A little provocative, maybe – read on! It may seem a bit late to write about the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests, but I have wanted to write this piece more than once, always holding off because I did not want to jump to conclusions and hoping to see our countries leaders act responsible in  respect to their embracing and encouraging of this “movement”. Alas, I have been disappointed.

In addition to my disappointment with our leadership, I became increasingly concerned with what I see as a lack of clarity among some Christians regarding these protests. In fact I have been noticing a sort of acceptance and/or sympathy of the movement. We are better than this. We are to be salt and light to a culture that is perishing. While that is a charge particularly to reflect Jesus in the world, part of that is to discern good and evil and to stand for righteousness and oppose lawlessness. We need to understand the times and not be swept up into the emotions of the day – but that is something to be said on another day. Today I have a bone to pick with this President.

President Obama has embraced this movement in an Interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper:

I understand the frustrations being expressed in those protests. In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party.  Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel that their institutions aren’t looking out for them. The most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles and we are on their side, and that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you’re supposed to do, is rewarded, and that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and their companies and their workers that those folks aren’t rewarded.”

This may not exactly be pro-active community organizing, but it is certainly enabling, supporting, identifying with and encouraging the continuance of the protestors. A case could be made that the Commander in Chief is acting as the Community Organizer in Chief. That is truly a disturbing development.

There is something very interesting about his comparing OWS with the Tea Party. He knows that the Tea Party is much more grass roots, much more popular and much more wide spread than OWS, but he had nothing but disrespect for the Tea Party:

“Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security. But, let’s not play games and pretend that the reason [for the deficit] is because of the Recovery Act.”

After showing this kind of disrespect and of course the ultimate disrespect of passing his health care bill over the very clear disapproval of the Tea Party, it is odd that now he would use the Tea Party to legitimize OWS. Aside from that disrespect though, is the fact that there really is very very little that the two popular movements have in common. (I use the term popular in a very benevolent way in referring to OWS.)

Contrast the Tea Party Platform from a Tea Party Web site with a suggested list of Demands from the OccupyWallst.com web site: (abbreviated for space)

1. Eliminate Excessive Taxes – “Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery’ Calvin Coolidge

Demand #1 – Restoration of the Living Wage – by ending free trade and re-imposing trade tariffs and Raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour

2. Eliminate the National Debt – By implementing fiscally conservative policies at all levels of government, progress can be made toward eliminating the National Debt

Demand #2 – institute a universal single payer healthcare system

3. Eliminate Deficit Spending – We insist that government representatives at all levels maintain a fiscally responsible budget.

Demand #3 – Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment

4. Protect Free Markets – …allowing free markets to prosper unfettered by government interference is what propelled this country to greatness…

Demand #4 – Free College Education

5. Abide by the Constitution of the United States – “The constitution is the guide with I will never abandon” – George Washington

Demand #5 – Begin fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same time bringing the alternate energy economy up to energy demand

6. Promote Civic Responsibility – Citizen involvement at the grass roots level allows the voice of the American people to be heard and directs the political behaviors of our representatives…”The battle sir is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” – Patrick Henry

Demand #6 – One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

7. Reduce the overall size of Government – “My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty…it is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein” – George Washington

Demand #7 – One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and de-commissioning all American nuclear power plants.

8. – Believe in the People – The American people, given their guaranteed freedoms, will thrive in a Democratic, capitalist environment which allows individuals to strive toward ever greater achievements, innovations and the efficient production of needed and valued goods and services.

Demand #8 – Racial and gender equal rights amendment

9. Avoid the Pitfalls of Politics – American Politics is burdened by big money from lobbyists and special interests with undue influence on the people’s representatives.

Demand #9 – Open Borders migration. Anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

10. Maintain Local Independence – The strength and resilience of a grassroots movement is the ability of citizens at the local level to determine their own platforms…… – “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone….. – Samuel Adams

Demand #10 – Bring American Elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct count and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system. 

 

Demand #11 – Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now!……. And I don’t mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the planet period.

 

Demand #12 – Outlaw all credit reporting agencies

 

Demand #13 – Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during an union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining.

The only real alignment of issues is the concerns about crony Capitalism, which is the overarching issue for OWS, and as seen in points #3, #4 & #7 under the Tea Party Platform. Mr. President, don’t lump these two groups together. They are not the same.

Mr. President, when are you going to stop empowering OWS and denounce the violence, the anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and the general lawlessness? It is well past time for you to show the leadership worthy of the President of The United States.