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Would Jesus….?

November 26th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Would Jesus Join the Occupy Protests?
by Rev. Howard Bess

This article is of great interest, but misses the point that a global initiative in relation to globalization is more than a religious issue and must transcend parochial religions. And modern revolution stepped beyond religion because religion kept people passive and submissive. The examples of Gandhi and MLK come much later.
To buttonhole Jesus in this way is mostly fantasy: we don’t know anything about Jesus’ social views. To put him on the masthead of a social change movement would backfire. He might be an ultra reactionary in disguise like the proponent of esoteric Xtianity, Gurdjieff. And all these discussions are Xtian attempts to ‘get permission from Jesus or God’ to raise one’s voice above a whisper. You don’t need permission to revolt!
I think that this article does make a point, if we can decipher the history here. After all the legacy of modern revolution was the Protestant Reformation, a humdinger of a revolution.
But note that this wasn’t a democratic revolution–yet–and that, pace Weber, it was associated with the capitalist revolution, perverting Xtian values with economic ones (or enriching them, if you thusly)
If the legacy of the revolutions that grew out of the Reformation (we see the transition in the English Civil War) is the amplified secularism of the Protestants it is still true that the Reformation created that secularism. But the French Revolution, then the world of Feuerbach shows the transition beyond religious tradition.
It was the spectacular violence of the World War, and Bolshevism, that, in part, inspired Gandhi’s non-violent initiative (with its hidden roots in Jainism). Proponents of the revolutionary tradition in the Leninist line fail to see how they closed the path to revolution in the extremes of violence they condoned. Why did they do that?
In any case, the non-violent path is at a minimum strategic, and at its fullest a moral revolution. But if we examine the Amerian Revolution we see the issue isn’t really non-violence as such, or is it?
The future here is unclear.
The answer to the question raised by the linked post can be seen from the influence of the Arab spring: it was not a Christian or even a Moslem rebellion.

Published on Saturday, November 26, 2011 by Consortiumnews.com
Would Jesus Join the Occupy Protests?
by Rev. Howard Bess
When the Martin Luther King Jr. monument was dedicated recently in Washington DC, I was reminded that the civil rights movement in America was led not by a politician fulfilling campaign promises, nor by a popular evangelist bent on saving souls, but by a highly trained theologian who put his religious teachings into practice with a demand for justice for those who had suffered at the hands of the rich and the powerful.

The Rev. King was a Baptist preacher who took his religion into the arena of racism, economics and social disparity. However, hatred caught up with him, and he was killed.
Now, nearly a half century later, there is another broad-based protest that is gaining momentum. The Occupy Wall Street protests echo some of King’s complaints about economic inequality and social injustice – and the message can no longer be ignored.

The significance of this latest public protest movement, erupting all over the country, may eventually rival the impact of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, yet when comparing the two movements, there is one glaring difference: priests, pastors and clergy of every stripe are rarely in the forefront of Occupy protests.

Instead, secular young people are doing the very work that Jesus from Nazareth would urge us to do. Just as Jesus condemned the injustices of his own day – and overturned the money-changing tables at the Temple – the Occupy protesters are challenging how Wall Street bankers and today’s rich and powerful are harming the masses of people.

Tags: #Occupy

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