Okay, most important thing first: meet Tintin! Tintin apologizes for appearing on the Internet in a towel, but he’s very small and his blankie helps him feel a little more cozy.
Second, and much less cute, I’ve written an expanded version of Tuesday’s post (on outsourcing and regulations and the Triangle fire and the fire in Bangladesh) for RELEVANT magazine. Here’s the punchy part below, and you can read it all here, if you like.
Horrific conditions in these factories—and thus, in the lives of the people who work in them—are not natural or inevitable. If unions and regulations transformed manufacturing jobs from poverty-maintaining to prosperity-making in the U.S., things could certainly be made much, much better for the workers who sew our fleeces and jeans and underwear. Walmart and others would turn slightly less enormous profits, perhaps, but enormous profits nonetheless.
Evangelicals are excellent at organizing boycotts and protests, or, in the case of Chick-fil-A, massive showings of ideological and consumer power. But it seems that Christians are slow to speak clearly and loudly against atrocities like this one. Evangelicals once attempted to boycott Disney for offering health benefits to the same-sex partners of employees. But with Disney items found in the rubble at Tazreen (it is a small world, after all), will Christians speak up? Will they to leverage their considerable cultural and financial capital on behalf of those for whom families now grieve? Does the professed Christian faith of the Walton family cover the fact that their everyday low prices are tainted with the ashes of the poverty-stricken mothers and fathers who produce them? Does it simply sound too risky for evangelicals to insist upon laws and upon consumer habits that protect the life and the flourishing of the already-born, whether within our borders or across the globe? Have evangelical political commitments become so circumscribed that we cannot discern, much less name, the moral outrage of poor people dying so that rich people can become richer?
And after that, I really need a cuddle with Tintin and his blankie.