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My Take: Occupy Wall Street looks like church to me
Protest Chaplains Robin Lutjohann, left, and Michael Zahniser take part in an Occupy Boston march September 30.
October 7th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

My Take: Occupy Wall Street looks like church to me

Editor's note: Marisa Egerstrom is a Ph.D. candidate studying American religious history at Harvard University. As a member of the Boston-based group Protest Chaplains, she has been involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and Boston. She is an Episcopalian.

By Marisa Egerstrom, Special to CNN

In the movement that's making campgrounds out of city squares across America, it might seem there's little religion happening. But Occupy Wall Street, and its local offshoots springing up everywhere from Boston to L.A., has described itself more clearly in the language of “soul” than in the language of federal financial regulation policy.

That’s because, at its heart, the Occupy movement is about creating a democratic society in which everyone matters, there is dignity in working together across differences, and there is enough for everyone. Is this vision tantamount to socialism? No. Once upon a time, we called this “American.”

It also sounds pretty Christian to me. What the early Apostles called “The Way” was a vision for peaceful living that built on Christ’s teaching, life, death and resurrection. The Way repudiates the pursuit of individual wealth in favor of building communities that care for the marginalized, the desperate and the powerless. Jesus demonstrated this by healing lepers and dining with prostitutes and tax collectors.

This is not to say that American democracy is synonymous with Christianity, nor to argue that it should be. Understanding what’s happening in these protests, though, requires that we quit impatiently insisting on a list of demands and listen for what the Occupy movement is saying. The US Day of Rage website, one organizational hub for the protests, says we’re “fighting a war for the soul of our nation.” Such language is unmistakably religious and reveals how deeply this popular discontent reaches.

The consistent message emerging from the protests against the concentration of wealth in the hands of 1% of Americans is this: We are the 99%, and we intend to chase the corrupt moneylenders out of a democracy created for the people. It’s a vision of inclusivity and participatory government that confuses pundits and politicians alike, because this movement is more about being for a way of living than it is against anybody or any group. It’s the thing Christianity talks about but often has a hard time doing. It’s a new politics fighting to restore the vision of equality laid out in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the checks and balances so brilliantly constructed in our Constitution.

Critics have derided the protesters with the usual rehearsal of slurs: spoiled kids, lazy hippies and so on. But the occupiers don’t want your money or your stuff. In this entitled era of “Have it Your Way” and overwhelming consumer choice, spend any time listening to people speaking about their grief and hope, and you hear a groan of longing for a different way of living. “I want less,” a friend told me once. “Less of everything.” She wasn’t talking about wanting to be poor. She just wants real life.

Protest Chaplains Heather Pritchard, foreground, Sarah King and Nicholas Hayes in New York on September 17.

Jesus teaches that in return for having less, we get more. More life, not more stuff. The little experiments in community arising in cities across the United States in the Occupy movement are revealing how much there is in “less.” For many, “less” is not a choice. The Boston camp is full of people who have lost homes to foreclosure, whose unemployment applications have gone unprocessed for weeks and whose retirements have been absorbed by the banks.

Yet in the music, conversations, meetings and daily work that come with running a community, there is a profound sense of abundance. A delivery of dry blankets and towels is met with cheers. Trained medics volunteer their skills to treat injuries and illness. The food station is “loaves and fishes” in action: There is always more than enough to eat, and homeless folks eat side by side with lawyers and students off of donated plates. There is always meaningful work to be done. It’s not charity. It’s cooperation. It’s The Way, and it’s happening right now. The Occupation is the church your church wants to be.

I’m with a group called the Protest Chaplains, and we have spent time at the New York and Boston protests, tending to the spiritual needs of protesters. We’ve found no shortage of work to do. Over and over, I hear the chaplains saying they’ve never had such an opportunity to put their faith into action. Coming from a mix of mainline and evangelical backgrounds, we’ve set up an interfaith spirituality tent in Boston where protesters are constantly meditating, leading workshops and holding services in Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist and other traditions. Just as in The Way, it turns out that ideology and theology matter less than what we do. And it’s bringing us all new life.

For Christians, the Occupy movement amounts to an invitation from people outside of the church to join them in prophetic witness to the failure of a hyperindividualistic consumerist society. Will Christians find the humility to accept the welcome and join? Or will we fail to recognize The Way in what’s happening in this movement simply because it doesn’t speak Christianese? Could it be that open-hearted participation in this growing experiment in abundant life is exactly what the church needs to recover its own sense of vitality and mission? As Jesus said, “Come and see.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Opinion • Protest

« Previous entry
soundoff (769 Responses)
  1. bluemax77

    The first mistake is thinking that religion has anything to do with morality – It doesn’t...!!

