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

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soundoff (769 Responses)
  1. James


    October 8, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  2. Rainer Braendlein

    Matthew 19: "The Rich Young Ruler"

    16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

    17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

    19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

    21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

    23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

    26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

    28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

    30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

    Before Jesus met the young ruler, he just had blessed children, and through that he confirmed the divine mandates of marriage and work, that man shall produce children and goods. After that Jesus went on to Jerusalem, where he should be rejected and suffer.

    Suddenly a rich young ruler approaches Jesus, stops him, and tells him: “I am a man, according to your notions of a perfect man: I have purchased riches, wife and children.” By that he told Jesus he would belong to the good people on earth (establishment), which know, how life works, and which cope with life. He belonged to that sort of people, which get born into this world with a label on their forehead: Possessor! Possessing work, possessing money, possessing family. Possessing was the basic attribute of his personality. But sometimes, at silent moments, he started to mind and wondered, what will come after death. What could he do, in order to possess everything, even after death? So, Jesus was very welcome; this famous evangelist could give him information for sure.

    The young ruler asks Jesus, which good deeds he had to do, in order to become a possessor of eternal life.

    First, Jesus had to made it plain that he himself didn’t belong to the possessors and bosses on earth and he never wanted to be their good master. The young ruler had expected an answer from Jesus, which would be inside the categories of this world, but Jesus directs him to God, who could give him information about what is good. For Jesus was kind, he also told him, what God required him to do: “Keep the commandments!” Jesus handles the young ruler pastorally and first tells him the commandments, which are even known within the world of the Philistines (Jesus first retains the commandments, refering to loving God), not to overcharge him. The young ruler as honourable citizen cannot avoid to tell Jesus, he had ever kept all the commandments, whereby he obviously made a mistake, regarding himself, because how could he be rich and at the same time love his neighbours like himself. Okay, sometimes, when he attented the market of Jerusalem, he gave the beggars some denars, but to built a school for the poor children of his poor neighbours of his village, that was yet too much to ask for.

    Jesus becomes a little more vigorous, and requires the young man to give all his possession to the poor, and then to follow him. Should that be hard for him, who allegedly loved his neighbour like himself, to give all his possession to the poor? Jesus releases the young ruler at first from his delusion, he would love his neighbour like himself. But Jesus goes on even further, and tries to get him out out of the limited world of the Philistines by saying: “Follow me!” Jesus doesn’t want to put in order merely the relationship between the rich young man and his neighbours, but even his relationship with God. Jesus now requires him to do 2 things: “Give all your worldly goods to the poor!” and “Follow me!”. In fact it is merely about following Jesus. The wealth of the rich young ruler was his idol (mammon), which kept him away from Jesus. The wealth of the rich young man had become an idol, because he was not ready to share it with people in need. Jesus told him: “Abandon your idol, and join me, the true God!” By following Jesus, the young man had automatically kept all commandments: regarding the love to his neighbour and regarding the love to God.

    The young man went away sorrowful, because he loved his idol more than God. Jesus’ comment: “A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

    The followers of Jesus got exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved?

    The disciples had understood Jesus very well. The young man didn’t use his wealth rightly. It was not about possessing much or little, but about the lacking readiness of the young man to donate anything of his possession. That was his problem. He didn’t use his wealth to help the poor, thus his wealth became a curse and demon for him, which kept him away from Jesus.

    The wealth in itself was not bad, but the fact that the young man didn’t use it for helping the poor. The young man handled wrongly his wealth. But even a labourer with a small fortune can be as guilty as the rich young ruler, when he doesn’t help people in need. Even a small fortune can become a curse and demon for someone, who doesn’t use it rightly. Often labourers criticize bosses for their wealth, but possibly they are as guilty as their bosses. The disciples had understood that even a very small fortune can be keep someone away from heaven, if he uses it wrong. Who then can be saved? We are all guilty of avarice.

    One could say: “Oh, I have understood, it is only important not to attach one’s heart to the fortune. I will keep on increasing my fortune and keep on saving money.” This man makes a big mistake. Somebody, who really has not attached his heart to his riches, will start immediately to give away parts of his fortune and will not keep on increasing his fortune. There are plenty of needy people. One must be blind to oversee them.

