Thursday, February 3, 2011

Soapbox: God as a Commodity is not Kosher

This post is probably going to make some people very mad, but I gotta get it out there. If it DOES make you very angry, maybe the next thing you need to think about is why.

I have noticed a disturbing trend lately. On a number of business vehicles and store signs, I have seen that the owner has indicated that his/hers is a "Christian" business. In a number of local ads in newspapers, tv and online, owners are going out of their way to tell consumers that they are a "Christian" business, or that they cater to "Christians". (I'm not singling out Christians, I am sure that there are other religions who do this, it is just that we don't seem to have a lot of Cthulhu worshipers in this area.)

I am not an over-the-top religious fanatic; I'm just your random, garden-variety church-goer who usually sits in the back pew. I am pretty tolerant of most things, religion included. I believe what I believe, everyone else can believe what they believe, and we can all sing kumbayah at the next World-Wide Weenie-roast, unless your beliefs come with dietary restrictions. As far as I am concerned, it will all get sorted out, and it certainly is not my place in this universe to judge another's beliefs and behaviors and find them wanting. Judge not, someone wiser than me once said.

However, I really must protest this use of religion in the name of selling stuff. Invoking the name of God to sell things and make yourself money is just not okay. Jesus had some issues with the moneychangers in the Temple because of this very thing; why would anyone think that He would be okay with Dan the Plumber making cash the same way? If you shop at the "Christ the King" store or the "Christian Family Bookstore", do you get a special favor direct from God? And what about those who are less than honest, who put that 'Christian' sign up to lure in the suckers? Should God smite them?(Forget that last, I just wanted to use 'smite' in a sentence because it is a very cool word.)

Now, if you want to wear your special 'Christians R Us' hat when you visit a lonely elderly person or go to work in a soup kitchen or foster a family of orphans, go for it. That kind of advertising, backed up by right actions, I think we can all happily support.

Any idiot can say they're Christian/Jew/Muslim/King of the Planet; many people out there say these words daily and then behave horribly. Meaningless words like that will flow away from the speaker and burst in the sunlight like bubbles. BE your beliefs, and translate them into right actions. That is the key.

I'll climb off this soapbox now. I hope that I've at least stimulated some discussion that doesn't degenerate into fisticuffs.


  1. Very true... I got rooked into going to a Hobby Lobby last week. Their piped in music? Elevator music renditions of hymns. I kid you not. I recognized "He Leadeth Me", "Shine Jesus Shine," "I Love To Tell The Story" and more. Hymns I can listen to... elevator music in small doses, but elevator music versions of hymns? Not so much.

    Used to be though, that being Christian was like being a lady: if you had to state you were for people to know it, you probably weren't. Nowadays with secular humanism so prevalent, that's not as true anymore.

  2. "BE your beliefs, and translate them into right actions. That is the key."



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