"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


corporate evil

Larry Wilson has a nice piece on "The Reduction of Christmas by Christians" in Ethics Daily today. He raises some issues I've thought a lot about in all this nonsense over the "war on Christmas." If your faith is dependent on whether Wal-Mart employees say, "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays," then you've got significantly more serious problems than a shopping dilemma. Wal-Mart is a business. It is not a church, it is not a public relations firm, it is not an arbiter of public morality. It is a business. It exists to make money for its shareholders. Period.

I haven't shopped at Wal-Mart in more than two years. My decision to not shop there had absolutely nothing to do with their past or present position on "Merry Christmas" and everything to do with the way they treat their employees and suppliers. In short, I decided that the benefit I gained from low, low prices wasn't worth the cost to the sweatshop workers who produce many of the goods sold at Wal-Mart. Nor was it worth the cost of knowing that the employees scanning my stuff at the check-out aren't allowed to unionize, are paid low wages, and are subject to a number of other questionable labor practices.

Wilson does a nice job of integrating these questions with the larger one of what happens when the church lets other entites define its mission. Give it a read.


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