It may well be that the sentiment expressed by Henry Ford has come to fruition–well, at least part of it. The intricacies of the banking industry remain a secret to most of us, but the economic reality of bail-outs gone bad affects us all . . . well, 99% of us anyway.
When I heard an Occupy Wall Street demonstration was coming to our little town, I saw it as an opportunity for my children to witness a public outcry in action. My daughter, after all, has been working on a project that would give students a voice in the debate over educational practices–what better way to spur her imagination?
The event was an eye-opener, for sure. On a micro-scale, we got to see a part of the global dynamic that may best be described as “Frustration combined with a scantly hidden agenda.” Sprinkled in amongst the common folks who just want fair pay for a fair day’s work and a shot at the American Dream were anarchists and socialists and citizen militias. While the many were out to vent frustration (and God knows there is plenty to vent when many of us have lost our homes and the few have profited by it), there were some who used the occasion to lobby for a total overthrow of “the system.” The final speaker suggested things were going to have to get real ugly–murder and mayhem–that’s when my boy, Zeb, turned to me and said, “Dad, I don’t think I want to sign up for this group.”
Me either, Zeb.
I loved the signs, though. Us 99 percenters can surely understand the feelings behind them:
You have enemies? GOOD. That means you stood up for something in your life (Winston Churchill)
Corporate Plan for America: Loot it and Leave It!
The three branches of government: Financial, Petrochemical, Pharmaceutical.
It was an inside job!
Take back the American Dream!
Jobs for America Now!
Separation of Corporation and State.
Everything is fine. Keep Shopping.
Ironically, I had been to the local Boy Scout Council store to buy a uniform that day. The purchase price was outrageous, the material was inferior, and the tag said, “Boy Scouts of America. Made in Indonesia.” I was dumbfounded and more than a little upset. My, how things have changed in this country.
The bottom line, for me and my family, is that–while we agree something needs to be done…and the sooner, the better–we will fight the battle at the ballot box, not on the streets. Our government of “by the people, for the people” needs two things in order to function: candidates who care about this nation and its people and voters to go to the polls and elect them. We have an ample supply of both. Let’s set them in motion.
From my perspective, the really amazing thing is that no one seems to have the answer. The solution has been around for centuries, though. The Beatles sang part of it: What the world needs now is love, sweet love, it’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. The path to peace and justice is plain in Scripture. Jesus of Nazareth put it like this:
When the crowds heard him, they were astounded at his teaching. But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question:
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22, NLT).
You see, lots of folks want the second part of the solution at the expense of the first. They want to push the Creator out of our schools and out of our government. But our founders didn’t advocate freedom FROM religion–they demanded freedom OF religion. “In God We Trust” isn’t necessarily true (or popular) anymore. And the truth is that, without Him, we don’t stand a chance. Without Him, we are unable to step out of selfish ambition and personal agendas.
We need Love… and God is Love.
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