    By the way, here it becomes clear, what Jesus means by the term “bad eye”, which he uses so often. A rich man, who doesn’t donate any money, could say: “Oh, I have not attached my heart to my fortune, I am free.” But this would mean that he would not perceive solely one poor man. This is only possible by having “bad eyes”. Someone, who doesn’t want to perceive the poor, will finally become spiritually blind and unable to realize the existence of the poor. Bad eyes are a kind of damnation, because a man with bad eyes has no awareness of the sin of his avarice.

    Everybody, reading this article, should immediately start to help people in need. That is the only right conclusion, after reading this article.

    No matter, if you are a labourer or an enterpriser, start to give. Give away the money, that can become a curse and demon for you, which keeps you away from Jesus.

    By the way, Jesus doesn’t want us to become poor, but he just wants that we really love our neighbours by word and deed. Jesus doesn’t appreciate poverty, but the readiness to give. Poverty is no value in itself.

    It is all about following Jesus and that means to submit all areas of the personal life to Jesus. How does a follower of Jesus handle his neighbour?: He loves him by word and deed. However, discipleship is even more than correct handling of finances, but concerns all areas of life.

    How can we get the power to obey Jesus entirely and to follow him?

    Answer: By faith and sacramental baptism.

    Important note:

    By nature we are selfish. We are under the rule of the original sin. We need deliverance. At Holy Baptism we receive the power of Christ’s death and resurrection. We die together with Jesus and resurrect together with Jesus to a new life. Jesus wants to set us free. Of course, before we get baptized we have to believe that Jesus died for us on the cross. Jesus has borne our sins on the cross. The releasing power of this sacrifice we receive at baptism.

    What is a Philistine?

    Philistines (bourgeoises, squares) embrace an earthly (secular, wordly) atti-tude, i. e. they pursue honour, riches and power. A Philistine life is opposed to a Christian life. Both cannot be united at all. Either I am a Philistine or I am a Christian. The rich young ruler was an obvious Philistine. Jesus didn’t really appreciate his life-style, but asked him to convert (sell all your goods, and give it to the poor, and come on and follow me!).

    Christian life-style:

    The fruit of faith is Christian love. A Christian pursues happyness for his neighbours and for himself. It is a game of making happy each other. Christians share the gospel of Jesus Christ with their neighbours, and wish the advance of their neighbours in all areas of life. Their life is a life of health and their message is a message of health.

    Of course, also Christians work and marry, but they don’t see work and marriage as expression of their social status. Christians are not concerned about their social status, but how they can live according to God’s will. Work and marriage are divine mandates for all human beings. Everybody is supposed to work and to marry (with some little exceptions). By the divine mandates children and good come into being, which consti-tute the world, in which we live.

    October 8, 2011 at 7:51 am |
    • Reality

      Matt 19: 16-27 has been analyzed by most contemporary NT scholars. Many have found most of it to be non-historical.

      e.g. see http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=253_The_Rich_Man

      And then couple that with the following:

      JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself."

      Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694

      Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

      Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with John's gospel being mostly fiction.

      Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

      So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say?

      And also this:

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      October 8, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • .........

      plz hit report abuse to any reality posts

      October 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
    • BobZemko

      Jesus, protect me from your followers.

      October 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  3. James

    Ok I Think we all have to remember the conversation we had post 08'. I Think both sides agreed we needed to regulate Wall street.Now After nearly four years have past we have The Conservates saying Regulations are killing profits. thats just stupid i think when they say that they are really trying to see how dump people really are.That after a while we forget about what went on. we Forget about madoff Or ALL THE BAD IDEAS and In some cases complete crap they were pushing

    October 8, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  4. James

    I'M Starting to think cnn fired all it's atheist bloggers,Maybe because they tried to convert Them To Nothingness.

    October 8, 2011 at 12:14 am |
  5. Adam


    October 7, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  6. martinipaul

    Either we control the corporations or they control us

    October 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • martinipaul

      Christ is not needed, only brains and backbone. We're screwed.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      martinpaul..we saw the same thing happen with the catholic church.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • martinipaul

      DNA: agreed.

      October 8, 2011 at 1:32 am |
  7. martinipaul

    Is there a list of forbidden words? Where do I find it? These are not obscene. Just words. Company seems to by ok.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  8. martinipaul

    Is there a list of forbidden words? Where do I find it? These are not obscene. Just words.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      October 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      p.s. martinipaul, I give you that list out of the goodness of my agnostic heart. I rarely agree with anything you say, but don't accuse of us of not being fair and considerate.