    October 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Andrew

      It's certainly possible to have morality without religion, but to say religion has nothing to do with morality is either ignorant or (more likely) intentionally insulting. Respect people who are different from you.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • bluemax77

      It’s intentionally insulting but true none-the-less...

      October 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
  2. Rami

    So much for hope. Now they got involve with this. Leave it alone.. no more Christianity crap. You are destroying the world with your stupid believes. Enough.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • dudley0418

      What are your beliefs?

      October 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Barbara Nichols

      ...and what morals do you live by, Rami?

      October 7, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Barbara Nichols

      Very insightful! GREAT ARTICLE!

      October 7, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  3. Da Yooper

    The whole thing looks to be a bunch of anarchists with no real agenda!!

    October 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • rizzo

      Oh no a group of people that has a good point but no specific agenda. My American background teaches me that the only worthwhile people are ones with an agenda that I can judge against a different agenda so I'm sure I'll be on the winning side and be #1. My poor mind is threatened by having to think of things arglebargle!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  4. Moron

    And have a GOOD LOOK at CNN The Liberal Blog for the Left!

    Look how CNN SUPPORTS the liberal cause, page after page about this worthless movement, barely a scratch on Tea Party or real issues.

    Worthless CNN BLOG. Libs you aint foolin no one but yourselves.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

      I just got the sudden urge to go to the fox news website and put up posts of a leftist nature.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Moron

      By all means go do! At least they are covering your worthless movement like they cover anything newsworthy.

      The just don't offer teet to their base to suck on for comfort like CNN does.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • rizzo

      Yeah no dude, all they're doing is insulting these protesters, I've seen it. If you think CNN is liberal than the wool has been pulled over your eyes...maybe start getting your info somewhere other than Fox.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • glyder

      like too many churches,this chick is a false prophet.look at who supports these protests.communists.bite that reporter girl.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • MaybeAgnosticMaybeNot

      So basically, you go to website you hate to complain about it.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Chris

      But you are reading it, and also taking the time to answer on this blog

      October 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Moron

      Wake up Rizzo, if I didn't expect it I'd be stunned by your ignorance.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • rizzo

      So since any mention that I've seen on Fox is always in the vein of 'worthless hippies', 'pinko commies', 'smelly teenagers', I'm the one that is ignorant? I didn't even think people seriously said 'pinko commies' anymore since it's not 1955, but there ya go, Fox News, they'll point out who the pink commies are!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  5. TheTruth72

    Christians have been telling the world over the last few years that these riots and protests would happen. It's all prophesied in the Bible. If you don't believe me, you will find Christians on YouTube sharing their visions, dreams, and flat out prophesying these things. I'm serious. It's no joking matter. They aren't sharing this with you because they enjoy it. They would rather stay out of the lime light, but they must share it to obey God. Some of you will probably not understand.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  6. Moron

    Look at Tea party protests vs you losers. You OW are like rampant monkeys without respect to anyone.

    You MORON.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • petercha

      Right on!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • rizzo

      Yeah I'll listen to the guy who resorts to name calling, great way to express your argument there guy.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Moron

      I have no problem coming down to the level of Liberals,.

      Idiot talk and fisticuffs seems to be the only thing you guys respond to. And you guys claim to be so smart...

      October 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • rizzo

      Yet once again you're the only person here calling anyone names and threatening violence. The intent of your statements does not correlate with the words you are using to make them.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Rizzo

      lol threatening violence? Wow dude could you be more stupid? Quote it, cause when you can't you'll admit you are a moron.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • rizzo

      @Moron:
      A: rizzo is my name, not yours guy.
      B: "fisticuffs seems to be the only thing you guys respond to"...that means to me that you think you need to use violence(and insults) instead of rational discussion to talk to anyone whose beliefs differ from yours. I'm sorry that people who think differently from you scare you so much, but we're here, so it's probably better for everyone if you get used to that idea instead of using insults and 'fisticuffs'.

      BTW if it devolves to 'fisticuffs', can I appoint my second to fight since I'm a pacifist? I promise that he will stick strictly to the Marques of Queensbury rules.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  7. Texanonymouse

    I don't think you can call something "Day of Rage" and equate that to Christianity, can you?

