Is there any doubt that we American’s have almost completely squandered our noble inheritance? We were given tremendous freedom hard won by the determined effort and blood of many who came before us, and yet we recklessly misuse it to pursue cheap thrills beneath our dignity. Freedom is something to be cherished. It should be treated with reverence, vigilantly guarded, and used with self-restraint. Is this what we are doing, America? Is Black Friday indicative of the kind of nation we wish to be?
What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? But for Walmart?
Contrast this to the situation in Poland. Poland has been trapped between Nazis and Communists for the greater part of 100 years. They are in a constant state of struggle, resistance and vigilance. This gives them an understanding of the value of freedom that many of us Americans have lost. This insight has allowed them to take a simple, common sense step that is almost unthinkable in the United States. Just this week the lower house of the Polish parliament passed a bill to phase out unnecessary consumer spending on Sundays. The law would curtail most shopping in order to allow the Polish people to spend time with their families.
Imagine that. Family time. Rest. Keeping holy the Sabbath. Apparently in recent years Poland has seen the creeping poison of consumerism breach the borders of their country. Now their elected representatives have been empowered to respond. A consumerism-obsessed economy is not what the Polish people want. This new bill will now go to the Polish Senate which, I am told, is expected to pass it. Despite what looks like huge progress towards a more sane and humane economy, the Catholic Bishops of Poland who supported the bill still criticized it for allowing too many exceptions. That made me chuckle. 😉 Way to go, Poland!
Meanwhile in America, the god of consumerism seems to have overtaken our once great country. Examples abound. In writing this post I actually found too many examples to use. A shopping brawl actually shut down a mall in Alabama on so-called “Black Friday” after someone threw a shoe that hit a baby.
In Missouri they were shooting each other in the mall parking lot. In Houston, some people actually decided to shoot and stab each other while arriving to jockey for position to worship at the altar of material prosperity.
Here’s a brief highlight film of the Worst Black Friday incidents:
In Chicago, aggressive shoppers were physically hitting each other in a desperate bid to get some disappearing merchandise. In New Jersey they now write articles chronicling the brawls.
Don’t believe that this stuff is going on? Click on the links above or use any search engine to find more details. You might also check out the “Black Friday Death Count” website: http://blackfridaydeathcount.com
We are in desperate need of a change of course. Let’s follow the Poles!
“No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing. Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
Matthew 6: 24-33