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This entry was posted on Friday, November 27th, 2009 at 1:00 am and is filed under It's Friday, Open Thread. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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131 Comments(+Add)

1   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 9:17 am

So who got up at the crack of dawn this morning to bow at the altar of consumerism?

2   chris    
November 27th, 2009 at 9:32 am

So who got up at the crack of dawn this morning to bow at the altar of consumerism?

Every black Friday I get up at the crack of dawn to entertain myself on the masses camping outside Best Buy!

Also on the fact that when the doors open I walk right in and wasn’t spending the night in a tent. :)

3   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 9:34 am

Chris,
You could have used that opportunity to feed Christ down the throats of a captive audience all night.

Shame on you.

4   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 9:44 am

Personally, I can’t justify black friday when spending Thursday giving thanks for all we are blessed with while also remembering the millions who are without only to then turn around the next morning to partake in an orgy of buying made possible by countless numbers (many who are children) slaving away 18 hours a day for the past many months for pennies just so that my kids can have a toy they will only forget about by January and only reinforce for them the notion that their happiness is tied to mommy and daddy’s ability to consume.

And why do we do it? Well, because Jesus is coming.

5   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 9:54 am

So who got up at the crack of dawn this morning to bow at the altar of consumerism?

Not me. Just got up, and am headed to the gym before everyone else is up and around

6   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 10:26 am

Your right Chad, it is probably more effective sitting at your computer complaining about the worlds ills than it is to share the Gospel (and some hot cocoa) to people waiting in line, worshipping their God of consumerism.

You are so pious. Let me bow at your feet.

7   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 10:44 am

So how many people did you save today, John?

8   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 10:47 am

#7 None, I don’t save anyone, I am but a lowly sentinel, a seed sower, a planter. Nothing more.

I already testified that I had plenty of my own converts before, when I preached a man-centered Gospel, I thank God I no longer have those.

9   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 10:48 am

Do I get extra crowns for it being really cold and snowy also?

10   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 10:49 am

You are a walking, talking contradiction.

11   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 10:56 am

I think I will go spend some money now, we gotta keep those kids overseas working so they do not get sold into sex slavery. You never seem to see that end, Chad; there are a lot worse things that could happen and overseas it is a blessing to have even a poor paying (by our standards) job.

12   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 10:59 am

The wisdom of PB: Childhood sweat shops keep kids out of porn.

Your ignorance is mind-boggling.

13   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 11:14 am

we gotta keep those kids overseas working

Such is the inhumane, unjust logic of Pastor John Chisham.

What we need to be doing is finding creative ways to help the kids go to school so they can get an education and break the cycle of poverty that is inflicting their family. Buying more and more goods that are made by them is not helping but hampering the situation.

By your logic, PB, we should always be at war since making bombs and guns and uniforms keeps a lot of people in jobs and off the streets. Perhaps I should also buy the drugs being sold on the street corner so that I prevent the drug dealer from feeling desperate and robbing someone and perhaps killing them for money?

What sort of Christian ethic suggests we ought to perpetuate one sort of wrong so as to avoid another? How warped is that?

14   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 11:45 am

i think it a bit overstated to assume everyone out shopping this morning is bowing at the altar if consumerism.

plenty are – to be sure.

but i know mothers who were out this morning to buy something for their kids – and they took advantage of the deals because their budgets are tight.

15   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 11:47 am

pastorboy,

i don’t think it funny to joke about such things even if sarcastically.

16   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 11:49 am

Neil,
I don’t assume everyone out shopping today is committing idolatry. But lets be honest – many are.

And that on the tail end of giving thanks and on the cusp of beginning Advent. The irony is thick.

I think Eugene Cho offers a helpful reminder about privilege and shopping here: http://blog.sojo.net/2008/11/20/black-friday-and-consumerism-white-privilege-and-buy-nothing-day/

17   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 11:51 am

chad,

agreed. (except for the damned if ya do and damned if ya don’t race card)

18   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 11:56 am

According to Adam Smith, the “invisible hand” of the market guides economic activity so that the pursuit of self-interest by uncoordinated individuals miraculously works out to the benefit of all. The great economic machine of society is driven by people’s wants. Through the mechanism of demand and supply, the competition of self-interested individuals will result in the production of the goods society wants, at the right prices, with sufficient employment for all at the right wages for the foreseeable future. The result is an eschatology in which abundance for all is just around the corner. In the contemporary consumer-driven economy, consumption is often urged as the solution to the suffering of others. Buy more to get the economy moving, because more consumption means more jobs; via the miracle of the market, my consumption feeds you. ONe story the market tells, then, is that of scarcity miraculously turned into abundance by consumption itself, a contemporary loaves-and-fishes saga.

In reality, however, consumerism is the death of Christian eschatology. There can be no rupture with the status-quo, no in-breaking of the kingdom of God, but only endless superficial novelty. As Vincent MIller says, “Since desire is sustained by being detached from particular objects, consumer anticipation wishes for everything and hopes for nothing.”

From “Being Consumed” by William Cavanaugh:

19   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 11:57 am

Neil,
What “race card”?

20   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 11:58 am

i’d take adam smith over karl marx any day.

21   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I wasn’t being sarcastic…at all.

If you know about these things, and I do as much as one can, the reality is that children all over the world are sold into sex slavery not by perverts, but by desperate parents who cannot afford the basics of life.

Pennies a day in many of these places will buy food enough for most individuals within these families. $300, which is what many of these young children sold into sex slavery for, will feed, house, and clothe these families for one year.

While this is a ghastly sum for we americans, focussed on consumerism, none the less it is a living for these people, which is why they desire to get these jobs, it is better than the alternative of starving.

The same so- called idolaters that are shopping today are people who may or may not be lost people who need the Gospel, just as bad as these kids overseas do. They are the same ones Neil accused me of putting in an us and them camp, and here you both are condemning them instead of seeking to reach them. They like Jesus and not the Church, indeed.

Perhaps Chad and Neil need to wash the face of Jesus by going to the mall and sharing the good news while collecting food for a local food bank or money for overseas missions instead of carping at those wicked pagans spending money at the local Wal-mart.

22   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

i’d take adam smith over karl marx any day.

Cavanaugh would say lets take neither and instead focus on an ethic of the marketplace formed by Jesus.

I would agree.

23   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

that was a good article, but introducing race into it was not only unnecessary it was a distraction.

but we’ve been down this road before…

24   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Cavanaugh would say lets take neither and instead focus on an ethic of the marketplace formed by Jesus.

i guess i would as well. that’s why we buy coffee, tea, and etc. that is fair trade – (or is that just more white evangelical enlightened self delusion – i can never tell). i hope i live a life that is simpler than the average american.

real question:

how though , do we expect a fallen world, a secular nation, to apply the economics of jesus?

25   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Hopefully one day, Neil, you’ll realize that race is imbedded in the fabric of our world and is unavoidable. When white people whine about “race card” it usually is sounds something like, “Didn’t we already eradicate that problem when we let you people vote and go to our schools?” That’s naive at best.

It also misses the fact that in theological speak, “whiteness” and “blackness” denote far more than just color of skin.

26   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

They are the same ones Neil accused me of putting in an us and them camp, and here you both are condemning them instead of seeking to reach them.

i have condemned no one.

