There have always been useful idiots around. Lenin’s phrase is quite apt: these gullible and naive folks end up doing the work of those intent on destroying them. Plenty of Western useful idiots aided and abetted the blood-thirsty communists in the past, and sadly plenty of Christians have been part of this.
Recall more recently Christians going over to be “human shields” in Baghdad for Saddam’s murderous regime. These mentally and morally challenged believers side with the enemies of freedom and democracy time and time again. And they are now doing it again with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
As I have documented before, this is mainly a leftist/anarchist anti-American and anti-capitalism movement which is picking the wrong target. They foolishly think that greed is somehow only found amongst bankers or businessmen. They should be seeking an “Occupy the Human Heart” movement if they really want to properly and thoroughly deal with greed.
But naive and not very cluey Christians are already joining with the radicals, and they are even displaying “What Would Jesus Do?” banners as well. Well I can tell you one thing he would be doing right now: he would be reminding these ignorant believers that God is the author of both the state and wealth creation. These are his ideas, so Christians should not be so uncritically and ignorantly railing against them.
Sure, genuine injustice and exploitation are not of God, but if these Christian Occupiers are so concerned about that, then they should be protesting communist China. And they should not be occupying Wall Street but Pennsylvania Avenue where Obama lives. His socialist policies have far more to do with America’s current economic malaise than do the activities of businesses and banks.
But the Christian Occupiers don’t allow facts and reality to get in the way of their misplaced idealism and rhetoric. Consider what these misguided souls are doing in London: “Christian groups have drawn up plans to protect protesters by forming a ring of prayer around the camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral, should an attempt be made to forcibly remove them.
“As the storm of controversy over the handling of the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration deepened on Saturday, Christian activists said it was their duty to stand up for peaceful protest in the absence of support from St Paul’s. One Christian protester, Tanya Paton, said: ‘We represent peace, unity and love. A ring of prayer is a wonderful symbol.’
“With senior officials at St Paul’s apparently intent on seeking an injunction to break up the protest, the director of the influential religious thinktank Ekklesia, Jonathan Bartley, said the cathedral’s handling of the protest had been a ‘car crash’ and predicted more high-profile resignations from the Church of England.”
Or consider the words of one American church leader: “As a Christian in the Reformed Tradition, I believe very strongly that God is able to use non-Christians to spread God’s message of caring for the oppressed. By the power of God’s Holy Spirit, God is able to use anyone God pleases to spread the message of liberation.
“My firm conviction is that these Occupy movements, touched by the Holy Spirit, are powerfully drawing the world’s attention to the growing disparity between the rich and the poor. On behalf of the powerless, they are speaking truth to power: It is obscene that only a small number of people control such vast sums of wealth. It is wrong that our legal and economic system is making it possible for a small number to continue getting richer while more and more are finding themselves unemployed, uninsured and foreclosed on. It is indefensible that for lack of relatively small funds, the price of a pair of shoes, children have to sleep in the family car and then get up and go to school the next day. In other words, they are spreading the message that we, the church, should be spreading.”
There is too much here to discuss, but I have done so elsewhere, eg:
It is one thing to be concerned about the poor but it is quite another thing as to what policies you advocate to relieve the problems of poverty. The failed policies of socialism will help no one, but only make matters worse. So no, the Gospel of Marx is not the biblical gospel, and it is foolish in the extreme to equate the two.
And Christians should stop being so naive about just who is behind these protests. This is not some spontaneous, grassroots movement like the Tea Party always has been. This is a movement with the full backing of Marxists, socialists, anarchists, and those with anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian agendas.
Consider just the last one. As one recent news item states, “On Sunday morning a break-away faction of the Occupy Vancouver movement tried to occupy the city’s Holy Rosary Cathedral during morning Mass. Several dozen protesters, calling themselves ‘Occupy the Vatican’, were halted when Archbishop Michael Miller requested a police presence, and were stopped again later in the day by police and members of the Knights of Columbus.
“The incident highlights a trend by some in the anti-corporate protest movement to use it as a launching pad for attacks on Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular. Most infamously, on October 15th, members of the Occupy Rome protest entered a Roman Catholic Church and destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary. The effort to occupy the church in Vancouver comes after a call on October 13th by former Evangelical leader Frank Schaeffer for the Occupy movement to begin targeting Evangelical and Roman Catholic churches.”
And the radical secular left involvement in these protests is undeniable. Plenty of America-haters are up to their ears in involvement. Uber-leftist George Soros for example is quite happy to bankroll so much of these leftwing protest movements.
As one news report put it, “A group that has been mobilizing online support for Occupy Wall Street is organizing the live stream of an upcoming global financial forum by the anti-Wall Street protesters. The group coordinating the live stream, Avaaz, was founded as a joint venture of MoveOn.org and Res Publica, two organizations funded directly by George Soros as well as by the Soros-funded Tides Center.
“Avaaz is a globalist online group whose state mission is a near-quote from radical community organizer Saul Alinsky’s manifesto Rules for Radicals. Avaaz states it is seeking to ‘organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.’ In Rules for Radicals the community organizer discussed ‘the world as it is, not our wished-for fantasy of the world as it should be’.
“WND reported last week MoveOn.org is planning to launch a protest movement of its own to complement the Occupy Wall Street momentum with the stated goal of ‘make[ing] Wall Street pay’ and rebuilding the entire U.S. financial system. MoveOn.org’s funding source of the Tides Foundation may be telling. Another grantee of Tides is Adbusters magazine, which is reported to have come up with the Occupy Wall Street idea after ‘Arab Spring’ protests toppled governments in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.
“The new MoveOn.org Wall Street campaign serves as further evidence that the anti-Wall Street movement is a well-planned campaign and not the spontaneous uprising its leaders claim. WND broke the story that Fenton Communications, a public relations firm closely partnered with Tides, represented the anti-Wall Street march past millionaires’ homes in New York City two weeks ago.
“Fenton also crafted the public-relations strategy of MoveOn.org and a who’s who of far-left causes, organizations and activists, from Soros himself to Health Care for America Now to a litany of anti-war groups. Last week, MoveOn.org held a planning meeting in Manhattan to discuss ways to take on Wall Street in coordination with Occupy Wall Street.”
That there may be many well-meaning, optimistic and idealistic people involved in these protests – including well-intentioned Christians – is not being disputed. But to allow themselves to be used as dupes by these radical groups is simply not on. Indeed, as I explained elsewhere, good intentions alone are never enough for the believer: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2011/08/30/on-good-intentions/
Good intentions leading to disastrous outcomes are simply not acceptable. Those who claim to be followers of Christ must cast aside naivety and gullibility and start facing reality. It is one thing to want to see a more just and fair world. But to align with activists groups who will in fact bring about more injustice and less fairness, along with less freedom, democracy and prosperity, is hardly Christlike.