What does Occupy have to do with non-theism?

Sapient's picture

I along with almost everyone I know supports the Occupy Wall Street movement.  I was included in an email yesterday from Emily Paine.  I'd really like to give her piece a bigger audience, so with her permission, here is what she had to say about Occupy and how a connection to us.

 

 


Dear Fellow Atheists, Secular Humanists, Freethinkers and other Nontheists,

Why is it that we don’t see many Christian fundamentalists or Tea Partiers taking part in Occupy? Because of an alliance that began in the 70s. Back then, corporations wanted more of a voice and religious Americans needed more cash. The result was the “Moral Majority.” This 40-year alliance explains why religious right wingers, who claim to be moral and pro-family, vote with Tea Partiers against help for families and the working class – after all, we can’t afford all that and letting corporations off the hook in paying taxes.

 

Luckily the number of fed-up people has grown about as fast as a CEO’s annual bonus and we now have the power to cut the corporate influence that has infested our politics. Since six mega-corporations now control much of our prime time news flow (see Who Owns the Media?), mainstream media hasn’t been covering Occupy too accurately, to put it nicely.

 

And it’s not just FOX. The rest of corporate media minimizes the message by focusing on clashes, using words like "terrorism" and the "destruction and violence" that supposedly accompany "anticapitalist demonstrations." With the Oakland fiasco, the networks covered the police brutality but played down the message. That night ABC first treated us to a story about Bernie Madoff’s wife. Only after did they show footage of tear gas flashing through a rose-colored fog, a symphony of yells, shouts, cries and screams in accompaniment. ABC punctuated its coverage by citing an unidentified poll showing the Movement’s “unpopularity.” A fact check, however, revealed the opposite – a thumbs up from the masses. The next day they completely ignored a meeting protesters had with Tea Party kingpin, John Boehner.  

 

Other ways the anti-corporate message is diminished is by lowballing. Many local news channels claimed NYC had only a 1,500-2,000 protesters, while non-corporate news sources gave figures of over 20,000.

 

Local coverage mimics national coverage in painting this movement in unpalatable terms, utilizing words like “chaotic,” “anarchistic” and having “no common purpose.” I don’t know where the news crew was, but in the protest I took part in all one had to do is glance at the sea of signs to notice that the message was getting corporations to pay their share of taxes and take responsibility for the environment.

 

Then there’s unabashed neglect. A FAIR report noted that during the initial protests, only CNN briefly mentioned it. On his TV show (9/21/11), Keith Olberman said: “So five days … protesting corporate control of the economy, and you haven't heard a word about it on the news?” He later remarked, "If that's a Tea Party protest in front of Wall Street ... it's the lead story on every network newscast."

 

Moral: Conservatives calling the media liberal is like Madoff calling his investors savvy. To get the whole story on the corporate social responsibility movement, supplement your news with independent news like AlterNet, truthout, OpEdNews, NPR or foreign news. Progressive non-corporate sources will also help you keep an eye on the Religious Right Wing and the Tea Partiers, or try People for the American Way and the Center for Inquiry. For info on how your senators voted with respect to secular values, see the Secular Coalition’s Secular Scorecard.

 

Keep on protestin’,

 

Emily Paine


 

References:

FAIR Activism Update: Some Breaks in the Blackout of Wall Street Protests

Whitewashing the Blackout of Occupy Wall Street

What if the Tea Party Occupied Wall Street? Corporate media skip anti-corporate protests

4 Polls That Show Occupy Wall Street is Just Getting Started

CNN's Factcheck Failure on Occupy Wall Street

 

- Brian Sapient


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EXC's picture

Emily Paine wrote:Why is it

Emily Paine wrote:

Why is it that we don’t see many Christian fundamentalists or Tea Partiers taking part in Occupy? Because of an alliance that began in the 70s. Back then, corporations wanted more of a voice and religious Americans needed more cash. The result was the “Moral Majority.” This 40-year alliance explains why religious right wingers, who claim to be moral and pro-family, vote with Tea Partiers against help for families and the working class – after all, we can’t afford all that and letting corporations off the hook in paying taxes.

