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EDINBURGH, Scotland (LifeSiteNews) — My computer wants me to shop today.

Apparently Black Friday is not just the 1989 stock market crash. And it’s not just Friday that’s turned Black. The online Polish-British bookshop I sometimes frequent wants a cut of the American post-Thanksgiving shopping action in what it is calling “Black Week.”

Is it my imagination, or is there a hint of desperation about the emails pouring into my inbox from the few businesses I frequent? I know it has been a hard year for many businesses — although not for Amazon, eBay, Netflix and, needless to say, Big Pharma. The fortunes of smaller businesses, like my favorite stationery shop and the Made in Britain sock manufacturer, are more of a mystery. I hope they are doing well, but I’m not going to give them our money today. For one thing, I already have enough stationery and socks, and for another, I resent the carefully planned psychological/data-harvesting campaign to get me to buy more.

I also resent the People’s Republic of China for saddling us with both COVID-19 and the 57 million pounds of plastic masks and other PPE now clogging the oceans, so I went to great lengths this year not to buy products made in China if I could find the same thing made somewhere else. (I may have dropped the ball for a couple of Christmas presents, but let’s not let the best become the enemy of the good here.)

It can be hard to find things that are not made in China, so occasionally I have just chosen to go without them. For example, we aren’t getting new Christmas tree lights this year. We don’t need new Christmas tree lights. In fact, we don’t need a Christmas tree, either. We will just drape the old Christmas tree lights around our battered-but-beloved manger scene like we did last year.

Finally, I resent that a day dedicated to spending money has been introduced to the annual calendar, even in countries where there is no Thanksgiving Day. For some reason, the British have given up laughing at chaotic scenes on telly of Americans trampling each other to get into department stores long enough to start having Black Friday sales of their own. (Spoiler alert: It’s mostly the same stuff, sold by the same labels, much of it made in China.) But I suppose that reason is money.

Personally, I think money is too valuable to be wasted on shopping, especially when I have a mortgage and a husband whose job was a COVID lockdown casualty. Thus, I have become a minimalist, which is a person who hates shopping almost as much as she hates dusting.

I watch minimalism videos on Youtube with great interest, and most of them are compatible with the Christian way of life. They privilege meaningful experiences with others over possessions, and they encourage spending time with family instead of on stuff.

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PETITION: Ban Critical Race Theory in public schools
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The dangerous ideas of Critical Race Theory (CRT) are being forced on students in public schools around the country.

This is wrong and parents have had enough! It's time to join them in saying "STOP!" to this harmful and racist propaganda.

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition which says "No to CRT" in public schools, and "Yes to parents' right" to strongly protest CRT.

But, what is CRT anyway and why is it so dangerous?

Critical Race Theory is a hateful system of indoctrination which teaches that one race is either superior or inferior to another race, and that the United States is inherently racist.

CRT is dangerous and hateful precisely because it teaches children who are not white to despise and envy white children simply because of their skin color. And, as a result, it also teaches white children to despise themselves simply because of the color of their skin.

CRT also erroneously teaches that American society is inherently racist, and that different, detrimental policies (like reparations for slavery and race-based pay scales) should be imposed on the population to redistribute wealth from whites to non-whites.

This type of racist/marxist propaganda should have NO place in public, taxpayer-funded schools!

And, thankfully, American parents of EVERY COLOR are raising their voices and ballots against it!

Indeed, parents understand the destructive ramifications of CRT and, despite outrageous threats from Biden's Justice Department to prosecute them, they have been strongly protesting CRT at school board meetings across the country!

And now, in the first test of its kind, a candidate who was campaigning hard against CRT just won the governorship of Virginia in a huge upset victory.

That's great news, but we now need to contact every state legislature about this crucial educational issue.

And, we need to DEMAND that they BAN Critical Race Theory from every public school in their states - both primary and high schools, and colleges!

Whereas advocates of CRT seem more intent on vengence than on teaching children of every race to respect everybody, regardless of skin color, American parents of every race understand that it is not the color of one's skin that matters, but the content of one's character (to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr.).

Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking all state legislatures to BAN Crititical Race Theory from public schools in their respective states.

Thank you!


'States are fighting the Left over the morally bankrupt critical race theory' -

'Parents who oppose Critical Race Theory in schools could be prosecuted by FBI' -

Ohio parents testify: Yes, critical race theory is in our schools, and we say NO! -

An excellent Heritage Foundation document on CRT: Critical Race Theory Would Not Solve Racial Inequality: It Would Deepen It

**Photo Credit: EJ Nickerson /

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One of the stars of the minimalist movement, Joshua Becker, first heard of the minimalist philosophy while cleaning out his garage. He would rather have been playing with his son, but “the more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you,” he told his neighbor.

The lady then said the words that made Joshua Becker a minimalist household name:

 “Yeah,” she said, “that’s why my daughter is a minimalist. She keeps telling me I don’t need to own all this stuff.”

I don’t need to own all this stuff.

The sentence reverberated in my mind as I turned to look at the fruits of my morning labor: a large pile of dirty, dusty possessions stacked in my driveway. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed my son, alone in the backyard, still playing by himself. The juxtaposition of the two scenes dug deep into my heart, and I began to recognize the source of my discontent for the first time.

It was piled up in my driveway.

Josh doesn’t say if he got any of that stuff in a Black Friday sale, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. There’s something in human beings that just loves a bargain. My grandmother loved bargains so much, one of her cupboards was packed with sheets and towels she had no use for. And that was in the days before our computers told us what to do and where to buy.

This has definitely been a year in which we have been thoroughly bossed around by our computers. Twitter shadow-banning, Facebook censorship, endless COVID-19 propaganda, and the siren call of Amazon, an almost-irresistible force that sucked hundreds of billions of our dollars into Jeff Bezos’ pockets. Now my computer is inviting me to join the giant money squander known as Black Friday, and I’m saying no.

Not wanting to be another bossy computer voice, I won’t tell you what to do, but I’ll invite you to say no to Black Friday, too.

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Dorothy Cummings McLean is a Canadian journalist, essayist, and novelist. She earned an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto and an M.Div./S.T.B. from Toronto’s Regis College. She was a columnist for the Toronto Catholic Register for nine years and has contributed to Catholic World Report. Her first book, Seraphic Singles,  was published by Novalis (2010) in Canada, Liguori in the USA, and Homo Dei in Poland. Her second, Ceremony of Innocence, was published by Ignatius Press (2013). Dorothy lives near Edinburgh, Scotland with her husband.


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