Ohio Pastor: I Am Part of the 1 Percent

An Ohio pastor says he is part of the elite “1 percent,” and so are many Americans.

Pastor Joe Boyd of Vineyard Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, posted an entry on his blog where he cites an article from CNN Money that said, globally speaking, anyone making at least $34,000 a year is part of the 1 percent.

“After reading the article in CNN Money mentioned in my post, I realized that I was actually in the top 1 percent,” said Boyd in an interview with The Christian Post.

“It was just a burst of conviction mixed with irony to know that I am in the 99 percent here, but the 1 percent worldwide. It made me want to do more for those struggling more than me in the world.”

Boyd made it clear that he did not write the entry as an “anti-Occupy” piece, but rather as a means to talk about global poverty and the need to address it.

“I say in the post that I understand the Occupy position. I'm not part of the movement, but I'm not against it per se,” said Boyd. “I did get some comments that were negative regarding the Occupy movement. Most people are able to see that I am using the Occupy movement as a springboard to talk about global poverty, though.”

Boyd said that the feedback he has received for his blog entry “has been mostly contemplative, which is what I hoped for.”

The Rev. Donna Schaper, senior minister for Judson Memorial Church in New York City, which has been deeply involved in the Occupy movement, said that she had some issues with Boyd’s words when applied to Occupy.

“I do not think I agree with him, save internationally, where he is correct,” said Schaper.

“I believe that we need a more local not global perspective for right now,” she said, adding that she believes that eventually “the global will come.”

“Globalizing the movement will happen organically as this ‘Third Great Awakening’ creates new energy within local American communities and hearts,” Schaper said.

But Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, was more supportive of Boyd’s thoughts.

“Yes, this pastor makes excellent points,” remarked Tooley. “Even America's lowest income people are well off compared to most in the world and certainly most in history.”

Tooley believes that the progress America has made economically was being ignored by “advocates of class warfare,” like those in the Occupy movement.

“Most Occupiers seem like products of the educated upper middle class in America, more interested in theories and political empowerment than in genuine social uplift,” contended Tooley.

The CNN Money article Boyd cites for his blog entry was written by Annalyn Censky and notes that based on salary, half of the world’s 1 percent are Americans.

“The true global middle class, falls far short of owning a home, having a car in a driveway, saving for retirement and sending their kids to college,” writes Censky.

“In the grand scheme of things, even the poorest 5% of Americans are better off financially than two- thirds of the entire world.”

Boyd, for his part, said he “fully understands that Occupy is a first world movement,” and he said he is okay with that.

“We all want justice in our own nation,” said Boyd. “I just hope we don't forget the poorest of the poor in the world while we seek justice for ourselves.”