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The Occupy Movement: A Report from Occupy Seattle, Part 1

The Occupy Wall Street movement has yet to define itself, and remains in a state of flux and complexity.  Commentators attempting to stereotype OWS, and reduce it to a simple formula, might consider Albert Einstein’s maxim that “politics is more complicated than physics.”

Our local chapter of OWS is called Occupy Seattle.  Let me offer a few general observations based on six days, participating as I did personally for a total of nearly 30 hours.  I’ve been on two marches, one with c. 1000 people and another with more than 3000 on October 15.  And I’ve been able to interview many people at the rally and campout location in Westlake Center, at the heart of downtown.  In fact I helped a little in setting up one of the forbidden tents later tore down by Seattle police.

I am a veteran of the “revolution” of the 1960’s.  On my southern California campus (SDSU) I chaired SMC, the Student Mobilization Committee against the Vietnam War.  One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed my time at Occupy Seattle is that it seems so familiar – like a time warp – bringing back as it does the impressions and feelings of my days of youthful activism.  What’s missing in Seattle so far is the tear gas in my nostrils.  But a massive police presence (including  mounted patrols), the extraordinary sense of community with total strangers, the impassioned speeches, the beautiful and energetic young people, and the sound once again of that clarion call, “power to the people,” all resonate in the recesses of my memory.  It has been invigorating and exhilarating for a culturally conservative 68 year old man.

Because I recall the 1960s so vividly, therefore, the impression that troubles me most is related to the Scripture (Psalm 127:1): “Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it.”  In the 1960s we tried to make a revolution with little reference to God, and our sole positive achievement was in ending a dreadful war.  In other ways we did a lot of harm, warping a Judeo-Christian American culture into a hedonistic and extensively paganized society.  Mea Maxima Culpa.

Today’s OWS movement is perhaps even more secularized – at least in Seattle – than what I witnessed in the 1960’s; and the war of the 1% against the 99% is going to be a lot harder to halt than was the war in Southeast Asia.  It will be comparable perhaps to the challenges confronted in the Battle of Seattle (December, 1999) which did discommode the World Trade Organization conclave in our city and spawn other protests around the world.  But none of the protests imposed more than a brief check to a global free-trade economy with disproportionate profits for multinational corporations.

Today’s OWS grievances are certainly justified.  Wall Street and their ilk have played fast and loose with the economy, and with the well-being of the American people.  The corruption of our democratic system by big money has transformed the Republic into a plutocratic oligarchy, reducing the first three words of the Constitution, “We the People,” to democratic pretense.  People are rightly incensed by a Supreme Court ruling last year (Citizens United) that for political purposes corporations have the same rights as people.  There have been a multitude of signs similar to these:  “I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one;” or “if corporations are people why aren’t they in prison?”

There is indeed plenty of cause for outrage.  But as Dr. Paul Kengor observes, OWS exhibits “nary a whiff of religious motivation.”  Without the Cardinal virtue of prudence, accentuated by divine inspiration and wisdom, the movement is going to be all sail and no anchor.  It could well end up on the shoals.  Worse it could conceivably take the whole country onto the reefs.

Notwithstanding the charming prospect of idealistic young people working and sacrificing for a greater cause, the fallen nature of man in his natural state is sure to do this movement in.  OWS is doomed in my view, unless room is found for the leavening and redeeming influence of the Gospel.

Washington State has long been the least churched state in the Union, and I was not surprised by the all-secularized nature of rallies, or by the dearth of prayer in the general assemblies at Westlake Center.  I am encouraged, however, to read that in Occupy Boston a group called The Protest Chaplains has formed, consisting mainly of evangelical and Episcopal Protestants.  At last word it was spreading to other cities including New York.

In Occupy Seattle I’m gratified, at least, to encounter little if any hostility for wearing my “40 Days for Life Hat,” or for identifying myself as writing an article about OS for Catholic LaneThe younger people I’ve interviewed here do not strike me as anti-Christian, nor as anti-Catholic, but as products of the all-secularized public school system which teaches them to see religion as strangely out of place in the public square.

