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In the present day, American politics has become deeply entangled confluence with materialist, grand-scale Protestantism. To great aggravation, Christianity has been tied not only to constitutional self-governance (as this recent best-selling painting shows in a way that strongly resembles parody), but the laissez-faire economic system that has segregated its people and eroded liberty over the past two centuries. It has been used to argue for capital punishment, and for centuries has been used to create the idea of "just war"

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The issue is that Jesus was not a fan of exploitative commerce. In fact, he led the first occupation- he was the founder of Occupy Jerusalem. In the gospels, he enters the Temple of Jerusalem, where commerce has defiled the holy place. He takes those around him to task, and uses the popular support for his actions to defy authority.

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves (Mark 11:15)

Later Jesus calls the Temple he cleared a "den of robbers" (Mark 11:17)

We can all learn from the example of Jesus. The idea of commerce and profit-making entering a place of worship is cringe-worthy- and indeed I have a visceral reaction when I read about megachurches with caf├ęs and merchandise stores. But even if you're mostly secular like me- there is something that you think should not be messed with; something that must remain pure and not tainted by money. It could be anything from politics to college sports; from education to healthcare. You probably know of some money changers you'd like to drive out.

And that's really what Occupy is all about. Driving away the money changers, and improving society rather than let profit dominate over people.

Originally posted to Neutral Politics on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 10:17 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (13+ / 0-)

    "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -Albert Einstein

    by Kazmarov on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 10:17:06 PM PDT

  •  I was ready to cringe (5+ / 0-)

    thinking of the traditional meaning of "occupy." But you are right, and books have been written on the revolutionary Jesus.

    The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

    by emidesu on Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 10:23:37 PM PDT

  •  This is the root of liberation theology (5+ / 0-)

    Liberation theology:

    is a political movement in Christian theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. It has been described by proponents as "an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor's suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor",[2] and by detractors as Christianized Marxism.[3]
    Unfortunately liberation theology movements have been crushed throughout the world, for its powerful message against the elites and the powerful:

    Noam Chomsky explains


  •  Jesus was totally against capitol (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


      He also was a man of peace however when he did go  into the temple and call it a den of thieves he was very unmovable on this subject as he also very angry.  They were selling pigeons at a price to give offerings to the church to the poor who had nothing.  Jesus was infuriated and had preached to give unto the least among us.  These venture capitalist of the the day were also making money and equivalent to predatory lending IMO in  the name of God.

    He went against the status quo.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 05:24:18 AM PDT

  •  The painting (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with the commentary and the example of Jesus driving out the money changers in the temple. The painting is an intriguing political commentary, so I went to the artist's website and read MacNaughton's
    discussion about his paintings. I guess I would label him a liberal- fundamentalist, if there is such an animal. But not a true blue liberal
    as I had hoped. Why do I need to place people on one side or the other? It's sad that I do, but feel it is necessary in the fight for no-separation-of-church-and-state and the use of religion to attract believers to the anti-christian values of the party of money changers .

  •  If he hadn't been (0+ / 0-)

    the original "occupier" he probably wouldn't have been killed, and all of those holier-than-thou (often Jew-hating) Christians wouldn't have anything to throw in others' faces.  They don't get the most basic thing about their faith:  Jesus had to die.  He was born for it, he lived his short life for it, and without it, there would be no Christian faith.  One could even say that the whole moneychangers thing was a deliberate act to provoke the authorities into action.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 09:28:00 AM PDT

    •  God's Divine Xanatos Gambit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Christians like myself sometimes twist ourselves into knots when we obsess too much about God's Plan.  If you look at things a certain way, you can say that since an Unquestionably Evil Action was part of a chain of events which led to an Ultimate Good, that therefore the Unquestionable Evil is actually God's Will.  You get that argument sometimes from anti-abortion folk when they claim that rape is actually a blessing when it results in a baby.

      It's bull.

      You can also argue that without John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Civil Rights and anti-poverty measures LBJ pushed through would never have passed.  So was JFK's death necessary?  Well, things certainly would have turned out differently; but I can say fairly surely that Kennedy didn't deliberately set out to get himself killed in order to give his domestic programs a push.

      I suppose it's concievable that Jesus was setting out to provoke the Temple Power Elites when he drove the moneychangers out, hoping that they would kill him.  There are certainly verses in the Gospels which indicate he expected to die in Jerusalem.  Still, I prefer to think that he was outraged by what he saw, the defilement of a place he regarded as his own home by hucksters and greed, and lost his temper.  

      If he hadn't raised this ruckus in the Temple, the Authorities may well have decided to get rid of him for other reasons; he had clashed with them before, and the ostensible reason for wanting to eliminate him was fear he might lead a popular revolt that would have led to Roman repercussions.

      And I think I've wandered away from my original point; which is something I often do.

      "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

      by quarkstomper on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 12:36:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess I don't think about it as (0+ / 0-)

        deeply as you do.  Perhaps it's because the only reason I think about it at all is when I've argued about it with those who still harbor ill will towards the Jews because of it.  When talking to people like that, it's best to keep it simple.  Without the death, there is no resurrection.  Period.

        As far as the moneychangers thing goes, I, too, think he was outraged by the commerce taking place in the temple.  The ones who really profited from that commerce were the priests.  It's not unrelated to how I feel now when I vote for someone who ends up "doing business" while in office instead of governing on my behalf.  It's quite easy to imagine Jesus, the man, going postal on the facilitators of that system.

        -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

        by luckylizard on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 12:58:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is a stretch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Gutin Daf

    Both paintings are imaginatively silly.  Jesus did not lead a political movement. He specifically rejected it when tempted by Satan. The cleansing of the  Temple was about the debasement of a Holy Place. Move those entrepreneurs off Temple grounds, Jesus has no problem. Progressive Jesus will not defeat conservative Jesus in the Battle of the dueling American Messiahs.  Progressive Jesus has no clout in Oklahoma. A few outposts maybe. Conservative Jesus is opposed by secular culture, popular culture,  &  by reason, by science.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Mon Sep 03, 2012 at 03:01:25 PM PDT

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