Thursday, December 14, 2006

Where Would Jesus Shop?

It's interesting that 131 evangelical leaders are taking on Wal-Mart when most of them probably preached from their pulpits that Bush and his GOP cronies should be re-elected to support so-called family values.

The site driving this campaign is Wake Up Wal-Mart which includes a link to this scathing attack on right-wingers.

The gist of this campaign is:

The new TV ad, which is headlined by Pastor Joe Phelps, a Baptist minister from Louisville, Ky., raises the moral question of whether or not, especially during the Christmas season, people of faith can ignore Wal- Mart's exploitation of its workers and their families. The spot ends by calling on people of Christian faith to "Search your heart. If these are Wal-Mart's values, would Jesus shop at Wal-Mart? Should you?"

The 30-second TV ad will be running in over 25 states and 43 media markets across the country beginning Thursday, Dec. 14.

As part of the group's faith-based holiday campaign, also released a joint letter with the Baptist Center for Ethics, signed by over 131 evangelical leaders that calls on CEO Lee Scott to make "Wal-Mart a Golden Rule company, one that is mindful in reflecting the best of Christian values and one that seeks a higher standard for its employees and their families." The letter to Lee Scott is part of's new faith-based initiative called "America, Pray for Wal-Mart to Change."

"When we celebrate Christmas, we mark the birth of Jesus Christ who gave the moral imperative of the Golden Rule, a rule that should challenge Christian consumers to consider where they shop, and that should challenge Wal-Mart to change its corporate practices for the better," said Robert Parham, executive director of Baptist Center for Ethics.

So, it wasn't enough that evangelicals won a battle in the War on Christmas by getting Wal-Mart greeters to wish shoppers 'Merry Christmas' instead of 'Happy Holidays'. They're now going after the company's labour practices - which is a Good Thing - but it seems a bit more is required than praying for Wal-Mart or asking where Jesus would shop. I didn't know Jesus (if there actually was a real Jesus) 'shopped' anywhere. I thought Christmas was supposed to be about peace, love and family for Christians - not shopping.

Regardless, it seems to me that if these preachers and their supporters really wanted change at Wal-Mart, they would have supported governmental policies that ensured that, instead of pandering to the right-wing politicians who usurped their duties to oversee and deal with Wal-Mart's labour violations.

Meanwhile, speaking of pandering, Sam's club has been running ads to the Beach Boy's tune 'God Only Knows' hoping to win over disgruntled Wal-Mart shoppers. I guess they're trying to answer the question 'would Jesus shop at Wal-Mart?' in their own special way.

Now, if we could only get those evangelicals to honestly answer the question 'who would Jesus vote for?' the next time around, we might actually get somewhere.

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