27   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Chad,
The reality of our American economy is that people consume, and they desire to consume more, but the only way they can do it is with cheap goods, which spoiled americans with Union Jobs cannot make anymore because the cost per item is enough.

This reality benefits people overseas in that American companies pay for cheap labor overseas so that their bottom line will be healthy and they can make products cheaply overseas that American consumers will buy.

This benefits the labor force in these countries overseas, where pennies a day can support an individual’s need for food and clothing.

CAMA services, our denomination’s arm to the poor and oppressed over the world also strives to build wells and plant trees and train individuals and communities how to gain a sustainable economy within their communities so the need for sex trafficking and slave labor to support a family is less necessary.

This is all supported by these greedy Americans, many of whom are shopping today.

28   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Neil, you condemned me on the other thread, Chad did so on this one.

29   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Perhaps Chad and Neil need to wash the face of Jesus by going to the mall and sharing the good news while collecting food for a local food bank or money for overseas missions instead of carping at those wicked pagans spending money at the local Wal-mart.

i cringed when people mocked you for your lack of reading comprehension – then you post this!

show me where i have carped about anybody spending money!

show me where i even said anything about you sharing with the crowds.

your arrogance is beyond measure!

you have no idea what i have done to share the gospel, feed the hungry, promote missions.

but true to your style – if we do not do it the way you do – we are wrong.

30   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Neil, you condemned me on the other thread, Chad did so on this one.

apples and oranges. you said I condemned those who are shopping today and that’s not true!

31   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

#29 and #30
Sorry Neil. You are right.

Chad, I hope that instead of eating mighty amounts of food yesterday that you fasted and sent the $$ spent overseas. I am sure your family would understand. I hope you do not shop at a grocery store, because they negotiate the lowest possible prices for those bananas and those steaks etc. from poor overseas farmers who get pennies on the pound. Rather, you should only shop and buy from local farmers and ranchers.

The problem with that is that the lady with the banana tree has that one source of income, and those bananas bought from Costa Rica that you get for $.33 a bunch help her and her whole family survive.

And while you feel good for not shopping today, some child in china got laid off, and will have to go beg on the streets or will have to tell his or her family that they won’t be eating because he or she lost their pennies a day job that was supporting them.

How selfish.

32   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Hopefully one day, Neil, you’ll realize that race is imbedded in the fabric of our world and is unavoidable.

i already do.

33   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

pastorboy, thank you.

34   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:25 pm

how though , do we expect a fallen world, a secular nation, to apply the economics of jesus?

Neil,
That’s the question, isn’t it? And a good one to ponder.

For starters, I don’t expect that to happen. The “secular” world can no more apply an ethic of Jesus when it comes to economics than they can save themselves.

It’s not an ethic for the world but for the Church – we who are “called out.”

Cavanaugh begins that chapter I quoted above saying, “We live our lives at the intersection of two stories about the world: The Eucharist and the market. Both tell stories of hunger and consumption, of exchanges and gifts; the stories overlap and compete.”

The secular world knows nothing of the story of the Eucharist. They know only the market story. The Church knows both (for we came from one story into another). Our task is to, in short, embody the Eucharist.

Dom Gregory Dix has a great life-like liturgy about Eucharist of which Eugene Peterson expounds upon in his book Living the Resurrection. In the Eucharist we perform a 4-part dance: Offering, Blessing, Breaking and Giving. We offer ourselves to God, God blesses and give thanks for whatever offering (no matter how small (2 fish!)) we give, breaks our offering (even our very selves), thus liberating and restoring us, and then giving back to us something healed so that we can give to the world.

In the economy of Jesus we are not individual consumers but we are in fact the ones being consumed by the body and blood of Christ. As Augustine reminds us, “God is the food that consumes us.” The Eucharist decenters us and incorporates us into a larger, communal body of which the head is Christ.

Long answer to simply say: The Church lives out the ethic of Jesus, not the world.

35   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

PB- spoken as one who is captive by the “powers” and can’t imagine another possibility. I’m sorry that is the case for you.

36   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Aboput two years before my conversion, a man came up to me in the park and asked me if I knew Jesus. I was a biker type and I asked him to leave me alone. He handed me a piece of paper (I had never seen a tract) and I glanced over it and threw it down.

Two years later, as the Holy Spirit was drawing me to Jesus, I remembered that man and that tract. I cannot understand how you can mock a man for witnessing even if his methodology doesn’t meet your standards.

People have been saved under all kinds of ministries. Even Paul rejoiced the gospel was preached by some mocking it. Say what you will, and I do, but PB witnesses for Jesus and I pray the Spirity reaches people through him!

37   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

#35
Yep…throw a rock into a pack of dogs and the one who yelps- he was hit.

Sorry Chad, I am captive only by the power of Christ. Your ethnocentricity shines through, you cannot see the reality of the world system.

I hate the world system, but it is reality. We must not love it, but we must operate in it as Christians.

38   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

#36 I have a friend that was saved as a result of reading a tract that had been crumpled up and thrown away.

See, even Bikers who don’t like tattoos can have a great impact!

;)

39   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Rick, the question, however, is: Which Jesus is being professed?

I’m not going to commend someone for preaching a Christ I don’t find in the Gospel. Nor did St. Paul.

While it is true God can use any means to draw people to Jesus that does not excuse any of us from how we tell the story.

40   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 12:40 pm

PB preaches the true and Risen Christ. He may be harsh, but His Jesus is real.

41   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Ethnocentricity? LOL. John, do you even know what that means?

We must not love it, but we must operate in it as Christians.

Really??? Where is that nugget of wisdom to be found in your sola scriptura framework?

We are “in the world” but not “of it.” That doesn’t sound like carte blanche permission to “operate in it” as we see fit.

42   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Sorry Chad, I am captive only by the power of Christ. Your ethnocentricity shines through, you cannot see the reality of the world system.

this sounds very naive. it’s like saying you are not effected by your culture. it’s like saying “i just read the bible and do what it says.”

we all have grids. the first step is minimizing them is to admit as much.

43   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

We must not love it, but we must operate in it as Christians.

You do realize, don’t you, that this is the EXACT SAME argument used by Christians who were pro-slavery, right?

No, of course you don’t realize that.

44   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Everybody “operates” in it. Everyone. (i.e. the internet)

45   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Rick-
PB’s assertion is that this is the world we have and even if we don’t like it we must accept it and operate within its parameters

46   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 12:53 pm

You are putting words in his mouth. By his own admission he does things to eleviate some human suffering, including boarding needy teens.

We all do good things and we all could do more good things.

47   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

I don’t think I’m putting words in his mouth. He is arguing that the economy is what it is and we must operate within it as Christians. I disagree.

This isn’t about doing “good things.” Pagans do “good things.” This is about being aware of the stories competing for our lives. As I said above, we are either living into the story of the “market” that the world “operates in” or we are being formed by the story of the Eucharist of which the Church ought to live into.

48   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

I am unfamiliar with the term “Eucharist” as you use it. What is the “story of the Eucharist”?

49   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Rick,

Eucharist is the Lord’s Supper – it means “Give thanks.”

In comment #34 above I briefly outline a story of Eucharist, but that is by no means all of it.

