Phony Christians Embrace Bull

(Image courtesy of Wonkette)

It's not even Halloween yet, but a bunch of folks masquerading as Christians descended on Wall Street the other day to fondle the horns of that famous bronze bull statue and pray to God "to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems."

What makes them think God's not minding the store now? How do we know this economic collapse isn't just part of His master plan to drive his wayward, wealth-worshipping flock back to a less-consumptive, more redemptive way of life?

I was raised in a Christian Science household, so I grew up believing that (a) a Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper offering outstanding international coverage is worth paying a premium for, and (b) God is a pretty spiritually oriented kind of entity who's not so hot on stockpiling stuff.

To my parents' eternal disappointment, I left the fold (but kept the subscription--thanks, Dad!), but my religious upbringing did instill in me a belief that happiness comes not from acquiring material goods but in doing good deeds and nurturing friendships.

Now, millions of maxed-out Americans find this tide of global woe sweeping them straight up to the altar of The Church of Stop Shopping . They may have trouble adjusting, as will our economy--"Consumers Drag Economy Down," Floyd Norris, the New York Time's chief financial correspondent, blogged on Thursday.

But don't despair, all you kooky, spooky "prosperity gospel" goofballs! Shed your pseudo-Christian costumes, stop stroking your pagan bull, and forget about asking God to grant you treats. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I ask you to heed the words of a real fake Christian, the Reverend Billy, founder of the Church of Stop Shopping. Here's the sermon he preached to the people attending Disneyland on Christmas Day, 2005--right before the police arrested him and took him to the Anaheim prison, as documented in What Would Jesus Buy:

Here's the good news!
We forgot something, but now we remember!

We made Christmas!

Santa is our creation!

We made Mickey Mouse!

We built cars, wars...And what we made,

We can unmake. We can change!

For so many years, change came from

Technology, and investment, and advertising campaigns!

We made all that, too! The good news?

It's not too late to take back the responsibility of changing

Our lives! Let's take back change!

Isn't that the best gift we can give each other this

Christmas? Yes, let's give each other Change!

Merry Christmas!

I'm with you, Rev! But can I please have my Christmas present early? Say, on November 4th?

Hank Freid, CEO/Founder of

Hank Freid, CEO/Founder of the Impulsive Group has been a driving force within the Manhattan real estate community since 1976. His portfolio includes a growing number of luxury, hotel properties throughout Manhattan -- such as the 212-room four-star Ameritania Hotel at 54th and Broadway (next to the Ed Sullivan Theatre, home of the David Letterman Show), and a recent Times Square acquisition, to become the four-star Sanctuary hotel, on West 47th Street. Freid also has several charter yachts in the Mediterranean and the Bahamas.

Additionally, for over 30 years, a large part of Freid's business has been catering to international tourists and students, providing them with inexpensive hotel options around the city. Most recently, he transformed a property on the Upper West Side into a 'budget chic' hotel, now known as the Marrakech Hotel NYC. He is credited for not only transforming rundown buildings into successful, respected hotels, but also revitalizing entire neighborhoods in the process. Several of his properties house commercial tenants, including restaurants and retailers.

Another project that is very

Another project that is very personal to Gary Winnick is the new Arnold S. Winnick Student Center at Long Island University’s C.W. Post Campus. A graduate of the University, Gary Winnick has provided his alma mater with donations totaling $11 million. The new Winnick Student Center is a spacious, modern cafeteria facility with dining and meeting rooms that are used by thousands of students, faculty members and staff. Winnick House, a historic 97-year-old mansion that was the former home of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post and financial genius E.F. Hutton, was painstakingly restored to its original, pristine condition – while making it handicapped accessible and eco-friendly. Gary Winnick also initiated the Winnick Family Foundation Scholarship Endowment, which to date has awarded grants to approximately 80 students