place that smelled like incense, sold tofu, and had Zen literature stashed about? Our Christian friends built Tyson chicken houses and confinement dairies, used pharmaceuticals indiscriminately and poured on chemical fertilizer. Even their backyard gardens received liberal (a judicious use of the word liberal, to be sure) doses of insecticide just to be safe.

The whole notion that farming and food systems could contain a moral implication couldn’t make it past the laughter and jokes about environmentalist pinko commies. Yet our family plugged on, eschewing chemicals, building compost piles, planting trees, and attending environmental farming conferences. As our farm began attracting attention, most visitors were tree-hugging cosmic nirvana creation-worshippers. We used these visits to plant seeds of Biblically-based stewardship as Creator-worshippers. That sure made for some interesting conversations.

Over the years, I’ve seen an amazing transformation in our farm visitors. Today, probably half are conservative home-schooling Christians. I believe that the home-schooling movement spawned an entire awakening to alternative ideas. Families who left the conventional institutional educational setting, who disagreed with credentialed officialdom, found their new path soul satisfying. That satisfaction led them to ask the question: “Well, I wonder what else I’ve been missing out on?”

This quest for a narrow way within a broad way cultural context led families to chiropractors (what, those quacks?), nutrition, cottage-based businesses and home-based self-reliance. The home school idea literally sprouted kitchen sprout growing, raw milk consumption, gardens, and domestic flour mills for home-baked breads.

I believe the Christian community, which should have been the repository of “fearfully and wonderfully made,” squandered this high moral ground of environmental stewardship. Today, young people like Noah Sanders are beginning to chip away at the stereotype of the creation-exploitive (just one notch below rapist) religious right. When members of the religious right espouse creation stewardship, people listen to the Biblical redemption message who would never give it a thought otherwise.

In this great introductory and thought-provoking book, Noah Sanders dares to invoke a moral dimension into vocational farming. I am thrilled to see young people like him grasp this cornerstone of Christian credibility. Bringing every life dimension captive to God’s mind has far-reaching implications in our day-to-day decisions. Thank you, Noah, for broaching this subject in this context. It’s sorely needed and should stimulate both personal soul-searching and healthy corporate discussions.

To purchase Noah’s book on Amazon click HERE.

“Till the Ground”? or “Serve the Ground?” … a Hebrew Word Study

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on April 19th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

Hemenway_Agriculture1I am fascinated with Permaculture, which means “permanent culture.” Why? Because our culture is NOT permanent presently. It is dying primarily because of our destructive agricultural practices and policies.  (Click pic at left for larger version) Search my blog with the keyword “Sahara” and you will get several articles on this topic. So my studies in permaculture have caused me to think long and hard about the Biblical statements about “subduing the earth” and “having dominion” and “tilling the ground” and so forth. You guys know these verses, right? But have you studied the Hebrew words? I had not until just recently.  But thanks to a Christian man I met at Permies.com, Dan Grubbs who has a blog called “It’s the Soil Stupid,” I now have some cool new insights into these verses.  Let me share with you. Dan says

“… the Hebrew word aw-bad that is translated as “till” or “cultivate” in reference to the land or soil is the word for “serve.”

Hmm … I didn’t know that.  Let’s check it out … Googling the term “till awbad strongs concordance hebrew” we get the following link … http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H5647.  …

The KJV translates Strongs H5647 in the following manner: serve (227x), do (15x), till (9x), servant (5x), work (5x), worshippers (5x), service (4x), dress (2x), labour (2x), ear (2x), misc (14x).

Sure enough. 227 times ‘awbad’ is translated ‘serve’ and only 9 times as ’till.’ Looks like my friend Dan has done his homework.  So the big question for me is …

Why did the KJV translators choose the word ’till’ those 9 times? Instead of ‘serve’? Read more »

Were viruses created good? Are they still good?

Posted in General Science, Genetics, Healthy Food & Agriculture on April 11th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

Most people think viruses are bad. But the Book of Genesis says “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Now a book has been written – “Viruses: Essential Agents of Life” (2012) - explaining how viruses are actually essential for life, so how could they be “bad”?  Here’s a book review.  I’ll give you some excerpts:

Today you can peruse any virology textbook and get the impression that less than two dozen viruses represent the entirety of Earth’s virosphere.

