Peace & Freedom Party: Interview with Reverend Billy of The Church of Life After Shopping

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By Bob Maschi

Reverend Billy’s voice carries like a wing in the wind, dipping and swirling as it echoes off invisible stained glass walls. His hair is set high, like a silver grill in front if a muscle car from the 50s. He looks and sounds the preacher, yet he does not often talk about hell or damnation or stoning adulterers. No. This Reverend speaks less about saving the soul and more about saving the planet.

Reverend Billy leads the The Church of Life After Shopping ( and together they invade corporate America with messages against greed and consumerism. From their website: [The church is a] “project of The Immediate Life, a New York based arts organization using theater, humor, and grassroots organizing to advance individuals and communities towards a more equitable future – starting today. We partner with citizens, grassroots organizations and progressive visionaries to produce dynamic, informed public campaigns that enact our core values – participatory democracy, ecological sustainability, and the preservation of vibrant communities and local economies.”

I understand you’re not a real reverend. Why not? Don’t they have diploma mills for that kind of thing?

Reverend Billy: Most of the active ministers in the United States heard the call, rather than got the diploma. That said, it doesn’t really make sense for Reverend Billy to be affiliated with organized religion. The dominant organized religion, a deeply fundamentalistic one, is Consumerism. We hope for our deliverance from shopping. We are against fundamentalism in all its forms in the “Church of Life After Shopping.”

Is your church a real church?

Reverend Billy: Yes our church has been a source of fellowship since 9/11. New Yorkers who had long ago left organized religion wanted to sorrow over the tragedy together, but as a part of this celebrate life. Our church led peace marches the week of 9/11, and then opened its doors and invited all. We offered a non-diety approach to the creator
(something we learned from early Christian mystics in Elaine Pagels’ book “The Gnostic Gospels.”) We also respect how people have their spiritual search outside of churches, in nature, in relationships, and as we argue, in backing away from consumerism.

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2 thoughts on “Peace & Freedom Party: Interview with Reverend Billy of The Church of Life After Shopping

  1. Green Party fan

    Reverend Billy of the Green Party.

    The story headline appears incorrect, and the story fails to mention Rev Billy was Green Party candidate – in a loud, laughing, joyous, creative, clever, brave campaign for New York Mayor in 2009.

    Rev Billy also did a series of advertising, and campaigning for the Green Party in Ireland, when they won a record number of votes, and took over power in a center right coalition government in Ireland that continues to this day.

    Rev Billy is an entertaining, positive Green Party force.

  2. paulie Post author

    The story headline appears incorrect,

    No it’s not. It’s an interview with Rev. Billy conducted by the Peace and Freedom Party and published on their webpage.

    the story fails to mention Rev Billy was Green Party candidate

    It’s labeled both Green Party and Socialist/left parties for that reason.

    Rev Billy also did…

    Thanks, we covered that. Check the archives.

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