On the third new moon after the Middle Class had gone out of the land of poverty, on that very day, they came to the wilderness of Sin. They had journeyed from Suburbia, entered the wilderness of Sin, and built their houses in the wilderness; the Middle Class camped there in front of the mountain. Then Charles Schwab went up to God; Prosperity called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Osteen, and tell the Middle Class: you have seen what I did to the impoverished, the lazy, and the welfare queens, and how I bore you on the wings of the bull and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my contract, you shall achieve independence and greatness over all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a prosperous people and an influential voting bloc. These are the words you shall speak to the Middle Class.”
Then God spoke all these words:
I am Prosperity your God, the God of Safety, Security, and Comfort, who brought you out of the land of food stamps, out of the house of mediocrity and discomfort. You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall make for yourselves all kinds of idols as mediators of my contract, they shall be in the form of SUVs and convertibles, of five bedrooms and two-point-five baths. You shall spend great amounts of time and money acquiring and maintaining these idols; you shall take out mortgages and loans and insurances of all kinds. For I, Prosperity, the God of Safety, Security, and Comfort, am an elusive God: you shall seek, but never find. You shall always be in want.
You shall not donate more to charity than is necessary to settle your conscience and secure your reputation among your peers, for I Prosperity your God am a jealous God.
Remember the weekend, and keep it busy. Five days you shall do your work, but the sixth and seventh days you shall devote to meaningless social engagements, to numbing your mind with B-movies and daytime television, to maintaining your idols, and to managing your finances.
When your mother and father reach a certain age, you must provide them with a nursing home with adequate medical provision, Bingo night, and cable TV. They shall remain otherwise apart from your life; you are much too busy. As for your sons and daughters, you must not depend on or trust them for your own future old age, but rely only on yourself. You must not be a burden to others, so that your days may be long in the land Prosperity your God is giving you.
You shall trust no one.
You shall practice safe sex.
You shall not feed the hungry, nor house the homeless, for they are the ones on whom you tread to arrive here, and they no longer follow me.
You shall tell only the whitest of lies.
You shall always be keeping up with the Joneses.
When all the people witnessed the rising and the falling, the ringing of the bell, and the Stock Exchange smoking, they were at once confused, comforted, and bored. So they said to Charles Schwab, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let us manage our own affairs, or we shall surely fail.” Schwab said to the people, “Be afraid, for if you turn back and abandon your idols and leave Prosperity, you shall surely be uncomfortable, bored, and unhappy. God has come only to test you so that you do not lose money.” Then the people began clamoring and complaining, and chased after the thick darkness where their God, supposedly, resided.