Viruses: Essential Agents of Life (2012, Springer), edited by Günter Witzany, is a great way to kick off the next 100 years of virology, with nary a reductionist thought to be found within its 427 pages.

Viruses are everywhere and in abundance, and the time has come to sit up and take notice.

Marilyn Roossinck suggests that the focus on viruses as agents of disease has led to a bias in our understanding of viruses in nature, that we ignore “the probability that viruses may play important roles in the ecology of their hosts [italics are mine].”

The Real Scoop on Climate Change (Global Warming)

Posted in General Science, Healthy Food & Agriculture on March 31st, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

Climate Change (sometimes called Global Warming) is real. And it’s deadly. But it’s poorly understood by most people. There is so much confusion surrounding this topic that it’s no wonder everyone’s confused. But I really enjoy simplifying confusing topics so stick with me for a minute and I will explain it very simply and clearly so you will never have to be confused about it again.  Here we go …

The Sahara Desert is hot. I think we all agree on that. How about rainfall? It doesn’t get much, do you agree? It’s about 1″ per year I think. ONE INCH. That’s all. That’s really dry. My home state of Missouri gets about 36″ by contrast.

So the Sahara Desert is hot and dry NOW. Agreed? But … has it always been this way? NO! So what if I could prove to you that N. Africa (now called the Sahara Desert) used to be lush and fertile with plenty of rain? Would you then agree with me that North Africa has experienced climate change? I hope you would. Well as we know already, North Africa (now called the Sahara Desert) did in fact used to be lush and fertile with plenty of rain. I’ve written about this before, so much so, people are probably tired of hearing about it. Click HERE for my article. From the science paper (2000) quoted in my article … Read more »

A Simple Review of Permaculture Concepts

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on March 29th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

Conventional Agriculture
1) Conventional agriculture – tillage and planting of annual crops (corn / soybeans / wheat) and mismanagement of livestock – is destroying our topsoil and our ecosystems

2) Conventional agriculture – tillage and planting of annual crops (corn / soybeans / wheat) and mismanagement of livestock – is not necessary to feed the world and will one day come to a screeching halt.

3) Conventional agriculture – tillage and planting of annual crops (corn / soybeans / wheat) and mismanagement of livestock – produces food which causes microbes (bacteria and viruses) to mutate and become virulent, destroying human health and requiring unnatural interventions such as antibiotics and vaccines.

4) Conventional agriculture – tillage and planting of annual crops (corn / soybeans / wheat) and mismanagement of livestock – allows concentration of power into the hands of a few resulting in slavery and misery for the masses. Read more »

Money is a Terrible Measure of Wealth (Why Bill Gates’ #StopTheMyth Campaign is Misguided, Part 2)

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture, Politics on March 28th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

Dave Family 1971Bill Gates says the world is getting better.  I disagree.  See Part 1 for a discussion on that.  Yes, the people on the deck of this “Titanic” (our world) have dressed up in fine new clothes. The music they play is more beautiful perhaps. But they are on the Titanic. The ship is sinking and Bill doesn’t even know it. That’s sad. Let’s continue in his letter found HERE

Bill’s Myth #1: Poor Countries are Doomed to Stay Poor.

(Pic above is me and my “poor” family in front of our cool grass hut in about 1971)

And Bill goes on to illustrate why he thinks this is a myth. His argument is …

(1) look at all these dirty cities of days gone by … and look how pretty they are now, and

(2) look how little per capita income these “third world” countries used to have and look at them now. Read more »

Why Bill Gates’ #StopTheMyth Campaign is Mistaken, Part 1

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on March 26th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

Truth Matters. It matters a lot. That’s why I named my blog www.truthmatters.info. I should purchase the .com and .net as well because it’s so important. Jesus  said “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” FREE. Truth = Freedom. Wow. And yet today, truth is hard to find. And the most powerful lies are the ones that are *close* to the truth, but they are not quite.

Enough intro.

Let’s talk about Bill Gates and the untruths that are a part of his #StopTheMyth campaign. (and the repeating of those by untruths by Bill Nye the Science Guy and others). Massively wealthy guy. Tons of influence. His annual 2014 letter can be found HERE. BUT … I believe he is seriously wrong about some very important things.

