Monday, July 23, 2007

Religious Market Economy

I have a very low regard for people who make money from selling religious objects to people looking for the trendy ,hip and new thing. It is sad that people exploit there fellow human beings who are looking for some sort of spiritual connection by selling them small trinkets; I am also pretty sure that is against the rules.

On that note there is an interesting conversation taking place on a Beliefnet discussion board about using Buddhism in marketing. This is all the more interesting considering the Tao restaurant/club/bar in Las Vegas made the most money out of any restaurant in the United States last year grossing $55.2 million.

The market is dictated by the desires of those with disposable income, but should there be some sort of values based understanding by those who create the products that are desired? It is similar with the Kabbalah movement. Red string or not, there isn't much more than what is marketed by paparazzi covering Madonna or whoever else is latest celebrity believer. Kabbalah as a religion onto itself isn't a religion but it is now seen as the New Age Hip Judaism. Buddhism now sells $55.2 million in food, drink and nightlife. Seems a bit against everything both of these religions are founded upon but very much inline with a market economy.

2 comments:

Annie said...

LJ- there is a new store near me on the UWS that sells "yoga inspired" jewelry. I found that pretty hilarious as ideas go.

At any rate, I don't think that people who make their living by producing ritual objects should be judged on the basis of whom they sell them to.

For instance: I require ritual objects (lets say Hanukkiahs) for my lifestyle. Someone has to produce them. Should that person have to live in poverty because they serve such a small sector of the population?

As for people who appropriate religious symbols and then turn them into a profit-making scheme, now THAT bothers me.

Liberal Jew said...

Annie-

You point out that I was off in my nomenclature. I really was pointing to those who appropriate or straight-up rip off religious/ritual objects for a profit. ie if the Hanukkiah was the new lighting rage...at Urban Outfitters.