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Commentary Last Updated: Dec 1st, 2008 - 01:31:07

What would Jesus buy?
By Luciana Bohne
Online Journal Associate Editor

Dec 1, 2008, 00:28

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Black Friday is over, leaving behind two shoppers dead in California on the premises of dyslexic Toys�R�Us and one worker dead at a Long Island Wal-Mart, but you can protect yourself, your family, your loved ones, and your friends from the coming shopocalyptic holiday season.

Hope is in the air and change awaits you from the wings of the Inauguration Show on January 20, so why not bail yourself out of the capitalist Consumers for Christ Church this holiday season? Do yourself a favor and check out Reverend Billy�s Church of Stop Shopping.

As America prepares to actualize the change it believes in during the worst economic �crisis� since the 1930s, you could do better than emptying your wallet into the glutted pockets of lazy corporate and financial bailout-bums, driving Maseratis and living on government handouts while you work 200 more hours per year than you did two decades ago.

Be the change you want to become: keep your money, because, remember, money is just money, but capitalism is the system that requires money to be in constant motion to produce value -- not for you but for them. No motion; no capitalism.

So give it a rest. Until, at least, they start listening to you. You could, then, at a minimum, ask for a living minimum wage and single-payer health care. Who knows. It might work. Elections sure haven�t so far.

So join Reverend Billy�s crusade to expose Mickey Mouse as the �Antichrist.� The Reverend caused an instant consumers� insurgency in a store by holding up Disney�s icon as a tool of the devil, whereupon the cops removed him from the store, as outraged shoppers protested, �Let him stay.�

What is Reverend Billy�s philosophy? �Stop shopping: go walking. Don�t go back to the mall. Real progress will be local. Meet your Mom and Pop shops. The mall is dead.� [quoted in Newsweek].

If this philosophy sounds a bit extreme to you, you�11still get a kick out of visiting the website of the The First Church of the Last Televangelist. He calls for a schism from the mainstream consumer churches that sell self-indulgence as a way of life and a ticket to hog heaven. He wears a white, plantation-style, linen suit just below a full head of teased, peroxide-blond hair rising out of dark and ominous roots.

Utterly convincing satire of the religious snake oil industry but with a purpose -- to liberate us from commodity dependence at our most vulnerable time of the year.

Luciana Bohne can be reached at

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