Y’all Need Jesus

I’d forgotten about it, honestly. Forgotten about the way Jesus trends in the South. Forgotten about the ways in which religious folks in the South pimped Jesus out for an almighty dollar.

I know. I know.

You’d think someone who literally wrote the book on the corruption of prosperity thinking would never forget such lessons.

But I did.

Time. Space. Distance. A full life.

These things can dim one’s view of things.

Then one day, you are walking with a girlfriend into a shop on Main Street and something slaps you upside the head again and it all comes flooding back.

You notice the music floating in from the four corners of the upscale shops. Casting Crowns. Mercy Me. Matt Redman. Matthew West. You recognize it as K-Love’s Top Ten. Songs about the Love of Jesus. Songs about Laying down one’s life. Songs about sacrifices. Songs about having an eternal world view.

You walk over to the shiny things, glistening under the chandelier’s lights. You’ve long been drawn to the sparkly things of this life. You reach out and touch the silver bracelets, each one adorned with a symbol of the Christian faith, and you marvel over how shiny the crosses all look.

You remember the cross of Jesus wasn’t shiny at all. It was heavy as all get out. Thick wood that splintered his back, his hands, rubbed his shoulders raw as he drug it through the streets. Blood-soaked.

There was nothing sparkly about that.

You walk over to the t-shirts made of the softest cotton in the palest of colors. Each one declarative: All I need is Coffee & Jesus. Jesus Loves this Hot Mess. Grateful and Blessed. 

That’s when the flood washes over you and you remember that when it comes to capitalism, there is no one and nothing sacred, no holy being or thing that cannot be turned into a profit.

The face of a fake Jesus is marketed and sold at a premium in stores all across this One Nation Under God.  Jesus hats. Jesus watches. Jesus bracelets. Jesus yard art. Jesus wall art. Jesus afghans. Jesus purses. Jesus t-shirts.

There’s just something about that name that makes an item irresistible.

Jesus’s name and fake image has been plastered on so many items it’s a pitiful shame Jesus didn’t trademark his name the way Michael Jordan and Tim Tebow did. Jesus could have earned sizable bank every time somebody invoked his name on the playing field. Can you imagine? Obviously, Jesus needed a better handler. Somebody who was watching out for his best interests. Jared Kushner perhaps? He seems to know a good bit about capitalizing on the moment. He and the little missus sure haven’t wasted anytime at all cashing in on Big Daddy’s name and position, and Trump’s not even well-liked.  Imagine how much money Kushner could make off an empathetic character like Jesus!

Yeah. I’d forgotten how quick those who declare themselves “Blessed” are willing to sell out Jesus so that they stay that way.

Is it any wonder these are the folks who fall to their knees and worship Trump?

Money is their life pursuit. Trump is their chosen Deliverer.

Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Will Jesus Buy Me a Doublewide? ‘Cause I need more room for my plasma TV.




Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.


Pam jinrihht

about 4 years ago

Yep. Exactly the topic, The.Road Less Traveled. You have to demonstrate in your everyday life love, compassion, caring. Your faith has to show in your everyday life



about 4 years ago

Some years back, Dr. Mary Pipher wrote that the one task at which we modern humans almost never fail is turning each new human being into a consumer. If money is the fuel of capitalism, branding is its ideological soul. It's all about the brand. Trump became president not by being a more creative thinker and problem solver but by making himself a brand decades ago--fueled by mountains of dirty Russian money. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that when Jesus bids us to follow Him, He calls us to come and die. Trump has found a "better" way: build a brand. Actually, he is not an outlier. Look at all the entrepreneurial churches' logos and slogans ("Serving the heart of the King", etc.). One nation under God...? Which brand? Look at how we conflate worship of God with worship of professional sports and college sports, and worship VIA those sports and their brands. Question: has the playing of the national anthem before very lucrative sporting events any relationship at all to contemplation of the hard work and enormous challenges of citizenship in the propositions our founders put in writing? Or has it simply become a matter of external brand loyalty?


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