I'll admit it. I haven't studied the whole "Occupy Wall Street" movement in depth. I did listen to a Dave Ramsey show in which he invited OWS supporters to call in and explain their personal reasons for joining and frankly, I was unimpressed. Every caller was angry about something, but not a single one, even the more articulate angry people (AAP), could offer a suggestion as to resolving the issues that angered him. And I say "him" in the specific, rather than the sexist, sense as every caller I heard was male.
I gather than some people are supportive for that very reason, however: anger is good. It means people are thinking. It means people are asking Important Questions. It means people are doing something.
It just feels like a lot of what they are doing is throwing a tantrum, making a mess where they decide to camp, and messing with law enforcement. It grieved me to read that Scott Olsen, a soldier who served in Iraq, was injured in an OWS/police confrontation, but it grieved me even more that people were blaming the police! Whatever your politics, when the po-po says you've got to stop, you'd better stop, or be willing to sacrifice along the lines of Mohandas K. Gandhi's civil disobedience in India. (There are conflicting reports as to who threw what, but you don't want to see anyone hurt when it could so easily be avoided.)
Note: Gandhi did not throw things, or yell, or spit, or litter. He discouraged anything of the sort. The principal of ahimsa, or nonviolence, pulled the rug out from under Great Britain and achieved the unthinkable--complete independence for India. It was achieved, not by a group of loud, complaining radicals calling themselves Occupy Delhi, but by dedicated people willing to lay down their lives for a just cause.
I just don't think Gandhi would have been there with the Canadian-started OWS. I don't think they would have asked him to speak, because he would have fussed about their behavior. And that alone makes me uncomfortable.
Do we have serious problems in the financial sector of the United States? Absolutely. Is there unjustifiable polarization between the have's and the have not's? Again, yes. The Bible even has something to say about this, although I have yet to hear an OWS quote James 5 (NIV):
1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
Them's fightin' words! Pretty strong stuff for those who use their wealth irresponsibly and immorally. Those words serve as a warning to all who oppress the less-fortunate -- justice will come eventually. If nothing else, there is the fact that no one, not Howard Hughes, not Bill Gates, not the Donald, not the sheik, no one, gets out of this place alive. We will all die, all face a final judgment. All debts against God will be paid, whether by standing before the throne and saying, "Well, yes, I was a monumental sinner and screw-up, but I think Jesus has something to say now..." at which point our Advocate takes over, reminding the Father that he already paid for the the sins in question....or by eternal suffering and separation from a loving God.
So there's THAT aspect of what-goes-around-comes-around for the screw-ups of Wall Street (and every other street, for that matter) to bear in mind, but there are also peaceful, workable solutions possible that don't involve littering city streets and engaging in violence toward law enforcement.
And the anger aspect? Aside from the fact that it is bad publicity, there is a time for anger according to this verse:
BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger (Ephesians 4:25, NASV).
We are made in God's image, and God gets angry. I won't list them, but God's wrath against the wicked, God's anger at unrighteousness, it's all there. Look it up. Jesus himself, whom I've never pictured as the anemic meek-and-mild character hung on many Sunday school walls, took a whip to the money-changers who defiled the temple. Sometimes, anger is the reasonable response.
OWS has every right to be angry. So do you. So do I. Our government has failed us in many ways. Financial gurus have created a culture of debt, but whose responsibility is it when we purchase on credit and wind up paying high interest on sums twice, thrice, the original amount we borrowed? That's no one's fault but our own.
OWS (and all the rest of us) have valid reasons for being angry. They have valid concerns -- I'm always skeptical of "demands," especially when the demander has no way to enforce them -- but there are better ways of affecting change than costing the New York Police Department millions of dollars in overtime, and creating a colossal mess in the process. If their motives were all that great and they were themselves obeying the laws of the land, they wouldn't require all that policing. Or, if they were like Gandhi, they would sit there silently and take whatever came. That would, at least, have more impact on the nation.
The question is: does OWS really want change? Or just attention?