JERUSALEM — 10 Nisan 3791 — For the second time in as many years, protesters have sacked the nation’s most sacred historic and religious site, damaging and vandalizing a great deal of property and unleashing a string of violent interactions with the authorities, who have said some incidents of looting have also been reported.
Religious leaders and local law enforcement are condemning the protesters and its organizer, a long-haired hippie named Jesus from a small town in Galilee.
“There is absolutely no excuse for the damage caused to the temple and the ways in which Jesus and his unruly mob of followers intimidated peaceful business people,” a spokesperson in the office of Pontius Pilate said in a late-day press conference. “The Judaean prefect’s office has made it clear that it will not tolerate violence from those who gather in the city this week.”
The latest incident at the temple is the second time Jesus and his followers have targeted the site, continuing a long civil unrest from those who object to the government’s continued violence against ethnic and religious minorities and an economic policy protesters claim benefits only the wealthy.
Many of the city’s aristocrats, property owners and business representatives have been bitterly critical of the ongoing protests. Many say the protests have disrupted their usual commerce and trade. Others had also objected to the Jesus movement’s blocking of the main road into the city the day before.
“I was on my way to visit my sister,” said Lucretius Livius*. “We had planned on going out to dinner and then going shopping to prepare for the upcoming holiday. It was so sad seeing so much damage down in and around the temple, and we couldn’t buy what we needed because the store had been shut down in anticipation of further protests. It is all very frustrating. Why can’t they just organize peacefully or go atop that mount over there and preach to each other or something? We haven’t done anything to them.”
Today’s incident at the temple began when the Jesus movement followers entered the holy site. It had begun peacefully, but Jesus unexpectedly began damaging business equipment and retail goods. Jesus then took a bullwhip and drove many of the businessmen out of the temple. There were some reports of looted doves following the incident.
Pilate’s office has said they have been receiving angry parchment notes from the city’s religious and political elite, many of whom say they want Jesus tried and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for his repeated insurrections and failure to obey authority.
There are rumors — some addressed by Jesus himself — that the movement might ultimately lead to his death at the hands of local or national law enforcement.
It remains to be seen whether today’s latest violent outbursts will have any lasting impact on the nation’s continued political debates.
* Not a real name, but oh so packed with meaning: Lucretius, possibly from Latin lucrum “profit, wealth”; Livius, Roman family name which may be related to either Latin liveo “to envy” or lividus “blue, envious.” (src)
Bury Parish Church, Saint Mary the Virgin, during Christmas. Located in Bury, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom.
Mdbeckwith, via Wikipedia.
Licensed CC BY-SA 3.0.