So much for peace on Earth and goodwill toward men.
The United Food and Commercial Workers union, through WakeUpWalMart.com, has decided that this holiday season is the perfect time to take yet another cheap shot at the world’s largest retailer.
Surely there must be better things that the union could spend its members’ money on than an ad campaign posing the question: “Would Jesus shop at Wal-Mart?”
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never really been a big fan of unions. I think they’ve lost their focus and likely do more today to help themselves than to make life better for the average working man and woman.
Of course, I also think that organized religion has a few problems as well — especially when some of its members decide to shift their focus from saving souls to promoting a union-backed smear campaign.
Personally, I don’t really care one way or another where Jesus would shop. But after trolling through what has been reported about the issue, I did notice that nobody seemed to have even made an attempt to get a comment from the Man in question.
And while I’m sure that I’ll probably be bumped to the top of somebody’s excommunication list for even considering this, I thought I’d try to touch base with J.C. and get His thoughts about the issue.
Heavenly Host: Hello. How may I help you?
Me: I was wondering if J.C. is available?
HH: May I ask who’s calling?
Me: (Funny, but I thought whoever answered was supposed to know.) Mike Boyd.
HH: And where are you calling from Mr. Boyd?
Me: (Now I’m really starting to wonder whether I dialed the right number.) Colorado.
HH: Oh, there must be a situation involving the aviation industry.
Me: Ah, that’s the other Mike Boyd. I’m a little taller, a little younger and little farther south.
HH: I see. So, it’s a financial-related issue?
Me: Yeah, that’s another Mike Boyd, too. But we are getting closer. I’m the editor of the Business Journal.
HH: This is a media inquiry?
Me: Bingo. I was hoping J.C. might have a few minutes to clear up this debate about whether He would or wouldn’t shop at Wal-Mart.
HH: You do realize that there are more pressing issues?
Me: I do, but apparently the union and a bunch of religious figures don’t.
HH: Do you shop at Wal-Mart?
Me: Sure.
HH: Why?
Me: I never really thought about why. Low prices, selection, convenience.
HH: Are you forced to shop there, or do you have other choices?
Me: Lots of other choices. I don’t shop there exclusively, but it does serve a niche.
HH: So you and everyone else are free to choose the establishments you will patronize.
Me: Absolutely. But we’re getting off the subject here. What I was really hoping to get was a good quote, maybe something like “Render unto Wal-Mart what is Wal-Mart’s …”
HH: You’re joking?
Me: OK, maybe that was a bit over the line.
HH: A bit?
Me: OK, maybe a lot. But you know, I’m not greedy. I’ll take whatever I can get.
HH: Do you think Wal-Mart is greedy?
Me: I think it wants to have the largest market share possible, but so does every other player in an economy based on capitalism.
HH: And doesn’t the market and consumers ultimately determine who succeeds and who fails?
Me: Ultimately, yes. But what I really need is for J.C. to let me and everybody else know one way or another how He feels about Wal-Mart.
HH: When you first heard about the ad campaign, what was your initial reaction?
Me: That the people involved were trying to use Him to advance their cause, and probably could care less about promoting His message.
HH: That sounds reasonable.
Me: Thanks. Now if you could transfer me up the chain, that would be great.
HH: Have you already forgotten that He has more important issues to deal with?
Me: I’m not going to get to talk with the big guy, am I?
HH: You can talk to him any time you’d like, but I’m quite sure this isn’t the proper forum or the most important topic.
Me: I’m being just as bad as the union and its religions backers, trying to use J.C. for my own enrichment, right?
HH: Maybe not quite as bad, but definitely on the same slippery slope.
Me: One last thing. I have this action figure of J.C. and was wondering if I could get Him to autograph the box some time?
HH: I stand corrected. You’re worse than the union.
Mike Boyd is editor of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Mike.Boyd@csbj.com or 329-5206.