Theft & The Logic of Occupy

By Julie Roys
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            They were best of friends.  But now, the Occupy Wall Street protestors and the Trinity Wall Street Episcopal Church have become enemies.  At issue is a gravel lot the church owns that the protestors want.  Since the City of New York ousted the protestors from Zuccotti Park, they’ve been seeking a place to put down stakes.  And, to them, the lot seems a perfect place.  The church, however, disagrees – arguing that camping at the lot would be “unsafe” and “unhealthy.”

            But, these protestors will not be denied.  As one occupier put it, “We need more; you have more.”  And, according to the logic of Occupy, that’s all the justification one needs to seize private property.  Dozens were arrested after trying to tear down the fence surrounding the church lot so they could occupy it.
            These Occupy protestors remind me of King Ahab who, Scripture says, desperately wanted Naboth’s Vineyard.  So, what did King Ahab do?  He simply killed Naboth and occupied his land.  Of course, Ahab was king: he was the one percent.  And, for some reason, occupiers believe that stealing is wrong for the richest one percent, but it’s okay for everyone else.  If you want a property, take it.  Or, in a similar vein, if you don’t want to pay your student loans, simply default and let the taxpayers foot the bill. 
            In this regard, occupiers resemble just about every revolutionary group that’s ever ousted one evil regime only to discover another evil regime takes its place.  These groups begin by demanding recompense from the thieving ruling class.  But, before long, they’re thieving themselves because, as an oppressed group, they feel entitled.  In the end, all they do is reverse roles and the oppressed become the oppressors.

            Unfortunately, some priests joined the Occupy protestors in violating church property.  They said their “civil disobedience” was warranted “to shine light” on “economic injustice.”  But, there’s nothing just about coveting and stealing.  What America needs is for everyone – Wall Street, Congress, and the masses – to respect God’s law concerning private property. 


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