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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Occupy


There is a lot I do not understand about the Occupy movement. That fact is more to my embarrassment than to my credit, since I really haven’t taken the time to understand. In fact, most of what I know about Occupy, I learned from watching the morning news. Since Western news media is arguably pretty closely aligned with the status quo, it cannot necessarily be seen as an unbiased source of information, can it? But since I have never personally gone to check things out at any of the parks myself, I have accepted it as the only source available.

Early on, there was a lot written about the unclear goals of the movement. Perhaps these can now be summarized as a desire to create a dialogue towards achieving better balance within the economic system. This has been characterized as a need for less economic disparity between the 1% who are super-rich and the 99% who are not. While that may be a fair representation in many parts of the world, it does not take into consideration the relative comfort of the middle class in Canada and some other Western countries. Therein lies the reason why I, and many like me, have not taken the time to really understand what is at the heart of this movement.

If that insight needs further explanation, it would be as follows. My life is comfortable. That results in less urgency for me to understand the real need for change to benefit those whose life is not at all comfortable. In other words, because of the self-interest of the middle class, including the Christian middle class, we have allowed our allegiance to be aligned with the status quo. The Occupy movement, on the other hand, has aligned itself with the poor. Wasn’t that supposed to be our job? Is Jesus now to be found in a tent in a park somewhere instead of a nice, warm, dry church?

There have been reports that some Occupy tents had been adopted by homeless people and drug addicts. While these reports may have been circulated to discredit the movement initially, I am thinking that is a good thing. Apparently the Occupiers have enough compassion to include and care for the most vulnerable in our society. Can we in our churches say the same?

Since the tents have now been removed from most of the parks, the Occupy movement must now find a new way of drawing to our attention the need for change. Are we now ready to pay attention?



As always, your comments on this post are welcome.

Carman

2 comments:

  1. Hi Carman:

    I like you have not paid enough attention to this movement, partly for the reasons you have stated and also for a report that was put out by a reporter in London who tried to move in with the people in the park in London. His intention was to find out what issues and reasons for their occupation directly from the tent dwellers. He seemed genuine in his attempt. The result was that he was not accepted or made to feel that he was welcome at any level and ended up not staying for the night he had planned. He came away with the feeling that occupy was for a certain culture and he was not part of it? This made me somewhat confused as he also said there seemed to be a fairly strong usage of drugs. Again I was wondering if he was really trying to find info or if he was trying to detract from what they were trying to do?

    Lately I have been intrigued by the main stream middle class people that have written in support and are seemingly becoming more involved and at least attempting to give credibility to what they perceive the issue of imbalance in societal wealth distribution tied to the economic woes of today. I think we as a church should become more educated on this movement but also understand that the definition of what is happening seems to be very vague. Are we called to understand or to stand for injustice?

    Many questions and if there is more information on this movement from someone that has been involved, I for one would like to become more educated.

    Everything seems to be good until someone stands up and asks for the reason for the different standard of treatment for those that have less.

    God bless those that care,

    Paul

    ReplyDelete
  2. Paul,

    Thank you for responding with your thoughts in a public way. You are the first.

    My original intent in this post was less about the need for us to support the occupy movement and more about the need to think about what it means, and what it says to and about us. I agree that reporters have had trouble figuring out what Occupy is all about. I find it curious (suspect may be a better word) that reporters can so quickly interpret a demonstration in Indonesia, Syria or Pakistan, but be so puzzled that one should happen here.

    By including and caring for homeless people and drug addicts, the "99ers" appear to be doing something we each agree should be done, but which I at least never seem to get around to actually doing. If Community of Christ is to be effective in abolishing poverty and ending suffering, then we need to take action, preferably as a community. The occupiers are doing that. Whether or not they will be successful remains to be seen. They did not reach critical mass early. That means it will need to be a long-term effort.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this Paul

    ReplyDelete