on prophetic practice

” … prophetic practice is not finally about judgment. It is about hope. Hope for Rev. Billy [founder of a church whose mandate is to stop the rampant drive of American consumerism] is the deep conviction that there is a viable, choosable alternative to shopping that will make possible a human community of neighborliness, peace, and justice. ][…] as with every prophet, that hope requires committed embrace. Billy urges his congregation to “use your bodies for your freedom”—that is, to vote against the slippery consumer ideology with your feet, even to use your bodies in the practice of corporate “interruptions” as a way of testimony to an alternative. He also urges active remembering that is an act of radical neighborliness, a difficult act of specificity against great corporations that want to encourage timeless amnesia.

The discipline of Stop Shopping by itself is only a negation. But Billy intends for that discipline to help us redeploy our energy and attention toward the neighbor. Like all prophetic figures, Billy’s aim is not to entertain but to recruit. It is now clear, given the current betrayal of our constitutional rights, the erosion of an independent judiciary, and the stifling of an independent media, that the human crisis in our society is deep. Billy’s stratagem is a way to think and to act appropriately”

– Walter Brueggemann, “What Would Jesus Buy?”

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