It started as most age-defining movements do, somewhere in the wind. Some unrest, some recognition of what is right and wrong. Some people willing to take a stand against rampant injustice. And then some more people join. And then some more. Next time we look it is in another city, then another country. Sweeping across the globe the civil unrest known as Occupy Wall Street has started to capture the attention of everyone, despite the attempts of the machine and their media conglomeration to pooh-pooh it, discredit it, and lie about it.
You have to realize that there is a cabal of ultra-powerful people that control the vast majority of wealth in this world and in particular this country. They have fed us fat on American Idol while they tampered with voting rights, stole elections, repealed sensible regulations designed to protect us, and enacted laws while shipping jobs overseas with a specific goal in mind. That goal is the redistribution of wealth and consolidation of power to the 1-2% elite while squeezing the once proud middle class into the new working poor caste. You can already hear the screams of "class warfare!" Absolutely but I didn't start the war, they did. You have to understand that the ones screaming class warfare the loudest are the ones who are waging the war. Their goal is not an even America. It is not a fair America. It is an America essentially of two classes. One George Bush once referred to as "his base" and the other is the rest of us -- which is now becoming known as the 99.
I think when the OWS movement first started it didn't register with the power elite. They probably misunderstood the outrage. In their arrogance, they could not imagine that people had caught on to the scheme. But as it has grown to pandemic levels, they are faced with a need to marginalize the movement until such a time that the people simply go home in frustration. They tried to ignore them at first and the movement grew. They tried to intimidate them by sending in their police squads in full riot gear with pepper spray but that backfired on them too as it only served to garner more sympathy for the cause. Next up was an attempt to mock the group and pretend they were somehow uneducated and clueless about why they were protesting at all. Armed with the talking points the fake media machine went into action only to find that in the age of the Internet, the truth is more difficult to contain. Turns out the group did know why they were protesting. If you want it simplified. They do not think that they should have to go into hock for $100,000 to get a Bachelors Degree only to be offered jobs that require a paper hat when they get out. They do not think that billionaires with golden parachutes should get bailed out while their parents get evicted. They do not think that 1% of the population should control 98% of the wealth in this country -- and they are right.
The next step, which is still in action now, is to try and discredit the movement. They have sent infiltrators in -- people pretending to part of the movement -- but only really there to cause trouble and thus make the movement look bad. The fake media machine has their new marching orders and talking points and is beating the drum of how the protesters are unruly, lawbreaking, urinating in public places, having sex in the open, doing drugs, breaking the law, and recently alleged to be anti-Semitic! Anything to try and pull support away from them. Just throw a bunch of stuff up against the wall and see what sticks.
But the 1% always has one glaring problem in trying to control the 99 and that is that they are severely outnumbered. So their efforts must always center on trying to co-opt portions of the 99 to their side. One of the easiest targets they always find is my brethren, the Christians. Recently, I have read several articles by Christian authors siding with the 1% and demonizing the 99. While I have faith that this is merely politics infecting Christianity again, I find it troubling that even well intended Christians can turn our Lord and Savior into a Corporate CEO on a whim. So what would Jesus protest?
Would Jesus protest merciless treatment of the neediest people? He already has:
Then, with the crowds listening, he turned to his disciples and said, "Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished." -- Luke 20: 45-47 (NLT)
In fact, throughout the Bible the number one theme after salvation is taking care of the least in society. It always amazes me that we can dismiss evolution yet embrace social Darwinism so readily. The Old Testament prophetic books are rife with stories about how Israel had grown cold toward God and toward the needy. God's answer was never -- get a job! Now I know that some of the Christian writers I have seen are apparently in love with verse that says a man who will not work shall not eat but they avoid the remaining context of that verse:
Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: "Those unwilling to work will not get to eat." Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people's business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. Take note of those who refuse to obey what we say in this letter. Stay away from them so they will be ashamed. Don't think of them as enemies, but warn them as you would a brother or sister. -- 2Thessalonians 3: 10-15 (NLT)
The context reveals that these verses do not apply to the OWS people. These verses deal with people who do not want to work. The people protesting want to work, that is why they are protesting! They are not protesting so that the government can exempt them from working. You may be of the opinion that they are "lazy" or somehow not trying hard enough but I actually try to help people find work for a living and I can attest to how brutal it is out there. The true unemployment rate is probably closer to 20%. The jobs being offered are simply not enough to live on, come with no health insurance, and are often temporary or under hours. The other truth revealed from the context of these verses however is how WE should act. The Apostle Paul does not say that we should treat these people with contempt, lie about them, or sneer at them. He says we should treat them not as enemies but warn them as if they were a brother or sister. It says never tire of doing GOOD. But the bash OWS crowd seems to never tire of pointing their fingers and criticizing. Here is the Word of the Lord:
I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them! When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. -- Isaiah 1: 14-17 (NLT)
The churchians are pretty good and the pomp and circumstance of celebrations and festivals. They have no problem lifting up hands in pseudo-piety. What God is saying here is to check your hands before raising them to Him to see whose blood you have on them. Give up your sins. Learn to do good. And then what does the Lord say is doing good? Seeking justice. Helping the oppressed. Defending the cause and fighting for the rights of the needy. Do you still think Jesus would be on Sean Hannity's great American panel? If you honestly think that there is no injustice in our current system then forget your soul, you have no heart. If you honestly do not believe that there is oppression for the lowest in our society today then I advise you to stop watching Fox News. There is a world out there and it is hurting.
Even the fledgling Christian church in the Book of Acts made sure everyone was taken care of:
All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God's great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. -- Acts 4: 32-35 (NLT)
Gosh, that sounds downright socialist! Gasp! The people at OWS don't want socialism, they want social justice. They want the same thing God speaks about throughout the entire Bible. They want the same thing Jesus taught about. Once Christ told a parable about the Good Samaritan. Most of us know the story. A man is mugged essentially and left for dead on the street. He is passed over by a Temple Assistant and a Priest. But a Samaritan stopped and helped him, bandaged him, and paid for him to recover at a nearby inn. But the context of this parable is the point. Jesus told it because He was asked the question -- "who is my neighbor?" The Samaritan was chosen as the hero of this story by Jesus because there was much hatred towards them by the Jewish people then. Who is my neighbor I think is the question we need to ask ourselves today as well. We need to ask it when we hear the hate merchants on TV and radio trying to stir up our darker side. We need to ask it when we think that we know the motives of people we never even met. We need to ask it when we start to use God to defend things He obviously would never defend. Jesus finishes the Parable of the Good Samaritan with these words:
"Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?" Jesus asked. The man replied, "The one who showed him mercy." Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same." -- Luke 10: 36-37 (NLT)
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