On Black Friday we dared to go out. Why? Well, we had been planning on buying a new camera for weeks and needed to be with my mom to use her Costco card. (We didn't even benefit from any extra Black Friday sale price.) Since we were home for Thanksgiving we went for it.
The positive part of the day was that for the first time there was virtually no pressure for us to buy anything. Both sides of our families are choosing not to exchange presents as a family, but to spend that money by giving it to someone in need, or to some good cause.
On the way into town we were listening to the local Christian radio station. They took a break from the music to recite the Pledge of Allegiance over the radio. The DJ said that we must be thankful and give allegiance to "the greatest nation on God's green earth," or something to that effect. Michael and I exchanged perturbed glances. We both agree that too often blind patriotism is a little too closely presented alongside God's will. In other words, why do so many Christians believe that God only wants to bless America? But that's a little off topic.
Immediately following this recitation was the news, where they mentioned this story about a man who was trampled to death and a woman who miscarried at a Wal-mart in New York at the opening of Black Friday.
We should have turned around and headed home right then. We didn't, but I sure noticed the irony of the greed and horrific consumerism that is so opposite of anything Christ stands for, and is ingrained in the culture of "God's greatest nation."
My heart goes out to that Wal-mart worker's family. (There are some news reports that the miscarriage report is unfounded, though it was announced as news and fact on Friday).
May God have mercy on our American lust for "stuff."