Thursday, October 25, 2012

Jesus, the Church, and Bacchus

Allow me to clarify the difference between Pluto, god of money, and Bacchus, god of consumption. Pluto leads us to hoard money and wealth. In the old days, people who did so were called greedy and greed was a sin. In contrast, Bacchus leads us to consume things. Again in the old days, gluttony was the sin of eating too much and intemperance was the sin of drinking too much alcohol. Pluto has us hoard things while Bacchus has us consume them to our harm or simply waste them.

When we are loyal to Bacchus, the act of consumption becomes an expression of the meaning of life. That is why we often consume too much even when doing so diminishes our well-being. As individuals, we often find meaning in eating the wrong kinds of food, or too much of the right food, even though we know that such habits will lead to avoidable diseases and earlier deaths. As individuals, we also smoke, drink, or consume other drugs to our harm.

Our Global Technological System (GTS) is structured in such a way that some societies can hardly dispose of the huge amounts of waste that accumulate each day. At the same time, other societies lack basic necessities.

More ominously, the GTS is not ecologically sustainable. It requires more input each day than God's good creation can provide and remain healthy. It also generates more waste each day than God’s good creation can absorb and remain healthy. We the Church demonstrate our loyalty to Bacchus when we theologically justify, or simply remain indifferent to, this level of production, consumption, and waste.

One might think of Christmas as a distinctly Christian holy day but such has not been the case for many decades. The Advent season has long since become a festival of Bacchus. Not much connection exists between the prodigious consumption of the season and our recollection of the humble birth of the Son of God in a barn.

Copyright © 2012 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.