A Journey of faith within the church, the culture and the world
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The Biggest Threat to the American Way of Life
I’ve just discovered a very dangerous group of subversives who threaten the consumer demand, free-market capitalism system that makes America great. Forget the Socialists, the Communists, the Green Party or any other group that seeks to undermine all that is great about western civilization. This group is more potentially devastating than any other.
They are called followers of Jesus.
I avoid the terms Christian, Protestant, Catholic, or any other moniker that seeks to create a definable and predictable category. These people can be found throughout those faith systems and probably wouldn’t be accepted by their own religious tribes if their values and actions were popularly known. They are clearly a minority group, but one whose potential influence could undermine our preferred way of life.
Here’s why they are dangerous.
They are refusing to buy things without knowing their origin. If a shirt at a megastore has a label that says “Made in ¬¬¬¬____________” (fill in the blank with any country in the southern hemisphere or in Asia), they want to know the conditions of the factory and the quality of the treatment of the workers. They claim that these invisible weavers of expensive clothing are kin to them, co-humans made in the image of God, and the relationship between production and consumption matters. If they don’t get a satisfactory answer, then they won’t buy the product. Such activity limits the power of consumer shopping and potentially diminishes corporate profits.
They do the same thing with food. They see some strange connection between their faith and the natural (or as they call it, “created”) order, and have either started growing their own fruits and vegetables, buying only from local producers, or at least only buying from larger markets that guarantee to have “fair trade” products.
One the most potentially deadly plans of this group is to stop spending large amounts of money and refusing to dive deeply into credit card debt during the holidays—especially Christmas. A diminishing of holiday binge spending would have a disastrous effect on retailers and their end of the year numbers. The stock market would reel if the trend expanded to larger groups, such as the Evangelical voting block or Roman Catholics.
There is more, of course, such as caring for the poor (an obvious bleeding-heart, socialist move), shunning violence (a potential threat to national security), loving one’s enemy (a denial of the nation’s manifest destiny and sovereignty). But it’s the financial impact of this group that is the most immediate threat.
These people are our enemies (of course, they are difficult enemies to have since they claim to love us) and cannot be ignored. They seem to have forgotten what happened to their namesake—Jesus—and the way he was dispatched for attempting to disrupt the dominant culture. The same thing could happen to them. They probably never factored in suffering and death in their commitments to follow their Messiah.
Let’s hope this never catches on with other religious people. Keeping things as they are is the highest priority.