In the 20th century most protesters who set themselves against the status quo were reading the Communist Manifesto, not the New Testament. Christianity, on the other hand, was the religion of Empire and was used with great efficacy on every continent to oppress, repress and suppress. But there is something about the Occupy movements of 2011 that seems to herald a reclaiming of a language of faith.
Someone holds up a sign in New York: Compassion is the new currency. A sign in Toronto: Don’t Stop Believing. In Montreal: Re(love)ution, Be humanKind, and Put Not Thy Faith in Banks.
In the United States, neighbours form human chains around houses to prevent the bailiffs from seizing the properties. People mass at banks to protest each other’s foreclosures. This is not American-style rugged individualism or survival of the fittest. Rather, this is neighbourliness and community in action, this is Jesus at the temple raging against the money lenders, speaking truth to power. While we have been worshiping at the alter of consumption, buying the latest gadget, plugging in and tuning out, we have been neglecting our relationships with each other and the Earth.