To counteract this spiritual pall over OWS, we need an impassioned and numerically significant Christian presence.  As a Catholic I’ve felt like the Lone Ranger – until last Saturday when three fellow practicing Catholics marched with me.  I’ve posted on Facebook to encourage social conservatives to join in, and to exercise a salutary influence on OWS.  But I’ve seen and read nothing of any discernible convergence of forces.

Maria, a quasi-leader in Seattle (OS denies that it has leadership other than the general assembly) told me that no overtures whatsoever have come from the Tea Party.  The two uprisings aren’t even communicating.   I read recently that Tea Party leaders bristle at any suggestion of similarities between these dual insurgencies.  Part of the problem might be in divergent political approaches.  The Tea Party has morphed into an appendage of the Republican Party, whereas OWS continues at this point to eschew party politics.

Another obstacle to cooperation might be the cultural divide.  At OS rallies the F-word is frequently heard, and is even repeated nonchalantly by the whole general assembly’s via the “people’s microphone.”  I doubt that any speaker at a Tea Party rally would dare use such a vulgarism.  The contrast in dress is equally stark between the two movements, although the largest crowd I saw at OS did include proportionally more well-groomed and decently-attired participants.

But the main difference was the Christian invocations that preceded Tea Party rallies; whereas formally calling to mind the presence of God has, to my knowledge, never happened at Occupy Seattle.   An open mike session before a large crowd in Seattle one Saturday did see a Buddhist speaker offer a prayer, and a Zoroastrian rose to recite a spiritual chant.  However, another speaker took the stage and read a poem about “enforced divinity” as a form of tyranny.

More than one person at OS has described this as a “spiritual revolution.”  Some, like Pushcara in her Gypsy wagon, claim it is part of a “world wide spiritual awakening.”  But as St. John the Apostle admonishes us, “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God”  (1 John 4:1).

At formal meetings, reverence for the God of the Bible is scarcely acknowledged, although love of neighbor is abundantly on display in terms of building community with fellow OS protestors.  But the vertical half of the Great Commandment is conspicuous by its absence.  Such a fundamental flaw is, in my view, worthy of a protest in itself.

The all-secularized nature of this movement stands in contrast to revolutions which proved successful in my lifetime.  The Arab Spring of 2011 comes flaming to mind, where religion has been omnipresent – not the Christian religion to be sure, but Islam, the majority religion of the Middle East.

The revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe began in Poland, where Solidarity head, Lech Walesa, was openly and unapologetically Roman Catholic, and where an active role by Pope John-Paul II proved decisive.  The overthrow of Communism in East Germany began a few months later with Protestant church meetings.

In 1986 the People Power Revolution which overthrew the Philippine dictator Marcos, featured candy and rosaries handed out to government troops.  Cardinal Jamie Sin played a leading role in the revolution.

From 1974–1999 the Revolution in East Timor for independence from Indonesia was sustained, and ultimately successful – despite a prolonged government crackdown of great severity.  The victory of the revolutionaries was largely due to inspiration from the Catholic religion and its clergy, including the Bishop and Nobel laureate, Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo.

I was born long ago during the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt.  FDR was, in my view, a political leader far greater than any politician we have seen in the 21st century.  His great achievement was leading us to victory in a military effort that was manifestly not all-secularized.  Let me share FDR’s stirring prayer which he offered (hear audio) for the success of the D-Day invasion.

Excerpts from the Presidential Address to the Nation, June 6, 1944:

…..Almighty God: our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
…..Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
…..They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. … Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
…..And for us at home … help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice…. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
…..… And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. …With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country…. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.”

Today’s nascent revolution (if such OWS grows to be) stands in stark contrast to FDR and “America’s greatest generation” in that God is pretty much ignored.  Fellow Christians: instead of sitting on the sidelines and badmouthing the idealism and determination on display, how about if we enter into the process, introduce our Christian worldview, and solicit the interposition of Divine Providence?