    October 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • petercha

      You have a solid point there, Texan.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • rizzo

      Yeah, you can. Jesus was pretty full of rage when he kicked the money changers from the temple. It's cool to be angry at the people who screw over you and everyone you know, as long as you don't resort to actual violence against people to solve the problem.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • davetharave

      The Crusades were kind of rageful.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  8. TheTruth72

    It's great that these people are out there. More people will hear the message. Let's hope they accept it as well.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  9. Johnson

    Give me a break!! No way is this Christian....it is more being humane. The Tea Party are the Christian fanatics who hate everyone who doesn't believe as they do and think all who don't accept Jesus will go the hot place. I just hope the Wall Street crowd can get their act together, organize and have some sort of leadership.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Alex

      I don't necessarily agree. I feel this message is far more Christian then the tea party. That doesn't mean all the protestors are religious, but it's far more in line with Jesus's true message of helping those in need and loving everyone.

      And while I don't feel this protestors are promoting anything but democracy, if Jesus were alive today, he'd totally be a socialist.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • senoy

      I think that she looks at this as a religious scholar and you look at it as a product of a secular society. What the west describes as 'humane' is the product of two millenia of Christian values. There is not an inherent global agreement that humanity is equal and deserves a shared piece of the pie. This is in many ways a western concept that is in many ways crafted by the Christian faith and then taken by the Enlightenment and turned into a secular political philosophy.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • TheTruth72

      Alex, He is alive today. He did rise from the dead after 3 days. But, I realize what you meant was if He was living in the flesh on earth today. You actually would probably find Him in the slums helping and healing the poor and sick. He wouldn't be wasting His time with a protest like this.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  10. petercha

    Anything liberal does NOT look at all like church to me.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • rizzo

      See, this is what I'm talking about. CHRIST WAS A LIBERAL!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Busted

      Exactly, that's becasue the family research council hasn't told you that Jesus helped the poor. The only christian you'll ever do in your life is pass judgment on others

      October 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Johnson

      Jesus certainly was a Liberal and probably feels pity for the fundamentalists who use his name for their sordid opinions.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Rob

      Help the Poor?

      Care for the Sick?

      Wealth is not the path to heaven?

      Clearly Jesus was a Godless, Socialist, who was only out to destroy the Free Market, Capitalism and the Free Market!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Moron

      The difference is you libs don't wanna sow seeds, you just wanna reap the seeds of others for your 'cause'.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • rizzo

      Not sure what your 'sowing seeds' rant is about exactly, but I'd gladly pay more taxes if it meant that the poor and sick were helped and I try to donate as much as I can to good causes. So who am I trying to get free money from again?

      October 7, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Moron

      If that's the case rizzo, then you should rethink who you are siding with.

      If you care a whit about the poor then help them, don't enable them.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • rizzo

      Ah yes, the Welfare Queen thing. I'm sure facts and statistics won't change your mind there, so I'll just say that I do volunteer and donate when I have time and money. I've heard this 'don't enable the poor, help them' thing many times, but it's never followed by the difference between helping and enabling so it's hard to not do the enabling. Is serving soup in a kitchen helping or enabling? I often wonder "Will this homeless guy who smells like a dumpster not take a job just so he can get more of my sweet sweet free soup and the chance at getting shanked tonight?". Can you help me here at all?

      October 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  11. Steve

    Jerry meant socialism or communism instead of fascism.

    October 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • rizzo

      Maybe you should get some education about what socialism, communism and fascism actually are before you post comments like that on the internet...here's a hint: socialism and communism are not the same thing.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Jeff

      I agree rizzo. I wish people would stop using those terms interchangeably, because they aren't. Not to mention NONE of them actually apply to what is going on in this country.

      October 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  12. ch

    Hmm I believe we are to ovey the laws of the goverment< that God has placed over us, unless they contradict the Bible. Paying taxes does not contradict the Bible, people getting wealthy does not, "is is the love of money" not having money that is the sin

    October 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • rizzo

      Ah so the whole part about a camel passing through the eye of a needle before a rich man enters the kingdom of heaven is that part of the Bible you just like to kinda ignore? No matter what your 'god wants you to be rich and the poor are only poor because they're lazy and god hates them' modern churches tell you, you are wrong, friend. Read the New Testament a bit closer, please.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • rizzo

      Also it does so happen that charging interest(usury) is against Biblical teachings, and that every 50 years there was this thing called Jubilee when everyones debts were forgiven...humm...maybe this 'following Biblical laws' thing is a good idea....