      October 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • martinipaul

      Thank you. I will gleefully agree to your next post. Can capitalization be a problem?

      October 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • martinipaul

      Ok. I get it now. Dense Christian, huh? But how did sue poo get away with his rants?

      October 7, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Helpful Hints


      sue has magical powers and is generously blessed by the Truth-Fairy 🙂

      (... or she knows special programming tricks

      October 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • martinipaul

      Help: you seem like a very decent sort and I would like to ask you a question. I was an atheist until I was 50 but I never had a problem someone being a Christian. Who cares, right? So, I got to ask: do you really hate my guts just because I'm a Christian?

      October 7, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Helpful Hints


      Odd, I was a believer (a pretty devout one too) until I was near 50. No, I don't hate your guts. I just think that you are mistaken and misled by myth, legend and superst.ition.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • martinipaul

      Help: that's too bad. I was hoping you would say yes.

      October 8, 2011 at 1:34 am |
  9. Mark S

    Stay the course Marisa, you're on the right track. It's sad and discouraging that so many people do not understand what the Kingdom of God is, but I guess that has been case since just about forever.

    May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you!

    October 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm |

    if every american paid one hundred percent of their wages to the tax man

    we still couldnt pay off our debt

    the reason why the economy hasnt collapsed yet is because the dollar is still considered a world currency

    so our government can continue printing more and more money

    but once other countries start to trade in other currency

    the dollar willl lose its value and we will be screwed

    itll take the rest of the world with it though

    since we barely produce anything

    these ramrods dont have a clue what theyre protesting

    and they dont have a clue what the real problem is

    October 7, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • martinipaul

      we'll try this. I love brown note. I love cnn.

      October 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • rr

      I believe Lenin called them "useful idiots." You have to ask, who's really pulling the strings?

      October 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  11. Awkward Situations

    God damn hippies!!!!!!

    October 7, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  12. Confused Dude

    I'm still trying to figure out why I'm the one who is being greedy ... when someone else is damanding I pay more taxes to be redistrubted to them ... the so called "needy" ones protesting with their "gimme, gimme, gimme" message ... those are the greedy ones.

    October 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • AGuest9

      If they had jobs, they wouldn't have time to be protesting, right?

      October 8, 2011 at 9:24 am |
  13. geezluiz

    IMHO...those who have the negative comments are probably the ones making the big $$$. So here comes a group of people who are fed up, and all of a sudden they are wrong in so many ways??? Amazing. Why is it okay for tea partiers to congregate, rally, etc...but not for this group? Just because YOU don't agree makes it wrong? Wow...such democracy. I am so glad this group is a thorn in the side of the 'powers that be'. KUDOS!!!

    October 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Not true geezluiz. Money has nothing to do with my statements and I suspect you likely have 100x more than me right now. I've been unemployed for the last 3.5 years after moving back to my hometown to be closer to and be able to care for my aging parents. You know what, Herman Cain is right, it's my own fault.

      If I had not reinlisted in the Air Force in 1987 (because of my greed over a reinlistment bonus) and moved back then, I wouldn't be in the position I'm in now.
      If I had moved back in 2001 when I retired from the Air Force, instead of staying out there to take a better paying job (my greed again) I wouldn't be in the position I'm in now.

      Each of these statements I've come to the understanding of and admit my guilt and part in my condition a couple years before Mr Cain said that. I just thank the Good Lord he's given me at least something of an income with my little pension and at least a bit of wisdom to put away some savings to fall back on. And I thank the Good Lord for putting a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in, and anything else he graces me with.

      But it is not the fault of these bankers, it's my fault, and mine alone for not following my feelings and what the Lord led me to see what I should've done over the years. It's all of our faults; for our decades (since at least the 60s) of decadent living; of having to have the same as our neighbor; for turning away from the good things our parents and grandparents who were part of the greatest generation (yes they really were, even those who never fought) – it's about us turning away from what they tried teaching us all for bigger – better – more. We only have ourselves to blame, anything else is a lie.

      October 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
    • noknow

      Bankers steal our pensions with their wall street stock munipulations and greedy coorperate dealings. However, most people are ignorent of the theivery. REMEMBER ENRON, they paved the way but the steel companies showed the way.

      October 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • Scott

      I'm making under $30,000 a year, and I think these protests are a bunch of pathetic losers. They have a right to assmble, sure, but they're still a bunch of pathetic losers.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Actually, it started with the railroads, were followed closely by big steel, the car makers, then the S&L's (which, face it, were the banks then, too). Again, it's the car makers (partly because they are being stupid, and partly because they are being bled dry by the UAW) and the banks. When will people learn?

      October 8, 2011 at 9:28 am |
  14. Annette

    You people still miss the point. I don't think it's socialism they're after. They just want a government that functions and that protects the people ... including the 99% who are not wealthy. They don't want politicians to be elected in accordance to how much money they raise. Has anyone ever realized that the people who need representation the most have no funds to contribute to campaigns? Makes me a little distrusting of the candidates with the mostest. Why are all these wealthy people and corporations contributing to these candidates? Seems obvious to me that it would only be to serve their interests, not the interests of the other 99% who also need representation. We want to TRUST our government; TRUST our banks; TRUST that our 401Ks and retirement accounts; TRUST our doctors; TRUST our insurers. Unfortunately, maybe it's intelligence warfare more than class warfare. Some people are clever enough to take advantage of others ... legally. We want people to have a moral compass. A genuine moral compass. Not a religious, bigoted or judgmental compass. We want people to do the right thing because it's the right thing, not because it's profitable or because it's a socially engineered behavior. I don't know the answers. I have been fortunate to have never lost my job ... ever. Yet I'm still compassionate to others I see who just aren't as fortunate. My best friend is a disabled, single mother who is going to school so that one day she, too, can get a job and become more successful. I don't resent the fact that she and her kids are on medicaid. I'm grateful that my friend has somewhere to turn when she is sick. One last thing ... IMHO ... I really thing religion and social issues should be completed separated from financial issues in government. I think if the GOP were judged on their fiscal opinions only ... they might get a fair listen to. But their bigoted and judgmental social agenda makes it impossible for any level headed person to support them. How can a person of any degree of intelligence vote for a leader of our country who denies climate change, evolution, etc. It's absurd! It's fine to turn to religion if you need to, but PLEASE open your eyes and question what you read and are told. Look around you. Question science too. Just question everything. If there is a God, I don't think she would want her children to be so stupid and closeminded.

    October 7, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
    • geezluiz

      AWESOME POST!!! 🙂

      October 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • cekuhnen

      I am from Europe – Germany – and must say that till today I hardly found anybody who really understands how our systems work and sadly only repeat the post communism now socialism fear ideology of the mainstream.

      What makes it very difficult is that most who defend those views actually do not even have the understanding and knowledge to back those up.

      I find it shocking how uneducated sometimes this political discussion is being done specifically under the evident picture that the USA people think about today as being the best in education healthcare and economy is the US of the 50th.

      But we are in 2011.

      October 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Lovely post.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • fred

      I like your post except for the evolution and climate change bit. You bought the liberal Koolaid. You see until last year it was called Global warming. Then the science scam was discovered by the public which finally realized our planet has been in a warming cycle for 10,000 years. So climate change is much better because that has been going on for 4 billion years.
      What’s with the evolution slam on Christians. The majority have no beef with evolution that has been rammed down their throats since they were 3 years old. What leader of the united states says boo to evolution? The issue is that God created man and science cannot prove otherwise. If God chose to use an evolution process he could well do so but, He is much bigger than that. I think we will all be very surprised when we finally see what this existence of ours is really about and more surprised when we see God. Even the Bible true or not can only give a dim glimpse of God.

      October 9, 2011 at 1:44 am |
    • MomOf3

      Excellent post Annette!

      Fred – god didn't create man...man created god.

      October 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm |

    Only when congress fears you will they listen.
    Only when the banks/insurance companies fear you will they listen.

    It's about time America you woke up. 3 years later.

    Read about the republican party in paparazzinc.com in 'red book' bottom of website.

    Please copy my blog if you want and e-mail to whom ever you wish. You can even copy it for yourself. But please read it.

    Thank You.

    –john v

    October 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  16. embarassedliberal

    Is there some reason Liberals say SO Much STUPID stuff?

    It's embarrassing.

    October 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • James


      October 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  17. Leo H

    "There are none so blind who will not see"
    Because you are all still only capable of viewing things from the Conservative Christian Capitalist Consumer Construct, you're not the least able to understand that just because people are complaining about wealth inequality they aren't saying, 'Give me a check'. That's YOUR paradigm. I am an atheist and I had no issue with the perception presented by these people, why does it anger you so? I don't necessarily agree with all she says, but the gist is one I can accept and see no problem in fostering across the country. At least.

    Yup, them insidious college perfessers, they're just busy ginning up protests all across the country, now in dozens of cities.
    They have 'special' ways of communicating to the impressionable and luring them out in public to disrupt our otherwise civil and productive way of life. Well, that's how stevinmo sees it, and plenty of others, no doubt. Hey Steve! Do you want to know how them perfessers is doing it? Check the backs of the traffic signs, THAT's how they're spreading their message of civil unrest to the impressionable yout's And watch out for the black helicopters while you're reading the secret messages....

    October 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Uncle Bob

      Sorry Leo, but I've heard the protesters actaully say it ... take it away from those who have more and give it to me. That's not charity, that's taxation. Why is it wrong to ask that the tax moeny already collected is spent responsibily? Why is it wrong to say no to stimulus and bail outs? (which have no place in capitalism) Why is it wrong to say that business that take risks and fail ... should actaully? All I keep seeing is the agony of the problems continue to be prolonged by politicans and liberals who want people and business to avoid failure. Ford seems to be doing fine ... better than GMC who took the money (and gave it to unions). Banks were forced by the government to take money from bailouts ... should have let them fail ... and we can thank Frank & Dodd for requiring the banks to give out all those loans to people who had no business having home loans yet ... but Frank is reelected and the banks are protested ... if you have trouble seeing that, you're not blind, your head is stuck up you @$$.

      October 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
    • MomOf3

      Uncle Bob, if that's what you get out of this protest, then you've only been seeing your narrow view of it. I haven't heard any of the protesters asking that money be given to them, but to use this as the wake up call for the 99% of the population that is being sold down the river by the top 1%.

      I agree with a lot of what you state in your rebuttal, but you're paining all the protesters with the same tarry brush...sort of like some people do with liberals or conservatives! Not everyone in a movement/organization is corrupted if a few of them are.

      October 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

    Wall st is laughing at you...
    The media is laughing at you...
    Eric Cantor has some harsh words for the protestors...
    CNBC laughts at them...
    Congress is ignoring them...
    Rush Limpbough says you number in the dozens..

    This is why we MUST succeed...

    Read what I wrote on paparazzinc.com under 'whats up paparazzinc ?'

    October 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  19. SoHelpMeGod

    The ultra-rich do not get to be and keep being multi-millionaires without our help. We
    and ours help them and theirs tremendously. The ultra-rich seldom make the sacrifices
    that we and ours make for the good of this country. We and ours are near 100% of the ones
    that die in combat fighting for their freedom to find ways to screw us out of our money,
    like the mortgage fraud fiasco, where they still are not being prosecuted for their crimes.
    The ultra-rich do not get there without the help of us and ours. We build the highways
    they drive on. We and ours build and fly the airplanes they fly in. They come to us
    for their healthcare. We build the cars they drive. We build the houses and buildings
    they live in. We grow the food they eat. We engineer their electrical, chemical, civil,
    etc. We develop and maintain all of the computer related hi tech that they use.
    We teach their children. We work 60 hrs a week and get paid for 40 so that
    they can give themselves multi-million dollar bonuses, sometimes with welfare
    that we give them that we are politely, instead of accurately, call it things like
    "bush tax cuts", "tax loopholes", "bailouts", "lower or no tax rates on much of their
    income", etc. It's time for us to stop being so polite because that hasn't gotten us
    anywhere. It's time to put a stop to the rampant greed of the few. They are destroying
    this country.A lot of what they actually do is to try to find ways to create a country
    where the new definition of capitalism is where every advantage and most of the actual
    welfare is given to the rich. The ultra-rich and the ultra-poor are the only ones that
    get welfare. The middle-class get no welfare. We call the welfare for the rich
    "bush tax cuts", "tax loopholes", "fraudulent mortgage loans", etc. We call
    welfare for the poor "food stamps", "welfare checks", etc. A duck is a duck no matter
    what you call it. The middle-class needs to vote Democratic from now on. Study
    up on what is going on because only if the middle-class bands together is this country going to survive.

    October 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  20. Aloof Nerde

    How the hell are you attending Harvard....

    October 7, 2011 at 8:43 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.