Essentially, we are living out a story of some sort. The “market” story that the world is enamored by suggests (like PB is suggesting) that our consumption helps others. We are “doing good” when we consume. It should be no surprise to us that the people telling this story with the most force are those with goods to be consumed. One of the obvious pitfalls of this story, at least from a Christian standpoint, is that there is no telos to the consumption. There is no eschatological end to which our consumption takes us. And, it matters not what goods you buy just so long as you buy. Furthermore, the consumption is divorced from the producer. There is a concerted effort made to keep hidden the means by which goods were produced so that they will be bought. Thus, we live in a story that suggests my desires are everything, they are “free” and that by fulfilling my desires I am in some way helping.

That story is a lie.

The Eucharist tells a different story. Rather than individualistic it is communal. Rather than being based on a view of scarcity in the world (by which we must all “get our own” or stampede stores on Black Friday) it is a view of abundance. It is an economy where God is the beginning and the end of all things. It is one where even the smallest gift is seen as valuable and one where we learn what we consume matters. It also teaches us to go out into the world and offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” just as our Lord did for all of the world.

It’s a different story. One that only the Church can live into but rarely does because we are so busy “operating” in the other one.

50   chris    
November 27th, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Interjecting:

While “Being Consumed” is an excellent treatise on how we should interact as Christians in a consumerist society William Cavanaugh is not an economist and his statement on Adam Smith is limited and not the full scope of Smiths view. This could either be because of the selected text or because Cavanaugh truly does have a limited view.

51   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Chris,
That’s true. He’s a theologian, not an economist. But I think this only highlights the bifurcation and the question Neil asks in #24.

If I want to know how the Church should live into the economy of Christ I seek the wisdom of theologians.

52   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 1:36 pm

#49 – I happen to be familiar with another story, one that includes faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I also believe that story will have a culmination, one of glory and one of damnation.

53   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 2:14 pm

OP: I love “Mama… Mama?”

#27: Well articulated, PB.

You do realize, don’t you, that this is the EXACT SAME argument used by Christians who were pro-slavery, right?

See Ad hominem argument. Injecting race is simply Chad’s twist on Godwin’s Law.

Ho-hum. Next, please…

54   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

#53-
Categorizing an argument in just one more way Chris L avoids the truth. So long as you can label something you are excused from acknowledging its validity.

ho hum.

55   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Or, perhaps Chris L is like PB, and just unaware that PB’s argument as articulated in #27 (which Chris L applauds) is exactly the same sort of argument anti-abolitionists made. It’s an argument that has nothing to do with race but with economy – ie. “This is how the world works and we should learn to operate in it (treat our slaves justly). To imagine a different world without slaves would mean a collapse of the economy – and we can’t have that!”

PB and Chris L are living the “ignorance is bliss” story.

56   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 2:58 pm

So long as you can label something you are excused from acknowledging its validity.

Assuming it has any validity in the first place… which, in this case, it pretty much has absolutely… none.

Guess what – Hitler used the word “the” and so did you! Shocker!

Yup – as much validity as your bringing in pro-slavery argumentation from 150+years ago…

Or, perhaps Chris L is like PB, and just unaware that PB’s argument as articulated in #27 (which Chris L applauds) is exactly the same sort of argument anti-abolitionists made.

Actually, for once, PB answered rather lucidly – pointing out the difference between “in the world” and “of the world”.

Apparently you’ve never read the book of Philemon. Either that, or my Bible doesn’t contain Paul’s diatribe against the system of slavery set up in Rome.

Did Paul support slavery, even as he sent a slave back to his master? I’d argue no.

Do I support people in the third world living in poor conditions? No. However, if by purchasing goods they make – while being involved in activities that seek to improve their lives in other ways – I help provide them an honest wage in a system with lower standard of living, I see no problems.

This is not a case of “ignorance is bliss”, but rather one of – “one step at at time”. Cutting off their sources of income while holding out for “revolutionary change” does them no good today, and little good tomorrow – if they’re still alive then.

But hey, just like most liberal programs, railing against the system certainly makes me feel good.

“Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed…”

typical bleeding heart liberalism. Great for the ego, crap for those it claims compassion for.

57   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Chris L,

Your distaste for anything that appears “liberal” clouds your judgment…again.

The anti-abolitionist argument is almost a mirror of what you and PB are spitting out. The system is just too big, too cumbersome, too engrained, blah blah blah.

You and PB have no imagination.

If we are to take your ethic to its logical conclusion that it is UNETHICAL in your worldview to buy goods that are NOT produced by child labor. According to your worldview, we should be actively seeking out goods that are made by kids in sweat shops so that we can support them even as we try to end this abusive market system.

In fact, maybe we should have a church mission trip where we build sweat shops that promise to only employ children?

Your argument is nonsensical from a Christian standpoint.

Your argument also rests on the notion that there is nothing worse in the world than death. Therefore, you will accept injustice and even “operate within” it if it will help alleviate pain or avoid death. Again, not a Christian worldview.

“Railing against the system” is not about making me or anyone “feel good.” Rather, it is doing exactly as we are called to do as Christians. There is a battle going on. At least some people are aware of it and awake to it.

Thank God.

58   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Seriously, Chris L, if you really believe the garbage you just spit out why don’t you go boycott fair trade organizations and hold up a sign that reads: Buy Goods Only From Child Labor! They need to eat too!

59   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

A little known fact:

“The tree of good and evil” in the Hebrew is “the tree of racism”.

60   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:30 pm

The anti-abolitionist argument…

blah, blah, blah… utter bull$h*t, Chad.

Give your sanctimonious, self-righteous bleeding heart a rest – maybe one day a year, like today.

[mimicking Chad's modus operandi] Give your Nazi-sympethizer methods a rest.[/mimicking]

If we are to take your ethic to its logical conclusion that it is UNETHICAL in your worldview to buy goods that are NOT produced by child labor.

Apparently Duke still isn’t bothering to teach logic to its “divinity” students.

Just because A is B does not mean that anti-A is anti-B. Good grief, at least PB’s illogic has some semblance of sense.

Go back and read what I wrote (emphasis mine):

Do I support people in the third world living in poor conditions? No. However, if by purchasing goods they make – while being involved in activities that seek to improve their lives in other ways – I help provide them an honest wage in a system with lower standard of living, I see no problems.

I can point to areas of Panama where Christian churches have purchased coffee grown for less than growers in more affluent/”livable” regions. They also bring in food, clean water and improve the living conditions there – even though the workers’ wages would be a pittance in the US. Over time, conditions in these areas, and their churches, have greatly improved.

Had we held out until they were paying $8/hour to workers, we’d still be waiting, and they’d still be starving. But we could certainly feel better that “we didn’t purchase goods produced by child labor”!

Seriously, Chris L, if you really believe the garbage you just spit out why don’t you go boycott fair trade organizations and hold up a sign that reads: Buy Goods Only From Child Labor! They need to eat too!

You’re such a moron, it’s hard to even take you seriously.

61   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

However, if by purchasing goods they make – while being involved in activities that seek to improve their lives in other ways – I help provide them an honest wage in a system with lower standard of living, I see no problems.

IOW, the ends justify the means.

