The Cry for Freedom
I am endlessly intrigued by developments in politics or even just society in general. I look at events such as the recession the world just experienced or the Tea Party movement, and I try to interpret them in the perspective of their wider implications. I ask questions such as, “How and to what extent will this event affect the future?” and “What were the circumstances that made such a unique occurrence possible in the first place?” Rarely are there good answers, but I enjoy speculating nonetheless.
One event that has caught my attention recently, as I’m sure it has caught the attention of most Americans, is the Occupy Wall Street movement. Its fundamentally decentralized nature is especially intriguing when compared to the other energetic movement of our times, the Tea Party movement.
Occupy Wall Street is a cry against the corruption in businesses, especially the upper management of businesses. Occupy Wall Street is a rebellion against the concentration of vast amounts of power (in this case the power is money) concentrated into the hands of just a few individuals.
The Tea Party is a cry against corruption in the government, especially the national government. The Tea Party is rebellion against the concentration of vast amounts of political power into the hands of relatively few individuals.
Do I need to make the parallels any clearer.
Any time that two movements with such parallel fundamental aims exist concurrently, there must be some deeper reason. Any time that a primarily Democratic base can agree with a Republican base at least in the fundamental principle of their protest, something unique is happening.
So what is going on here? Why do two such disparate groups in the world’s most free country both cry out that they are being oppressed? Are both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street correct? Are we losing our freedoms both to the businesses of the world and to the government? Or is one side in sole possession of the truth?
What if there’s something bigger going on here? What if, rather than being caused by some earthly power, this feeling of helplessness is a reflection of America’s soul? To me, that’s the root cause for all of this that makes the most sense.
America is one of the most free countries on this planet–it’s true–but America has also lost its way. The majority of Americans are now bound by the powers of sin. No longer are we the “city on a hill” that John Winthrop so desired. I have serious doubts that we ever were.
Viewed through this lens, I have a hard time seeing these movements in the name of freedom as anything other than a symptom. Sure, our economic and political systems may be completely corrupt. I can’t say that work done to reverse that is anything other than admirable, but without Christ, nobody will ever be truly free. The Bible makes that clear.
So if you know anybody caught up in either movement, engage them. Talk to them about this thing that they’re passionate about. Show that you really care. The subject of freedom and oppression should be dear to the hearts of Christians, for we know what freedom really is.
If any of you are interested in these issues, hit me up on twitter or in the comments. I’m only now starting to try to understand from where OWS is coming. Maybe I’m interpreting all of this in a completely wrong-headed manner. I’d love to hear from you.