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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/15/10

Buy Nothing Day and the "Spirit" of Christmas

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In 1996, Greg Gerritt began encouraging people in the small state of Rhode Island to take to heart the message that is said to be at the center of what is known as The New Testament. Gerritt probably didn't use the Bible to sell what he wanted to do in Rhode Island, but think about it.

In 1996, Greg Gerritt, who once served on the national committee of The Green Party of the United States, introduced Buy Nothing Day to Rhode Island.

Buy Nothing Day was started by a group called Adbusters out of Vancouver, Canada. Adbusters' idea was to convert the day after Thanksgiving, a day on which more people do more shopping than on any other day of the year, into a day on which people would buy nothing. Hence the name.

Today the day after Thanksgiving is known as "Black Friday". This ominous sounding moniker is actually a forecast of good tidings, especially if one is a money changer. No matter how poorly retail sales have been throughout the year, the giant retailers whose CEOs and top managers rake in millions and millions of dollars per year can count on Americans to put themselves, their families and other loved ones at risk by spending money that they don't have on gifts that people don't need. Consequently, the wealthy captains of retail can be certain that their profits will be in "the black" starting on the day after Thanksgiving until December 25.

Many Americans who call themselves Christians claim that they place themselves more deeply in debt starting on the day after Thanksgiving as a way to celebrate the birth of a very special man. As with all religions, not all Christians practice their faith in the same manner. Not all Christians see the full month before the day on which this man was supposed to have been born as a time to fret over the equity with which they part with the money they borrow. Not all Christians use this time to become agitated, depressed and even angry because of the internal and external conflicts they suffer over the distribution of gifts purchased with borrowed money.

However, the man, obviously the man that people today refer to as Jesus Christ, was an extremely special man. This man is so special that we began counting time once again based upon the year in which he was supposedly born. He was supposedly born about 2,010 years ago. Therefore, many of his followers, aka, Christians, feel the need to become more reckless, not only with their financial standing, but with natural resources and Mother Earth in general starting on the day after Thanksgiving.

Adbusters had seen enough of this consumer insanity and initiated Buy Nothing Day. Adbusters were well aware that consumerism was consuming the consciousness of Americans and noted that, on the day after Thanksgiving, Americans began losing their fiscal minds more and more each year.

There's not a lot of secular history written about Jesus Christ in spite of his amazing accomplishments and the power he claimed to have over everyone's eternities. In fact, most of what people "know" about Jesus Christ is written in only one book and in only the second half of that book.

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Michael Bonanno is an associate editor for OpEdNews.

He is also a published poet, essayist and musician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bonanno is a political progressive, not a Democratic Party apologist. He believes it's (more...)
 

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