How does this look, practically speaking? What are some of the ways you are improving their lives while at the same time buying the goods made by children in sweat shops? How does that look?

I’m trying to imagine you saying, “Look kids, you can go to school rather than work. Oh, but wait – you have to work to make the junk I need to buy. Sorry.”

Manufacturers are always going to go where they can make a profit. I have no beef with that. I don’t care if they ship jobs overseas where the labor is cheaper. BUT, I want to make sure it is just labor. So long as we are buying the goods that are made in sweat shops by kids, manufacturers will continue to make that a viable option.

BUT, maybe if we all stopped. Maybe then the parents could work for a livable wage (that would still be far less than what Americans demand) while their kids go to school so that they can get a decent job and break the cycle of poverty that is perpetuated by people who choose to remain ignorant about where their toys come from and what is just or unjust labor practices.

Sure, you and PB can continue to “operate within” the system. But you are only perpetuating an evil. Most people are happy to just turn a blind eye to it. So long as MY stuff is cheap and available we don’t care where it comes from. Ignorance is bliss.

62   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

I buy the cheap goods from child molesters and give it to Feed the Children.

63   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

#60: Translation: It is easier to dismiss you as a moron and call your argument bullshit than to address it.

Again, ignorance is bliss.

p.s. you sound just like the clergy in these anti-abolitionist treatises I have in my hand. They would applaud you for wanting to “operate within” the system. Well done!

64   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:35 pm

BTW _ I hope child slaves don’t make Plavix in Canada. It won’t prevet me from buying it there, I just hope they don’t.

65   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Had we held out until they were paying $8/hour to workers, we’d still be waiting, and they’d still be starving.

That a ridiculous notion and one that I never put forward.

66   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

BUT, maybe if we all stopped. Maybe then the parents could work for a livable wage (that would still be far less than what Americans demand) while their kids go to school so that they can get a decent job and break the cycle of poverty that is perpetuated by people who choose to remain ignorant about where their toys come from and what is just or unjust labor practices.

Very little of what is sold in the US is truly produced by “child labor”. And, the countries which “human rights” groups love to rail on the most, a good % of the “child labor”, when investigated, is from orphaned teenagers providing for their siblings.

I recall stories told by friends of mine who purchased crafts from girls in Nairobi, Kenya (where most teenagers are parent-less), for more than what they were worth, but the most the girls would take with dignity. While he knew they were produced by “child labor”, he knew that he was helping these girls raise their siblings. Additionally, he was a doctor helping set up a series of orphanages in the area – to more directly help these children.

Sure, you and PB can continue to “operate within” the system. But you are only perpetuating an evil.

Take that up with the Apostle Paul and Jesus, then. I forgot about their overthrow of the Roman Empire.

My conscience in my actions in this area is clear, and you’re just an aspersion-spouting moron.

67   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

That a ridiculous notion and one that I never put forward.

Most of the bitching about foreign workers, “child labor” and sweatshops is a direct response from American unions and comparisons to paying folks $0.75/hour in economies where the standard of living is $2/day.

I hate it when I have to agree with Pastorboy, but you have a knack of making him seem lucid.

68   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

“aspersion-spouting moron”

Is that a special class of moron, or just a more articulate definition of morons? :cool:

69   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Very little of what is sold in the US is truly produced by “child labor”. And, the countries which “human rights” groups love to rail on the most, a good % of the “child labor”, when investigated, is from orphaned teenagers providing for their siblings.

See no evil, hear no evil.

Yeah, because when inspections are done in countries with lax labor laws the management is completely forthcoming (studies were done of a WalMart plant overseas that sent all their “illegals” out when the inspectors came and threatened the workers if they talked).

Um, “crafts” produced by children on the streets is a far cry from working in sweat shops for 18 hour days for little to no pay.
I bought the same sort of “crafts” in Ethiopia.

I forgot about their overthrow of the Roman Empire.

lol. Who is talking about overthrowing an empire? Im’ talking about resisting the powers of evil, something both Jesus and Paul were well aware of and vigilant against. The cross was quite an overthrow.

70   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Rick – some morons keep their mouth shut, so you never quite know if they are ones. Others open their mouths and remove the doubt. Still others shout aspersions with such shrill and tone-deaf aplomb that even a charitable person cannot avoid noting that they are morons.

71   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

I hate it when I have to agree with Pastorboy, but you have a knack of making him seem lucid.

laughing.
I love that in your mad, sputtering attempt at name calling and disparaging anything that smacks of “liberalism” you will say anything or agree with anyone – including PB.

I’m still curious to know how you can hold up buying junk made by kids in sweat shops as a “good” (ie. it feeds them and helps them live) and yet distance yourself from advocating for buying junk made by kids in sweat shops.

In church speak, we call such people hypocrites.

I’ll be the moron today. You can be they hypocrite.

72   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Chad – Your compassion for children is noble, however it would be more Biblical if it was part of a greater gospel context.

73   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 3:54 pm

#72 – so caring for children and just treatment of them is not part of the Gospel?

74   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

The cross was an overthrow, but I don’t recall it being a geopolitical one that immediately changed the social conditions.

I do recall, though, Jesus advising to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” and Paul sending a slave back to Philemon… Guess they saw no evil and heard no evil and let the ends justify the means.

Whatever. I’m out for the rest of the day. I need to go to a funeral and then go support some Jerry’s (and Yim-Po’s) of this world…

75   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Have a good afternoon, everyone. This moron has listened to enough hypocrisy for the time being.

76   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 3:57 pm

#73 – No. It’s part of a gospel believer’s compassion.

The good news is that Jesus died for our sins and resurrected from the dead.

77   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

“great news, sweetie – I convinced enough Americans to stop buying the goods you were making at $0.75/hour, 10 hours/day that you will now be free to sell yourself on a street corner for the next 10-20 years until your government and social conditions improve. I had to do something to stop your exploitation, otherwise I’d just be, you know, like ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ … Buck up! Jesus died for you, you know…”

78   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Not sure how that will all fit on your picket sign outside of fair labor negotiations, but good luck.

Not only will you agree with PB but you will advocate for child labor in sweat shops if it means you get to disagree with me.

How funny!

79   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Only in a world like Chris L’s, where imagination is sorely lacking, is the only viable option to working in a sweat shop to sell oneself on the street.

Again, you are advocating an ethic that demands we fix the entire system before we begin even acting ethically. We can’t take a stand and refuse to buy goods made by kids in sweat shops until the world that makes that happen is perfected, right?

So what other things should I not care about simply because it is how the world operates and it would take too much effort to change all that?

Are you seriously OK with being painted as someone who thinks buying goods produced unjustly is OK because it is an evil not as big as what might happen if you didn’t?

Seriously. Can you answer without resorting to name calling or dismissiveness?

80   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Its a far cry from saying that pennies a day in a different economy is a living wage and a good thing to advocating for sweat shops. But so be it.

Look, I don’t bemoan anyone making a fair wage. If our cost of living was not so high in America, we could actually have a different economy.

Part of the real villiany is involved in the more ‘liberal’ parts of our system. Take Unions for example. They crank up living wages, along with benefits and retirement packages that more often bankrupt private companies, and, in the case of California, even states. So Chad, I would suggest changing that system that is in place, the system within which your President got elected, promising to increase entitlements that are carried on the back of our children as well as those around the world. You see, the fact that companies cannot reasonably pay manufacturing costs over here contribute directly to the movement overseas. As a result, many children and adults work in unskilled jobs for dollars a day that support them in their third-world economies.

