Pro-Business, Pro-Life

Imagine yourself the owner of an aluminum ladder company. What do you do once every home owner in the United States owns a ladder? You go after renters. But what happens when that market is saturated? You better hope the ladders fail and need to be replaced. Or you buy another company, like one that makes cookies, and hope for profits on that product. (Or so I imagine how business people think.)

But imagine also hearing the Brit Hume commentary about abortion and the Planned Parenthood videos. You learn there that 55 million human lives have been taken through abortion. And you begin to think of all those customers who might have needed an aluminum ladder.

What got me thinking along these free-market lines was Rod Dreher’s posting of an American creed that goes out of its way to deride capitalism:

We believe in one Market,
Objective and Free,
maker of assets and security,
of all that is prosperous and possible.
We believe in the one true force, the Invisible Hand,
the Logic of the Market,
eternally co-existing with the Market,
regent of riches, assurance of efficiency,
trumpeter of technology, power behind politics.
Through him all transactions are made.
For us and for our prosperity
he gives value to all money
and enables all commerce;
by the power of the American Dream
he becomes incarnate in the hearts of all free men.
For our sake he guarantees the equitability of all commerce,
he re-assures all the laborers,
emboldens all the entrepreneurs,
and casts aside all the idle.
He ensures all debts will ultimately be repaid.
He is revealed in glory in America but his kingdom has no end nor boundary.
We believe in the American Dream, the hope and giver of the life abundant,
who proceeds from the Market and who with the Invisible Hand is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through Adam Smith and his economists.
We believe in one holy and universal Spirit of Growth.
We acknowledge the cost and risk of our choices.
We look for the extension of credit,
and the affluent life that is certain to come. Amen.

Dreher’s friend, the one who wrote the creed, explains that “consumerism and its underlying philosophy is as big of a cultural hurdle to serious Christian’s life as liberal sexual norms.”

It can be. But why isn’t consumerism also a friend of the unborn when you recognize how many potential consumers have been eliminated from the check-out line?

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9 thoughts on “Pro-Business, Pro-Life

  1. If I were Dutch, I’d probably have a word for that kind of irreligiosity that takes something sacred and makes sport of it. Then again, I watch the Simpsons pretty avidly.

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  2. Isn’t it true that the emphasis on the material that is part of consumer culture tends toward an excessive concern with oneself and with immediate gratification? I don’t think that I’m as suspicious of the market as Dreher seems to be, but I am as suspicious of market culture as are thinkers like Ropke and those like him. It does, moreover, seem significant that “worshippers” of capitalism don’t seem to make the calculation that more people is good for the economy. Instead, those of high religiosity of various sects are those having kids in western cultures (think home school Reformed and evangelicals who attend services, Mormons, traditional Roman Catholics). Perhaps the more responsible way of portraying the market (than the way treated by Dreher) is as as a good that, like anything social, has a tendency toward some problems of the type listed in this “creed.”

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  3. From a commenter over at Dreher’s blog:

    “Only in America can one have enough leisure time, fundamental liberties, and education to write a mockery of the Nicene Creed in order to make the point that one opposes the principles that gave rise to the goods that allow one to author this mockery”

    I hope Dreher and his friend soon find the congenial monastic community they want. I also hope that they don’t want me to pay for it.

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  4. Dan,

    Michael Moore’s attempt at justification: “You know, I’ve often thought it’s very ironic that I’m able to do all this and yet what am I on? I’m on networks. I’m distributed by studios that are owned by large corporate entities. Now, why would they put me out there when I am opposed to everything that they stand for? And I spend my time on their dime opposing what they believe in. Well, it’s because they don’t believe in anything. They put me on there because they know that there’s millions of people that want to see my film or watch the TV show, and so they’re gonna make money. And I’ve been able to get my stuff out there because I’m driving my truck through this incredible flaw in capitalism, the greed flaw. The thing that says that the rich man will sell you the rope to hang himself with if he thinks he make a buck off it. Well, I’m the rope. I hope. I’m part of the rope.”

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