Sunday, January 24, 2010

Church of the Almighty Dollar


On a September 2009 visit to a small Upper Michigan town, my spouse and I came across this historic church, now office space for investment brokers.

The stone structure displays a plaque which tells passers-by of its identity, when first built in 1908, as the Immanuel Baptist Church. The plaque blends discreetly into the building’s rock walls. In contrast, each single letter in the brokerage sign beside it stands taller and some stretch wider than the entire historical nameplate.

In the autumn evening light, this Church of the Almighty Dollar struck us as iconic. We spotted it at the end of a tumultuous year in U.S. economic history, a year in which “bailout” became the buzzword and “too big to fail” furnished the favored rationale for corporate welfare.

This converted house of worship seems even more symbolic of the country’s prevailing ideology today, after last week's Supreme Court strike-down of restrictions on corporate political spending. Follow the money. If ever we needed separation of church and state, we need it now – from this kind of church.

©2010 by Katie Alvord

1 comment:

Glen said...

That use of that building is just WRONG in so many ways.