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Making Money out of Christ’s Death

Easterpreneur

Using the word “Anzac” in any commercial context is illegal and carries a fine of up to $50,000.

In 2015, Australian supermarket chain Woolworths ran an Anzac “Fresh in our Memories” campaign. It was taken down and was seen as the social media fail of that year.

Might not Jesus, and his death, receive some similar respect? To be fair – Good Friday, at least in this land, is generally treated with respect. Monetising Easter weekend is normal. And for Christmas, it is primary.

Do I need to translate this further? Imagine a celebration held deeply sacred by non-Christian religion X. What might be the reaction if non-X adherents used this sacred day specifically as the focus for making money?

Some years back, I have written previously: The cartoon, above, needs no commentary.

The good news is not only abused and perverted by monetising it, but also through contorting it into a weapon of power or for other means of self-gratification.

How astonishingly we manage to transform God’s good news into bad news…

ps. If we are going to analyse the Kiwi religious scene, it would include money, rugby, and Anzac.

Cartoons by Jim

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11 Responses to Making Money out of Christ’s Death

    • That is certainly true, David. Analysis of that would be a very worthwhile project. Easter Season Blessings.

  1. The issue seems to come down to a kind of copyright law issue. The stance of the Australian and New Zealand governments, I suppose, is that the word ANZAC belongs to their armies (or governments.)

    The matter seems rather like the very protective stance that some organizations take toward their translations of the Bible. That practice certainly looks wrong at first blush to me, but it does make sense in a legal sense.

    • Yes, a good parallel, Kevin. Copyright of liturgical (and Biblical) texts has long been a concern to me. Easter Season Blessings.

  2. Interestingly, when I pointed out on Facebook my disappointment with chocolate crosses being sold as “Easter candy”, both an evangelical friend and progressive Anglican friend told me they could find “nothing wrong” with the idea. Honestly, I don’t see myself as being oversensitive…but making candy out of the instrument of torture used to kill Jesus?

    • Shall we press this a bit further, Jonathan. I’m visualising your “Easter candy” was an empty cross? What if it was a crucifix – with the image of Jesus dying/dead on it? What about the “Easter candy” being a chocolate Jesus the Good Shepherd? I remember overhearing a person wanting to buy a cross in a jewellery shop – she wanted “one with the little man on it”. Easter Season Blessings.

  3. I suppose, Bosco, when talking about the use of religion to make money; we also have to consider those ‘learned’ theologians whose life-style is considerably enriched by their continuous production of theological treatises – especially when these ‘works’ are calculated to advance their own notoriety

  4. In Australia there was an AFL match (Ozzie Rules Football, national league) played on Good Friday. Interestingly there was very little public reaction to a match being scheduled on that Day. In England there was ‘a minor’ outcry at some supermarkets stocking chocolate eggs (no mention of Easter) and places organising a chocolate egg hunt (again don’t mention the word Easter!). The fact that one of the chocolate manufacturers named comes from a company that originally had a very strong Christian ethos is sad.

    • Here, Caro, there was a so-called “Super Rugby” game between the Crusaders and Japan’s Sunwolves on Good Friday. Only one person mentioned it to me. Easter Season Blessings.

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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