Like so many others, the Occupy Wall Street movement has captured my attention, and today, a preacher’s column drew my attention. In it, the preacher poses the question, if Jesus himself were to come upon the Occupy Wall Street movement, what would he do? How would he respond? Now, I will admit, I am tempted to make a joke or two about Jesus casting the devil out, or flipping tables, even punching in drums – but it made me consider – what might he do? Unlike the author of that article, I refuse to say, “Well, he would have…” I think the best any of us could do is merely suggest how he would approach the situation, but saying definitively that he would do this or that is near blasphemous to me. So, here is what was going to be my response to so many of the “He would have done…” comments for the article.
“This entire premise is unquestionably without answer, and to try to pin an answer on Christ is asinine. While we would all love to project our own beliefs onto him, and thus, claim we would be like him (or he, like us), or that he would give the OWS movement some sudden legitimacy, it is not possible. As much as we would love to say, ‘Well, of COURSE he would join with the protesters!’, there are other lessons in the Bible which, if we are being honest, may have shown him refusing to join them, and perhaps even rebuking them. (And in an ironic twist, the left is well-known for having a far higher percentage of atheists among their membership than conservatives and the right in general — it seems like some stretch for the protesters to even consider how something that many of them deny, might respond)
Forget for a moment the antisemitism shown against an older man wearing a yarmulke in NYC, would the protesters welcome Jesus, or seeing a man in poor robes, chastise him and chase him away as they did to the homeless? I maintain that Jesus would have more in common with the homeless people anyway, then he would with the people who, despite having jobs and homes (a great many of them do), decide to engage in sloth (one of seven capital sins). While sloth is not the avoidance of work altogether, it is the refusal to exert oneself or engage in hard labor. A perusal of The Beatitudes really lacks any parallels to OWS behaviors, and I figure the closest that they come to matching any of them might be “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill”. Although, the justice that they seek is of their own conception, and there is not as much support for it as some would have us believe.
I find it ironic that the movement seems willing enough to use Jesus Christ as a means of leverage, and as a sort of guilt-trip to gin up support from the religious. The OWS movement in London, given some permissions to occupy the grounds of Saint Paul’s Cathedral, responded by writing graffiti onto restored pillars, scratching messages into the doors of the church, and most disgustingly, defecating in the entrance ways and inside the historic Cathedral itself. I do not recall any of Christ’s teachings that people may desecrate synagogues or any temples, be they Roman temples or any other religions’ temples.
The movement who would host a savior would probably find themselves facing a great divide in beliefs between they and he. Exploring further, I doubt he could do much for them – possibly lending some sort of ‘star-power’ and drawing cameras? Well, no, there have already been plenty of stars (Jay-Z, Russell Simmons) to proclaim their undying support for the protesters (then getting in their limos and leaving). Perhaps Christ could provide the protesters with food and drink? Then again, substance abuse is said to be rampant, and bottomless jugs of wine are the probably the last thing that the protesters need. And unions and other sympathetic people have given money and food, so loaves probably would not be too welcomed. I suspect that the result of Christ showing up to any OWS movement would probably be disgust and a quick disavowal by the Savior. As their own fellow protesters are constantly doing to the criminals among them, and as Peter did to Christ himself , I would not be surprised to hear Christ say, ‘Who are you and what are you doing?’”
(The story of the London occupation, and particulars to the eviction sought by Church leaders, and their rationale): http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/21/occupy-london-camp-eviction-bid
As Occupy Wall Street camps into its second month as a movement, various special interests still seek to pre-empt and quiet the movement. As I mentioned in a previous post, for this movement to have any real shot at creating a change, it should develop and stick to a singular, easily relayed, and cogent message. Another measure necessary to ensure that once a message was adopted, that outside influences would not attach their own concerns to the movement. For anyone who has been watching and kept up with the movement, you should realize by now that both of these fatal actions have taken place.
While conservative and other GOP-members seem to be either disgusted or confused by the protests, I cannot recall any of them whole-heartedly embracing the protests. It is interesting to see them identify with some of the concerns of the protesters though: bailouts were a terrible idea (and that the market should have healed itself), that the politician-bosses of some of these Fortune 500 financial companies do not need a “Golden Parachute” for running their companies into the ground, and to a far lesser extent for the protesters, that the politicians themselves need voted out of office.
Democrats, for their parts, seem to have completely embraced the protests, and started to do so from early in its development. This has led to an embarrassing tendency for the democrats’ support be marred by violence, flagrant drug use, and ties to less than savory agencies and personalities. Even with such dangerous and damaging behaviors, I cannot recall any democrats withdrawing their support, and so, they continue tacitly to approve of the dangerous conduct. This week, it was revealed that a dis-honorably discharged, neo-Nazi, illegally (because of felony convictions) carrying an AR-15 rifle was providing security for the Occupy Phoenix movement. In the case of Tea Party members, who were observed legally openly carrying sidearms, the left and media could not decry it quickly enough.
The left in this country seems to feel as though the movement is a sort of completely grassroots, organic, entity, being driven by concerns of worried young people. This, despite so much evidence to the contrary. Large media companies (Adbusters) and SEIU and ACORN-leftovers have been identified as lending support, both legal and monetary. The pre-emption may not be complete yet, but it appears as though it is too late to save it from special interests, intent on horning in. The same things that drove the Tea Party to become such a success (a firm commitment to message, observing policies of places that they protested, and respectful protest) are the same things that now fatally doom the Occupy Movement.
Despite so much media coverage given to try and gin more support for the Occupy Movement, the fewer, but far more powerful images and stories of illegalities occurring are destructive. Democrats intent on quickly offering uncritical support for selfish reasons are going to be tied to the worst events. It seems almost karmic – using a disenfranchised group of people to gain oneself credibility or support is disgusting. Instead of trying to fix problems, like tackling rampant unemployment, the left embraces tactics like re-writing laws and rules to gather support, and actually demonizing the stalling and blocking of worthless, damaging legislation. The left’s tactics are like giving breadcrumbs to Americans, and expecting them to unquestioningly follow you for your efforts — never mind that the re-written rules will be far more damaging to more Americans than they help. Hey, it sets up the next opportunity for the left to swoop in, and “save the day” again. They really are “Our Worst of Society”.