Union Seminary Cheerleads Wall Street Occupation

Mark Tooley is President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (www.theird.org) and author of Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Follow him on Twitter: @markdtooley.


Pages: 1 2

This reference to the anti-Hitler plotter is odd, given his own ambivalence about Union, and his decidedly non-pacifist choice to help kill the Fuehrer.  But likely it was just too irresistible for Union’s president to liken the Wall Street Occupiers to the anti-Nazi resistance. After all, don’t both movements represent the struggle against absolute evil, whether Hitler 70 years ago, or the Wall Street of today? Jones cited the Occupation’s crusade for “jobs, healthcare, lower student loans, increased infrastructure investment, [and] immediate changes in NYPD’s stop and frisk practices.”  So no doubt Bonhoeffer, who was executed for his exertions, would see the Occupation[s similarity to his own selfless resistance to Nazism’s 13 years of conquests and genocides that consumed tens of millions.

Cornel West, rather than Bonhoeffer, is a more suitable symbol for Union Seminary.  In a sort of homecoming, since he taught at Union in the 70’s and 80’s, he will become Union’s Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practices.  “Union is a place where Cornel West’s view of the world is in our life blood,” gushed Union’s president, who cited her school’s “inspired strong public voices” on “war, poverty, racism, sexism, or other societal scourges.”   Noting that some supposedly compare West to Reinhold Niebuhr, Jones accurately insisted that West is in fact “in a class by himself.”  Indeed, she asserted, West is the “leading public theologian of our age.”

Perhaps from the rarified vantage point of New York’s upper West Side, West qualifies as America’s “leading public theologian.”  Outside of Manhattan, West’s colleague at Princeton, Robert George, fearless defender of marriage and all vulnerable human life, would likelier qualify.  While unsurprisingly en route to Occupy Wall Street protests in Seattle, West himself told The New York Times, that Union was “the institutional expression of my core identity as a prophetic Christian.”  Such “prophetic” Christians typically ignore their faith’s emphasis on salvation and personal holiness in favor of sweeping political demands of the left, emphasizing coercive state power.  In a 1991 book, West declined to identify himself as Marxist but hailed Marxism as “an indispensable tradition for freedom fighters who focus on the fundamental issues of jobs, food, shelter, literacy, health, and childcare for all.”

Identifying Christianity with endless class struggle premised on entitlement and resentment and is an old and comfortable theme for Union Seminary and for much of the archaic Religious Left.  These themes bear little resemble to the teachings of Christianity’s Founder, who stressed self-sacrifice rather than entitlement.  Neither would He recognize the Religious Left’s prioritization, often in His name, of political power over holiness. But no doubt Cornel West, Occupy Wall Street chaplains, and the rest of Union will enjoy singing their old class warfare hymns to their own self-chosen choir.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

Pages: 1 2

  • Ben

    Leftist Christians,leftist rabbis welcome occupiers just as they heil Israel`s distruction.
    These blind pastors helped communists`s and leftists seizure othe power in the past to the peril of believers. Today they play ecumenical games with Islam.This corrupt efforts to keep fliing believers are vainly.

  • Brujo Blanco

    All Christians need to understand that communist, Nazis, Neo-Nazis, and Islamists all want to do away with Christianity completely. They also want to eliminate Jews. If you feed the crocodiles believing they will eat you last believe that they will still eat you.

    • UCSPanther

      True, and Communism has had a long history of being antisemitic…

  • poetcomic1

    Union Seminary's highest degree: Doctor of Useful Idiocy.

  • epaddon

    What I find so amusing about Leftist "Christians" is how a favorite technique of theirs is to denounce conservative Christians as "Pharisees" to give themselves a phony veneer of somehow being truer to the words of Jesus, but if there is any group that better fits the description of "Pharisee" it is this group who strut and preen about their commitment to "social justice" or who in other words are like those rich men who like to boast about how much they give to the poor but who ultimately at their core are spiritually dead. They are the kind of people who would likely condemn Jesus for praising the poor woman who gave her last two copper coins!

  • crypticguise

    Christians are being murdered all over the world. What is Union Theological Seminary supporting? Occupy MOBs. I don't have to say more than it is amusing that the crackpot, faux-intellectual Cornel West has "transitioned" from Princeton. Funny.

  • Hercules

    I doubt that Jesus would aver the creation of a totalitarian government to act as the instrument of God's will in achieving a Marxists Utopia. As with all things, He would base justice on the love of one human being for another, not on Roman or American coercion based on seizing the wealth of some to redistribute it to others. He never said that government should take care of the poor but that people do so in voluntary acts of love. The Left, including Union Theological Seminary, have distorted and perverted the message of Christ to make it conform to Marxist ideology. As Jesus said, 'wolves in sheep's clothing will deceive many' and Union is but one of many wolves in our land today.

  • kohana

    How grateful I am that my mother accepted the scholarship to study in Israel vs. a scholarship to obtain her PhD in theology at Union in 1959. She eventually, as an ordained Christian minister, encouraged me to convert to Judaism. In her last years with Alzheimer's, remembered her Hebrew and recited the Shem'a as she died, in 1998.

  • Lady_dr

    Thank you Kohana. That is really beautiful. Leftest, be they Christian or Jewish, are what is wrong with their own allegiances, and with the world. They make me want to puke.