I've been careful not to speak up too much about the occupy movement because I've been trying to maintain a posture of listening. Well, I've listened at least enough to say that it definitely gives me hope. Whatever mistakes are being made by some of the protesters, as a follower of the crucified Nazarene, Jesus, I am encouraged by the stand against injustice and greed. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer and the system as we know it has been extremely effective at protecting this income gap and even marketing it, making it look attractive, to those who benefit nothing from its unjust distributive methods. I've been amazed to hear some of the negative feedback concerning the occupy movement, some even calling for its end due to the mistakes and irresponsibility of a small minority of protesters. But what else has been so effective at placing blame where it belongs, on wall street rather than Washington? Now of course Washington has issues, tons of them. And our government definitely shares a bed with our economic system. But when it comes the the economic struggles of our current context, the corporations and the greed of the economic powerhouses of this country have skated by under remarkably little scrutiny.
It's not that the rich are evil, it's not that it's bad to make a lot of money. But the system should cater less to the few who have the most, and more to the few who have the least. God shares identity and stands with those on the underside of society, so should God's church. And the church should prophetically challenge the powers that be toward a system that reflects the reign of God while simultaneously embodying just such an alternative. Should the church be participating in the occupy movement? Well, that may be a different question, but we should learn from it and support it.
"There's nothing wrong with making a lot of money, there's something wrong with keeping it." -Tony Campolo