NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When the bronze lid of the baptismal font disappeared from the West Park Presbyterian Church on W. 86th Street, Rev. Robert Brashear confronted the nearly 60 Occupy Wall Street protesters who’d been sleeping there.

“I, in my upset, talked about the fact that even in the 1980s when we had a lot of crack addicts etc. in the neighborhood, and even robbing people in the church, that particular religious symbol had never really been disturbed before,” Brashear said.

“I tried to make clear that I don’t believe in collective punishment but I do believe in collective accountability and responsibility,” he added.

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Brashear gave them 24 hours to come up with a response.

They agreed to find other places to stay within two weeks, and to find an artisan who can make a replacement for the sacred piece if they don’t find it.

“Which I think would be a beautiful solution if that would come about,” said Brashear.

The pastor says he still supports the protest.

“I don’t think you can blame the movement for not being able to deal with the issues of people that our culture and society has not been able to deal with, either” he said.

In the first week the group was there, his computer also went missing. The group promised to reimburse him.

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Comments (22)
  1. anna yamadaq says:

    the west park presbyterian church working group needs 2 dozen rolls of toilet paper,
    liquid hand soap bottles (at least 10),
    lysol all-surface lemon-scented disenfactant liqid for floor cleaning and bathroom cleaning

    scrub brushes for floors on sticks,
    mops and sponge mops,

    a rented sander, gallons of excellent-quaqlity (thomas’s or baer’s) tinted polyeurothane,
    clean rags to wipe sand and grit from floor to be refinished),
    staple remover,

    several 5-lb bags of sugar for coffee, paper cups for coffee,
    sweet and low for cofee, plastic spoons and stirrers for coffee, cremora and/or milk and/or silk for coffee

    medics to stay overnite to do walk-arounds and

    an army of social workers and a wifi-connected computer to expedite people getting
    teh id’s they need to apply for or to get back onto medicaid, ssi, ssdi, medicare, foodstamps and
    to put in for supportive housing applications and to make appointments

    (st.marks institute of psychotherapy is very competent at helping in these situations at 57 st.marks place on east 8th street betwween 1st and 2nd aves)

    must have medicaid and ask for “intake appointement” .
    they are also licensed to handle probation and parole issues and are very good at helping people
    apply for and secure supportive housing and also do outpatient detox and get stabilized on psych meds.

    also west park needs kotex, tampons, condoms, and mouth dams.

    also west park needs help and skills of a plumber, electrician, architect, contractor, etc.

    frank morales and eric rossi–come hither now!
    big bertha has a gem of a restoration project and money available thru grantmanship to get it done
    but plans and aplications must be put in soon. a gem of a cultural and artistic center could be.
    gorgeous. just needs some squatter labor and materials and organizational prowess to orchestrate the renovations.

    smart kids who could stand to learn skills. bring toilet paper and sanitary supplies stat!

    as listed above. between 8:30 pm and 12:00 am

    at the church’s side entrance at 165 west 86th street between amsterdam and columbus aves
    (every little bit helps bigtime)!!!!!.

    also volunteer your labor and skills in the am to help with cleanup or cookies and goffee or/and

    bring rolling tobacco (avail for $3.50 per pack of something thunder red at 90th and amsterdam tobacco kiosk).

    bring doggies to greet evil santa puppy
    as she has grown used to sniffing butts of miscellaneous and new friends and
    getting ear scritching and butt-scritches at the hands of equally affection-deprived biped occupiers at the
    west park church.
    ( west park ows synod perhaps? working group? lacodaisical group? anti-working group? doggie-scritching lovefest orgy working grope?)

    um, yeah, sanitary supplies and sugar for the goffe and tobacco for the bipeds. um yeah, and medics overnite. stat!

