The Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron blog considers the Story of Stuff video, which you can watch online, download or read the transcript. (PDF link) It has been well-received but there’s something in it that deserves to be uplifted.
A candid, postwar quotation from retailing analyst Victor Lebow: “Our enormously productive economy . . . demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our
ego satisfaction, in consumption . . . we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate.”
Well, that’s an honest and prescient thought. But it’s a fool’s bargain and plenty of us know that: bad for the people, the nation and the environment. Bad for our souls. Living for consumption places the decision-making and the source of what is really valuable out of our own hands. (So don’t get squeamish that I’m trying to talk you out of buying food.)
Any church that can’t stand up against that might not have much to say at all. If that’s the culture, and there’s plenty of evidence that’s a big part of it, then the church ought to be countercultural.