      October 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • petercha

      Good point, ch.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • rizzo

      No, petercha, it's a false point. It actually is the having money part that is the sin...strictly following what Christ says about having money and possessions in the Bible, a real Christian should pretty much be giving all of his/her money/possessions/whatever to the poor.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • Mark

      ch...

      Sounds like Rizzo is neck deep in debt and could use a little "bail out" from Uncle Sam.

      Rizzo, do the rest of us a favor, pay your credit card bils, and don't by a house you can't afford. Oh yeah, and one other thing...know what the h-ll your talking about BEFORE you open your mouth.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • ch

      @Rizzo
      thanks for making my point the problem for the rich young ruler was his love of money, he could not give it all up to follow Christ. It is the love of money that is the sin not being rich

      October 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • ch

      @Rizzoo
      By the way the Jubilee thing is every 7 years you may want to read your Bible before trying to use it

      October 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Really

      "in the Bible, a real Christian should pretty much be giving all of his/her money/possessions/whatever to the poor."

      LOL! Wow it's no wonder the christian religion is so screwed up. The problem is not having money but loving and trusting in money rather than god. It might help if YOU actually comprehended what you are reading.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • noknow

      The Lord was talking about a specific instance he did not say having riches was a sin. Jesus was not poor and he wanted the richman to follow him be taught by him and that is how we all can get into heaven. Not by living poor but by following Him(Jesus). You want to make God in your image so you make up tells about a false god and neglect your bible.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Busted

      I love when people lie @Mark post comments, they literally just make stuff up out of thin air then turn around and believe it to be fact. Without the @Mark's fantastic fantasies, how would republicans ever get votes?

      October 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • rizzo

      Yeah no I have no credit cards because I'm not an idiot, thanks. I may have gotten the years wrong, but the point remains. And since the people these folks are protesting against are obviously consumed by the love of money, the semantics don't really matter...any good Christian should be against what they are doing.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Mark

      Rizzo...

      Since you don't claim to be one, I don't believe you're in a positon to comment on what " a good Christian" should or shouldn't think. Now, when the conversation turns to multiplication by 2's or fingerpainting, you can speak.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • rizzo

      I think I'm in as good of a position as anyone to comment on what a good Christian would do, thank you.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Mark

      I see.

      If you'll excuse me, I think I'll comment a little on the theory of Quantum Mechanics. Maybe I'll say a few things about the theory of Relativity. After all, I'm in as good a position to comment on those as anyone else. My opinion won't mean anything because I know absolutlely nothing about them, but hey, guess that's not important huh?

      October 7, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Jeff

      The concept of the Jubilee is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, a Jubilee year is mentioned to occur every fifty years, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven and the mercies of God would be particularly manifest. In Christianity, the tradition dates to 1300, when Pope Boniface VIII convoked a holy year, following which ordinary jubilees have generally been celebrated every 25 or 50 years; with extraordinary jubilees in addition depending on need. Christian Jubilees, particularly in the Catholic tradition, generally involve pilgrimage to a sacred site, normally the city of Rome.

      Maybe YOU guys should shut up and read before you jump down someone's throat. As usual, the non-xian knows more about the religion than the purported followers of said religion. Sheesh!

      October 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  13. martinipaul

    Kind of reminds me of the french revolution thing. Is this the birth of secular humanism as religion? Christianity without Christ? The french even tore down the alter in Notre Dame. Held a festival to reason at which they celebrated the perfectibily of man through logic. Wonder how all that ethical atheism thing turned out for them?

    October 7, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • rizzo

      It's cool, Christians took the Christ out of Christianity a long, long time ago. I'd rather see us become secular humanists that follow the teachings of Christ than any more 'Christians', thanks.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Mark

      Exactly the same way it's turning our for us...our demise. Socially, Morally, Financially, Spiritually.

      Only a complete fool would look at the state of our nation and conclude that we're doing anything but crumbing from within.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  14. stushie

    Maybe the protest chaplains would be better employed working in the soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and drug rehabilitation centers in NY. Its easy to protest and get in the public eye to satisfy a narcissistic need for 15 minutes of fame; its much more difficult to be in the real trenches with the walking wounded.

    October 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • rizzo

      Or they could maybe try to effect greater change that might help all of the disadvantaged instead of just the few that will come to one soup kitchen. Voting won't help when all the sides are bought and owned by corporations, maybe peaceful protests will?