    1. The Realist says:

      The “Occupy” CORPORATION has taken in well over $20 MILLION thus far, consisting of direct donations PLUS all the costs incurred by local and state governments and property owners due to the protests. (Yes, that counts as income to O.W.S. for tax purposes.) Maybe the “Occupy” Corporation should spend less money on bonuses for its top executives and more on basic supplies for its highly skilled staff of professional protesters.

  2. None Of Your Business says:

    The Occupy Wall Street group are a bunch of obnoxious, self-righteous, arrogant bums. They think they have the right to move in on whatever area they want, take it over for themselves and camp out forever, disrupting peoples’ lives and polluting with their noise and filth and garbage. They have accomplished absolutely nothing. Wall Street is not going to change its ways because a bunch of arrogant cretins are camping out in a park.

  3. Diane says:

    Great picture

  4. Not a OWS er says:

    Sure,this is sad ,but wealthy religious Institutions have been enjoying a tax free status (really as a business )for years . Who is ripping off who?

    1. joe thomas says:

      are you suggesting that stealing is OK? That stealing from a church is OK?

    2. Lynnie says:

      Religious institutions enjoy a tax-free status because they comply with IRS regulations; who gets to rip off the IRS?
      Beyond that, contributions are used to support missions work and other non-profit groups locally (soup kitchens, homeless shelters, afterschool programs), nationally (disaster relief, halfway houses) and internationally (digging wells, orphan relief, refugee camps).
      There are some fraudulent “churches” that aren’t as benevolent to others as they are to their own personal pockets and so it is left to the churchgoer to decide if that’s where they wish to donate their money. That’s really the constitutional protection in the freedom of religion: no one is forced to go to a centralized church or give it money but anyone has the right to choose where to do so.

  5. Lol says:

    Lol. Like I always say ” a liberal is a someone who hasn’t been robbed yet” .

  6. John says:

    I learned that most mini baptismal pools are only considered to be a moistening rather than an immersion with christ and at this baby age its for our parents conscience when we get old enough to co9mmit sacrilege its our turn for a mature baptism.As far as the movement i knew it was a good intention but going soft especially when americans were being handled violently.when the move is nationwide than the flames are suppressed by the subways t6he way brass is fetching 2 plus dollars at the scrap yard let alone a pawnshop bring it back dog.

  7. liz says:

    Oh gee, what a surprise, who would have thought something like this!!!!!!!

  8. The Realist says:

    So now the “Occupy” CORPORATION’s business plan includes having its employees steal from churches. What wil they stoop to next?

  9. Whys says:

    The movement is kind of degenerating as the majority of serious minded protesters realize that it alone no longer likely represents a path to renewed democratic representation. Occupy made for a good water shed event that focused attention on our societies vast economic inequity and the corrupting influence it has on our government. Those that want change are finding more capable venues while those with little direction and nothing to lose are sullying Occupy’s name.

    1. Mike James says:

      It is impossible to sully Occupy’s name. Occupy’s name stinks.

  10. Don Giovanni says:

    How do you know it was one of the OWS? It may of been one of the “observers.”

    1. Glenn Ferro says:

      Sure, and it might have been Bigfoot, too.

  11. Wayne Kerr says:

    Lie down with dogs, ya might just stand up with fleas.

  12. instigator says:

    nothing like biting the hand that feeds you….slime

  13. claire says:

    c’mon they are very selfish people….taking advantage of very caring people..obviously no morals or conscience…..just ” me first” there are probably some very nice people in the bunch, but the rest must be rotten

  14. ziv says:

    The problem is that OWS has more than its share of thieves and rapists.

  15. Nick says:

    The problem is it isn’t only “one bad egg”, it’s many bad things going on in many places. In addition to the destruction here, they peed on a cross in another church that took them in. Rabbi Chaim Gruber who had been protesting left and called them out on their violence and reluctance of others to stop the violent ones in OWS, This violence included threatening him.

  16. Ashley says:

    All it takes is one bad egg to spooil a generous thing. Serious kudos to the pastor for recognizing that society shares the same problems as Occupy’s miniature society — even as a victim himself.

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