The 'Reverend Billy' is a man on a mission. He wants the world to change its shopping habits and use local shops instead of big chain stores. His message claims Consumerism and Militarism are the overwhelming fundamentalist churches that we face today. We pray when we buy, we worship at the altar of the almighty dollar, the Mauls (Malls). Change-llujah (http://www.revbilly.com/)!
What started out in the 1990s as a prank has become something bigger, more meaningful, even if it is still as zany as ever. Bill Talen, an actor, created a reverend hybrid of street preacher, arguably Elvis, and televangelist called Reverend Billy. Billy is no longer a send-up of a church leader. He is a church leader. The Church of Life After Shopping (formerly known as the Church of Stop Shopping) is an activist performance group based in New York City, led by Reverend Billy. Together with his Stop Shopping Gospel Choir he tours this land of ours, where people are clinically addicted to shopping.
Children at an early age are exposed to marketing on TV and want stuff, designer brands. Even if it burns a hole in their pants, parents will fulfill their wishes because to be in and cool you need to be seen with the right stuff. It's all gotten out of control. "It's for the kids"! From a young age we are conditioned to see Xmas as a combination of consumerism and love. You buy for the people you love. Ask any older person what were their happiest Christmases, many will tell you about when they were young, when they were poor and only got few things they badly needed. (My grandma , as a young girl in the 1920s, was delighted about her only gift: an orange).
Is it politics? Is it art? Is it religion? His church is resisting consumerism and they want to share an experience with you.
Stop sinning- stop shopping!
We want" no more of that junk.
Are you people or are you sheeple?
Exorcise that credit card that leads you into eternal debt.
You may be reading the Scriptures, but you are missing half of the message.
Whereas other street preachers chose Times Square because of its reputation for sin, Reverend Billy's sermons focused on the evils of consumerism and advertising--represented especially by Disney and,Mickey Mouse, who, for him, are the Antichrist. Shops don't like him in the neighborhood. He gets arrested over and over again. His gospel choir and his message are disturbing the peace and detrimental to big business. Starbucks prohibits him to come within 250 ft of any of its shops.
Rev. Billy's increasing number of events speaks out for political issues like Democracy in America, at the 2009 G-20 Pittsburgh summit, and in March 2009, Rev. Billy announced he was running for Mayor of NY on the green party ticket.
Reverend Billy and his choir traveled to Washington, D.C. in March 2007 to participate in an action against the war in Iraq, "Don't Buy Bush's War," organized by Code Pink Women for Peace, where they roamed the halls of the U.S. Congress preaching and singing their anti-war message. No arrests were made. His is a non-profit organization just like any other church, of course.
Santa is for Sale
Give us the Power to Stop Buying
Save Christ from the Shopocalypse.
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