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The idolatry of capitalism

By Rev. Bruce Wright, MA, DMin., CPAC, MAC

There is today a new form of Idol worship that exists in Churches and institutions of Faith. It is the worship of Capitalism as an almost sacred thing. We have been told that Capitalism is God's way of bringing prosperity and health to all peoples of faith. The shopping mall is becoming the new house of worship and Churches, particularly the "megachurch," are looking more and more like the mall, with food courts, small stores, and coffee bars in the front lobby. The new form of liturgy is use of the ATM machine, where one can get anything he or she needs simply by putting their wish into the machine through their card. The new icons of this "Faith" are billboards and advertising. We are told that the "Gospel" of Global Capitalism can bring prosperity to all, when in reality it is destroying local economies and leading humanity down the path to a race to the bottom.

From the pulpit, we are told that private property is God's gift to all through the Corporations. That the only way to ensure that everyone gets what they need is to support the right of Corporations and individuals to have "runaway" profits and to trust that they will use their profits to help those they deem as "worthy" poor. We are told that the "American Dream" can be had by anyone who tries hard enough and God will bless them if they do. One need only look at the growth of reality shows and game shows to see how the corporate media is still trying to get the American people to hold out hope that they can be the next American Idol, or get their dream house or win the money they need to prosper.

This idea is not new however. Jesus himself was tempted with power, money, and wealth in his temptation in the wilderness. He was told to just bow down to greed, mammon, the devil, Capital, and then he would truly be the "Messiah." Jesus refused this because he recognized that this would only benefit him and that everyone else would be subservient. So instead he lived his life identifying with the struggle of the poor, and calls us to do the same. He calls us to take our cue and leadership from this class of the poor, to recognize that this growing new class is where his heart is, and that it is not with "the Captains of Industry" who function as the new priests of this idolatrous religion of Capitalism.

This article originated in the People's Tribune
PO Box 3524 , Chicago , IL 60654 , 773-486-3551, info@peoplestribune.org .
Feel free to reproduce unless marked as copyrighted.
Please include this message with reproductions of the article.

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