Downtown LA is a wild place. When I moved here close to ten years ago, its the first place I lived. Olympic and Flower was my neighborhood where I survived all the riots after Lakers games, spent loads of dough in the Garment District, and owned one piece of furniture – a queen size mattress on my floor.
Today on the lawn of City Hall, downtown LA, I saw my first protest.
Ironically, when I heard the reason for the protest, I sort of agreed. I say sort of, because I heard about the protest – I don’t have any idea if the basis for this protest is legit, but apparently an organization in LA believes that the government is in cahoots with the banks to make a lot of people really rich and the majority of people really poor.
While I fully believe there is some truth to that accusation, I would never, ever consider protesting at City Hall, especially not with a drum circle and an Uncle Sam on stilts with a sign that says “SAVE ME FROM MYSELF.”
I don’t like ineffective noise.
My friend Brandy was with me, and we ran into an old co-worker’s husband, and for the life of me, I could not stop asking, “What is the point of this protest?” Really though, what are all these people who seemed to worship the idea of change hoping to accomplish with this walking protest? Even if it is to raise awareness, I can’t see the president, or the leaders of Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and especially not Goldman Sachs, suddenly having a change of heart about the way our nation spends money just because of a drum circle, Uncle Sam and a bunch of young people who looked… honestly? Confused. What are they even fighting for? And why?
There’s so much noise in our world. What’s effective about noise is that it drowns out truth. What’s ineffective about noise is also that it drowns out truth.
In America, I know we live in a democracy where our opinion is supposed to count and matter. I wonder if the truth is we live in a capitalist society where we have a right to express our opinion, but we do not actually have a voice.
One of the reasons I fell so in love with God, with Jesus, is that the Kingdom of heaven is not a democracy. There are Kingdom principles and standards that when obeyed, offer us a level of freedom that this modern day democratic culture continually promises to us, even though it lacks the ability to deliver.
There are no protests when it comes to God’s word – doesn’t mean we don’t wrestle with the requirements of Discipleship (someday I’ll write a book called “What They Don’t Tell You at the Altar”) – but it does mean that we make a choice. Obey or don’t. Simple.
My opinions don’t matter. My choices do. Take an honest look at your life, at your choices and opinions – do you see a love for ineffective noise? What are you going to do about it?