For those who may not be able to hear World magazine’s weekly radio broadcast “The World and Everything In It,” here’s the commentary I offered this past weekend, complete with links to the quotes:
The political movement called “Occupy Wall Street” has become well known for its radical economic and social agenda, the law-breaking behavior of many of the protestors, and the support it has received from many Washington politicians and big-city mayors. What is less known is the support OWS has been receiving from left-wing Christian organizations and leaders.
For example, Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine, perhaps the best known spokesman for the American religious left, recently wrote in the Huffington Post that “When they [OWS] stand with the poor, they stand with Jesus. When they stand with the hungry, they stand with Jesus. When they stand for those without a job or a home, they stand with Jesus.” The president of the United Church of Christ, Geoffrey Black, compared OWS with Jesus overturning the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple, writing, “Jesus was expressing a spiritual yearning for economic justice and outrage at individuals and systems that exploit people.” Meanwhile, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church put out a statement saying “the growing movement of peaceful protests in public spaces in the United States and throughout the world in resistance to the exploitation of people for profit or power bears faithful witness in the tradition of Jesus to the sinful inequities in society.”
Piffle. What OWS mostly seems to stand for is the desire to get one’s hands on what other people have earned, using the power of the state to do so, with as little work involved as possible–the very antithesis of the self-giving, self-sacrificial love of Jesus. The misuse of the name of Jesus to baptize Occupy Wall Street is evidence that for much of the Christian left, the primary mission of the church is no longer the spread of the gospel of Christ. Instead, the political agenda of the far left has become a substitute gospel for those who, in the pursuit of an unbiblical fetish for “equality,” would impoverish us all, spiritually and morally as well as economically.
Remember, you can hear the whole program or selected segments of it here. Oh, and I’ll be doing these about once a month, so I’ll let you know in advance when the upcoming ones are ready for broadcast.