Even drinking your fair-trade coffee makes little difference; it is the owners of the plantations that get the meatier profits, anyway.

I do not think it is necessarily right that there is no difference between $56 a day here and $10 a day in Belize being considered as a fair wage, but I do know that it is reality, and that $10 a day is a real good living there, where it simply would not make ends meet here ($56 barely makes it here).

81   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Are you seriously OK with being painted as someone who thinks buying goods produced unjustly is OK because it is an evil not as big as what might happen if you didn’t?

It depends on how one defines “unjustly” (which can mean an entire continuum of options). I’d also note that all your crap about “that’s the same reasoning as pro-slavery…” – I’d point out that it was the same reasoning used by the Quakers who managed the Underground Railroad. They never boycotted cotton clothing, linens, accessories, etc. – but still worked to subvert the system, even as they were “a part of it”.

Only in a world like Chris L’s, where imagination is sorely lacking, is the only viable option to working in a sweat shop to sell oneself on the street.

Apparently your familiarity with parts of the third world are quite lacking, Chad. In many third-world countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, the choice between menial labor and prostitution is a very real one for many teens and adolescents.

When I was in Mexico City, a local missionary told me that it was often his practice to buy all but one pack of gum from the little children who walked the streets. While he didn’t really need the gum, it prevented the children from being beaten, helped them sell more than they normally did in an afternoon, and didn’t take all of their goods (which meant that they would have several hours of not selling, in which he could spend time with them).

We can’t take a stand and refuse to buy goods made by kids in sweat shops until the world that makes that happen is perfected, right?

Tell you what – points out the specific items that are made in sweat shops by small children, and I’ll avoid them. Until then, you’re just praying on a street corner.

82   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

PB –
This isn’t about living wages but just labor practices. Of course a living wage in one country will be different than another. I have no issue with that. The issue is exploitation and unjust labor laws that exist because it drives down cost while increasing profits.

So long as Americans buy products that are produced in such ways nothing will change. What would be the impetus for manufactures (or the countries that allow them to operate there) to change their labor practices when their goods are selling like hotcakes and they are getting rich?

In Chris L’s world, we should keep buying because that keeps kids in work. Well, that may be the case, but it only perpetuates the unjust system and the systemic poverty it feeds off.

If we stop buying the products than manufacturers (and nations) are forced to adopt new cost-effective ways to produce their goods. The kids can go to school while their parents work at a fair wage for their country (and in just, humane conditions) because the country adopts laws that make this so and manufacturers have no where to go to get around it.

But so long as we advocate for child labor like Chris L is doing, that will never happen.

Seriously, Chris L, put your money where your mouth is. Why don’t you publish a post where you argue that Americans should buy products made in sweat shops by kids so that we can prevent them from becoming sex slaves. In fact, if we are committed to making sure they don’t become sex slaves, we should do our part and petition Congress to allow dismiss their child labor restrictions and allow MORE goods in our country that are produced by those sweat shops – that way we can support them even more and prevent even more kids from sex trafficking.

I’d love to see this article. Really.

83   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

points out the specific items that are made in sweat shops by small children, and I’ll avoid them.

Why on earth would you do that? Do you want them to become sex slaves?

We need to support our working kids!

84   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
November 27th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I’m fairly certain that when I was growing up I was subjected to unfair labor practices by my parents’ church. I think I started mowing the lawn when I was 10…

I think a few days in a sweatshop could do some fat American kids some good… (I kid, I kid!!)

85   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 27th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

The reality is that, for example, wigits which are manufactured by XYZUSA Corporation, a pubicaly traded corporation in the USA. The cost to manufacture includes: raw materials, labor costs (which include Union Benefits, time off, and annual raises) is $1.00 per unit, and sells for $1.50. Herein is the problem, the TUV corporation can sell the widgit for $1.00, because their total cost to manufacture is $.50. Individuals buy the cheaper widgets, TUVUSA’s investors get a larger return on their money, and their widgets push XYZ’s slowly out of the market.

Now if XYZUSA is forced overseas because its investors want a higher return for their investment, look at the negative impact: 1000 people lose their jobs, their parents get unemployment for a short period of time which is on the backs of the American taxpayers, the investors lose money…etc. etc. etc.

The moral of the story: Kick Unions out of the shop, allow people to earn a fair living wage here, and the competition with the immoral labor practices will grow tighter and will be less and less of an incentive to go overseas. However, there will be less opportunity for unskilled workers over there to make a living, unless there is a wage cap set here and a minimum wage set there. That answer is socialistic at best and a fantasy at worst. Anytime the stronger can make a buck on the back of the weaker, it will happen, it is the way the world unfortunately works.

What else can we do? Support a sustainable economy both here and overseas, based upon local standards and conditions.

What we should not do is sit back and bemoan the consumers; this is a consumption based economy, whether we like it or not. We can refuse to consume unecessairily, but it has a ripple effect around the world.

86   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 27th, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Any participation in the American system is compromise, which is covered by grace.

87   Neil    
November 27th, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Even drinking your fair-trade coffee makes little difference; it is the owners of the plantations that get the meatier profits, anyway.

this is not the case if it is certified “fair trade.”

88   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 28th, 2009 at 8:48 am

When I was in Mexico City, a local missionary told me that it was often his practice to buy all but one pack of gum from the little children who walked the streets

This has nothing to do with what we are discussing. There is a HUGE difference between what you describe here (kids, in essence, working for themselves to help provide for their families) and what I am arguing against (kids working in sweat shops, under unjust conditions, to make products for you and I to enjoy thousands of miles away)

Surely you can see the difference. I can, even as a moron.

When can we expect to see your article encouraging Americans this Christmas season to buy products made by kids in sweat shops?

It would make a nice addition to the Advent Conspiracy trend going around again.

89   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 28th, 2009 at 9:14 am

Chad – I would hope that any believer who knew some particular merchandise had a connection to child sweat shops would refuse to buy it. It seems you are more informed than the average person about such matters, but you should be cautious as to using your knowledge as a platform for a pervasive condemnation of others.

90   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 28th, 2009 at 11:36 am

Rick –
My comments are meant to unmask the ridulousness of Chris L’s (and PB’s) position that we, as Christians, must “operate within” the system rather than subvert it.

It was Chris L (and PB) who said it would be best if we bought the products made by children in sweat shops so that they have employment so that they don’t get sold into sex slavery.

If that is the case, than it would be wise for all of us to intentionally buy stuff made by kids in sweat shops so that we can keep them off the streets.

All Chris L needs to do is either affirm that position or realize how unethical it is and admit it.

91   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 28th, 2009 at 11:40 am

When can we expect to see your article encouraging Americans this Christmas season to buy products made by kids in sweat shops?

Whatever.

You’ve basically taken then uncommon occurrence – children (not teenagers) producing goods in truly inhumane conditions producing goods that are sold in the US. I don’t support this, but I doubt much (if any) such products actually make it to the US. I would not support purchasing such goods, and if you specifically identify them for me, I will support a boycott against them… Otherwise, you’re just a leftist demagogue seeking as much sanctimonious, self-righteousness as the bullhorn guy at the local mall.

