Capitalizing on Faith … I Hope Jesus Has a Sense of Humor

Capitalizing on religion. It’s one of those things that, I suppose, has been going on for a long time. Jesus tossed the vendors of animals and changers of money out of the Temple; they were capitalizers. Martin Luther started the Reformation because Cardinal Albert of Hohenzollern, Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg and Pope Leo X were selling induglences; these princes of the church were capitalizers.

Now come the sellers of nightlights!  Here’s one:

Jesus NightlightThe seller of this object writes on her website:  “This ‘miraculous’ Jesus nightlight is a 3-D image of Jesus, that appears to move & follow you wherever you walk in the room. The images above are all of the same nightlight sculpture, but taken from different angles. Your children will love this nightlight, as Jesus appears to be watching over them wherever they are. Your children may (like mine) receive comfort, security, and relief from those sleepless and scary nights.”

I’m sure my children would love this!  They are in their twenties now and have very strange senses of humor!

But when they were young enough to need a nightlight … nah!  This would have creeped them out.  It creeps me out.  Can you imagine waking up in the middle of the night and seeing this staring at you?  Egad!

When Jesus threw those money changers and sellers of sacrificial animals out of the Temple, he knew what he was doing.  According to the synoptic gospels, Jesus quoted two of the prophets, Isaiah and Jeremiah: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Isaiah 56:7) … “But you have made it a den of thieves” (Jeremiah 7:11).  I don’t think the sellers of nightlights are in quite the same league as the Temple merchants, but I have a hard time believing that Jesus would approve of this sort of merchandising either.

I hope that he would be amused by it.  I really, really hope that because I have a collection of “Jesus stuff” like this:  a bobble-head Jesus, a smaller nightlight (the Sacred Heart of Jesus nightlight, made in China and no longer available – hence, a valuable “antique”), a pewter bust of Jesus wearing a cross around his neck like a good Catholic, and my favorite a bust of Jesus wearing his crown of thorns (lighted from the inside with a color-changing light – like those things people used to point at Christmas trees – so that the thorns sparkle with different and ever-changing points of light … I can’t really describe this thing.  I’ll have to take a picture of it.)  And there are many more items of like nature….

Anyway … I have this “Jesus collection” in part because I buy things like the Jesus nightlight when I find them and in part because my two twenty-something kids buy them for me.  I guess that makes us as responsible as the capitalizers for this mass-marketing of religious nonsense.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

So I really hope Jesus has a sense of humor about it!


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