The Protest Chaplains are a start, but where are the Catholics?  I presume to say that, given an explicitly and pervasively Christian presence, God might be more inclined to bless the movement.  Imbued with the spirit of our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage, OWS could help effect insurrectionist solutions to postmodern maladies.

(© 2011 Bob Struble and Catholic Lane, may not be reproduced without permission.)

Go to Part 2


Bob Struble is a retired history teacher, and a writer of books, articles and poems. He is Lecturer for the Knights of Columbus in Bremerton WA, and is an associate editor at Catholic Lane.
  • Mary Kochan

    So, what do you think folks? (Catholic Lane, fair and balanced.)

  • GuitarGramma

    First, as documented both in this article and in previous comments, I applaud you, Robert Struble, for bringing Christ and his teachings to the young protestors in Seattle. We should all be doing this. You, sir, are brave and dedicated and I admire you for this, bringing Christ and His church’s teachings to these hungry, hungry youth.

    On the other hand, to characterize this as a protest of a “war of the 1% against the 99%” is downright frightening. Do you really think that some mythical “1%” wants to crush the other 99% of us?

    On the contrary, if there is some 1% of elitists who control Wall Street — and somehow in turn the economy — they are absolutely dependent upon the other 99% of us. We are the economic engine upon which they profit. They need us. They, if “they” exist, have no desire whatsoever to crush us.

    While I continue to be grateful to you for bringing Christ into the midst of Occupy Seattle, it would be almost as valuable if someone were to bring a basic economics course to the movement. These are healthy, young, energetic people. They ought to be starting their own businesses instead of trying to tear down those who did so a generation ago. But they don’t know that. It’s time for them to roll up their sleeves and begin to work instead of sitting in a park being fed by some unknown benefactor.

    The most frightening part of your article, however, is your tendency to see revolution for the sake of revolution as a positive force. There have, of course, been positive revolutions: The American Revolution for one, Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement is another, and most important of all, Jesus Christ’s revolution to bring the truth about God to all of humanity. But not all revolutions are positive: The overthrow of the Shah of Iran in the 70’s, the French Revolution with its bloody purging of the Church and aristocrats, the Protestant Reformation.

    Do not let your youthful heartstrings be tugged simply because these young people remind you of a heady time in your own life. If Occupy Wall Street/Seattle/Sacramento/etc. has its way, our country will be far worse off. The politics of envy are a destructive force, and as you yourself have stated, God plays virtually no role in the vision these young protestors are proclaiming. Stay, and teach these protestors how much Christ loves them, but do not be seduced by their destructive agenda.

  • I too refute the premise that the “1%” lords over the rest of us “99%”. Certainly Wall Street is just as fallen as the rest of America, but this movement is impugning to them the motives of the Khadafy’s of the world.

    The economy in my corner of America begins on farms like my Uncle’s near a small town on the border with Canada. He sells his grains to companies that mill it and bake bread, make pasta, and brew beer. These products, good wholesome foods, then ultimately end up on grocery store shelves for us to buy.

    I have very little idea how financing works but I would imagine that some of these Wall Street companies are involved in providing the money people need at different steps of the process to bring goods to market. If the bankers happen to live in bigger houses than I do, and drive nicer cars, what is that to me? I see nothing sinister about it.

    Yet we’re expected to believe that only injustice can result from a small fraction of people having a disproportionate share of the money. Sorry, but I’m poor – actually broke most of the time, except around payday – but I don’t feel any injustice. God takes care of me.

    It is praiseworthy to want to change the world, but we must start by changing the man in the mirror. Seeking personal holiness through a relationship with Christ is the ONLY certain way to change the world for the better (and it’s probably also the hardest, which is why few people bother). Much is being written about Pope John Paul II and the popular movement in Poland to overthrow Communism – but I can tell you, from having read his biography, that John Paul started by allowing Jesus to change himself.

    Too many times in history, popular movements have degenerated into mass terrorism. Now, I actually don’t think these kids have what it takes to be terrorists – so I’m pretty certain they’re just going to end up irrelevant.

