The Invisible Goldfish

If you grew up during the period of the 1960s to 90s you probably heard about, or possible owned, Sea Monkeys.  What is a Sea-Monkey, you might ask?  From their website: “Well, the Sea Monkey, is a relative of the brine shrimp. This creature will end up growing 1/2 to 3/4 inch in length. Their lifespan can be up to one year and we have had many customers who keep their Sea Monkey® colonies alive for as much as 5 years. Sea Monkeys are the fun lovable little creatures that are too small to hug, but are highly enjoyable.”  
It’s not so much what they are, but how they were marketed.  In the back of comic books, or gum wrappers, I remember the ad that described the perfect pet. If you couldn’t have a dog or a cat, this was the pet your parents could not say no to.  They looked so cool in the comics. This under sea world of mer-people. When they arrived, you discovered they were nothing like the photos.  Dehydrated shrimp that once reanimated only lived a few days in a cloudy tank with little activity.  
You might know the name Sea Monkey, but I bet you didn’t know the name of the inventor, Harold Nathan Braunhut.  Some of his other offerings were X-ray specs, Crazy Crabs, which were simply hermit crabs and Amazing Hair-Raising Monsters (actually mineral crystals). It is the resurgence of one of his lesser known products that has Braunhut back in the headlines.  The Invisible Goldfish is making a comeback. If you have been paying attention it’s not too hard to figure out the angle on this one.  From the website: “The colorful boxed set comes with a small fishbowl, artificial aquarium plant, gravel substrate, box of “special food,” “Do Not Feed” sign, double sided instruction sheet (one side for public viewing and the other side for your eyes only) and, of course, your very own “Invisible Goldfish” — guaranteed never to be seen.”  Yes, that’s right, for $22.50 the company will send you an empty fishbowl and a bunch of empty promises.  The sad news, just like the Sea Monkeys, the Invisible Goldfish is selling out.  It was P.T. Barnum that said, "There's a sucker born every minute," and he too made millions off the “suckers” of his time. 
What you might not know is Harold Nathan Braunhut (also Von Braunhut) was a horrible racist. Even though he was born Jewish, he was an outspoken supporter of the Ku Klux Klan and was a regular attendee at white supremacist meetings. Von Braunhut sold people an empty fishbowl and some fish food and presto, you have an invisible goldfish that lives up to the promise that you can never see it, because it doesn't actually exist. And this seemingly family friendly product was being used to financially support one of the most hate-filled groups of all time.
The story of Sea Monkeys and Invisible Goldfish is a great lesson in culture for us today.  People will pay big money for the “idea” of something, even when they know what they are buying isn’t real.  A pet that only you can see and control, with no downsides, and that you force other people to accept as real, is the epitome of the self-centered culture we find ourselves in today.  With this in mind, it becomes clearer how most people today ignore the words of the God of the Bible, and invent a god of their liking and choosing.  Even when God reveals Himself clearly to us, most people are more comfortable with their made-up version than the real thing. They give no mind to the harm that is being caused, as long as their temporary feelings are satisfied.
This is nothing new.  The people of Israel were fresh from being liberated of slavery in Egypt. God gave them miriclious signs and wonders.  However, just a few days later, they had Aaron make them a golden calf because Moses was taking too long on the mountain (Exodus 32). 
No matter where you are with your walk with God, He has something to say to you.  If you have ever wanted to know what He is like, what He is thinking or what His will is for you, all you have to do is read your Bible.  God has a plan for you and wants to help you discover all that you can be in Him.  No bait and switch, no false promises, just a simple message with everlasting assurance.     
Serving the Savior, 
Bro. Jonathan  

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