Fighting over canned food

Yet another splendid opportunity for right-minded people to squabble over the ever-diminishing parcels of ideological turf that we feel compelled to occupy and defend to the death.

Why sell meat if vegans and vegetarians do not favor it? Why sell chocolate whose origins are in countries whose major exports otherwise seem to be communicable diseases? Why buy bread because the wheat may have come from Kansas, a state that has not chosen a Democrat for the Senate since sending Frank McGill to Washington in 1932?

In fact, a Weavers Way with bare shelves might be the logical outcome of everybody exercising their right to be royally pissed off at everybody else for whatever reason, be it religion, blood type, pigmentation, where they went to school, their favorite radio station, whether their grandparents preferred Kaisers to Frazers or broke their eggs at the big end or the little end as Dean Swift considered.

By all means dictate to me what brand of tinned beans I may buy. The Spirit of ’76 still lives and all is well with us. Sometimes I don’t even know why I get up in the morning.

Edward Sargent

Chestnut Hill

Food for thought

I wish to comment on the stir caused by the Supreme Court decision to support freedom of religion.

The recent article regarding Weaver’s Way and Eden Foods is an outgrowth of this decision. During the 1960’s, Michael Potter, the founder of Eden Foods, was most certainly viewed as crazy. His commitment to pure foods and macrobiotics was far from mainstream. Yet his commitment proved people wrong! Over the years, he has championed the organic food industry, despite the resistance of international farm, chemical and food companies.

Today, he may again be labeled a nut, yet it seems most unfair to marginalize him for being a Catholic. He is again being attacked for his commitment to his conscience. Perhaps, in 50 years, the tides of popular culture will change and religion will again be in vogue. If we have diluted our freedom to practice or not practice religion, we may find ourselves mandated “to believe.”

Susan J. O’Shea

Chestnut Hill

Supports policy of Eden Foods

My response to “Hobby Lobby Decision sparks controversy at Weaver’s Way” in the Local, Aug. 14: The issue concerns the statement by Michael Potter, the CEO of Eden Foods, an organic food company, who wrote on April 25, 2013, that certain details of the Affordable Care Act violate the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution and that “the overreach of the federal government infringes on religious freedom.”

Mr. Potter’s concise defense of the principles of liberty was greeted by the folks at Weavers Way with outrage, anti-Catholic slurs and hysteria at the medieval mindset of Eden Foods, whose health benefits include health, dental, vision, life and a 50 percent 401K match, but not, apparently, “lifestyle” choices like contraceptives, Viagra, smoking cessation, infertility, impotency, etc.

Conscience and religious liberty are the cornerstones of the American way, and they have so far given us a methodology for social peace and mutual toleration and acceptance of each other in society. In colloquial speech, the philosophy that respects liberty of conscience is called “live and let live,” and it sure beats the alternatives.

Are these values to be summarily thrown out by the totalitarian mindset following in the wake of Obamacare? This mindset was summed up by the inimitable H.L. Mencken, who saw the problem decades ago: “We are, in fact, a nation of evangelists; every third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow-citizens, usually by force; the messianic delusion is our national disease.”

I think that Mary Sweeten (editor of Weavers Way’s newspaper, The Shuttle) owes the Catholic community an apology for the nasty sneer in her “Editor’s Note” in The Shuttle of August 2014. Weavers Way, which has done so much for our community in terms of economic philosophy and marketing, needs to recommit itself to all members of our community, not just those who go along with politically-correct liberalism.

Caryl Johnston


Taking climate change to the streets

On Sept. 21, people from all over the country, from all walks of life, will unite in New York City in what is predicted to be the largest climate march in history. There will also be hundreds of coordinated actions around the world. Locally, many of the environmental groups will be providing buses for those who want to be part of this march.

World leaders will be convening in New York at that time for a historic U.N. summit on the climate crisis. These leaders have recognized what scientists have been proclaiming for some time – that our future is on the line. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that man-made climate change is a reality: carbon pollution is warming our planet and creating the extreme droughts, flooding, wildfires and super storms that we’ve been experiencing. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of United Nations is urging governments to support a global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.

The march will serve to underscore the urgency of the meeting and the dire need for a global treaty. It also serves to push-back to the rhetoric of the climate change deniers, among them, the entire Republican leadership in the House. These same Representatives have signed a pledge devised by the Koch Brothers’ nonprofit group “No Climate Tax,” preventing lawmakers from addressing the problem. We need to remove the politics from this issue as we have no time to waste.

Maria Duca


No sense in Israeli ‘defense’

“We believe Israel has a right to defend itself, and they will make their decisions about the tactics they use in that regard,” said the President of the United States.

Yes, Israel will continue to make decisions, such as raining horrific weaponry on the Palestinian people, as long as the United States continues to ship same to them. Sounds to me like the policies of all the other previous administrations, as well as our policy in the 19th century when we justified Native American massacres – to include women and children – for “attacking” the wagon trains that brought settlers to further encroach upon Indian land.

As Chief Red Cloud (1822-1909) of the Oglala-Lakota tribe said, “They made many promises to us, but they kept only one. They promised to take our land – and they did.”

Perhaps if Israel were to cease and desist from its occupational attack upon the Palestinians, Hamas might refrain from attacking Israel. The response of most staunch defenders of Israel always overlook that.

I’m Jewish. Israel may win the battle. But in the long run, it will lose.

Lawrence Geller


  • CH Karl

    The issue with Eden Foods (and Hobby Lobby) is not about an individual’s religious freedom. It is about whether a COMPANY has the right to LIMIT the healthcare choices of its employees based upon the religious beliefs of its owners/managers. It is just that simple. Does someone have the right to limit the healthcare choices of someone else based solely on religious grounds? I say no and wont buy any products from any company that blurs the line between “religious freedom” and “persecution based upon religion”. Remember, these are companies – in an open marketplace. They are not people. They don’t go to church. They don’t go to heaven.

    • RG_McDonald

      Take it up with the Supreme Court, which ruled that certain for-profit companies cannot be required to pay for specific types of contraceptives for their employees.

      If you want to boycott, that’s your call, and your right; but bear in mind that driving Eden Foods out of business (the logical extension of your small-minded, reactionary behavior) will most hurt their employees – the same employees about whose healthcare you’re so worked up.

      Give ’em a call when they’re out of a job – they should be very happy to hear from you.

  • Claire

    Wait wait wait….infertility is a “lifestyle choice”? Did I miss the part of my life where I got to choose whether to be infertile or not, and infertility was the default option? Well, crap!

  • Jennifer

    Self-righteous, snide and hostile to religion or anything that does not conform to the bully PC majority way. “Let’s deprive those who want the food anyway because, after all, WE know what is best. . . for them” In what types of homes were you people raised? Did they make you read the Bible or Torah everyday and you are rebelling?
    Oh, right. I am on the East Coast and in Chestnut Hill. I forgot for a minute.

    • RG_McDonald

      Well-said, Jennifer.

      What so many “progressive” types don’t seem to understand is that PC is a sliding scale – it can change from one year to the next; usually benefitting select individuals or groups, but never the entire citizenry. This is a poor foundation for any government, and certainly not a republic like ours.

      But you know what’s inviolate? The protections offered by the Constitution – especially the first 10 ammendments – you cannot go wrong supporting the freedoms that they ensure.