Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-11-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Book Review: Take This Bread, A Radical Conversion
by Yasmin Nair
2007-04-18

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


The United States is a country of paradoxes when it comes to food. Obesity is an 'epidemic,' but the number of hungry people has never been higher. In a 2006 Seattle Times article, Dr. César Chelala reported that 33 million people in the United States lived in households without an adequate supply of food. Since food is the most flexible part of living expenses, many are often forced to choose between it and essential payments like rent and health care.

The best response to this crisis is to advocate for a living wage and universal health care, but such solutions are thwarted by those who dismiss them as rabid leftist propaganda. Our way of feeding the hungry is to do so inadequately and with immense doses of humiliation by setting up soup kitchens and food pantries that donate food.

Sara Miles is a former leftist journalist and professional cook who happens to be a lesbian. In her new book, Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion, Miles recounts how she went from being an atheistic social justice activist to the founder and director of a food pantry at her San Francisco church, St. Gregory's. The book starts out as an engaging take on food and life, with some funny bits about Miles' experiences in restaurants.

As her journey progresses, however, Miles remains a lesbian and her leftist politics disappear. People have a right to their faith, but Take This Bread exposes thorny issues about the role of religion in social justice. Miles works hard to convince someone—perhaps herself—that her new-found conversion and, uh, missionary zeal is really part of a larger 'radical' social justice mission. Miles can't see the pity for the piety and mistakes charity for social justice.

Charity does not bring about revolutionary social change. She's proud of the fact that St. Gregory's, unlike federal programs, does not ask for identification, which means that undocumented migrants can avail themselves of this resource. She's also proud that her program emphasizes fresh produce and healthy food, rather than dumping cheap junk food on its clientele. But while serving better food to more diverse bodies may alleviate hunger, it doesn't eradicate the systemic conditions that lead to poverty in the first place—and even extenuates them.

Ultimately, this is an immensely useful and revealing book, if not in the ways Miles intended. Her account of giving free food to poor people tells us nothing about how to end the systemic conditions that produce such depths of poverty in the richest country in the world. But it reveals how charity, practically a religion unto itself, is as much big business as an instrument of liberal good will.

E-mail welshzen@yahoo.com .


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

The Reindeer Conundrum Part Five 2017-11-22
The Reindeer Conundrum Part Four 2017-11-22
The Reindeer Conundrum Part Three 2017-11-22
The Reindeer Conundrum Part Two 2017-11-22
The Reindeer Conundrum: Part One 2017-11-22
World news: Olympic resolution, 'LGBTQ Poland' book, Canada's apology 2017-11-20
Engaging Prospective Transgender, Non-Binary Foster and Adoptive Parents, a new guide 2017-11-16
World news: Theologian, Gaydar co-founder die, crocodile hunter 2017-11-14
Change Over Time Journal calls for LGBTQ papers 2017-11-14
Awa Tsireh paintings, metalworks exhibit in Arizona 2017-11-14
Marriage Equality USA publishes The People's Victory 2017-11-13
Reyna Ortiz book release highlights Vives Q event 2017-11-10
Professor/writer Danny Cohen featured at Holocaust museum event 2017-11-08
Homocore marks 25th anniversary 2017-11-08
Unabridged to host essayists Nov. 9 2017-11-08
BOOKS A chat with author Kathryn Sermak on Bette Davis, the grande dame of acting 2017-11-08
Brick by Brick, Gerber/Hart fall fundraiser delivers in a new location 2017-11-07
Trans leader Reyna Ortiz on new book, being prom queen 2017-11-01
BOOKS Rewriting Vivian Maier: Book uncovers more on mystery photographer 2017-11-01
Smith, Ewing at W&CF on Nov. 4 2017-10-31
BOOK REVIEW Subject to Change: Trans Poetry and Conversation 2017-10-31
Cleve Jones event Nov. 6 at Sidetrack 2017-10-31
Brick by Brick event to celebrate saving and growing LGBTQ history 2017-10-27
Animal-rights activist on inspiring compassion 2017-10-25
VIEWS Banning LGBTQ+ children's books will not erase us 2017-10-25
'Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads' out now 2017-10-25
NUNN ON ONE: BOOKS Matt Bellassai discusses 'Everything' 2017-10-24
BOOKS Maj. Margaret Witt finds strength to 'TELL' all 2017-10-24
Chicago authors at Unabriged Bookstore 2017-10-23
BOOK REVIEW 'You're in the Wrong Bathroom!' And 20 Other Myths... 2017-10-17
BOOKS New collection shows spectrum of LGBTQ talent 2017-10-17
THE AMAZON TRAIL Happy hours 2017-10-11
Sandberg Awards Oct. 11 at The Forum 2017-10-09
Author of trans-focused children's book opens Safe Schools Symposium 2017-10-09
BOOKS Self-made woman: Talking with Denise Chanterelle Dubois 2017-10-09
MOMBIAN Showcasing images, experiences of people with LGBTQ parents 2017-10-04
BOOKS New memoir reveals Armistead Maupin's true tales of the city 2017-10-04
BOOK REVIEW The Gay Preacher's Wife 2017-10-03
Kenny Fries and Susan Nussbaum at Access Living Oct. 12 2017-10-03
LGBT HISTORY MONTH Stonewall strong 2017-10-02
 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.