  • Prariehawk: Alright the disparity between the average CEO and the average worker being more than 400 to 1 does not bother you. Then how about the fact that the 1% is using their accumulation of wealth to corrupt politics? Being economically ghettoized is not the same as politically disenfranchised. The last Presidential election cycle saw $8 billion poured into Federal elections. Where is “we the people” in that? And how about the army of lobbyists the corporations hire? How much does your vote and mine count compared to the sway exercised by big money?

    • There’s nothing I can do about those things so I don’t concern myself with them. I till my own little plot and leave the rest to people who are called.

  • GuitarGramma. Thanks for your kind comments. And believe me I do not worship change for the sake of change, or revolution for the sake of revolution. Even in my worst days as a campus radical I had little respect for Abby Hoffman’s execrable book, “Revolution for the Hell of It.”

    On the contrary I’ve written my own book, “Treatise on Twelve Lights,” advocating a counterrevolution. Since about the time of JFK’s assassination America has experienced a sordid postmodernist revolution that has gone a long way toward ruining the country.

    For in God we trust,
    So the motto states.
    Counterrevolution or bust,
    Open the gates!

  • goral

    Yes Ma’am, Catholic Lane – fair and balanced.
    Actually, even many of Robert Struble’s remarks and observations were fair and balanced.

    We have degraded as a nation in all of our sectors. We have normalized abhorrent behavior in the public sphere. We have accepted colossal greed in the financial sector. Worst of all we have become helpless spectators of the explosion of wasteful government and we find ourselves being entertained by the horribly corrupt state of politics.

    Something must be done. That something better be in line with who we are as Christians or it’s doomed to a tragic failure.

  • littleroundtop

    Excellent Bob , this was the best first hand account I have read. Being in a Union , I sometimes feel like I am sitting on the sidelines also . In deed these people have a right as we all do to feel frustrated with the present situation . Jobs being lost because of an economic recession , plus many of the problems of the economy have been even more turblent because of Banks playing games with mortages and profits . The common man feels like he is being stepped on and blaming anyone who appears to be better off then they are .

    These people have some issues that need to be addressed I agree . Having our Lord part of the solution seems like a good place to start .

    Mick

  • scott

    Whew, that registration process is quite nearly enough to detract someone from expressing their opinion here. However, after meeting the author of this series at occupy Seattle, I had to settle my curiosity regarding how the occupation would be painted for the readership of Catholic Lane. After doing so, I feel obligated to address some pieces of the articles, and some of the reactions given by readers. I am heartened by Robert’s understanding of the stark economic injustice facing people across this globe. Also, I am heartened by his hope that we can do something about it. Such hope strikes me as surprising, as does the tolerance with which Robert has approached the occupation. For, even as is apparent in the comments to these articles, so many Christians are happy to sit, claim they are powerless, and thank their god for their comforts, while needless poverty pervades our globe. Robert, while you postulate that a secular schooling system has taught a generation to view you out of place among the occupants, I would like to propose some other reasons that we might be cautious of your presence.

    Surely, the occupation is diverse (as the above list shows), and this diversity has led to much confusion about who we are and what we stand for. One useful way of simplifying our cause, for myself, is to consider it as a battle against hegemony. That is, we are battling a cultural force which dictates that we turn a blind eye to the very real problems of our world, and go about our lives as our corporations build sweatshops around the globe, as we murder for oil in the name of American patriotism, and colonialism is carried out, even now, in the name of Democracy and Christianity. So, if we eye you suspiciously, know that we don’t act out of some secular programming, but out of a deep distrust for the deep rooted establishments perpetuating evil and injustice even today. It is not your beliefs, your scriptures, or your saints which we watch skeptically, but it is the institutions which act in the name of those same beliefs.

    As a historian, you must surely be familiar with the problems caused by those claiming authority through the Judeo-Christian tradition. In fact, there is a long history of violent cultural repression carried out in the name of Christianity, and contemporary abuses which continue to be uncovered. From crusades to conquistadors, from Africa to Alaska, Christians have made a business of snuffing out indigenous cultures in the name of their god. Systematically, oral histories are apropriated and Christianized, humans are forced into slave labor in the name of assimilation, and sexual violence is carried out against the weak–a trend that continues into the present. As we stand up to free ourselves and our culture, understand that religious oppression has been felt first hand by some in our ranks, and that we seek to repair these wrongs in the same way that we seek to repair the political and economic conditions of our lives.

