Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

***From the '06 archives, seemed appropriate***

In order to thoroughly depress myself, I've been reading a lot of social critics lately (everything from the more humorous stuff by David Brooks to the more serious Juliet Schor and Paul Stiles).In one such book I ran across the movement started by the good people over at Ad Busters called Buy Nothing Day. The goal is to convince people to set aside their materialism for one full day (the most popular shopping day of the year, incidently: the day after Thanksgiving). An intriguing proposition indeed....

But then it dawned on me that, as a Presbyterian, I don't just have one day a year to make such a statement to this consumer-driven culture, but I can do it every week.

The Lord's Day has been described as a chance for believers -- who are unashamed citizens of the kingdom of culture six days a week -- to plant a flag in Times Square each Sunday in order to protest the rank consumerism of this age by simply saying "No! Not today...."

After all, it's hard enough as it is for Christians to stand out and be different from the culture around them. But once we surrender the Lord's Day to "the tyranny of the clock and the gods who amuse us," it's almost impossible.