Monday, October 10, 2011

#222 Steve Jobs

Photoshopped or not? It seems like something that would actually happen.
Answer upside down at the bottom of the page. Kidding. It's photoshopped.

With the passing of Steve Jobs an e-tsunami of worshipful eulogies flooded the interwebs, many of them from the major stakeholders in Christian culture. 94% of pastors, seminary students and church planters were moved to eulogize him this week via Facebook, Twitter and sermon illustrations. Much of the Christian sentiment towards Steve credits his technology with unprecedented gospel-spreading and says God used Apple in spite of Steve's Buddhist leanings. (Being Buddhist would normally frighten evangelicals away from someone’s product, but Steve invented some wicked fun toys so his eastern contemplativeness got a Christian culture hall pass.)

Evangelicals don't seem to be asking after Foxconn, Apple’s supply chain in China with bad working conditions and a worker suicide rate so high that employees have to sign pledges that they won't kill themselves. Christian culture also doesn’t seem very concerned that Jobs never addressed the worker suicides at the company that costs Apple only $6.54 in labor per iPhone. The question “who is being affected by this product?” is difficult to ask, so we don’t ask it. If we did, the answer that would move us to change would also be really difficult.

Let's go dancing on the backs of the bruised

The fervor and sheer volume of Christian culture’s sentiment towards Steve Jobs feels like something close to deification. But what exactly is that, and what’s it look like when it happens? When memorials are built outside of stores and such heavy and careful eulogies are written, we can at least say that’s what we do when we ascribe worth to something. When a corporation makes its billions on the backs of slave laborers, planned obsolescence is destroying our ecosystem and no one in your faith community speaks to this, we can at least say that’s what we do when we don’t ascribe worth to something.