Jdimytai Damour died for our sins this Christmas as 2000 bargain crazed shoppers shattered the glass sliding-doors at the Green Acres Mall Wal-Mart in Valley Stream, NY., and trampled the Wal-Mart employee to death.
Now some may find ironic the story of a man trampled to death by shoppers so eager to buy gifts for their loved ones that they would mindlessly kill a man whose only crime was trying to help them do so. Irony, however, requires that things turn out opposite to what one expects, and the death of Mr. Damour is exactly what one should expect as Americans replace the baby in the manger with the bargain at the mall.
In a culture that has turned the birth of God into a celebration of consumerist excess, the death of Mr. Damour is nothing but a holy sacrifice at the temple of America’s true religion: shopping. We shop to provide our lives with meaning, and shopping like every other religion the west has invented demands its deaths on the alter of faith.
According to one shopper’s report in the Associated Press, when people were told to leave the store because an employee had been killed, they refused, yelling: “I’ve been here since yesterday morning.” They simply kept on shopping. Well, of course. What else do you do in the temple of consumption if not consume? Indeed, had they left the store empty handed Mr. Damour’s death would have been in vain. He died because there is nothing we honor more than a sale, not even a human life.
While Mr. Damour was the only person to die on Black Friday, he was not the only person injured at that Wal-Mart. A pregnant woman was battered by the crowd as well. Here, irony does apply, as pro-life Christians are more than happy to kill a baby to get a bargain.
We will soon hear wild-eyed talk show pundits screaming about the War on Christmas, but their opposition to all things Constitutional misses the real war on Christmas waged not by Jews, Muslims, atheists, and secularists, but by Christians themselves whose religion has been highjacked by consumerism.
I admit to going out on Black Friday to see the spectacle, and to rent a video. The parking lot at the shopping center in my oh so Christian town were filled with angry people circling for an empty space like vultures waiting for a man to die. Once inside the store, the anger on the faces of the shoppers was palpable. There was a frenzy that I found truly frightening, and I left after only a few minutes sans video.
I am sorry Mr. Damour died. I am sorry for him, his family, for us, for America, for Christianity, and for Jesus who warned us that following him would lead to death, but who never imagined a man being martyred for a highly discounted bit of Chinese junk.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight.