The Guardian has published an article asking us how Jesus would react to the Wall Street Occupation. St. Paul’s Cathedral in London has been unable to service its visitors because of the protestors who have taken over the grounds, and some people think this church has the wrong attitude. Lest you think this is an open-ended article that intends to let us decide for ourselves, let me cut to the end of it:
Where would Jesus be this week? Would he be camping outside in this freezing weather, speaking out against inequality, or inside the religious building, worrying about the revenue from tourists?
The Guardian quickly assumes that the clergy of St. Paul’s are greedy men who are not unlike the money changers that Jesus dealt with. And the article comes with a picture of a man dressed as Jesus holding a sign that says, “I kicked the money changers out of the temple for a reason!” It’s quite a stretch for me to connect the agenda of the Occupy Wall Street movement with Jesus’ cleansing of the temple. Jesus said that crooks had turned his Father’s house into a den of liars – that’s a matter of blasphemy and insult to Him – not an issue of politics and economy. The two are not the same.
And that’s assuming I have any idea what the Wall Street protestors are even doing. They have been giving different agendas when asked what they’re up to, and whenever we hear from them they are using their iPad to tweet a message about hating corporate greed.
That vagueness allows people to attach all kinds of things to their movement – it’s hard to say that Jesus’ ministry is not comparable to their movement if they won’t tell us what they are doing. Journalists are constantly comparing these demonstrations to the Arab revolutions that took place earlier this year. Do these journalists think that protesting corporate greed (or whatever) is similar to rebelling against violently corrupt world leaders? Did the Arab Spring protesters have gourmet food catered to them like the Wall Street Occupiers? Do the kids sleeping around on Wall Street fear being gunned down by their head of state? Did celebrities mingle with the Arab Spring protestors wearing fashionable clothes? The Wall Street protests may be important to those who are a part of them, but what they are doing is not nearly as courageous and noble as standing up to murderous dictators. These two events are very different.
Every political movement thinks that Jesus would support them. My Democrat friends are certain Jesus would vote as they do, and my Republican friends feel the same way. Of course, they’re both wrong – I’m certain He was a Libertarian who hated big government. (Joking.)
St. Paul’s Cathedral is an important place for Believers. It’s very old and has a rich heritage that pilgrims have enjoyed for a long time. To make this church available for visitors is not an act of greed but of compassion for the dedicated masses who wish to pray there. Unlike the Wall Street Occupation, the church of St. Paul actually is a part of Christianity, and the protestors should not presume to take it over for their own political purposes.
(More articles at www.ThinkingThroughChristianity.com)