Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Food, Family, and Politics

Touchstone is a magazine I've subscribed to for years - here are a few quotes from this month's issue.

In this world joy cannot be perpetual.
However, it is possible for joy to return, over and over again.

The possibility of happiness and joy rests, of course, within a larger matrix of sacrifices, sorrows, forgone opportunities, and trials that also mark family life.

Living together in families requires that persons confront and overcome their own selfishness.
- page 3

Do not eat the kind of food that "injures a man, deteriorates his spirit, and renders his body prone to disease," but "eat that you may live."
~ Clement of Alexandria, early third century - page 33

Eat food.
Not too much.
Mostly plants.
- Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food

By speaking of "food", for example, Pollan means to exclude the vast majority of the "edible goods" that crowd our supermarket shelves - we are to regard as food only the things that our grandmothers or great-grandmothers would have recognized as such. Similarly, "plants" mean fresh ones, unprocessed and grown locally in nutrient-rich, pesticide-free soil.
- page 33

For more information on food, eating, and our life/faith, see Polyface Farms - they have a great index of books to read and ponder.

For Augustine, membership in a political community, is, then, and event of participation that orders a people by attuning their desire and drawing them towarad those loved things held in common.

Put simply, politics is the collective act of ordering human desire. It is at root a question of love (that which orders our desires) rather than one of justice (that which orders our actions).

History becomes both an account of that ordering and the source of that ordering.

What does a man or a society love? That is the key political question as far as Augustine is concerned.
- page 14

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