The Church of England issued this press release today. “For two millennia, people have had to make that most difficult of decisions: to worship either God or Mammon. The received wisdom, bolstered by Biblical injunctions, was that they couldn’t worship both. But thanks to the latest ecclesiastical technology, church congregations will no longer be faced with this troubling dilemma.
“It’s hard for Satan to hit a moving target, so the Church of England is tossing aside its cherished beliefs and principles with a speed that even Nick Clegg would find precipitate. If nobody sells their soul to the devil any more, that doesn’t rule out renting souls by the hour. Or maybe some kind of timeshare deal. That guff about camels and needles always sounded like sour grapes, propagated by envious malcontents. Instead of alienating busy, wealthy people - the mainstay of our economy, after all - the Church should be looking to get its cut.
“In a gesture that he didn’t live long enough to regret, Jesus booted the moneylenders out of the temple. Today we would be more pragmatic and less hysterical. We’d recognise those moneylenders for what they really were: independent financial consultants. Faith may have served the Church pretty well over the years, but it no longer pay the bills. We simply can’t afford to lag any further behind the leaders in the guilt-driven sector of the leisure market. Everlasting life is a pretty special deal; there’s no point in just giving it away. So the introduction of the Church’s own loyalty card hasn’t come a day too soon.
“We formally announce - with immediate effect - the amalgamation of God and Mammon... the new company to be known as ‘Gammon’. The Gammon card (a realistic 26% apr) will come in ecclesiastical purple, with a hologram of Lady Diana, in her landmine campaign smart-but-casual look. We hope to persuade cardholders that their existential misery can be alleviated - however briefly - by meaningless purchases of frivolous consumer items with their Gammon card. In this way we feel that Gammon PLC will be in the vanguard of creating a safer, less volatile and more religious society. God bless you all”...