So I watched the Super Bowl and (truth-be-told) kind of enjoyed the Super Bowl...with the drama of an improbable comeback and the clutch play of an all-time great and Lady Gaga at half-time. It was actually a lot of fun (for a Boston kid) to watch.
But check out these numbers:
That's half a billion dollars IN ADVERTISING for beer and air-bnb and cars and...you get the idea. Half a billion dollars. And another 132 million that folks like you and me just bet on the silly game. And that's just the start of the kind of money the Super Bowl represents...
Can we get real and honest here? There's enough money in this economy to fund good schools FOR EVERY KID and first-class health care FOR EVERY HUMAN BEING. There are enough resources among us. For justice and equity and a decent life for everybody.
Seems to me these numbers suggest a couple of questions:
1. How will we turn our economy from a wildly consumptive one to a morally just and collaborative one? I mean 500 million for beer, for cars, for fast food, for real? And if FOX made 500 million, what did these (let's face it) zealous corporations make on the afternoon?
2. Who will speak up--out of moral traditions, spiritual traditions, you name it--to insist on the insanity of gambling as a means of having fun or making money or blowing off steam? It's nuts. It's money out of our hands and into the hands of the already rich and already greedy. It's money out of our families and out of health care and out of education--and into the nutty lifestyles of the rich and famous.
It's no way to treat the gifts the Creator lays on your heart or in your hands. And it's no way to build an economy, either. In my tradition, we receive a different set of instructions, every time we gather around God's table for communion. The instructions begin with gratitude, but move quickly to the free and generous sharing of resources.
Til everybody is fed. Til everybody is housed. Til everybody has a voice around that table.