Reverend Billy on ‘What would Jesus buy?’


I love people who create a holy row.

Such a man is Reverend Billy, the alter ego of Bill Talen. Check out this article in Sojourners magazine- I have pinched a few quotes as below…

Reverend Billy, also known as Bill Talen, has gotten the strange idea that the Big Corporations, notably Disney, Starbucks, Nike, and Wal-Mart—and their shameless commitment to profit at the expense of human infrastructure—constitute a destructive force in our society. He has, moreover, reached the critical judgment that such a negative ideological force in our society must be resisted, and can best be resisted from a self-aware theological perspective that operates with parody and irony. The purpose of such parody and irony is to expose what seems like an economic operation as an ideological force of totalizing scope in our society. This force seeks to situate U.S. consumers in an uncritical way in the “life world” of consumer capitalism.

Rev. Billy began to take his preaching into the Disney Store, and later into Starbucks, often joined by supporters who would help him stage “shopping interventions,” during which he might, for example, perform an “exorcism” of the cash register. In the process, the Church of Stop Shopping was born, a performance activism nonprofit staffed almost entirely by volunteers, including many professional musicians, singers, and actors who turn up as they’re able at actions and rallies promoting free speech, local communities, and anti-consumerism; tour with Rev. Billy as the Stop Shopping Choir; and help lead periodic “revival” productions.

For a flavour of his ‘preaching’-

Or check out this ‘choir raid’ on a shopping centre…

Preach it brother. 

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