Turning the Tables on Authority

During my commute home, Dan Yorke was interviewing some of the Hispanic leaders involved in the rally demanding action against Providence store-owner David Richardson, and he asked one of them — a man of the cloth — what Jesus would do. The minister’s response was to cite Jesus’ overturning of the money changers’ tables in the temple.
The absent consideration, when taking Jesus’ act as a model for our own in this case, is that Jesus wasn’t just righting a wrong, He was asserting authority, even ownership: “stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” He was asserting power: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
And that’s why so many Americans react as they do to minority groups’ threats to do such things as close down a store. The groups’ leaders are asserting authority, even ownership, and power. They are saying, whether by implication or by fact, that their power gives them the authority to whip the money changers out of the temple and raise up the country in their own image. Far from emulating the lives that Jesus would have us live, that strikes me as something much closer to treating their own political power as the Father.

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rhody
rhody
13 years ago

Face it, sometimes Christ acted in quite liberal fashion. Whether Christ and Leviticus were sympatico is a question that deserves debate over a pitcher of amber-colored liquid sometime.

Will
13 years ago

I found it hilarious, if not highly ironic, that these alleged clergy (from a “group” which no one had ever heard of which is milking this for everything it’s worth) has castigated this store owner for his allegedly “illegal” act.
Clearly, if the store owner was familiar with the law (and one presumes for the moment that the story as it appeared in the Providence Journal had a factual basis … I know, suspend your disbelief), he shouldn’t have asked for a Social Security card, since it is not meant for identification purposes, and from what I can tell from what I know of the story thus far, it wasn’t like he was selling them guns or anything like that. Yet, these clergy and their ilk don’t seem to apply that same mode of thinking regarding right and wrong or legal vs. illegal behavior towards those whom they enable who are in this country illegally, do they?
In the interest of Christian charity, and in order to be consistent with their support for the “undocumented workers,” the clergymen should forgive the store owner for his “undocumented” behavior. After all, all we’re talking about is a matter about some paperwork, right?
PS Where I’m from, threatening to “shut down” a store and deprive a hard working store owner — as sincere and misguided as he may have been — in order to gain something from them which you don’t currently possess (whether it be money or even an insincere apology) is called racketeering. Al Capone would be proud.

Monique
13 years ago

Yes, such a comparison was stretching it a bit.

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