Doing the Jesus things 143

The Occupy movement is turning against and horrifying its supporters on the religious left.

This is from an article by Mark Tapson at Front Page:

Initially, the Los Angeles Times pronounced the Occupy movement “a predominantly secular undertaking,” although it did note that “some left-leaning religious groups see a golden opportunity in the Occupy movement, whose central message of greater economic equality resonates deeply among faith-based progressives.”

Sure enough, religious progressives did rush to anoint the movement as it began to swell. [Some] religious left icons … rhapsodized about the Occupiers standing with Jesus in their defense of the poor, even resembling St. Francis of Assisi….

St. Francis of Assisi, it is worth noting, was very much like the average Occupier: a rebel against his bourgeois parents who had made their ample fortune in trade.

By the beginning of December The Huffington Post asserted that “more than 1,400 faith leaders from around the country [had] signed a pledge of solidarity with Occupy protesters.” They conducted services and provided counseling, and their churches hosted Occupy meetings. Religious communities of all stripes rushed to offer the Occupiers shelter and solidarity:

In addition to spiritual ministry and space to assemble and sleep, religious communities have provided the Occupy movement with material support such as food, clothing, tents, blankets and heaters.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams wrote that Jesus would be among the Occupiers of St. Paul’s Cathedral, and that the movement had prompted people to examine themselves and ask, “What would Jesus do?”

If the Occupiers did ask themselves “What would Jesus do?” then they apparently came to the conclusion that Jesus would expose himself, rape, urinate and defecate in public, endanger children, steal, trespass, trash public and private property, harass and denounce Jews, assault non-protesters and police, block traffic, take drugs, hurl Molotov cocktails and blood and vinegar, and more. … To date, arrests at Occupy events number over 6,000, including over 400 in Oakland alone last weekend.

By contrast, the Tea Party movement doesn’t even litter.

So it was only a matter of time before the Occupiers began misbehaving in the very churches that had given them sanctuary and assistance …

Members of the movement urinated on a cross inside a Brooklyn church recently and have been accused of desecrating New York’s West Park Presbyterian Church. The pastor ordered sixty protesters to leave the sanctuary after one of them stole a bronze lid from the $12,500 baptismal font. Initially a supporter of the Occupy movement, the pastor now is outraged by their behavior …

Some leftists begin to see sense when they’re hit on the head or robbed by fellow leftists. But we don’t suppose that any number of hits on the head will wake up Archbishop Rowan Williams. He’s probably still expecting a polite Thank-you note from leaders of the Occupy movement.

Occupiers also began wreaking havoc in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, the very one where Archbishop Williams claimed Jesus would be showing His solidarity.

The registrar of St Paul’s, Nicholas Cottam, described the disruptions:

Desecration: graffiti have been scratched and painted on to the great west doors of the cathedral, the chapter house door and most notably a sacrilegious message painted on the restored pillars of the west portico.

Human defecation has occurred in the west portico entrance and inside the cathedral on several occasions.

We like the idea of human defecation “occurring”. No actual crapper to be blamed for crapping intentionally in the sacred precincts. It recalls the old Christian conundrum about “hating the sin but loving the sinner”.

He also noted noisy interruptions during services, foul language directed at staff, and the use of alcohol and other stimulants that appeared to “fuel the noise levels day and night.” Litter has piled up and dogs roam freely on the site. This led to more than half of the schools scheduled to visit the cathedral cancelling since the occupation began there in October. Visitor numbers were also down by half, leaving the cathedral’s cafe, shop and restaurant “faltering.”

A little trade on the side? What would St. Francis have said about that?  And isn’t there a story about Jesus chasing money-changers out of the Temple? Okay, not money-makers, but still …

The cathedral’s director of community and children’s services expressed concern about people who were exhibiting behaviour that was indicative of poor mental health …

Only some people? And we’d assumed that all members of the Occupy movement were in poor mental health!

… people who were exhibiting signs of drug use including stumbling and compulsive behaviour, people who had body odor arising from significant periods without washing or change of clothing and a number of people who were clearly under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The only surprising thing about all this being that the director was surprised.

Occupiers recently threw Bibles at police officers from an abandoned San Francisco hotel, and disrupted a Right to Life rally inside the Rhode Island state capitol, shouting down a priest’s prayer and tossing condoms on Catholic school girls.

Well, boys will be boys.

And sentimental idealism whether of the church or a political movement invites a dousing with the cold water of actuality.