Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Using Prayer As Pepper Spray: How Cindy Jacobs and The Christian Right Hope To Wipe Out The Evil OWS Movement

Inflicting On People: Imprecatory Prayer, Lunatic Prophecy and a God-Awful Fashion Sense.
In light of recent developments in New York City as it relates to the Occupy Wall Street Movement—particularly the November 17 ‘Day of Action,’ which drew upwards of 30,000 protesters into the streets—we are calling believers nationwide to help raise up a wall of intercession for peace and safety in the streets of New York City.
I guess it's time we stopped laughing at Cindy "Japan-is-shaped-like-a-dragon" Jacobs, because this woman epitomizes the Christian Right's demonizing of the OWS movement. In a very real sense, Jacobs brings about the schism that has happened in America's Christianity concerning social justice: morally, you're either with the 99%, or the 1%; with the people who have sided with social justice or the people who abhor it. 

And there are Christians who are struggling in their support of OWS. Why? Probably because the movement is suspicious of most overt Christians these days. The face of American Christianity has too long been dominated by the likes of Focus On The Family, the Family Research Council and their political minions like Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann that Americans forget about progressive Christians and their advocacy of social justice. What America has seen from its religious community is a group purporting that "personhood" comes in the form of a corporation as well as a zygote. Pundit (and part-time historian/rodeo clown) Glenn Beck spearheaded the crusade of the Christian Right when he made "social justice"* pejorative in the minds of conservatives and Tea-Partiers everywhere. 

The ever-righteous Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association went so far as to sick his Rambo Jesus on the OWS protestors by having Him come down from heaven and whip everyone at Zuccotti Park. And one erstwhile pundit posited that the OWS had an "unbiblical fetish for equality." 

Yet there are socially responsible Christians out there who are not afraid of voicing support of OWS:

When they stand with the poor, they stand with Jesus.
When they stand with the hungry, they stand with Jesus.
When they stand for those without a job or a home, they stand with Jesus.
- Jim Wallis of Sojourners (Huffington Post)
Last week, Christian churches in New York offered shelter for OWC protesters and demanded that Bloomberg re-establish their camp in Zuccotti Park. And "protest chaplains" have been established across the country. (facebook link HERE). But more than sanctuary and chaplains, the fact that Christian communities have joined with other faiths in support of the movement is probably the most galling of all the latest events to the Christian Right: Christians have been joined by Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and (shudder!) Muslims (see video below). Even the Vatican came out with a statement supporting the ideology of OWS while not exactly siding with the protestors.

Desperate Prayers
Intercessors throughout New York City have teamed up to provide round the clock prayer and fasting coverage for New York City as we see a surge of the Occupy Wall Street Movement....These intercessors report that they have made some ground in uprooting the spirit of anarchy that has been birthed through this movement, but they need more intercessory prayer support to complete the mission.
Throughout all of the imprecatory prayers of the Christian Right against the OWS movement, there is a sense of desperation flying against an image it cannot sustain: that of the church that needs to maintain its power base - and that power base has money. Tony Perkins' FRC and Bryan Fischer's AFA must appease their donors. Cindy Jacobs must reach out in solidarity to corporations. Robert Jeffress must adhere to the tenets of his Dallas congregants.** 

So now there is a second Great Schism within Christianity: one of morals versus money, one of "social justice" versus maintenance of wealth. . There is the image of a revolutionary Jesus of the poor and a Rambo Jesus of the establishment.  There is the protester and the prayer monger. There is the Jim Wallis side and the Cindy Jacobs side. 

And for all the silly machinations of people like Cindy Jacobs, the prophecies of anarchy, the prayers against the "witchcraft" of the OWS, (and even the awful outfits), the Christian Right will keep the schism, the pepper-spraying and imprecatory prayers alive because they have a lot to lose.  

*American Thinker calls "social justice" evil.
** There may be an irony in this schism: it (slightly) parallels the break between the Baptist Church and Southern Baptists. One fought for social justice through abolition of slavery, while the other fought to keep slavery - and its donors. 

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