Guest / Limited Access /
Page 2 of 2

Overall, I'm grateful for ads like "God Made a Farmer," though I can't help feeling a twinge of doubt and regret about it as well. We shouldn't demean farmers and rural people, but we also shouldn't romanticize the very difficult reality of today's American farm. Farming, it seems, has always been difficult. While the narration nobly positioned the farmer in the creation story, a commentary in The American Conservative entitled "Would Cain Drive a Dodge?" compares this to the plight of Cain in Genesis. Samuel Goldman wrote:

… it does appear that the labor of farming is a punishment for Cain's crime. Here's how God describes the condition of the farmer: "When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth" (Genesis 4:12). That's hardly a ringing endorsement…. This misreading of Scripture didn't interfere with the ad's success. That's because, like other products designed to flatter our populist instincts, it has little to with the Biblical sources whose authority it claims. Rather, "God Made a Farmer" reflects the blend of American civil religion, Jeffersonian idealism, and corporate capitalism that has long defined America's public culture. The power of the ad suggests the formula still sells, even to consumers who regard themselves as too sophisticated for such a cloying brew.

Jake Meador blogs at Notes From a Small Place.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedThe Stereotypical Christians of 'Orange Is the New Black'
The Stereotypical Christians of 'Orange Is the New Black'
The series’ groundbreaking diversity disappoints in the realm of religion.
TrendingNew Executive Orders on LGBT Discrimination Don't Exempt Religious Orgs
New Executive Orders on LGBT Discrimination Don't Exempt Religious Orgs
(UPDATED) But Obama won't withdraw memo on religious discrimination.
Editor's PickIntroducing the Bible! Now with Less!
Introducing the Bible! Now with Less!
Delete the chapter and verse numbers. Kill all the notes. Make it one column. Make a million bucks.
Comments
View this article in Reader Mode
Christianity Today
Did We Love 'God Made a Farmer' Too Much?