An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Fine, actually. Because I'm sick and tired of my supposed culpability in things happening thousands of miles away from me that I could not have possibly known anything about. And, on top of that, WHERE DOES IT END? Do you think there is ANY product in your house that could not in some way be seen as enabling or encouraging sin? If the CEO of Chevrolet uses his profits to frequent a prostitute, am I responsible for that too? What about the mountains of crap we import from China? Where does my responsibility begin and end and WHERE does the responsibility of people in Africa pulling triggers and enslaving people begin and end? Folks you start going down this road and you ought to quickly realize that you end up in the realm of chaos theory. Six degrees of separation applies here and before you know it you caused deaths via the Christmas Tsunami because you own a Prius.
Now don't get me wrong, I want to be conscious of the effects of my consumption and I am a BIG proponent of buying locally, but I am sorry I am not sinning by purchasing something that has a 10th tier item that some sick people think is profitable enough to kill or enslave over. You realize, of course that people have been killed here in the United States for iPods, right? So are iPods evil? Is Apple culpable for creating such a highly values product? Sure they are...line up the lawsuits!
Perhaps Sony may wish to concern itself about where it gets its tantalum, but folks I am guessing there are thousands of products out there that people are being inspired to do evil in order to gain from. If not tantalum, then it will be something else. Why? Because evil is found in the human heart, not in the environment (economic or otherwise). This is the big liberal lie we are fed: that if we just change the environment people will not be evil anymore. It's some sort of sick and twisted biological-darwinian determinism. People cannot help but kill one another given the right circumstances.
It negates free will and if you think about it, in a sense we are acting elitist in assuming that slavery and murder will naturally happen in Africa if we rich folk drive the price up high enough on something. Newsflash: human beings are culpable for their own actions. Read it again if you must. This is all about displacing guilt and frankly we have our fair share of it. But, Rwandan militias do not need the western thirst for tantalum to exploit and murder and I refuse to be culpable for that. I've got my sins...the person who pulls the trigger and orders kids into mines has theirs.
It seems to me that the closer you are to the actual sin, the more culpable you become. Putting the blame on others...the more distant the better it seems...is just an excuse to avoid personal responsibility. You can likely follow the tantalum from the time it leaves the mine to the time it ends up in someone's living room and I am convinced that whatever blood was on the product has been wiped off by the end. All the people involved ought to check their hands from beginning to end...but laying the blame on Sony as a corporation or consumers as a group is highly questionable, and completely misses the real problems in Africa in this specific case.
Radical Environmentalism reminds me of the Roman Catholic Church in Lake Woebegone: Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility.
It's just another version of guilt by proxy. If some crackhead kills a storeowner in Brooklyn with a handgun, there's a mindset that wants to hold every handgun owner accountable. Well, they can bite me. I hereby declare my eternal freedom from false guilt, even if (and perhaps especially if) it's peddled by some in my own parish. They can choose their causes, and I'll choose mine, and I'll gladly be held accountable on Judgment Day --- by God, who alone knows what He's talking about.
For some reason, this struck me as the other side of the coin: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D92723JO0&show_article=1 (a group is praying at gas stations to reduce the price of the pump).
By the way, nice looking truck! No pressure, but, James, now you're going to have to keep it clean. I mean, who cares if an old beater truck is dirty but your rig, wow. You'll get hate mail if you let it get dirty.