I am not the Taco Bell of McDonald’s and Burger King.

I came across Taco Bell’s short film that launched its new breakfast campaign the other day. As McDonald’s experiments with all-day breakfast, the taco fast food chain is helping us realize that it’s time to be done with the tyrannical clown and be free to eat something alternative for breakfast.

https://youtu.be/kuap4wIGSLg

I love Ad Week’s description:

… the whole concept also can’t help but come across as some kind of meta wormhole, like a microcosm of capitalism trying to devour itself. A smaller fast-food giant is knocking a bigger goliath for creating a fantastical totalitarian communist state…

I suppose that’s why I also found it so interesting. Capitalism making a mockery of Orwell’s and Huxley’s anti-capitalist and totalitarian concepts to perpetuate itself. It is, in fact, a definitively Orwellian concept to use your enemy’s tactics to further your hegemony. It’s like when someone calls black activists racist. It’s using their enemy against them.

It’s not just an aesthetic decision. Sure, the revolution has an aesthetic that marketers can brand and sell, but I think it’s something more sinister. When the revolution is merely just an aesthetic, but what lies beyond it is the same thing as before, it begins to feel a little rigged. Like the intention is never real change, just a different talking head. Unfortunately, the American political system has taught me that we are electing a different-looking face for the same exact foreign and domestic policy. One side paints the other as vastly different when it’s really just more of the same.

Want a different breakfast? Try cooking your own. Better yet, use something you’ve grown. Maybe you can even fast.

It’s funny, because the powers that be give us options that they sell as alternatives, when really it’s just two sides of the same coin. The bipartisan system is an easy target of this line of reasoning, but if you just waste your energy deconstructing what Americans still see as politics as usual, we might miss how else they are tricking us.

My favorite example as of late is Uber and Lyft. These car services essentially replace taxi cabs. Most of my friends are not cab users, but some of them have gotten into Uber. Uber’s marketed itself into your pocket, destroying any sort of human interacting you may have had with a cab you ordered. But is the question really between a privately ordered car ride and a cab? What about public infrastructure? What about biking? Walking? Not drinking so much that you can drive yourself?

We even subjected solving our identity crises in this categorical way. What box do you fit into? Not only does our illusion of choice give us the false notion of freedom, it also gives a sense of diversity. We think we have choices because it’s a Egg McMuffin or A.M. Crunchwrap. But I think Jesus helps us transcend those arbitrary choices to create an alternative, not just a better option. I think life in Christ gives us an opportunity to become our true self, our better self, our full self.

There’s no sales pitch for you to consume my product versus another’s. Churches do that kind of stuff all the time. The postmodern era taught us to make decisions based on our own preferences and proclivities. So you might just think Circle of Hope is an attractive option for those who appreciate our theology or aesthetic. But for me, I’m interested in people radically committing to doing something that will change the world, not just suit their preferences. Circle of Hope may very well suit yours, but probably not for long.

If you want to stick around until the next opportunity comes, until the next fast food giant seduces you with their breakfast, I think that’s fine. But I want to convince you to participate in something radical, where, at the moment of your discontent or lack of satisfaction you can actually voice your opinion, have a conflict, be known and heard, and ultimately formed by Jesus through his body.

We aren’t the Mountain Dew of the Pepsi and Coke fight. The Taco Bell of Burger King and McDonald’s. We’re not just a third way (although I appreciate advocates of nonviolence and their use of that term), but I hope we are your way, your way of finding hope, life, and love. Transforming you in on the inside, so you can transform others. Freeing you from your shackles, so that you can help free others of the shackles of democracy and capitalism.

I’ll leave you with this famous verse from Romans 12:2.

Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.

God’s will cannot be reduced to elections and commercials. Chances are, if we are really pursuing it, it won’t be televised.

4 Replies to “I am not the Taco Bell of McDonald’s and Burger King.

  1. I’m interested in your use of the picture of people making those masks. At anti-poverty march a few weeks ago, a group of people wearing those masks told me they were doing it to be “anonymous”… and they were anarchists too….they were resisting capitalism and politics, but the masks made them all the same….it’s interesting. Can you say more about why you chose the picture here? Are you likening those mask-wearers to Taco Bell?

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