For the moment at least, the custodians of St Paul's seem to have backed down. In a mildly comic inversion, the dean has carted himself off while the protestors could stay put until 2012. Even so, the cathedral staff can take comfort from the fact that the demonstrators are camped down peacefully outside their sacred building, whereas their own master was far less well behaved. Rather than squat down with a placard outside the Jerusalem temple, he staged his protest within its walls, and it was a violent rather than peaceful one.
The fracas Jesus created in this holiest of places, driving out the money changers and overturning their tables, was probably enough to get him executed. To strike at the temple was to strike at the heart of Judaism. This itinerant upstart with a country-bumpkin background was issuing a direct challenge to the authority of the high priests. Even some of his comrades would probably have seen this astonishing act of defiance as nothing short of sacrilegious.
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