Pat Robertson, chairman of Christian Broadcasting Network, advised Christians not to support the “rebellious,” “angry” and “pointless” Occupy Wall Street protests taking place across the nation.
“I think this is a rebellion,” Robertson said on “The 700 Club” program Thursday as he responded to a question whether Christians should be loyal to a protest like the Occupy Wall Street, which appears to be protesting many things, including “corporate greed and corrupt politics.”
“I think it is atavistic,” the 81-year-old head of the television network added. “Nobody knows exactly what it is, they don’t know what they’re doing, why are they there? Well they’re just mad. Well, is it right for a Christian to get involved in a protest of anger?”
Robertson, a former Southern Baptist pastor, said if Christians had to protest they should protest for “righteousness … to lift the yoke of oppression … to help those that are poverty stricken.”
“But don’t just go out and mess up a park and just scream and tear up things,” he said. “Why would you get involved in something like that? It’s formless, it has no purpose, but it could be used for radicals who want to destroy this nation, and that’s the bad part of it.”
On Oct. 17, Robertson accused President Barack Obama of being the mastermind behind the protests. “Well, the match to the kindling is being provided by our noble president. He is inciting people to revolt,” he said on “The 700 Club.”
As the objectives of the Occupy Wall Street uprising are not clearly defined, different Christian leaders have taken different views of the protests. Some fear that the protests could be co-opted by the Democrats.
Earlier this month, the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, urged religious leaders to get involved in the Occupy Wall Street to give it a direction. “One of the things I am convinced of is that faith has a role to play in the leadership of these movements,” he told The Christian Post. That role, he said, is one of moral and ethical authority. He observed that there is no discipline in the framework of the OWS protests.
Nelson said he could identify with the frustrations of the protesters. “There are people who are angry because they may not be able to go to school ... angry because they have been locked out and left out for years.” However, he feared that without proper leadership and focus, the protesters might descend into violence.
However, the president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy Mark Tooley has said the Occupy Wall Street has nothing to do with Christianity. The “Religious Left” has heaped too much praise on those whose “demands range from cancellation of all debt, open borders, government control of health care and free college education, among other expansions of Big Government,” he said in a statement.