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Letter: Materialism in America


As I walk the pier of Panama City Beach, I notice the fresh ocean spray and the perfect evening temperature of Florida. People mingle with one another about what is currently trending in today’s society. As I start to join in on some of these conversations, I can’t help but notice their content. “Yo, is that a True Religion T-shirt?” one asks, “Yessir,” the other responds. Both of them exclaim at the same time, “There is only one religion, True Religion,” and start to laugh together.

As I leave the conversation and continue walking around, I can’t help but hear the different types of music going on around me. One stuck out to me with lyrics that read, “We formed a new religion, no sins as long as there’s permission.” “What’s this song called?” I asked a stranger. “No Church In The Wild, by Kanye West and Jay Z,” he responds. Interesting.

This made me think about how Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about the troubles that materialism brings to the restless democratic souls. He states that religion balances materialism and that we will not be engulfed in materialism due to religious practices. However, in today’s American society, is this still true? The percentage of young adults who practice religion in America has been on a constant decline. People are now focused on how much money their cars cost and what brand they are wearing. It seems that materialism has become the new religion of America.

Cade Campbell

Wabash College 2024




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