According to the Story of Stuff, the project “was created by Annie Leonard to leverage and extend the film’s impact. We amplify public discourse on a series of environmental, social and economic concerns and facilitate the growing Story of Stuff community’s involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world.”
The website goes on to boast 150,000 community activists, who are partnered with environmental and social justice programs worldwide to create and distribute the films.
“The Story of Stuff Project is fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center [a George Soros organization]. We are supported by grants from both private and public foundations, contributions from viewers, and earned revenue from speaking appearances and DVD and book sales.”
What the website does not indicate is that the Story of Stuff productions make critical statements about American consumerism, blaming the decline of Third World nations on American consumption. Through the use of fun visual cartoons, the narrators of each production take the opportunity to indoctrinate children on the evils of the American economy and government.
According to the narrator in the video The Story of Stuff, for example, the market economy system is strewn with some people who matter more than others, starting with the United States government, which is represented by a cartoon drawing of the White House. On a side note, the narrator says, “My friends say I should use a tank to symbolize the government, and that’s true in many cases. After all more than 50 percent of our tax money is going into the military.” She adds that it’s the government’s job to “watch out for us and take care of us,” a notion held by most progressives.
However, according to our narrator, corporations are bigger than the government and have more control. A cartoon shows a representative of the federal government rubbing the feet of the corporation’s representative.
The video moves through extraction, production, distribution, consumption, and disposal, virtually making the argument that these are all steps in which the U.S. government and the American people take advantage of less fortunate nations, and destroy the environment in the process.
Each of the “Story of” videos follows similar story lines, and is shown in nearly 5,000 American schools. In May 2009, the New York Times called the Story of Stuff web film “a sleeper hit in classrooms across the country.”
Let There Be…Stuff?, the latest production, however, is perhaps the most unsettling of all, in that it attempts to indoctrinate teenagers by distorting religious teachings to adhere to the environmentalist agenda. Created by GreenFaith and The Story of Stuff Project, Let There Be…Stuff? is a six-session curriculum for teenagers that explores the relationship between their consumption, faith, and the planet’s health. Versions are available for Christian and Jewish teenagers.
The website for the newest production reads:
If you are a minister or lay church leader, youth group or bible study coordinator, we encourage you to download the curriculum here today…This 6-week series for teenagers of faith is designed to help them understand the problems facing the planet, raise awareness of the changes needed and empower them to develop environmentally sustainable patterns of consumption that honor creation and deepen their spiritual lives. It’s chock full of hands-on exercises, thought-provoking questions and great group activities.
On Friday’s (October 15) episode of Glenn Beck on the Fox News Channel, Calvin Beisner of Cornwall Alliance discussed the various teachings found in Let There Be…Stuff?, noting that while some of the things in the teachings are good, such as the “fundamental idea that we should as people who fear God and believe in Him ... we should be taking care of this Earth. That’s a good thing. But of course that’s really pretty obvious to anybody,” it is in the details that the problems arise.
For example, in chapter one of Let There Be…Stuff? we learn that when we drink, we owe a debt. Not to God, however, but to Earth’s great waters.
Beck noted that such a notion belongs to paganism, not Christianity. He explains,” It’s a difference between thankful for and thankful to. We are thankful to God for the water, not thankful to the water for the water.”
Another of the film’s details proclaims that all sorts of things we produce are poisoning us.
Addressing this, Beisner notes that this is “one example of many where they are trying to scare children. What they’re not mentioning is that as economies grow, we have cleaner and cleaner, healthier and more beautiful environments in which we live. It’s when we live in primitive society that we are exposed to all sorts of disease carriers. That’s why we live longer.”
Naturally, what good progressive production does not address the dangers of man-made climate change, and in this area, Let There Be…Stuff? does not disappoint. Angered by the video’s teachings of man-made climate change, Beisner remarks, “[Man-made climate change] is an unproven hypothesis. In fact, in the last year, it has been thoroughly trashed, but they are bringing it forward and teaching it to kids as if it's fact.”
Equally disgruntled by the video’s misrepresentation of Christians and Americans as environmentally callous beings, Beisner explains, “The Greens want to make us feel that we’re supposed to be servants of the Earth. That is exactly the opposite of what the Bible says. Genesis tells us God blessed Adam and Eve and said to them, be fruitful and multiply, fill up the Earth, subdue it, and rule over it and over the fish of the sea and birds in the air.”
To this, Beck remarks, “The progressive thinks they are the only ones who can rule with kindness and meekness and gentleness. But they never do.”
Beck adds, “I don’t know a single Christian who thinks it’s okay to pollute our Earth. We each have a responsibility to treat God’s creation well. But yet that’s the way we are made to look and feel — that we want to trash the place. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Perhaps the Left’s attempt to utilize faith in order to engage and manipulate students is the recognition that God continues to play a role in the lives of Americans. David Barton of Wallbuilders notes that 84 percent of Americans believe God had a hand in the creation of the Earth and man. Therefore, it may prove to be effective to combine the “teachings of God,” at least as the Left seems them, with the teachings of progressive environmentalists.
Of course, such an alliance is unholy and detrimental to true biblical teachings. Because of this, Beck concluded Friday’s show by telling his audience, “If you see any of this propaganda being peddled to your children in your church or synagogue, run for your life.”
Since Let There Be…Stuff? very clearly attempts to organize a progressive movement right in the churches, Beck declares, “People of faith must root out the lies and stand together in the truth.”