Let’s look at his 2014 letter piece by piece …

By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient.

By almost any measure? What about this measure? What about the most fundamental measure of national wealth that can possibly be imagined – the measure of a nation’s ability to feed itself in the future? The measure that no one is talking about? Would you agree with me that if a nation Read more »

The Mother of All Problems Facing Our World Today?

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on March 24th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

Desertification_CirclesMany people are familiar with 2 Chronicles 7:14 where God says basically “if we repent, He will heal our land.”  Yet I cannot see that our land is getting “healed” yet – quite the reverse actually. This post explores this verse a bit from a different angle.

Today I feel that we are facing “The Mother of All Problems” in our world today, a problem of such magnitude that I feel it is foundational to many of the other problems – political, economic, social, spiritual – problems many of us are working on. Now that I have been made aware of this problem and have studied it, I feel that it is much bigger and more pressing than any of the other big problems and that if we were to all work together to solve this one very big problem, many of the other smaller problems would be solved as well - automatically.

[NOTE 5/14/14: In this article I used the word "rape" to describe what is happening to our cropland.  I'm now sorry I used that word and will not use it again because it could be taken offensively by cropland farmers.  I do NOT mean to imply that cropland farmers are "raping" land.  There is NO mal intent on the part of farmers that I am aware of at all.  Cropland farmers are just doing what has always been done for centuries - plowing, planting, harvesting.]

The Problem

What am I talking about?  Well, at the risk of sounding crass … the problem I see is Land Rape. [Please note: the True Mother of All Problems is SIN - Land Rape is just another sin, but it happens to be one that I believe very few people focus on and it has had huge effects and how can we repent of any sin if we aren't even aware of it?]  Land Rape?  What am I talking about?  Genesis 1:28 says “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and *subdue* it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Read more »

Vaccinations and Mutant Fire Ants

Posted in General Science, Healthy Food & Agriculture on March 24th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

FireantHow’s that for an attention getting title? OK I’ll get right to the point. Imagine if you had a bad problem with fire ants in your backyard (like in Texas). What would you do? Well you’d buy some fire ant killer and nuke ‘em. But go sci-fi with me a minute and imagine if you killed a lot of them, BUT … some remained and mutated into a much more aggressive type fire ant and they multiplied prolifically! If this happened would you say that “nuking the fire ants” with whatever-it-was (Raid?) you bought at the store was a great idea? I think not.

Now let’s talk vaccinations and shift from thinking about fire ants to polio viruses. To put all this in perspective, the World Health Organization (WHO) brags that vaccinations have caused a huge decline in polio cases worldwide, from an estimated 350,000 cases in 1988 to only 223 cases in 2012.

But hold on. In 2011, India alone reported 47,500 new cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis, “clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly.” Folks, that’s 47,500 new cases in ONE year in INDIA ALONE!!! Same symptoms. Twice as deadly!! And the WHO is celebrating near eradication!!??

Sorry, but that’s like celebrating eradication of the original fire ant type and totally ignoring the mutant one which is twice as deadly!!

Excuse me, but am I missing something?

Zimbabwe and Permaculture: Can the Phoenix Rise From the Ashes?

Posted in Healthy Food & Agriculture on March 15th, 2014 by dhawkinsmo

Joel Salatin and Allan Savory are two of my favorite Permaculture leaders. They had breakfast recently while at the Permaculture Voices Conference and talked about some interesting developments in Zimbabwe, Allan Savory’s home country and home of his beautiful ranch, transformed by “eating his own cooking.”  As we know, Zimbabwe recently experienced hyper-inflation and some pretty horrible stuff. Google “Zimbabwe gold for food youtube” for more on this. I’ll reproduce Joel’s comments from this morning on the Polyface Facebook page. He’s an awesome writer and never needs paraphrasing.

Yesterday I spent most of the day speaking at the Permaculture Voices gathering near San Diego and this morning had breakfast with Allan Savory, founder of Holistic Management, a decision-making model to heal landscapes and civilizations.

He met recently with 35 parliamentarians in Zimbabwe (where he lives) and was excited to report some success. This is a parliament that makes the U.S. congress look like sheep. I can’t capture this completely accurately, and my apologies to Allan if I miss something, but it’s the thought process I want to capture. Read more »