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September 08, 2009


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I'm so with you, but let me be a pain anyway.

Yesterday we went to the Warren Dunes.

For some reason everyone has decided that it is now "in" to bring a dog to the beach, though the signs forbid it. And like a growing number of Americans, one dog is not enough. One family actually had four large dogs. Oh, and by the way, many of the dogs were overweight and out of shape, bearing great similarity to their owners.

While watching this I thought--

Only in America. Only in America would we spend hundreds of dollars a month to feed and keep animals, while kids in foreign lands starve, or kids in our own land, for that matter, have less than adequate education, health care, etc.

Here's the thing. If you know me, you know that a dog-free world, or at least a bark-free world, is my idea of utopia. Because dogs don't matter to me, it is easy for me to sacrifice another person's dog to wipe out malaria. There are; however, things I enjoy that I would be far more resistant to give up if someone else suggested it.

For me to suggest to a dog lover that they give up Fido to feed the children is never going to happen. I will just be viewed as a heartless ogre.

Everyone has some material item that brings them pleasure...something they could do without and put toward a better cause.

So here's my question...how do we decide what is "excessive" and who should decide what is "excessive?"

I do not deny that America is a land of excess and waste. I believe we, the American church, will be collectively judged for being formed into the image of our culture rather than the image of Christ. We're pretty fat and happy, while others starve, literally and figuratively.

I know I'm not plowing new ground here. Tony Campolo caused a stir at Urbana in 1987 I think "suggesting" that no Christian should own a BMW if I remember correctly. I found myself wholeheartedly agreeing. I have also never been cursed by God with wealth.

So, I look forward to some interaction on this. What is excessive and who should decide it? I'd like more than Sunday School answers as well. It's not as clean and easy as it seems.


Thanks for the novel, Dennis!

What is excessive? That's a personal decision that each person has to make for herself. Obviously my definition of excessive is colored by my life in a Majority World country that has much less material wealth.

I should be honest about my little rant here-I was much less horrified by this concept when I found out that it was a drug that treats glaucoma and the eyelashes are a side effect that they're now marketing, not a new drug that they spent millions on developing.

I'm actually trying to take a swipe at the research and development priorities of pharmaceutical companies here, not people that would choose to use the meds.


Still, it is not likely a cheap drug. I can't imagine paying money for think eyelashes. Ok, mascara for the occasional day I put on make-up, sure.

We just got back from traveling through the US. I know I could get really slammed here, but I can NOT understand all the fat people. I am not talking about chubby people, women whose bodies never quite recovered after a third or fourth baby, or older people whose muscles turned flabby and were attacked by gravity. I am talking about fat people. Like ones who have their tummy down to their knees. Ones who are so big that their arms stick out to the side. Who pant as they walk to the end of the chip aisle. Whoa! When did we all get so fat? I don't care what argument you have about genes and being hard to lose and all that - there is no way to get THAT fat without eating too much! And people in other places are dying for lack of food, while we are dying because we eat too much!

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