By Lewis Willis
Some time ago I saw an interesting article by the venerable A.C. Grider. He was voicing his personal indignation at the thoughtless actions of some people. The careless attitudes of people that cause them to litter public streets, private lawns and church grounds with beer cans was cited. Also, the unconcerned practice of blowing smoke from cigarettes all over the place in restaurants, spoiling the taste of food and stinking up the clothes of non-smokers, was a matter of irritation to him. Well, I have a personal gripe that I wish to air.
To say that we are living in a commercialized society is an understatement. There is nothing that can stand in the way of our search for new ways of making money. The memory of no one is honored or sacred enough to prevent our use of his memory in an effort to sell our products. It would seem that men of distinction would be given more reverence or respect than is being given today by advertising agencies who promote the sale of goods.
Mr. Lincoln was the 16tb President of the United States. He stands in world history as one of the greatest men who ever lived. He took office on March 4, 186 1, and served until his assassination on April 14, 1865. He held the reigns of state through one of the most turbulent periods in the history of our country, the years of the Civil War. His great physical stature, his honesty and his oratory, are some distinctive characteristics that have earned for him the respect and affection of millions of people since his time. So, how is 11nory honored in 1986? We have a great stock reduction sale and call it a Lincoln’s Day Celebration Sale! Now, that is honor, friend!
The first President of our nation is noted for his stable and sound judgment during the formative years of our union. Like Lincoln, he is noted for his honesty because of an incident regarding his childhood cutting down his father’s cherry tree. On February 22, we honor the date of his birth with cherry pie – and the inevitable Washington’s Birthday Clearance Sale! Ladies, come right in and let us honor our first President and you can buy wash clothes at our special reduced priced!
The absurdity comes when we contemplate the person of the Son of God. Here we are at our best. He died on a cruel cross to save a lost world from the doom of Hell. He endured the agony of Calvary and its humiliation, not for anything that He did, but for the sins of the creature we call “man.” Such an noble act should certainly be given a distinguished place in our lives. We have been told by modern religion that Easter is the time to celebrate this momentous event. So, we have an Easter Clearance Sale that just about tops them all! “Come right on in, lady, and I’ll sell you the prettiest Spring coat (from our discontinued line of goodies that would not sell last year) you can find at this price. Bring your husband along. We have s ne swell s in underwear, insulated or regular, that you won’t want to miss.” We are trying to celebrate this happy and joyous occasion in the best way we know — making money as fast as we can!
Kennedy And Others
One is made to wonder when the advertisers will decide it would be acceptable to have a stock reduction sale in honor of the assassination of John F. Kennedy..” This could really be a great occasion. The newspaper ads could be more in keeping with our time. It would not be necessary to use some artist’s drawing of his likeness. Perhaps we could find a picture of Mr. Kennedy, dying in the car in Dallas. That would really be effective! People would surely flock to such a sale!
Or, we might be able to conduct a sale celebrating the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Possibly one could be held to celebrate the killing of the 50,000th American boy in Vietnam. How about a sale celebrating the death of the 270 plus people who were killed in the downing of the Korean jetliner? These advertising men and their bosses, the store owners, are really patriotic and compassionate!
Talk about values – we have certainly developed some lovely ones, haven’t we? One wonders if the Apostle, when he said, “the love of money is the root of all evil,” realized how true his words were (1 Tim. 6:10). Could he have anticipated the low, mercenary outlook men would have in 1986?
And, what about you and me? Well, we contribute to this shameful situation because we can hardly wait for these great sales to get here. Then we flock to the stores and stock up on all the items that would not sell at regular price. The store owners make money at the expense of the memory of great men and events — we just save money! Money, money, money – our god!
Guardian of Truth XXX: 21, p. 655
November 6, 1986