Consumerism and Christianity

Consumerism and Christianity
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Whether you’re one to like it or not, Christianity in North America is extremely predominant. Even in “Oh, Canada”, our nation’s national anthem, we sing asking God to “keep our land glorious and free”. So when there are companies put Bible verses on their products for consumers, it seems almost natural. But when does it cross the line into being problematic? I personally believe that when a company provides products or services to a wide range of people including people of various religions, there should be a respectful recognition of that.
Walking into a Forever 21 you can clearly see the differentiation of people with just a quick scan of the store. Printing “John 3:16” at the bottom of the bag does not seem intimidating but when there are a line of clothes with various glamourous religious slogans, when does it also become disrespectful to the religion itself? Growing up Christian, I thought God and related religious symbols were sacred and serious, not things to be worn, worn out and thrown away after time. According to the article, the founders of the trendy store created it after God told them that it would become successful. Their worldview of Christianity seems to be one that can be profited from, rather than a way of life.
Another popular company that prints Bible verses on the bottoms of their products is California based In-n-Out Burger. Although instead of using fancy religious sounding slogans to sell clothes, they treat their food, employees and customers favourably. Freshness and quality of In-n-Out food definitely make consumers return for more. With starting wages being $10.50 per hour ($1.50 more than the minimum wage in California) and benefits for full-time and part-time employees. This company to me, uses the Golden rule of Christianity, “do to others what you would have them do to you”, as a way of life. The worldview of In-n-Out may be one situated in religion, but they do it in a way that is not shoved down the throat of someone who has a different view.
Both companies confidently display their religious views on their products, however I think the way it is executed is different. One company seems as though they use it to gain profit whereas as the other uses it more like a conscious. Each company has a worldview that is attached with different values so they might share a common belief in Christianity but the action is different. Nonetheless, both companies are successful but do you think that if there were passages from another religion on the same products, they would have been equally successful?
-RS
#200

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2 thoughts on “Consumerism and Christianity

  1. Nice blog! There are for sure different approaches to how businesses express their faith, some better than others. Forever21 has also been involved in a number of controversies (including claims of labor law violations) so it’s sad that they’re not following more in the footsteps of In-n-Out and practicing what they preach. At the very least, their business practices should line up with their slogan otherwise they’re giving Christianity a bad name. Words only go so far, but showing what you believe by your actions is much more effective, not to mention considerate. And in the end, as you said, simplifying religions into a few catchy, trendy phrases tends to trivialize and undermine them.

  2. On “Consumerism and Christianity”

    Nice blog! There are for sure different approaches to how businesses express their faith, some better than others. Forever21 has also been involved in a number of controversies (including claims of labor law violations) so it’s sad that they’re not following more in the footsteps of In-n-Out and practicing what they preach. At the very least, their business practices should line up with their slogan otherwise they’re giving Christianity a bad name. Words only go so far, but showing what you believe by your actions is much more effective, not to mention considerate. And in the end, as you said, simplifying religions into a few catchy, trendy phrases tends to trivialize and undermine them.

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