Monica Mihu and Daria Zamă
Religion can be defined as the “belief in, worship of, or obedience to a supernatural power or powers considered to be divine or to have control of human destiny” or “a set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.” These explanations illustrate the fact that religion focuses on the belief of something powerful, a spirit or divinity that created everything that exists and that controls our world and the people that live in it. However, what happens when something not spiritual takes the place of God and becomes the center of a new religion? Something more material, a part of this world. We are talking about money.
Nowadays, money represents an important part in people’s lives. They are working 8 to 14 hours a day in order earn them, they train themselves by going to school and college, change jobs or seek promotion within a company, all of these so as to earn as much money as possible. Thus, they invest time and energy, so when payday comes, they will see a great number with many zeros in their bank account.
As we can see, money has gained a top position in a person’s life. This great control shows that money dictates the actions of a person and determines the behavior for several situations. Basically, there is a set of rules that people need to respect in order to have more money, just like in religion, where there are norms and a powerful institution: the church. Therefore, money has become a religion to which people convert in the moment when they understand its value. This happens at an early age. Children understand that money allows them to buy what they wish for: candy, toys. Also, the more money they have, the more doors they can open: more candy, expensive toys and games. As they grow, people understand that money brings not only material benefits and pleasure, but also social status, access to high social classes and a certain authority. Yes, money is an authority in today‘s society.
How did money become a new religion? Money gained authority in time by giving people immediate results. If a person earns very well, he/she can afford to go on a beautiful vacation, to buy a car or a house. Traditional religion on the other hand encourages people to believe in a divinity, but does not offer concrete results immediately. For instance, if you pray in the morning and the evening, that does not mean that at the end of the month you will get a new car.
Due to the fact that money is such a great issue and that people make so much effort to obtain it, these persons tend to lose their spirituality and faith in their God. For this reason, the religion of money is killing the traditional religion. People rely on what gives them immediate and actual results, and not what might help them on the long run.
Beliefs have changed and adopted different shapes over time. Now, one of the great elements that people believe in is made of paper or aluminium, has a rectangular or round form or is represented just by numbers. Money gives people power, people like to have authority and to occupy a good position in society, therefore, money is a value, something that needs to be pursued. People sell their time and energy so as to valuable pieces of a ‘god’ in their wallet and risk to lose something important in this way: themselves.