    So, as you come and watch us–lamenting the the secularity, lamenting the lack of prayer, lamenting our use of words which you don’t like, critiquing us subtly for being poorly dressed or unkempt, and ultimately speculating vaguely that we might take the “whole country to the reefs” if we don’t adopt your ideas about the supernatural–please, first remove the protest sign post from your own eye, and recognize that Christianity has failed to produce a workable way of life, even when Christians held all the keys. Even now, the Church remains regressively patriachal, homophobic, and frankly, it was the undercurrents of systemic cultural brokenness and hypocricy which drove many of us away from the churches of our childhood. If the occupation looks secular, perhaps it is because those of us actually willing to stand and fight for justice understand that the church is absent, both pysically and philosophically from our struggle. We look secular because, on the whole, Christians are too busy loving money and hating those they are called to help.

    Please realize that as you “interview” us, we are learning from each other, and the only way to affect the movement is to do it yourself. If you want to hear a prayer at the General Assembly, do a mic check, and say your prayer. If you want to see catholics at the occupation, preach your gospel to them–for Jesus would surely find himself more at home among those occupying than he would in the opulence of the Vatican, or in the comfort a middle class American home, watching TV, forgetting that humans suffer, unsheltered and hungry, mere miles away. We respect your presence, and encourage you to share your values, ideas, and critiques. However, we will not tolerate another voice claiming to know what is best for everyone. As we identify the occupation as inherently spiritual, understand that we represent the spiritual traditions of the globe, and that these are the same spiritual traditions which Christians have worked hard to mark as illegitimate. We don’t collectively practice any of these traditions, for the same reason that we say we don’t have leaders. Each of us reserves the ability to make our own decisions. And, in the same way that we don’t need or even want consent from governments or the wealthy to start the work of making a better world, we don’t need the consent of Christianity or the Christian god in order to achieve justice.

    • “we don’t need the consent of … the Christian god” ….

      Well, Scott, that attitude certainly puts you in conflict with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence (1776) which appealed “to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions,” and which put everything on the line “with a firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence.”

      As an historian I see your attitude dooming the Occupy movement — if, that is, it becomes prevalent. So far I don’t see that your view has secured a firm grip; therefore I’m still hopeful.

    • Mary Kochan

      Scott, hi, glad you are here. Sorry about the hoops in registration. They are there because if they were not we would be overrun by spam and porn. As with things like locks and alarms and TSA agents, the decent among us have to be burdened on account of the indecent.

      I would like to know if you know the answers to the following:

      What is the largest charititable organization in the world?

      Which organization educates the most poor children in the world?

      Which organization feeds and clothes the most poor people in the world?

      Which organization provides the most healthcare for the poor in the world?

      Which organization runs the largest hospital system in the United States?

      Which organization is the origin of workers’ unions?

      Which organization is the creator of the University system?

      Which organization originated the scientific method?

      I’ll give you a clue: the answer is the same for each question, so if you have found one, you know them all.

  • littleroundtop

    That was quite a negative commentary on those who see Christ as the most important part of their life.
    Social Justice in this nation has alwayss had people who believed in God involved , from the under Ground Rail Road to Birgingman Jail . But yes if you believe we all need to be judged in stereotypical socio groups,that Christians who shop at Wal Mart , or have Cable are not fit for attemting to help in correcting the massive unemployment and increased poverty levels in this country . Not to mention the world . I can understand why you do not want input to how others judge justice because of your superior methods you “believe” you embrace . Belief is a powerful force in one’s life.

    But since God and his followers are not”needed” as you say , is it not more accurate instead of saying the 99 percent , more like 17 percent you are actually speaking for . ;0)

    Just saying

  • Theodore Kobernick

    Scott, I admire your dexterity with words, the scope of your critique. It may surprise you to learn that you are just like a few of the other contributors to Catholic Lane and many other publications: you are fluent, but abysmally ignorant of your topics. Moreover, you are a complainer, who offers NOTHING constructive.

