Occupy Faith

Daniel Stout2012-02-28T06:05:06+00:00

Michael Greenberg, writing about the future of the Occupy Wall Street movement in The New York Review of Books, says that “for weeks last fall, gatherings on the eastern steps of Zuccotti Park had the aura of a revivalist meeting.” Indeed, various clergy members have found a voice in the Occupy movement.

Michael Ellick, the minister at Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, said that when he first visited Zuccotti Park he was reminded of his years at a monastery. […] John Merz, an Episcopal priest at Ascension Church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, likened Occupy Wall Street to early Christianity, which was “born as a public movement, in public space, a series of spontaneous gatherings.”

It seems only natural that clergy hold strong opinionsĀ on this fight against the greed at the top levels of society. Christianity paints itself as a religion of the oppressed, and many find resonance in that message. The tie-in of Occupy with faith has spawned the idea of Occupy Faith. Several associated groups exist in major cities such as Occupy Faith NYC and Occupy Faith DC.

According to Greenberg, Occupy Wall Street members hope to model the movement on the civil rights actions of the ’60s. Then too people of faith and conscience had a say in the proceedings, and let us not forget the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The ’60s also gave rise to liberation theology in the Roman Catholic sphere. Maybe it’s a sign of the times that liberation has now become occupation, as I’ve written about before.

Authorities kicked The Occupy movementĀ out of their places of occupation in many cities although Occupy Madison still maintains a vibrant camp on East Washington. In the spring, we’ll see if there coalesces new resolve to tackle the problems of the great economic disparity between the ultra-rich and everybody else. Greenberg cites the statistic that the 1% own as much as the bottom 90%, “if 90% of anything can be considered the ‘bottom.'”

As the temperatures warm, the rhetoric in the presidential race of 2012 is sure to heat up. Will Romney and his wife’s Cadillacs carry the day? Will Obama overcome with hope? Or is there a third way yet unknown? OWS has rebuffed overtures from the Democratic Party, but polls show that people are behind the basic message of the Occupy movement. We’ve become wasted on corporate greed, and it’s time to institute some self-control.