You know #OccupyWallStreet is preoccupying the conservatives when Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council feels he has make the convoluted argument that “Jesus was a free marketer, not an Occupier.”
Except, of course, Jesus was an Occupier. Jesus occupied the biggest bank in Jerusalem, calling it a “Den of Thieves.” He threw the money-changers out. “Then Jesus entered the Temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the Temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers. . .” (Matthew 21:12)
The Temple in Jerusalem was a powerful national treasury in Jesus time, in effect the biggest bank. The Temple got rich from collecting the temple tax from the pilgrims who came during Passover. These pilgrims would bring their monetary offerings in their own coinage, and the brokers in the Temple would “exchange” their money at a high rate of exchange. The Temple accumulated great wealth this way, and the great wealth did not sit idle. The bank lent the money it collected at very high interest rates, contributing to the tremendous poverty in Jerusalem during Jesus’ time.