“The market has become God”

That is a quote from Jim Wallis on MSNBC’s “Hardball” (5/21/2010) in an interview with Chris Matthews.  You won’t often find me agreeing with an evangelical Christian, but Wallis and Matthews did an inspiring job commenting on BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf – a disaster for which we will all be paying for many years.  The link to the Matthews-Wallis interview is below.


Wallis challenged Glenn Beck of Fox “News” for attacking social justice churches.  Beck is quoted on Wallis’ website saying, ‘churches are being used by progressives to bring about the fundamental transformation of America.’  If only that was true – it seems to me that most churches are snoozing.  Beck’s criticism of social justice Christians is from the outside looking in.  (Bear in mind that he is Mormon and the National Council of Churches does not count the Church of Latter Day Saints among Christian denominations.)

Wallis and others are assuming responsibility for trying to place a wake-up call to all of us regarding environmental sustainability.  This should mean something when you can go on numerous websites, right now, and see tens of thousands of barrels (what size is a barrel?) of oil polluting the ocean every day.  CNN’s link is below.


Speaking for Christian theology, part of the problem lies in fundamental Christians and their interpretation of Genesis 1:26 in the King James version which talks about “dominion” over the earth.  Many interpret this as a license to abuse.  Wallis challenges Christians to be stewards of God’s creation.  The link below will give you several things to think about if you want to hear more from Wallis and his colleagues.


No matter what religion you are, if you are reading this you are breathing and probably want to be able to drink water in the near future.  If we continue to allow the destruction of our home planet, we’re making it more difficult for safe breathing and drinking water in the future.  (And don’t get me started on coal mining.)  We should be angrier with BP than how we react to $4 per gallon for gas.  Remember that?  Yeah, we were all plenty pissed about that.  Well, guess what: this is worse.

“BP has to be held accountable to the common good,” said Wallis.  Matthews answered saying, “Mankind’s interests trump the marketplace.”  Wallis added, “The market is the means and not the end.”  Healthy capitalism can be successful at putting food on many tables, but unregulated capitalism becomes a greedy bully that will steal our lunch money and pollute the natural resources from which that food comes in the first place.  Whether you are religious, atheist, agnostic, or secular humanist, what’s happening now can’t continue.  Get pissed off.

Comment here and tell us what you think you can do. -J.B.

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  • A Perrone  On May 25, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    This blog is a breath of fresh air. I hope you will continue to think deeply about “faith” and “religion” (not always the same thing) and issues of our day. Preach it, Brother!

    • allthingsreligious  On May 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      Ms./Mr. Perrone,
      Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to respond. I completely agree that faith and religion are not the same, and I think we both agree that there is a natural intersection with religion and everyday issues. -JB

  • Marjorie  On May 26, 2010 at 3:55 am

    I try to vote with my dollar in every way that I can. Great post.


    • allthingsreligious  On May 26, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I took a look at that link and it’s also a good one. I’m with you on voting with my money. That is why I never buy gas from Exxon (Alaska and the Valdez). Keep reading and commenting! -JB

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