Saturday, 22 October 2011

Occupy Heaven! Protestors take on the Jesus Business Model

"Don't believe the Church and State
  And everything they tell you.
  Believe in me,
  I'm with the High Command."

St Paul's Cathedral yesterday announced that it was closing down to worshippers allegedly on health and safety grounds owing to the presence of the Occupy London demonstration's tents outside the hallowed place, about as close to a national church as we have. "It's worse than the Blitz," opined one commentator yesterday and the BBC dutifully reported this under the headline -
Occupy London: Demo forces St Paul's Cathedral to close
Good old Auntie, dutifully doing the Establishment's work for it, along with the Church of England, which as the established church, with Bishops sitting as unelected legislators in the House of Lords, is at the core of our ruling elite.

And yet how accurate is this assertion in this headline, almost implying the Cathedral rather than the City was the target of the demonstration?
Firstly, the demonstrators are at St Paul's as they were banned from protesting where they wanted to go - to the financial centre of the City of London. Secondly, the demonstrators themselves have by any account kept the area very tidy, with eyewitnesses phoning Any Answers on Radio 4 yesterday  afternoon to decry as false statements on the BBC that the area was full of trailing cables and badly positioned tents. Occupy co-ordinators had asked the Cathedral to stay open and kept the entrance clear to help.

Thirdly, and perhaps the most telling, although the dean declared the closure to worshippers as unavoidable on safety grounds, it seems he still took the risk of holding a wedding there on Saturday afternoon - and no, the bride did not wear a hard hat. In fact, she told the Observer newspaper that the demonstration had added to the drama of her Big Day and that "I love the drama!"

Sadly, it seems that when people demonstrate peacefully, carefully and creatively, perhaps because of the particularly difficult threat this poses to the Establishment and its dark propaganda about its opponents, our rulers more than ever have to come up with something to make the protesters appear like threatening animals. No shops have been looted, no police injured, no fire extinguishers thrown - so what is left to the elite to come up with? Ah yes, these anti-capitalists are stopping decent civilised people from worshipping. After all, God is a Tory and in some evangelical circles, especially in the USA, the free market is seen as coterminous with Christianity, while socialism held to be inherently and irredeemably evil. Quite seriously, check out the Jesus Business Model here.  Less full-on, but perhaps more disturbing, is this defence of capitalism from a Judeo-Christian perspective (here), suggesting that opposition to the free market is indeed some form of latter-day heresy.

So little wonder that our leaders might like to find some way to literally demonize their opponents, and what better than to portray them as having silenced the prayers of the Tory Faithful? After all, Blessed are poor, as long as they stay that way.

This of course defies the fact that many people of all faiths, including a wide spectrum of Christians, are taking active part in these global demonstrations. This includes many Evangelicals, motivated by their belief in Christian stewardship into calling for social justice in place of the rank capitalism that is damaging our world. And so the assertion by one commentator that Christian religion and capitalism are natural allies is denying the validity of the beliefs of others of his faith. Difficult, even dangerous days indeed.

What, in Heaven or on Earth, would Jesus do?


  1. hmmm... It was the social teaching of the encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno, that caused Schumacher to become a Catholic

  2. What would now speak volumes is if the protests moved to other parks peacefully. That would leave the establishment with zero to moan about.