What is rather the case (and what the left often decries) is single mothers (which are in abundant supply) and teenagers working in factories in, or on the outskirts of, urban centers in China, the Philippines or Central America for about 10-60% of US wages w/o the benefit packages, unions, regulations, etc. that have killed American manufacturing.

All of the major US buyers (Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, etc.) follow a set of guidelines which prevent them from buying from “sweat shops” – and (having a friend at church and one at work who have done business with/for these corporations to verify this) these guidelines are not something that can be “faked” for a day while they are being inspected. In fact, most of these corporations’ guidelines are well-known, and give incentives to local governments to improve their infrastructure (water, sewage, education, etc.), which helps everyone in those communities.

Even if these factories wanted to hire children, the technology in them requires a level of education, strength and dexterity which would make it unfavorable/impossible for children to operate them at a profit.

So, the reason I call you a moron and won’t seriously engage you on this issue is because you’ve painted a fantasy picture to satisfy your bleeding heart and to castigate people who don’t have the “compassion” (quotes intended) you fake.

92   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 28th, 2009 at 11:46 am

It was Chris L (and PB) who said it would be best if we bought the products made by children in sweat shops so that they have employment so that they don’t get sold into sex slavery.

Actually, no, neither of us said that. You’ve just created a straw man of the argument with your fantasy “children in sweat shops” characterization of how goods are produced that are sold in America. Both of our scenarios are based in the normal scenario of single mothers and teenagers working in Chinese or Central American factories to help their families make ends meet.

All Chris L needs to do is either affirm that position or realize how unethical it is and admit it.

Or just affirm you’re full of crap and that your characterization of my position is crap.

93   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 28th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Although we should take steps to avoid agregious instances of abuse on any level, all of us still operate within a fallen system. I suggest that almost any venue of commerce is either directly or tangentially connected to greed, avarice, abuse, or some other form of sin.

If someone believes he has a calling to directly combat or expose such abuses, he cannot use that calling to judge others who operate in the same system as does he.

Compromise begins the moment you use electricity or start up your car.

94   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 28th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Thank yopu Chris L.

It really is the economy, stupid, and the fact is that the economy helps people around the world make a living wage.

Those kids that you speak about are rare cases, but I would guess they would prefer what we consider to be ’subhuman’ or ’slavery’ to starving to death. That may sound harsh, but the reality is that 90% of the world is not lazy or lacking in effort like we are, taking things for granted like we do. They know what it is like to go hungry, they are not desiring a hand- out. They want to work, they want to support thier families, and American (and other) companies, forced overseas by the ridiculous cost of labor over here are providing, for the most part, preferable working conditions to those which these people have experienced. And they are giving them pride for being able to earn a living for their families.

Why not be an educated bleeding heart and fight against the Union corruption that is sending these jobs overseas?

95   pastorboy    http://www.crninfo.wordpress.com
November 28th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

And I agree with Rick also- we are operating in a fallen system. We must act like Christ calls us to act.

We must be thankful for the resources that God has given us
We must demonstrate this thanks for sharing what we do not need
We must consider those less fortunate and, after providing for our families, and the household of faith, we should give to those outside and less fortunate.
We should never be wasteful of resources or time or talents, using all to glorify God and further his kingdom (carping on about supposed injustice on the internet does not count)

Chad, really, if you are so concerned, quit playing around on the internet and at Duke and sell everything and do something about it. Pissing and Moaning online does nothing.

96   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 28th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

And let us address the bottom line: Without the gospel and the cross of Christ, all attempts to right wrongs are humanistic band aids.

97   Brendt Waters    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
November 28th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Where’d you get that video? Some moron on Facebook?

98   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 5:16 am

You’ve basically taken then uncommon occurrence – children (not teenagers) producing goods in truly inhumane conditions

Yeah, cause this is sooo “uncommon.”

I don’t support this

I’m glad to see you have recanted, then. For awhile you were chanting that we should buy their products because this was better than sex slavery. A ludicrous position if I ever heard one.

What is rather the case (and what the left often decries) is single mothers (which are in abundant supply) and teenagers working in factories in, or on the outskirts of, urban centers in China, the Philippines or Central America for about 10-60% of US wages w/o the benefit packages, unions, regulations, etc. that have killed American manufacturing.

Wrong.

My concern has nothing to do with the disparity between incomes and benefits in developing countries as compared to our own. Nor do I expect developing countries to adopt our economic practices and culture to survive or make life better.

What I am concerned about is just working conditions for the disenfranchised where Western manufacturers seek to get cheap labor no matter what the cost to human life. And so long as Americans are gorging themselves in an orgy of consumerism manufacturers will do what manufacturers do – continue to give the masses what they demand, no matter who it hurts.

Children shouldn’t be in those factories working because they should be in school where they can be getting an education in hopes of breaking the cycle of poverty.

What you don’t seem to realize is how inhumanely these workers (no matter what age they are or what gender) are treated so that you and I can buy nice toys for our kids (toys that the kids of those making them will never enjoy, by the way). The set up is really no different from the mill-towns in the good ‘ol USA that existed before unions where the workers were nothing more than indentured servants.

All of the major US buyers (Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, etc.) follow a set of guidelines

lol. I’m glad you have a friend at church that verified this, but seriously… do some research.

Guidelines mean nothing. The reality is far different from the guidelines. Here is just one short article on

WalMart

That article is by a former inspector of overseas factories. Here is just a snippet:

Unfortunately, we missed stuff. All inspections do. And sometimes it was embarrassing. At one follow-up inspection of a factory in Bangkok at which I’d noted some serious but common wage violations, the auditors who followed me found pregnant employees hiding on the roof and Burmese import workers earning criminally low wages. Whoops. On the other hand, sometimes I was the one who uncovered what others had missed. A lot of it had to do with luck. Was the right document visible on the work floor? Did we choose the right employees for interviews—the ones who were willing to confide in outsiders? If we were working through a translator, was his manner of speaking to people soothing?

Even if these factories wanted to hire children, the technology in them requires a level of education, strength and dexterity which would make it unfavorable/impossible for children to operate them at a profit.

wow. you are so naive.

Have you ever seen these factories operate? They are nothing more than the Ford style assembly line. A moron like me could work there. You give children far too little credit.

99   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 5:17 am

I just spent 20 min on a comment and it’s not showing.

100   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 5:21 am

crap.

Chris L, you are so naive. Here is just one of many articles about the working conditions and the inspections done on overseas factories:

http://walmartwatch.com/blog/archives/wal_mart_continues_to_rely_on_sweatshop_labor_for_profits/

Here is one snippet:

Unfortunately, we missed stuff. All inspections do. And sometimes it was embarrassing. At one follow-up inspection of a factory in Bangkok at which I’d noted some serious but common wage violations, the auditors who followed me found pregnant employees hiding on the roof and Burmese import workers earning criminally low wages. Whoops. On the other hand, sometimes I was the one who uncovered what others had missed. A lot of it had to do with luck. Was the right document visible on the work floor? Did we choose the right employees for interviews—the ones who were willing to confide in outsiders? If we were working through a translator, was his manner of speaking to people soothing?

