Sunday, October 23, 2011

Church pathetic not prophetic

Casting out the money changers by Giotto, 14th century (Wikipedia)

In yesterday’s Guardian Zoe Williams derides St Pauls cathedral, for closing its doors in the face of London's anti-capitalism protest. A Church of England vicar told her why he supports the protesters:-

" In the gospels, Jesus makes a courageous and subversive stand against the corruption of the powers that be, and against the implicit assumption that the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. You feel Jesus's anger in his protest, which actually wasn't that peaceful. "

He's referring to Jesus’s own anti-capitalism protest in the Temple. It’s the only account of Jesus using physical force in any of the gospels, and occurs in all four them.

In this episode Jesus and his disciples travel to Jerusalem for Passover, where he expels the money changers from the Temple, accusing them of making it a den of thieves through their commercial activities. In doing so he stood in the tradition of Old Testament prophets railing against the rich’s treatment of the poor. Zoe Williams suggests it will sadden Christians even more than atheists, which side the cathedral came down on.

Any dominant class rules by persuading a submissive population that existing arrangements are necessary, right and inevitable. Occupy Wall Street and the similar protests in numerous cities worldwide pose the question: oh yeah, who says?

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