I Worship Money

Columbia University graduate Gac Filipaj, Class of 2012
Source: AP

If we base what we really worship and trust on how much effort, how much thought, how much concern is expended on it with each breathing hour of each day, I must confess before you and the One who made me that I worship and trust money more than God.  I wish this was not true.

I talk with God a lot.  I praise God in the car on long drives and first thing each morning.  I spend my life trying to connect people to God.  But honestly, I worship money.  It’s The American Way.

As the mom of three young adults who’ve committed their lives to film, linguistics, and urban farming as opposed to “more profitable” employment endeavors, I totally get the relief that parents feel when their children are called to aeronautical engineering or brain surgery.  We want our kids to be able to support themselves and maybe even take an occasional vacation. And yet, it is – in the end – about a calling.  Some of us are called to the law and some are called to the dirt.  But we let money get in the way.

This interview between  Michel Norris and recent Columbia University graduate Gac Filipaj struck a nerve.  As an immigrant to this country, Mr. Filipaj has duly noted that most Americans are hugely concerned about money.  Yes, issues like student debt, unemployment, under-employment, fore closings overwhelm the news each day.  But many of us let money rule our hearts and goals to the point that our true selves get lost.

Gac Filipaj  - who worked his way through Columbia working as a janitor a la Good Will Hunting – majored in classics.  After Ms. Norris noted that majoring in classics is not exactly a lucrative course of study, Mr. Filipaj responded this way:

You were born in United States and you speak money first.  . .  I’m not doing it for the money.

What are we doing for the money?  And is it worth it?

Money is a good tool for sustaining ourselves and others, but it’s a terrible god.  If it rules us – and it rules many of us – life will sour,  sooner or later.  I haven’t heard any graduation speeches highlighting this particular truth, but – really – life is much sweeter when money doesn’t control us.

That’s easy for me to say when I am employed and able to cover my mortgage. Of course we need money to live.  But how can we help each other shift, even in slow ways, to a place where we make choices based on what feeds our souls?  Does it embarrass anyone else that “being American” means speaking the language of money first and foremost?

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2 responses to “I Worship Money

  1. Spending 3 years working with my wife for no salary trying to prop up a floundering company that was trying to do good in the world gave me a very clear sense of just how much I had worshipped money before and how empty the money god is when it comes to feeling truly satisfied with life. Yes, I’m still digging out of a huge economic hole as a result of those 3 years (undertaken with no savings to speak of and 2 young children), but even now as I try to re-establish a more normal life from an American economic perspective, I realize that I’m getting sucked back into that joyless money worship and I yearn for a way to keep feeling the joy of Christ unencumbered by the syncretic invasion of money even in the house of God.

  2. More and more I am seeing the dangerous affects of a society that worships money. An Enlightened species does not use currency and pieces of paper as the motivation and prerequisite to do anything and everything, yet this nation thrives on it. I fear that America has become so dominated by those who possess wealth, some of which continue to push their resources around to ensure that we are so afraid for our own survival that we strive towards money for stability, never self actualizing, never becoming real members of society, never standing together and challenging these wicked men’s lies. The power exists only because we have faith in it, because we give it power, when truly we could do away with it if we all just stood together. This nation is becoming saprophytic in nation, always eager to feed off of social disease in a horrendous cannibalistic way. It is heart breaking. The goal is to unite the people and take away the stratified system that has been created to maximize profits by ensuring we our divided and not sharing and not working together. By getting people to work together and know that they have a community to support them, they can worry less about whether they are going to eat or have a place to sleep, and more about progressing humanity itself. What you feel is a calling. The zeitgeist that exists among the good. It will continue to call those who are passionate and not easily persuaded by wickedness. It goes beyond philosophy, it goes beyond religion. It is simply faith, that life is important, that human beings deserve peace and that just because someone has mastered a wicked system does mean they should control and sabotage the lives of the meek. Please trust me when I tell you that this is real. Continue what you are doing. Continue reaching minds. Work towards establishing communities and lessening people’s dependency on this corrupt system. Only by making this corrupt system obsolete do we throw a monkey wrench in the plans of corrupt, propaganda birthing minds.

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