Pastor Dwayne Craig was one of the reasons this whole blog nonsense got started. He was the one who taught me, more than anything else, that whatever I do, I should do it as a Christian, which is just a way of saying that whatever I encounter and whatever actions I take, I should take them in a way that is informed by the life (and death) of Christ. I remember on one occasion he recommended that I watch The Help. And he added at the end of his recommendation, “And watch it as a Christian.”
Recently, I’ve been thinking about buying an engagement ring. Of course, buying an engagement ring implies that there’s going to be an engagement and that brings up all sorts of crazy theological concerns (here “theology” means something much broader than what you might think), but right now I’m interested in just one issue: What does it mean to buy a ring as a Christian?
For starters, buying a ring is super expensive. That means that I’m about to drop X amount of dollars that could be spent on something way more “least of these”-focused, like the freeing of slaves or the feeding of starving kids in Africa or something. Even with all of the thinking and work I’ve down about the ethics involved in making a purchase like this, its not clear that I’m doing the right thing in purchasing this ring. Before I can figure that out, I need to find out what role this ring plays in what I call the “substantive happiness” of my bride to be. (Substantive happiness is a concept that I employed in my thesis. I’m not gonna try to explain it here.)
Another issue entirely though is the whole blood diamond thing. The least of these are getting killed for diamonds, which means that Jesus is getting killed for diamonds. (Aint that a crazy thought?) So, if I’m not careful, I not only will buy a ring that might inappropriately deprive (is that the right word?) the least of these of some funding, but I will also be directly contributing to the shittiness of the lives of the least of these. Previously, I’d been trying to buy a ring “like a capitalist,” which is just another way of saying that out of “rational self-interest” I was looking to get the best ring for the lowest price.
Buying a ring like a Christian makes the process more complicated than that. Can you even find a ring that is not tainted with the blood of the least of these? What really freaks me out though is what happens if I discover that buying a ring like a Christian means buying an invisible one.