Buy or Believe

ALAN THEIN DURNING’S article, "Consumption" (August 1994) touches on one of the great challenges facing our society, and each of us individually. As he recognizes, "New values never arrive in the abstract. They come entangled in concrete situations, new realities, and new understandings of the world." I suggest that in our personal, "consumer class" lives, these issues become issues of faith.

How many of us, on a bad day at work, have felt that uplift of a new compact disc purchase or a new article of clothing? How many of us have become marketing victims, buying something based upon the way it was presented in the media? To develop our "new values" we really only need to focus on some of our "old" ones. Durning suggests "family and social relationships, meaningful work, and leisure." I add our faith in God. One of the costs of consumerism is the damage to our faith as we replace personal stress or other problems with the "buzz of consumerism."

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Sojourners Magazine November 1994
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