(Image courtesy of Wonkette)
It's not even Halloween yet, but a bunch of folks masquerading as Christians descended on Wall Street the other day to fondle the horns of that famous bronze bull statue and pray to God "to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the 'Lion's Market,' or God's control over the economic systems."
What makes them think God's not minding the store now? How do we know this economic collapse isn't just part of His master plan to drive his wayward, wealth-worshipping flock back to a less-consumptive, more redemptive way of life?
I was raised in a Christian Science household, so I grew up believing that (a) a Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper offering outstanding international coverage is worth paying a premium for, and (b) God is a pretty spiritually oriented kind of entity who's not so hot on stockpiling stuff.
To my parents' eternal disappointment, I left the fold (but kept the subscription--thanks, Dad!), but my religious upbringing did instill in me a belief that happiness comes not from acquiring material goods but in doing good deeds and nurturing friendships.
Now, millions of maxed-out Americans find this tide of global woe sweeping them straight up to the altar of The Church of Stop Shopping . They may have trouble adjusting, as will our economy--"Consumers Drag Economy Down," Floyd Norris, the New York Time's chief financial correspondent, blogged on Thursday.
But don't despair, all you kooky, spooky "prosperity gospel" goofballs! Shed your pseudo-Christian costumes, stop stroking your pagan bull, and forget about asking God to grant you treats. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I ask you to heed the words of a real fake Christian, the Reverend Billy, founder of the Church of Stop Shopping. Here's the sermon he preached to the people attending Disneyland on Christmas Day, 2005--right before the police arrested him and took him to the Anaheim prison, as documented in What Would Jesus Buy:
We made Christmas!
Santa is our creation!
We made Mickey Mouse!
We built cars, wars...And what we made,
We can unmake. We can change!
For so many years, change came from
Technology, and investment, and advertising campaigns!
We made all that, too! The good news?
It's not too late to take back the responsibility of changing
Our lives! Let's take back change!
Isn't that the best gift we can give each other this
Christmas? Yes, let's give each other Change!
I'm with you, Rev! But can I please have my Christmas present early? Say, on November 4th?