What Would Jesus Buy

Jason and I rented a couple of movies this weekend and one of them was Morgan Spurlock’s “What Would Jesus Buy“. I heard about this movie last year around the Christmas season on the Relevant podcast – they interviewed Morgan Spurlock on the podcast and I was intrigued with the movie. But of course, because the holiday season is so busy, and the film only played in one theatre in all of Austin for 2 weeks, we never go around to see it.

I think everyone should see this movie but you must see it with an open mind as it attacked the consumerism mindset that we have all become so comfortable with. The ‘Reverend Billy’ embodies the characteristics of the typical televangelist preacher and he tours the country with his choir and the church of ‘Stop Shopping’ and he preaches out against the Shopocalypse.

What were the main messages of the movie? Start giving, stop shopping. Stop racking up credit card debt. Be creative with your gift giving.

Think about where things are coming from that you buy and how those workers are treated in those countries. Often they are underpaid and abused all so you can have that cheap whatever from wherever. Additionally, Indiana Main Streets and others have determined that only 6 cents of every dollar spent with a big box retailer stays in the community. For a chain store it’s 20 cents of every dollar, but every dollar spent with a sole proprietorship keeps 60 cents circulating in the community. Shop locally!

The average child watches 40 hours of advertising per week and only spends 45 minutes of meaningful time with their parents. Spend time with your families.

Really, a lot of the information that the movie presented had me apalled. For example: marketers are now targeting kids under 2 years old now where in some countries, it’s illegal to market to kids under 13. And America has 2.4 trillion dollars of total consumer debt and 60% of Americans have over $10,000 of debt.

In light of all of this information, I think I’m going to ask my family to not do a traditional Christmas with us this year – we would rather spend quality time with our family and not have them stressed out about gifts (and save money!).

What do you guys think about all of this?


  1. Posted July 22, 2008 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.

    Tim Ramsey

  2. Posted July 22, 2008 at 2:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice site. Thereís some good information on here. Iíll be checking back regularly.

  3. Posted July 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sounds like something interesting to watch – we’ll have to check it out.

    I think it’s great that you are asking your family to change the traditional way Americans spend Christmas. We’ve considered doing this, but oddly enough, my family would be very offended.:(

    The American Dream makes us believe we deserve more house, too things. I think we’re realizing the Jones’ mentality is backfiring, especially with the economy we’re in.

    Good topic.

  4. Elizabeth
    Posted July 23, 2008 at 8:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    I haven’t asked yet, and right now I’m only going to ask my side of the family and hope that they will not be offended. I’m kinda nervous to ask in all reality. Last year it didn’t go so well.

  5. Jesse
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 9:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    way to be proactive. with all the “christmas in july” sales going on i have been thinking more about this as well. for the past few years justin and i have coordinated gift exchanges for our families to reduce holiday spending and consumer emphasis. the biggest part of this has been focusing on Jesus and celebrating the season of advent. i am pretty sure you posted on this idea last year, and i’ll leave the same links as i did before.


    great post.

  6. Elizabeth
    Posted July 24, 2008 at 9:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks Jesse! That’s awesome that you’ve been able to do that with your family. I am going to write up an e-mail today to my side of the family. Thanks for the links again. I did post on this idea on my other blog, but more the environmental side of things. There is so much waste that happens during the holidays too, it’s pretty ridiculous.

    I love the ‘buy handmade’ pledge website. I love giving handmade items and love to receive them as well.

    Oxfam reminds me of international justice mission and BloodWater Mission – they both do Christmas related donation promotions during the holidays as well. Those were the two we were going to ask our families to participate in when I send the e-mail, and now I’ll include oxfam.

One Trackback

  1. […] people. It’s part of how I show people that I care. I think back, though, to the message in What Would Jesus Buy and how it impacted me and then my post about voting with our money. In those moments, I am sold […]

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: