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Thats my opinion's Journal
Posted by Thats my opinion in Religion/Theology
Sun Oct 16th 2011, 08:37 PM

I recently spent time at the Los Angeles City Hall with a few thousand turned-on people; the 99% who are not among the nation’s super-wealthy. About two-thirds of those assembled were young adults. Others were clearly older middle class liberals, including a sizeable collection of families with children. The first man I encountered sheepishly admitted being a CPA. His beef? While the bankers and the corporations are skimming off the cream, the rest of society is being hung out to dry. “Unemployment, houses under water, no health insurance” were among his concerns. “Something,” he said, “is very wrong with the system. It’s loaded in favor of the already affluent.” I next encountered a man whose sign read. “If a real-estate agent is here, the situation must be serious.”

There were a variety of issues discussed and scores of workshops held throughout the day. “Corporations are not people” seemed to dominant much of the signage. This was not a slovenly mob. I didn’t see a single piece of trash on the ground anywhere. While food, clothing and other incidentals were being distributed by whomever had brought them, nothing was being sold.

Police were in the vicinity, but none on the grounds. I saw one officer outside the encampment getting his picture taken holding one of the protester’s signs. While a small group called for revolution, the organizers had done everything possible to eliminate even the threat of violence.

Groups of local university professors had their own areas, and there was a smattering whose symbols suggested that religion had formed their perspective. The only overt religious act I witnessed was by a couple of Muslims who silently stopped for prayers at the appointed hour. There was no evidence that anybody was selling religion or stickling it in anyone’s face. A few days before, the Rev. George Regis, a well-known Episcopal priest, was arrested wearing his full ecclesial robes. I’m not sure just what he had done, but he wanted people to know that the church was in support.

Having been in a ton of such demonstrations, I was impressed by the careful discipline in how this one was being conducted. Such events are not new. The earliest one I know about was not as quiet and non-violent as what I recently experienced. It also had to do with an obscene example of capitalist economics. “Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords he drove all of them out…He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. (John 2:13-15)

Nobody seems certain as to where these nation-wide events are headed. Certainly the time will come when the focus must be involved in the political debate. But the pure democracy evidenced doesn’t produce clear directions quickly.

Certainly many others in this forum have been to similar actions around the country. Let’s compare notes.
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