    Start with your suspicions of Robert Struble, a man I know and admire, and a graduate of your school, the University of Washington. Many years ago, he taught in a public school, became disgusted at the low level of education, the ponderous load of administrators, and the heavy-handed efforts at social propaganda. So he quit, took a HUGE cut in pay, and went to teach at a Catholic school, where he was part of a decent, productive educational system. He started a chess club, and more than once his kids took the state championship. Later he invited seriously controversial speakers to address high school students. He has single-handed developed a program for renewing the freedoms formerly secured by the U. S. Constitution. He is trying to fix the broken nation, and has been trying for decades.

    Bob loves participating in Bluegrass. His hair is usually unkempt, and he almost never dresses “well”. But he is dignified. You did not become suspicious of him because of his appearance. Maybe you were suspicious because he brought his young son to Occupy Seattle. But probably, you were suspicious because he was actually trying to find out what was going on, trying to learn what was in the minds of other persons. Poor Bob, there he is sixty-odd years old, and he does not yet know it all, as you clearly do (not). Instead of running off at the mouth, Robert was asking and listening.

    Scott, I am no Catholic. But I am not fool enough to be ignorant of the facts pointed out by Mary Kochan. I am also not fool enough to fail to understand that it was through the Jews, and the far more numerous Christians that women received their rights and recognition as persons. Christian nations abolished slavery, while Muslims and the Asians were still doing it. Do you think labor unions were started outside of Christian nations? Do you suppose freedom of religion got started in the East?

    Of course Robert laments movements that do not seek guidance from God. That’s not just because he is a Catholic, or because he is a Christian. He is also an American. He knows that our freedoms are based on God-given rights, and as such are, as Jefferson wrote, “inalienable”. Robert knows that whenever nations have rejected God, there was no enduring basis for their rights; and the rights ran down the drain. He knows that the Russian/Soviet official atheism produced a nation that had no rights, and that slaughtered millions and millions of its own people. He hopes that people like you can open your eyes to historical facts.

    Robert reveres “Saints” in a way that you and I do not. But I do not know of Catholics revering any Saints for harming people, or for their greed, or for sexual promiscuity. Bob was decrying our involvement in “unjust wars” while you were in junior high school, perhaps even before you thought of becoming a heterophobe. Do you really think that you are morally above Bob? Above Catholics? Do you imagine your whining self to be superior to early Catholics who obliterated societies who worshiped by tearing the hearts out of living persons? Christians who blotted out cannibalism? Armies who gutted helpless civilians with bayonets? If you aspire to speak knowledgeably – not just glibly – about political matters, why not follow in Robert Struble’s footsteps: STUDY HISTORY!

  • Christians do not “claim we are powerless” because we are doing nothing visible. Far from it, we are the leaven that holds the whole world together. Scott, are you implying that a 70-year-old Grandmother who goes to daily Mass and prays her Rosary faithfully is doing nothing? You’re not going to get much traction with that attitude on a Catholic website.

  • goral

    Mary, the “hoops” is good. Sometimes words of criticism can be worse than spam and porn.
    I will venture a guess on your query, inquisitor-in-chief, since there are no takers. Besides, I like all or nothing odds.

    I believe ( new format, no pun intended), that would be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Which, by the way, also believes in the forgiveness of sins for all of our indiscretionate comments.

    Verbosity has a down side. The eloquent always show their hand.
    The quote:

    “Even now, the Church remains regressively patriachal, homophobic, and frankly, it was the “undercurrents of systemic cultural brokenness” and hypocricy which drove many of us away from the churches of our childhood.”

    The “psychological” analysis:

    In The New Age, the Church is still backwards enough
    to practice fatherhood and not at all accepting of my gay lifestyle.
    I don’t like analyzing “frankly” because it hits close to home.
    “undercurrents of systemic cultural brokenness” – mumble jumble that defies even my analysis.
    Continue… yes I was once a Catholic but it required, “frankly”, a bigger commitment than I wanted to make so I became a well spoken agitator and a well heeled protester, instead.
    Finally, I’m having fun and that’s all that matters.

