March 24, 2010

Save Me, Reverend Billy!

I was just reminded of the inimitable, green, hip, artsy machine that is the Reverend Billy Talen and the Church of Life After Shopping via Climate Progress. He’s been around since 1996, but his message is worth repeating. And now he’s going after JP Morgan Chase for their financial backing of mountaintop removal (see video below).

This is a great gig. Reverend Billy exploits the televangelist persona (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) to bring attention to climate catastrophes, consumerism, and the way modern life detaches us from what we should truly value.

Elephantjournal has recently pondered the possibility that there is something essentially anti-sustainability about apocalyptic, mainstream Christianity. In no way does Rev. Billy represent mainstream Christianity, but this artistic parody of Christianity might still have something to teach us about what it means to love each other and care for the earth.

He’s a free speech advocate, a modern-day prophet, and he’s bringing home the message of conscious consumerism and eco responsibility in a big way.

As Bono sings:

I’d drink bread and wine,

If there was a church I could receive in…

I’ll gladly receive what Reverend Billy is offering: just a pure, simple reminder of what really matters.

Here’s Reverend Billy handing it to JP Morgan-Chase for their funding of mountain-top removal:

What would Jesus Buy? “Shopocalypse”


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Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is a philosophy professor at Houston Community College – Northwest. He’s a father of two and husband to fellow elephant columnist, Joana Smith. As a philosopher, he specializes in Descartes, the philosophy of mind, and phenomenology. He’s interested in all kinds of things, but he blogs primarily about politics, spirituality, and good, green living.

Follow him on twitter @smithnd. And share your thoughts in the comments; he doesn’t bite.