Where is the evidence "religious Americans needed more cash" so they linked up with corporations? This sounds like a lot of conspiratorial hogwash.

The problem is since the 60s progressives have never had a concrete message. It's all just anger about the unfairness. There is no comprehensive plan to build a better society, no evidence to prover the changes progressives want to make would work and be sustainable. People are just supposed to take the leftist political views on 'faith'. Since change is difficult and scary, the 'moral majority' said no to changing the status quo just like corporations don't want change. There was no grand conspiracy, just a failure of the left to use science and reason to prove it's claims. Instead it was just anger and taking socialist doctrine on faith.

The vast majority of Tea Partiers are againt corporate bailouts, tax loopholes and corporate welfare. I don't see why you see them as the enemy of reforming the current system.

The USA has amoung the highest coporate tax rate in the world. And this is driving jobs away. Sure the politically connected have their loop holes, I'm sure many Tea Partiers would want to end this.

I agree, many coporations and right wingers get special rights and privledges granted to them that gives them economic advantage over others. But in response, the left does the same thing in response by demanding special birth 'rigths' like free medical care and free education to study whatever they please. The result is massive debt in all areas of government and throughout society.

Since we are people of 'no faith'. We shouldn't take any political retoricic on faith, just because someone is angry about the unfairness is no reason to think their remedy will work. Only science, reason and evidence can prove what is true and what we should believe. And why do so many athiests believe they should have special rights when there is no god to grant them? Why aren't more atheist like Geoge Carlin that said you have no rights:

George Carlin wrote:

"Boy everyone in this country is running around yammering about their fucking rights. "I have a right, you have no right, we have a right."

Folks I hate to spoil your fun, but... there's no such thing as rights. They're imaginary. We made 'em up. Like the boogie man. Like Three Little Pigs, Pinocio, Mother Goose, shit like that. Rights are an idea. They're just imaginary. They're a cute idea. Cute. But that's all. Cute...and fictional. But if you think you do have rights, let me ask you this, "where do they come from?" People say, "They come from God. They're God given rights." Awww fuck, here we go again...here we go again.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca

Brian37's picture

I have to say that I feel,

I have to say that I feel, especially with my personal situation, vindicated. The damage done by big business thinking with their "trickle down" economic thinking, has filtered down to mom and pop shops. Everything has been about maximizing profits at the expense of the workers. Our work force middle class and working poor, have been passed around  and around and around. That instability makes it increasingly hard to maintain pay and living standards.

I used to feel helpless and was quite depressed when my hours got cut, and for a while blamed myself. But the truth was that I had done everything right and even still today, my co-workers would love to have me there EVERY DAY. So the truth of the matter is that it was never about me and had everything to do with my boss's greed.

Take heart guys, when I see all those protesters. And Bank of America get bitch slapped over the 5 dollar fee, and now another movement telling people to move their money out of big banks, it makes me KNOW, that this IS still a great country. Monopolies can do damage, but when we get angry enough, there can never be one man, one party, or one class that can keep that monopoly.

People like my boss will not win long term. I have always said that I am not against wealth, But when the result of corporate abuse and monopolies of politics affect the rest of us, it is time to take action.

I have to thank Brian personally, for having this website and giving me a place to vent. It also has given me hope that no matter how bad it may be now, I am not alone and it will get better with time.

GO OWS! Lets kick some right wing corporate ass!(Through our voices and voting)

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

Vastet's picture

I was getting all set to

I was getting all set to answer the question when there was an answer preposted.

I think this society is breaking down via numerous flaws, and attaching rationalism to the inevitable revolution can only be a good thing. Kill two birds with one stone: unrestricted capitalism and organised religion.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.