What Would Jesus Buy?

reverend billy

photo credit: wikipedia

What Would Jesus Buy?

By Robert van Alkemade (2007)

Film Review

What Would Jesus Buy? is a documentary highlighting the crass commercialization of Christmas in western society. Its main focus is the 2006 Christmas tour of Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir. Reverend Billy is one of the culture jamming performance activists featured in the 2001 movie Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture.*

What Would Jesus Buy? intersperses scenes from the tour with grisly photos of frenzied Black Friday stampedes and interviews with avid consumers as they indulge their compulsive need to shop.

High points include the attempt by Reverend Billy and the Choir to “exorcise” the Walmart home office, their visit to Mall of America in Minnesota (the largest shopping mall in the world) and their appearance at Disneyland on Christmas day. Disney managers (who are world-renowned for their viciousness) had Reverend Billy arrested, and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir held an overnight vigil outside the Anaheim jail.

Reverend Billy’s website is http://www.revbilly.com/

In October he and the Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir will open for Neil Young for his tour of the Pacific Northwest.

*Culture jamming is a tactic used by anti-consumerist social movements to disrupt or subvert media culture and its mainstream cultural institutions, including (but not limited to) corporate advertising. The term is credited to Kalle Lasn, founder of Adbusters magazine  and author of the 1999 book Culture Jam: the Uncooling of America.


7 thoughts on “What Would Jesus Buy?

  1. I despise “the holiday season.” As soon as November hits, I start focusing on January 1 and pay as little attention to both holidays here as possible: Thanksgiving and Xmas. The world should end on Christmas eve, if it is going to end. And what the hell is there to be Thanksgiving for?

    Capitalism, what a piece of shit!


    • I definitely prefer having Christmas in the summer, as we do in New Zealand. Here there’s more focus on having a barbie (where the men do all the cooking) or going to the beach. There is way too much commercialization, though, even here.

      Christmas day and Easter are the only two days I enjoy watching TV – it’s illegal to show TV commercials on those days.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In the early 2000’s I was sent a credit card with a $150,000 spending limit by Chase Manhattan, all I had to do is sign the dotted line. To the horror of my neighbors I took some scissors to it, snip, snip. What they couldn’t understand is that the only reason I got this piece of shit card, is because I had a $102,000 mortgage with the same bank, ..on a house worth $250,000++
    Yes, I was successful enough to go into debt. When they couldn’t get all of the money through my lack of stupidity, they invented the housing crisis, my neighbor went bankrupt and went into foreclosure, so now my house was only worth $135,000. But wait, I made my payments, so why am I paying for the too big to fail bailout? In the mean time my bankrupt neighbors went Christmas shopping as usual, ..on a new card. MOTHERFUCKERS!!
    Yes I’m pissed! Great find DR. B., ..and uhm, .. pardon my French.
    P.S. Can be proven in Court and there is more, greetings.


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