      October 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • petercha

      Good point, Stushie. I've like to know how many of these protesters give to charity, either financially or time-wise.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Busted

      @stushie feels threatened. Allowing our government to redistribute the wealth as Bush's tax cuts are doing have led to more people starving and homeless, OWS is going to be responsible for changing that. There is nothing more Christ like. @Stushie rather then wasting your money on a computer and internet access why don't you give it to the poor and go work at one of those soup kitchens you're mentioning.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  15. wes

    This article is garbage. For a secular media to try to describe what the bible says is ridiculous. Quit using the name of Christ to justify your agenda. If you did this with muslims, there would be a day of rage, alright. But Christians are easy to pick on. We're used to it though, and you won't see us picketing in front of CNN, either.

    October 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • rizzo

      Oh oh us poor persecuted Christians! Woe is us! Just because it's next to impossible to get elected to national office without professing your love of Christ doesn't mean we aren't being oppressed at every turn! So many of our churches are burned down every week that we have no place to worship, and there are a lot less of us now that the Romans are crucifying us all...

      Give it up...I know a persecution complex is common amongst the closed minded, but this is getting silly. Maybe if you actually started following the teachings of Christ you'd feel a little better about yourself.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • petercha

      Good point, wes.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Busted

      No, christians like yourself are easy to manipulate, just look at how the christian coalition and family research council prey on our ignorance.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • MiddleWay14

      Wes, you are not a Christian. American Evangelical and Fundamentalist 'Christians' are not Christians because they don't follow the words and teachings of Jesus. They tack their selfish, bigoted non-Christian agenda onto the religion. They selectively pick and choose the lines in the Bible they interpret to validate their opinions.

      No, you people are actually the anti-christians. It's said that the 'devil' (i.e., evil) will come dressed as and present himself as a savior, grandstanding with moral righteousness. That perfectly describes Evangelicals, Fundamentalists, Baptists, 7th-day Adventists, etc. like you.

      Only Catholics, Orthodox, and Mainline Protestants (Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, etc.) qualify as real 'Christians'. The Catholic Church authored the modern-day Bible you quote from, after all. These sects have the common sense to understand that men authored it. You have no say in saying what is what because you didn't author it. You are not even part of the sect that authored it. The Bible is not the word of anything but a group of men. And you are a fool for hanging on its words.

      If anything, the story of the compassionate Jesus is what you should be emulating. The world would be a better place if people emulated the Jesus personified in that tale rather than their spun interpretations of some book authored by ordinary men with their own agendas.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Mark

      Oh oh us poor persecuted Athiests/Agnostics. Woe is us! Even though we have the priveledge of corrupting young peoples' minds everyday in the classroom with the junk science of evolution, and even though we've made it possible to murder innocent babies in the womb doesn't mean we aren't being oppressed at every turn! So many of us are burned at the stake every week that we fear for our lives, and there are a lot less of us now that the religious zealots are crucifying us all...

      Give it up...I know a persecution complex is common amongst the closed minded, but this is getting silly.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • Jeff

      @Mark. Evolution is "junk science"? That mindset pretty much ends any possibility of you having anything even remotely intelligent to add to any conversation, ever. You sir, are an idiot.

      October 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
    • Mark

      Jeff...

      Thank You. Spoken from someone who obvioulsy ascribes to "scientific" theory...I will take that as a compliment.

      October 8, 2011 at 8:00 am |
  16. Faisal

    This article, although some what informative, is offensive and ignorant to the core of the Christian walk which is diametrically opposed to the path OWS is taking. OWS has nothing to do with the teaching of God, and the Bible. Walking humbly with God was something only Jesus could truly do. The rest of us have an example, by which we can strive to do the same knowing the ultimately it will be impossible. God doesn't love you.

    October 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • 1CalNative

      I fee sorry for you that you have such a limited view of God and Jesus and you sound hateful to me. OWS is out there daily trying to bring Democracy back to America and as far a I can see, bringing faith in whats good and right back to America. Right now we have a Corporate back goverment that takes what it wants and is stealing the heart of America.

      If jesus was here right now, her would be walking with these folks and doing all he could to drive the mechants from the temples.

      October 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Busted

      Pathtic and misguided and totally full of fluff, you know nothing of christianity.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • jim

      What temples are they describing? The money lenders belong on Wall St! Not in my Church... This was a fairly confusing mash-up of an article. Slinging all faiths together (most of which are mutually exclusive in their teachings) and trying to make it sound like one big "Happy Faith"... Load of crap, just like Woodstock. Interesting try, but still very unclear about what they want. No concept seems to encapsulate their "ideology" or faith, such as it is. So, government only of poor people, power in the hands of the uneducated, decisions by the unhappy. I think that has been tried before, hope my post makes a smuch sense as the article...........