    Short and to the point, that’s the way to get “traction” on this road called Catholic Lane.

  • Mary Kochan

    Goral, I believe in the Assumption, too, but I wouldn’t assume so much from Scott’s post. Until we know him better, I wouldn’t want to draw too many personal conclusions from anything he says.

    The fact is that this is what is being taught and drilled into the heads of many young people in this country. The left said 3 generations ago that they would take over the education system and that once they had the young, they would have their way.

    Fortunately in the meantime, there has been a good deal of push back from Christian parents both Catholic and Protestant. Over a million kids are being homeschooled at any given time. And millions more are in private schools. Also there is a robust program of teaching about the Constitution and American history within the military, which exposes multiple thousands of youthful Americans to the truths counter to communist propaganda.

    The other side of the equation is that an oligarchic regime has been gradually established in this country — and much of the university system works hand in glove with it (if only the kids understood that!). Corporations ARE exploiting workers here and abroad. The increasing gap between rich and poor along with a shrinking of the middle class is giving rise to real injustice.

    What Scott and the other Occupiers do not seem to understand is that they are being used and led and they are mere cannon fodder for the left. Once a communist revolution took place (if it did, God forbid), you would see an oligarchy that makes the present one in this country look like nothing. What the Occupiers need desperately is a good dose of Animal Farm.

    One thing very interesting about the Occupy movement is that it is getting endorsement and material and organizational support from BOTH the American Nazi Party and the Communist Party. It is just as the Church has long pointed out. All those who oppose the dignity of the human person and human freedom are united in their hatred of Christianity because it gives people the courage to stand against these totalitarian ideologies.

    I also think that a lot of the people who are at these protests really just want their dissatisfaction with the current system to register — they would not subscibe to a communist ideology nor to a Nazi one. They just sense that our government has gotten away from the people and they don’t know what to do about it.

  • Mary. The endorsements of OWS by Marxist organizations and the Nazi Party strike me as small or even tiny fringe groups trying to piggyback on a much larger movement — one that they hope will give them more visibility. They’re feeble attempts at exploitation.

  • GuitarGramma

    Never assume that a Marxist organization is small.

  • goral

    Mary, I assumed, again, that you would open with a congratulations on my less than spectacular guesswork.
    Your caution to me is, shall I say, non-assuming and well received.
    Allow me, dear Editor, to caution you in return.

    Although some may say that you write like a man, does not necessarily mean you think like a man and you don’t. When a man makes a statement that there’s patriarchal abuse and phobic fear of effeminate orientation, a woman normally shrugs it off as an observation because it, in no way, jolts her feminine nature.

    This is not the case with a man. When a man receives a statement such as that, it goes to the very core of what a man is. No man with a proper hormonal balance would make such a statement, and would rightly be irritated, hearing one.

    Perhaps my assumption is too terminal, if I were to pull back it would be to a stance that this is not a man’s man. Furthermore, I don’t for a minute believe that this is the result of schooling. Schools can confuse thinking, they can not confuse one’s identity.

    Concerning the Occupiers, they don’t bother me. There are elements of validity there. Wall St. needs to feel uncomfortable, the gov’t needs to feel very uncomfortable.
    What next? Legalize marijuana! There’s not much past that.

  • Well, I thought I’d give it a try, anyway. My outreach to the left in 2011. However, as of 1/24/2012 I severed all connections with Occupy Seattle. No longer will I associate myself with a movement so unfriendly to sacramental and traditional marriage.

    So called same sex marriage became law here in WA state on Feb. 13, 2012, and the political black hole of Seattle was a major contributor, financially and culturally. It was one thing to rub elbows with those people when SSM was a political abstraction. But now it’s about to become a hellish reality, unless we can overturn this abominable law via the referendum or initiative process.

    I’ll be working to do precisely that, and the last thing I need is to be back-stabbed in the process by my “comrades” in OS.