Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Decemberism Crucifies Human Value - Brian Konkol in Sojourner's
The dominant dogma of the "holiday" season seems to be loud and clear: Our value as human beings is often dictated by our capacity to contribute toward economic growth.
To be a human of any value in our current context is closely connected with supply and demand, even if it all leads to our personal and public self-destruction.
Decemberism is the predominant religious tradition of the so-called “holiday shopping season." It demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals. It has caused us to have things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.
Decemberism is an explicit form of dehumanization. It is mechanistic dehumanization. Powerful systemic processes – such as our enormously productive and consumptive economy – strip away the dignity of human life by plugging us into mass mechanisms such as Consumerism.
In contrast to the messages we are often inundated with during the so-called holiday season, a proclamation of affirmation and restoration can be heard breaking through the noise.
In an ironic contrast to how our culture tends to experience Christmas, the biblical narrative records that Jesus was born in a barn as homeless refugee to an unwed mother. This story is a dramatic repeal of how we often determine human value in our contemporary economic culture. We are shown that all humans are valuable. The “joy to the world” of Christmas is not a good or service to be produced or purchased, but a radical affirmation of universal human worth.
Decemberism disregards the dignity of all who participate in its oppressive practices. It breeds enslavement; for in our search to produce and consume beyond our natural limits, such a search ultimately owns us, and in the process we are the ones who end up being both produced and consumed.
Perhaps it's time to celebrate this holiday season with with acts of compassion and generosity that affirm the humanity of others in response to the assurance that all people — including ourselves — are of infinite value. Perhaps the time is upon us to recognize the critical difference between human needs and wants, and in doing so, embrace the crucial need for life-giving deeds that build up rather than tear down through ruthless competition.
The full article is available here