Consumer culture is one of the most powerful systems of formation in the contemporary world, arguably more powerful than Christianity. While a Christian may spend an hour per week in church, she may spend twenty-five hours per week watching television, to say nothing of the hours spent on the Internet, listening to the radio, shopping, looking at junk mail and other advertisements. Nearly everywhere we lay our eyes — gas-pump handles, T-shirts, public restroom walls, bank receipts, church bulletins, sports uniforms, and so on — we are confronted by advertising. Such a powerful formative system is not morally neutral: it trains us to see the world in certain ways.
William T. Cavanaugh, Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire , p.47