      October 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  17. MIchael Patrick MacDonald

    I've been saying, it really IS like church down there. Including the sound of unified voices.
    The only part of this that I don't necessarily agree with, is her assertion that this is not about socialism. It kind of is (and that's a good thing), as is the foundational Christ message. I guess it's not ONLY about socialism, is what she means. It's about something bigger than an ideology can possibly encapsulate.
    What blows me away is how kind these people are at the Occupy camps. The young people are so NOT about being cool. So generous. Everyone picks up after themselves, offers food, etc.The politeness is something I've really never seen in large crowds of people.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  18. JoAnn

    When I look at Occupy Wall Street protestors I see people like the family next door in any neighborhood across the country. It is amazing to me that people can comment on them like they are ignorant troublemakers and neer do wells. What happened to respecting voices of change in a democracy? If they have no clear agenda it may be that it is hard to articulate the exact laws and lack thereof that led to so much loss for many people. The people who basically went to work, lived on a budget and believed in buying a home and putting money away a little at a time and that doing the right things would lead to a peaceful life and retirement. Bad laws and no oversight led to unscrupulous lending practices causing many to lose their house and others who still have them have lost all their equity. This same practice also threatened the assets of so many others if the banks and insurance companies went down that taxpayer money had to bail them out so time could be bought to prop the system up. The money saved in 401 ks and other vehicles seems to dwindle when faced with leaps and dives in the stock market and considering the increasing money supply devaluing our dollar. When people who work and care for their families have a moment to look up and figure out what is wrong they are confronted with obscurity and double dealing everywhere. It is embedded on almost every bill that comes into your house, it is in the medical billing so only insiders have any idea what is really being charged. Why should anyone send bills that are several times more than what they expect to get paid? To me no one should get paid until honesty comes back!! Then when you see all this and it is your tax dollars paying for it – you want some accountability back. So you look to lawmakers and find so many bickering lawmakers, lobbyists and pundits that speak a party line with no deviation to work out something it sends you to despair. Then you realize that the bankrollers of this group are very few and they have been buying their interests ( low cost overseas labor, low taxes and other favors from govt, almost usury on interest charged in fees and on credit cards, the ability to bundle all the no good securities so no one is responsible anymore for what they plan the US taxpayer to end up paying for.) We need to end the cronyism of directors on all the major business boards and limit campaign contributions to legislators, so we can get some better playing field for new businesses and not just enable a few to have it all and hold on to it forever. By forever that is until the country drowns with people who have lost all hope and others that have lost all self respect.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Well, if they're so innocent and good, why have 700+ been arrested? Yet there's not been any arrests yet at the "evil" Tea Party rallies. Gee sounds like the racists and bigots are better behaved than the next door neighbors as you call them.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Dale

      LOL Look Steve the racist moron thinks he is better behaved because he is in the pocket of the right wingers. Poor delusional idiot.

      October 7, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Steve

      JoAnn captures the essence of the Tea Party fairly well. Good job, JoAnn!

      October 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • 1CalNative

      Yes, Steve, OWS does llok a lot like the Tea Party, befoere th Kocjh brother got hold of it. In fact there are many Tea Partiers in the crowd as they see what became of their party and see hope here.

      October 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Busted

      700+ were arrested for walking on the street across the brooklyn bridge, is that your definition of evil? My goodness, what a desperate comment

      October 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • petercha

      Good point, Steveinmo. And for those ignoramuses who think that the Tea Party is racist, think about why Herman Cain is getting such strong support from the Tea Party. It just might have to do with the fact that the Tea Party is a group of conservative, NOT racist, individuals!

      October 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  19. hippypoet

    its always funny to see a marching religious army – i think it would have been better if the next town over was named jerusalem. GOD WILLS IT!

    October 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  20. Jerry Senzee

    We (the proletariat) have been playing with our technological toys while democracy has morphed into Fascism. Pretty simple if you ask me.

    October 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • dudley0418

      I don't see a national movement to develop a single-party state or to be lead by a supreme leader or dictator, necessary elements of fascism. It is delusional to believe that your party is the single bastion against such things when the multi-party system is so active. I do, however, see Democrats vilifying the Tea Party, a symptom of multi-party politics, in opposition to fascism.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.