Wal-Mart To Offer In-Store Chapels

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Sunday, June 15, 2008

from the we-bless-for-less dept.

BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS -- After successfully conquering groceries, automotive, and even medical care, Wal-Mart is set to announce an expansion into another industry: religion. The retailer will open in-store chapels at 50 select supercenters across the Midwest, offering a full range of spiritual services at discount prices.

"Got a question about God? There's no need to wait until Sunday or drive across town to a church -- we can help you right now in Aisle 37," explained Wal-Mart's new Vice President of Spiritual Distribution. "Our chapels will carry all of the major brands... er, I mean, denominations. Everybody is welcome."

A chaplain will be available 24/7 to answer questions and offer spiritual support for all customers. Donations, of course, will be accepted. Said one chaplain associate, "Thanks to our economy of scale, we can offer these services at a much lower tithe rate -- 1.97% -- than other leading megachurches."

If the pilot program is successful, Wal-Mart intends to open chapels in all of its supercenters, usually next to the Bakery Department. "Research has shown that people suffering from depression and anxiety usually try to find comfort in the Doughnut and Dessert sections, which is where we think we can do the most good."

Likewise, Wal-Mart hopes to capitalize on another kind of church service: wedding ceremonies. Couples will be able to select package deals including the cake, ceremony, photos developed within 60 minutes, and a reception in the food court. "There's no need to elope to some far away place like Vegas," boasted a press release. "At your friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart, we've got you covered. That's how founder Sam Walton would want it."

Wal-Mart critics have immediately expressed concern that these chapels could evolve into a new religion. "We've already got too many charlatans preaching materialism, hyperconsumerism, outsourcing-ism, and other spiritually bankrupt ideas," said a spokesperson for a conservative watchdog group. "We sure as hell don't need any 'Waltonists.'"

It might be too late. Some Wal-Mart chapels are rumored to include shrines to Sam Walton -- known simply to insiders as 'The Walton' or 'The Founder'. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Wal-Mart's new chapels will feature artifacts from Walton's life, just as some European cathedrals display bones and relics from saints. The store in Sikeston, Missouri, reportedly possesses a piece of the One True Cash Register, the holiest of holy artifacts, touched by The Walton himself!

"This is all a strategy to start brainwashing people into worshipping Wal-Mart," said a conspirary theorist. "I hear that some stores require employees to pray to Walton each morning and to sing hymns such as 'Shall We Gather At The Checkout' and 'Hallelujah! For He Has Risen Our Quarterly Profits.' This can only end badly."