Thinking Out Loud

November 24, 2016

Giftware Can Inspire but Uses Scarce Resources to Manufacture

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 8:38 am

christian-kitschA few days ago Zach Hunt posted a picture to Twitter which reminded me of one of my constant rants, namely the amount of scarce and costly resources that are used to manufacture items in the broadly defined category of giftware.

While some items are truly inspirational, and there is a scriptural precedent for adorning your house with such things (see Deut 6:9, Duet 11:3,) many items are simply wasteful, especially when you zoom out from Bible-themed gifts to the broad gift industry. (We regularly visit a liquidation warehouse for such things and always see a skid piled high with resin tabletop items made to look as though shaped with human excrement. Guess that one didn’t sell.)

barcodeSo here’s the rant: I would argue that in order to obtain a bar-code (a UPC) you would have to appear before a tribunal and argue why the manufacture of your product is necessary. In other words, before you start fabricating anything (other than a sample) you would need to prove to a governing body (operating in regional centers) why scarce resources should be sacrificed for the making of that item.

Since it’s basically impossible to get anything into the distribution and retail system unless it bears a bar-code, you would be told whether or not what you’ve come up with contributes to society.

I recognize that from an American perspective this is very anti-business or anti-capitalist; but I would think from a European perspective you might see acceptance of this type of screening filter.




  1. I appreciate the sentiment but…who chooses the members of the tribunal? Where I live, any governmental or quasi-governmental agency is much more likely to approve items that look like excrement than items of “Jesus junk.” We need less junk, period, but the way to achieve that is not to buy unnecessary stuff. I realize that is a heretical statement to make on the eve of that orgiastic consumer event known as Black Friday.

    Comment by Lorne Anderson — November 24, 2016 @ 9:22 am

    • The problem of refusing to consume a particular item is that it’s already been manufactured at that point; hence the liquidation warehouse I mentioned. The resources have already been consumed and to the best of my knowledge the product can’t be recycled.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — November 24, 2016 @ 9:57 am

      • If consumers were more discriminating from the outset, then fewer products would be manufactured. Excrement makers (with the obvious exception of politicians) would go bankrupt. Problem solved.

        Comment by Lorne Anderson — November 24, 2016 @ 11:15 am

  2. Many items sold in the UK (Europe?) have been manufactured in Asia. I share your concern about wasting resources. Sue

    Comment by suesconsideredtrifles — November 24, 2016 @ 11:02 am

  3. I read the article; yes that would very anti-capitalist but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad idea. It would never happen in the United States but there has been a movement among consumers and distributors/retailers to seek out responsibly sourced manufacturing. Not only in terms of the materials being renewable but the impact the manufacture of a product has on the environment and in some cases local populations. “Responsibly sourced” is becoming a thing a U.S. Maybe not a big thing, but a thing I believe is spreading.

    I really wanted to comment on the image. You do realize those are not “inspirational” as much as they represent college football teams right? Specifically in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) which is my area of expertise. (Tennessee, Ole Miss and Alabama from top to bottom)

    Comment by Clark Bunch — November 25, 2016 @ 6:43 am

    • The person (Zac Hunt) who posted the image to Twitter made a reference to SEC, but we couldn’t figure out what that meant. But as stated, it was a springboard to remind me of my favorite rant.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — November 25, 2016 @ 9:01 am

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