Even if these factories wanted to hire children, the technology in them requires a level of education, strength and dexterity which would make it unfavorable/impossible for children to operate them at a profit.

Again, you are naive or just deluded. You give children far too little credit and factories not enough credit to be able to train even a monkey to work an assembly line if it meant increased profits.

101   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 5:42 am

Why not be an educated bleeding heart and fight against the Union corruption that is sending these jobs overseas?

Because I don’t care if jobs go overseas.

My agenda is not based on some political platform. What do I care if jobs go overseas? What I DO care about is that humans, no matter their nationality, are treated justly.

Your logic is so flawed, PB. You say out of one side of your mouth that American companies overseas are providing much needed work for people who would starve otherwise and then out of the other side of your mouth say that the “right thing” for me to do would be to lobby against American factories going overseas.

You are a walking, talking contradiction.

Chris L, the fact that you are PB are united on this issue only affirms for me that I am at least thinking theologically within it.

102   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 5:42 am

I’m guessing my earlier comment is being held up because it had a link?

103   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 8:32 am

Without the gospel and the cross of Christ, all attempts to right wrongs are humanistic band aids.

Actually, attempts to right the wrongs is precisely because of (not in spite of or in absence of) the gospel and cross of Christ.

Yes, it is a “fallen system.” All systems are. They are part of the “powers and principalities” Paul speaks of. These “powers” are created entities, created by God through and for Christ (see Col. 1). As created entities they are every bit as fallen as humanity. Yet, just as humanity is being redeemed, so too are the powers.

Our task as Christians, therefore, is not to “operate within” these fallen powers but to shine the light of Christ on them and use them in redemptive ways, bringing them back to their original purpose “in Christ.”

This conversation has been less about the ills of child labor (a topic that only came up because of PB’s insistence (followed by Chris L) that supporting child labor is a “good” for it prevents prostitution) but more about the Christian worldview that suggests we are to “operate within” the fallen systems of the world.

My desire to buy nothing on Black Friday was my own attempt to acknowledge that consumerism is an idol that America bows to every day of the year. It was an attempt to acknowledge that 99% of the time I do not know or care where the products I buy and use come from or whose backs they were built on. It was an attempt to intentionally resist the pull to move from a day of giving thanks for all I have on Thursday to acting as though I don’t have enough on Friday. It was an attempt to enter into the season of Advent preparing to meet Jesus before I meet a WalMart greeter or stampeder.

Basically, it was to acknowledge that these powers exist, they are fallen, and I all too easily succumb to them most days of the year. I made the choice not to this day.

My comment #4, where children are only tangentially mentioned, sums up my reasons pretty well, if this doesn’t do it.

104   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 9:15 am

Has anyone seen these pictures?

I especially draw your attention to Jesus walking and talking with a Nazi soldier!

105   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:40 am

Rick, yes, I’ve seen them. Great pictures, IMO.

Some are quite scandalous (as you point out). If that weren’t Jesus, but say, Rob Bell, and the Nazi soldier was instead, say, the Dali Lama, some would no doubt shout, “crucify him!”

106   Joe    http://joemartino.name
November 29th, 2009 at 10:49 am

#102. You had two comments caught up in the “do what I want because I’m a computer program and don’t have to tell you why” spam filter. I have set both comment free. I honestly have no idea why they were flagged.

107   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 10:51 am

thanks, Joe. I assumed it might be because I had a link on it. Maybe?

108   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Chris L, the fact that you are PB are united on this issue only affirms for me that I am at least thinking theologically within it.

Ah yes, ad homenims again when you can’t give coherent answers. I’d say everyone is thinking “theologically” on the subject, it’s just that (as usual) you seem to making up God’s policies for Him from whole cloth…

109   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I am unclear as to the “subject”. Can someone give me the competing postulates?

110   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

You give children far too little credit and factories not enough credit to be able to train even a monkey to work an assembly line if it meant increased profits.

Whatever. I’d expect nothing less from you than poorly-sourced crap from partisan sources, taking an outlier (if it even exists) and treating it as the norm. I’ll buy an extra gazebo, and put a plaque on it – “Chad Holtz Memorial Gazebo”.

111   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I’m glad to see you have recanted, then. For awhile you were chanting that we should buy their products because this was better than sex slavery. A ludicrous position if I ever heard one.

I’ve recanted nothing. Just because you made my (and PB’s) argument into something we never said, and then tried to get us to recant your BS rewording doesn’t mean that I ever agreed that you’d restated my position correctly. Because you didn’t.

Children shouldn’t be in those factories working because they should be in school where they can be getting an education in hopes of breaking the cycle of poverty.

If by “Children” you mean kids aged 1-13, I’d agree (though I would note that you’re pretty naive to assume they have a school to attend in hopes of breaking the circle of poverty.) I support missions that seek to provide such schools, which are in definite need.

If by “Children” you mean teenagers, who may be the oldest members of their families able to work, then I’d disagree. In the west, we’ve extended childhood beyond historical norms (typically 14 or 15), and I’m not sure it’s all for the best. In third-world economies, I’d argue that vocational training is far more useful for adolescents and their communities.

As for Walmartwatch, half of what they publish is imaginary, and the other half is unverifiable. They’re an arm of SEIU (those hip-joined buddies of ACORN – you know, the group actually willing to help traffic underage prostitutes into America) and funded by the Teamsters, etc. Utter crap. I’d expect nothing less from them. I’ll take the word of people I know who’ve been on the ground there (both for missions and for business) over a group of union thugs with an axe to grind.

I’m not a big fan of Walmart, but I’m not going to criticize them with imaginary “facts”, either. Much of the criticism driven against them is union-funded, as they are the largest non-unionized entity in America.

wow. you are so naive.

I’ll assume you’re looking into a mirror while typing this, since you’re the one quoting walmartwatch…

Have you ever seen these factories operate? They are nothing more than the Ford style assembly line.

They aren’t the Ford assembly line, I do realize, but they are not something a grade-school kid can operate, either. Keep bleeding (and bleating). I’m sure someone will believe the crap you spew…

112   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Alert – Chris L. has used up his available “crap” word allowance. He must now use the word “junk”. :cool:

113   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

OK – Rick. Switching to “junk” in 5, 4, 3, 2 … 1 …

114   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 3:20 pm

:)

I am so amused at how easily you get flustered, Chris L. The irony is you have the gall to label my comments as ad hom while you do nothing but call me names and my beliefs “crap.”

In my experience, people who know they are in the wrong resort to your kind of tactics.

115   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 3:29 pm

union thugs

LOL. You show your hand by such ridiculous judgment calls. This is why I said you (and PB) are not arguing from a theological perspective. Your vision is too clouded by your political idealogy.

Yeah, we should all trust your sources (and your one friend) rather than reports made by so-called “union thugs.” Talk about being biased.

p.s. If you bothered to even read all my comments you would notice it is not politically driven in any respect, but theologically driven.

What are the policies of God I am inventing from “whole cloth”? List them. Or is this just one more of the many examples of your rhetorical, um, crap?

116   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 4:37 pm

I am so amused at how easily you get flustered, Chris L

Not flustered at all. When the truth-quotient of the “facts” I’m replying to is non-existent, I may as well call a spade a spade.

