Saturday, November 26, 2011

The God of Black Friday?

I've been reading headlines and listening to radio stories about Black Friday. And they make me ill.

Here's a sampling:

Sharp elbows: Shoppers scuffle on Black Friday
Violence mars some Black Friday shopping events
Black Friday warriors: They just keep on shopping
Woman pepper sprays other Black Friday shoppers


All the violence, all in the name of good deals, is horrifying. I hope those people who did fight and use pepper spray are ashamed of themselves, but they probably won't be. All they will see is that they beat the other guy and saved a lot of money.

The one line that sticks out the most is from the third article linked above: "They shop straight through the night, fueled either by caffeine or just the thrill of the almighty discount."

Now, I'm not a religious person, but where is the Christian Right on this issue? They spend so much time telling everyone else how to live their lives, insisting that Jesus is the answer. They thump their Bibles when it suits them, but they aren't offended by that one statement.

What about that statement sticks out? If you didn't catch it, they have compared discounts to God. Go look up "almighty"; I'll wait here.

Is stuff really worth all that? If this is supposedly a Christian nation (it isn't, but that's the argument from certain corners), where is the outrage that people are so consumed by consumerism, that the spirit of Christmas has been lost in a gluttonous haze of things and more things?

I forgot: the same folks who shove their Bibles down everyone's throat conveniently forget that same book when it comes to defending capitalism and the "almighty dollar". Because they can worship both their God (and Jesus) and money.

Besides all that, the "need" to get everything at the lowest price at the expense of family (leaving holiday gatherings to shop), of decency (pepper spraying other shoppers, elbowing, pushing, fighting), is beyond my comprehension. There are plenty of sales. They don't require agressive behavior. They don't mean people get robbed at gun point in the parking lot by someone who wants to get an even better deal (see the second article linked above).

I guess if it were just consumerism, I would watch in bafflement, as I usually have, wondering why anyone would want to go fight the crowds to save a few dollars. The violence of the last several years just makes the whole Black Friday tradition disgusting to me.

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