Monday, March 24, 2014

Fair Trade...BIBLES?

Over the weekend, a friend let me know about a great deal on bibles.
She told me that The Dollar Store was selling leather-bound bibles!

One Dollar.

Something doesn't add up.

Q: How can a bible (which is hundreds, if not thousands of printed pages), be bound in leather, shipped across the globe, neatly positioned on the shelf, marketed to the public, and sold by a cashier, for one dollar?

A: It can't.

Somewhere a farmer is not being paid fairly for the hide of his cattle.  Somewhere else, a printing press is running pages of scripture, and the workers aren't being paid fairly.  In another location someone loads shipping containers for little-to-no money.  And once the "product" arrives at the local Dollar Store, a worker unloads a shipment of bibles to the rack, for an unsustainable wage.

And for what?
What is being evangelized here?

In this case, has commerce prostituted the Word of God?
How can this be reconcilled?
How can the very book that promotes shalom, justice, equality, and grace, be sold at the expense of so many?

What's worse (possibly) is that I've tried to google "fair trade bibles" for over 20 minutes, and cannot find a single purchasing option!

Remember that the way(s) we purchase speaks volumes about the God we serve.