In my experience, people who know they are in the wrong resort to your kind of tactics.

Translation: I’ve lost the argument, my misappropriated characterizations of the views opposed to mine have failed, so I’m going to declare victory.

117   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

If you bothered to even read all my comments you would notice it is not politically driven in any respect, but theologically driven.

Apparently a “god” of made-up stats and facts. Your “theology” is coated with such a thin veneer, not even Wally World would buy it…

118   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

What are the policies of God I am inventing from “whole cloth”?

That God does not call us to live within the systems in which we are placed, etc. and that to live within them, while trying to change them is somehow in line with being pro-slavery…

119   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

blah blah blah….all you do anymore is call names and make sweeping generalizations/characterizations without merit.

You don’t even know what you are so angry about.

Go ahead. Call me a moron and this comment “crap.” I find it funny.

120   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

118: that’s not what I said – ever.

again, you don’t even know what you are angry about. Probably because you can’t think outside of your politics

121   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

Or – to be more specific, that by buying goods manufactured in the third world (which 99.9% are produced in humane conditions, while activists magnify the 0.1% as if it were the norm) is actually supportive of the workers who make them.

I could care less if you don’t buy anything on “black Friday” (heck, the only thing I bought was a couple of DVD’a on Amazon), but to pretend that somehow is something “honorable” because of its impact on justice in the third world (or that boycotting products from said areas is of any use in changing the conditions there) is just phariseeism from the left (noting that the right is not at all short on its own supply of pharisees).

Then, playing the race card on folks that disagree with you, is just your own personal Godwin, which you pull out whenever your half-baked ideas head south.

Typical. To not call it crap just requires too much energy sometimes…

122   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Or to put it in a similar light to current events – the “facts” behind ‘exploitation’ of the third world are just about as true and reliable (as we’re currently learning) as those behind anthropogenic global warming.

123   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 5:02 pm

The racism is card reminds me of the Old Maid card – it gets crimpled from being overplayed.

124   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 29th, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Your reading comprehension is about as good as PB’s on this one, Chris.

I never pulled out the race card. You misunderstood (maybe you are getting defensive on that count for some reason?)

And you fail to grasp the difference between “living in” and “operating in” the world’s systems. I explained that pretty well, I think, in 103 (and earlier).

And just .1 percent of overseas production is inhumane? Holy crap! That is better than in good ‘ol USA!

125   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

The internet supports pornography, I hope you are not supporting it.

126   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
November 29th, 2009 at 5:30 pm

I never pulled out the race card.

The article you cited brought it into the conversation. Neil also noted how tangential it was to the conversation.

You misunderstood (maybe you are getting defensive on that count for some reason?)

Whatever. No, It’s just tiring to see how race somehow needs to raise its head in your conversations. If anyone’s defensive (in denial?) on the issue, it’s you…

I certainly don’ inject it into conversations w/o cause.

And you fail to grasp the difference between “living in” and “operating in” the world’s systems. I explained that pretty well, I think, in 103 (and earlier).

I don’t fail to grasp the difference – I have to do so every day. If Jesus and Paul were living by your definitions on this particular topic, toppling Rome would have been explicitly on their “to do” list.

Instead, we find them operating within the systems, and working with Christians who are explicitly part of those systems.

I do think that consumerism IS a problem – an idol for many – within America. Saying “no” to debt-fueled spending is a problem with me, with the public at large, and particularly with the government. I’m a huge advocate of cutting back on spending – particularly any spending that generates taxes.

Even so, I’m not going to pretend that my not spending is going to help exploited children abroad. There are a lot of things I could do to help them – refusing to buy something one day a year isn’t one of them.

127   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 7:41 am

The article you cited brought it [race] into the conversation.

A couple things:
First, I never brought race into the conversation. If an article I bring up did it wasn’t the reason I introduced it.

Second, if an article does talk about race, so what? Deal with the issue rather than hiding behind “race card” (which is the same as just callling someone a moron or full of crap – it allows you to avoid the issue raised). Race is embedded in our world. It’s unavoidable. Racism still exists even though you may have a black friend, Chris L. Wake up.

Third, you said I interjected race with the “pro-slavery” argument. I did not. Read posts 25 and 55 where I was explicit:

It’s an argument that has nothing to do with race but with economy

it seems that it’s you, not me, who is paranoid about race.

128   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 7:54 am

“The white man was put here to rule; it says so in the Bible!”

Byron De La Beckwith
systematic theology

129   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 8:01 am

I do think that consumerism IS a problem – an idol for many – within America.

Agreed. Which was the ONLY point I was making throughout this entire thread. If you read comment 4 you will see that children working in sweat shops was only mentioned as an aside, as a way for myself to acknowledge that while consumption is a problem (of which you agree) so too is the fact that most of us don’t even know from where the things we consume comes from. Most of us live in a dream world that supposes fairies just drop our toys off at our stores. And if you watch the news you see how angry people get when the thing they “must have” is out of stock.

Me refraining from Black Friday was a way for ME to acknowledge that behind all the consumption of that day groans a million untold stories of women, men and children of all ages slaving away for untold hours in unjust conditions so that we could have fun.

See my comment 103 which elaborates on the reason why I did what I did.

This never became about kids and sweat shops until you and PB made the outrageous claim that it is better to buy things from sweat shops because it keeps them off the streets. I think that is unethical and is a form of operating “within” the world that is not in line with Kingdom living.

Not ONCE did I judge anyone for shopping nor did I EVER say this is how EVERYONE else should live. YOU made this political rather than theological when you began blathering about “bleeding hearts” and “left-wing” and “union thugs” and on and on. This is why I maintain (and will continue to maintain) that you are thinking politically rather than theologically.

130   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
November 30th, 2009 at 8:11 am

My refraining from Black Friday was purely a way to avoid crowds. I go to a mall maybe once a year. Boycotts to me are mostly futile, and almost all merchandise is tangentially connected with hedonism, abuse, profiteering, and possibly things like pornography and abortion.

The snake is not segmented.

131   Chad    http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com
November 30th, 2009 at 8:31 am

Rick, you judgmental, left-wing Pharisee. Oh, wait. You aren’t telling me or anyone else they should avoid Black Friday for your reasons? I’m sorry.

:)

In my Sunday school class yesterday we discussed Advent and what it means to prepare for Christmas. We were able to highlight ways the secular culture prepares and the ways Scripture calls us to prepare for the coming of Christ (noting that sometimes the two can overlap).

I shared with the class why I abstained from shopping on Black Friday (the reasons listed above). One gentleman shared that he did go shopping but he didn’t shop for Christmas. He had a list of items he needed that he noted throughout the year. He used black friday as a day to go out and get those items at a deep discount. What was different about this is how he framed the whole thing: He was intentionally delaying gratification by putting something he needed in June on his list to buy in late November (a very non-consumeristic ethic) and finding ways to save money and subvert the consumer mentality of America by not buying what he wanted when he wanted it.

I thought that was brilliant and told him so.

This is a guy who is very conservative politically (and theologically) and yet on this issue neither one of us engaged in political rhetoric but affirmed the other in how we theologically considered this black friday. Even though we acted differently (he bought and I did not) in reality we were on the same page.