Imagine that Jesus is living in Arkansas, working as a carpenter. He commands $50 per hour for his high-quality work, and life is good. But then, the big home-building companies bribe enough Congressmen to drastically increase the number of work visas, and a wave of Mexican carpenters flood into the state.
The Mexicans are good carpenters, but they are willing to work for minimum wage because they have starving children back home. Jesus could compete on price, but he has a mortgage payment and three kids in college. No matter how hard or how long he works, he is doomed financially. Would Jesus turn the other cheek, and meekly put in an application at the local Walmart?
Well, if he did, Jesus would fit right in because many Walmart stores are practically evangelical churches already, complete with feet-washing rituals.
Edward Gibbon, author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire thought that the adoption of Christianity weakened the Roman Empire. (See the relevant passage here.) Other scholars dispute Gibbon’s assertion. However, when you look at the masses of believers toiling away for less-than-subsistence wages to further enrich the insanely wealthy Walton family, you have to wonder whether Gibbon was onto something.
This is why I say that we Americans are a conquered people – we have meekly and passively accepted our descent into servitude.
Many Walmart workers even love their servitude, fancying themselves to be Jesus-like. However, according Reza Aslan’s new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus was actually crucified for being a revolutionary. So, maybe Jesus wouldn’t knuckle under to the Walton family after all.
Read more abut the economic role of evangelical Christianity in To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton. Here is a quote:
“For the emerging Wal-Mart constituency, faith in God and faith in the market grew in tandem, aided by…an organized, corporate-funded grassroots movement for Christian free enterprise. Ultimately, they helped shape American-led globalization itself.”
Indeed, using Christianity to control the masses goes all the way back to the founding of our nation. In George Washington: The Founding Father, historian Paul Johnson writes (page 10) about our first president:
“He was never indifferent to Christianity – quite the contrary: he saw it as an essential element of social control and good government – but his intellect and emotions inclined him more to…freemasonry…”
So, from the get-go, our leaders viewed Christianity as a means to control the masses. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Fascinating subject, no?