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Archive for the ‘Occupy Theology’

.@Joerg_Rieger on Organizing Alternative Power & #OccupyTheology

October 18, 2014 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: Occupy Theology, OWS, Theoblogical

even faith-based organizing becomes problematic without the hard theological work of distinguishing liberative faith from status quo faith.
– Joerg Rieger in response to Romand Coles ‘ article:  Ecotones and the Arts of Radical Ecclesia and Radical Democracy | Syndicate.


For me,  and it seems also for Joerg Rieger,  the Occupy Movement provided the church with a model of organizing activism that emphasizes the “with” aspect of advocacy over the “for” (and so , unfortunately too often “Patronizing, we are helping these poor folks as our ministry”).

Rieger refers to the  “Theology of the Multitude” (indeed , it is the subtitle of the book) as a key to a “way of being” and embodiment as participants,  and as co-learners who are changed (and indeed HAVE BEEN CHANGED” by the people of the Occupy Movement.

Rieger asks a penetrating question of faith-based organizing movements that have forgotten the participatory and mutually transformative nature of the Occupy movement (and by extension,  all movements for seeking the Kingdom of God in some corner of the world, on some issue or set of realities that require attention to justice).

a good deal of faith-based organizing leads us right back into the hands of the system

Here is yet another place where Occupy contributed to some healthy theological soul-searching for the church;  our relationship to the system,  which is theological parlance is “the world”;  those “principalities and powers”.

Rieger also articulates something that is THE most frequent critique of Occupy I hear, and one that is undeniable,  given it’s eventual relegation to the social and political sidelines.  (Notice I didn’t say “death” or “extinction”).  What is important here, I think,  is that the model of leadership ; the “leaderless movement” is NOT ,  as many say ,  doomed to fail,  but simply needs to “keep working on” ,  as Joerg puts it:  “the question how alternative power can be organized in sustainable fashion”.

perhaps the Occupy movement was closer to organizing such alternative power than most people realized, judging by the drawn-out efforts to destroy it. – JR

I still believe this.

.@ThisChanges Everything: postcolonial independence movements “nipped in the bud”

October 18, 2014 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS, People's Climate, Theoblogical

Indeed postcolonial independence movements—which so often had the redistribution of unjustly concentrated resources, whether of land or minerals, as their core missions— were consistently undermined through political assassinations, foreign interference, and, more recently, the chains of debt-driven structural adjustment programs

Klein, Naomi (2014-09-16). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (p. 454). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

Naomi put her finger here on something that will be the thing that does us in unless a strong movement stops this in its tracks and FAST.  The forces “for profit” will panic when their sources for income are threatened.  Mosaddegh was one case/threat that has had massive repercussions,  creating a a whole generation of understandable backlash against the West, which has come to be associated with this “Savage Capitalism” that creates the reputation which is abhorred by the indigenous Middle Easterners.  We hear people say “They hate our freedoms”.  It seems they hate “our values” as they see them play out on the international, profit-driven, “D.C. bought-leadership” stage. The Corporate coup d’état.   And it continues it’s assault on the environment,  and the 99%,  and the workers who make the systems go so that their CEOS can continue to extract even more.

Even in that worldwide celebration of the “freeing of Mandela” and the victory of the African National Congress in the election, the economic powers remained in place,  and the new political faces succumbed to the forces of accumulated wealth:

Black South Africans won their core legal and electoral battles, but the wealth accumulated under apartheid remained intact, with poverty deepening significantly in the post-apartheid era. 9 —-Klein, Naomi (2014-09-16). This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (p. 455). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

We see this at work in the Obama administration re: those forces of “accumulated wealth”.  The banks were let off the hook and rewarded in the end,  and back at business as usual.  The income inequality gap has not been stymied,  and the environmental assurances Obama gave have simply not been visible in U.S. policy in international Climate talks.  His admonitions of the Chinese  seem hollow in the face of the recognition that the adoptions of capitalist principles in China look like and import of all the Extreme Extraction Technologies that have played a disproportionate role in the radical Climate change that is now happening. Postcolonialism has become Global Economy.

Christians call for dialogue in Hong Kong protests @Umns

October 17, 2014 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

Photo courtesy of the Rev. G. Howard Mellor.  Methodists in Hong Kong have called for calm and restraint following continuing clashes between the government and protesters and joined in a statement from the Hong Kong Christian Council urging both parties to engage in dialogue.

“Because our church is located at a road crossing, with lots of protesters with different political views passing by, we welcome them all in to have a short rest here” – Rev. Tin-YauYuen, pastor of the Chinese Methodist Church

“I am proud of my faith and my church in such a critical moment,” Lam said. “I think what we are doing showed the true meaning of the Gospel.” – Mei Yan “Kennis” Lam, a missionary

via Christians call for dialogue in Hong Kong protests – The United Methodist Church.

Seminary Farm Combines Theology and Ecology @umns (Video from @MTSOedu)

October 17, 2014 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: ecotheology, Occupy Theology, OWS

Seminary Farm Combines Theology and Ecology

via Seminary Farm Combines Theology and Ecology – The United Methodist Church.

Why I got arrested in Ferguson by @lisasharper

October 16, 2014 By: Dale Lature G+ Category: Ferguson, Occupy Theology, OWS

Too often in this “Christian Nation” (or any other instance of nationwide Christians who live under an instance “Christendom” – where the Christians of a certain nation live under what many will call a “dual citizenship” (Kingdom of God and one of the “Kingdoms of the Earth”) …..too often we avoid the confrontations with the Kingdoms of the Earth where the choice should be obvious to do so.  You see, it’s not REALLY a dula citizenship.  It’s ONE.  Christians are citizens , finally,  of just ONE.  Where it comes o allegiance,  it’s just ONE.  “The Kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of God” (Isaiah).  That is not a declaration of some future time.  Jesus proclaimed that he was announcing the Good News:  which is that the Kingdom of God is HERE.

Lisa Sharon Harper tells her story here about showing up at Ferguson where many in the church have said ,  “No,  we’re not letting this one go”.  In other words,  or ADDITIONAL words,  the police and the powers that be in Ferguson would prefer this just “died down” and “went away”.  The people of the church are saying “No,  not this time”.  The police can be afforded the courtesy of the benefit of the doubt that many of them don’t want to do what they’re doing,  and the respect of meeting their “orders” with nonviolent resistance.  Not compliance, except to call of non-violence.

We took one step forward, and the police in front of us pushed back with their batons. I leaned in and pressed against the police line. I said to the officer in front of me: “I have to do this.”

He answered: “You know I have to do this, too. Tell you what: When this is all over, let’s go have a cup of coffee and talk about this.” We both laughed. In that moment the officer revealed his humanity. He is thinking about this, but for now he chose to follow orders.

I passed through the line and was arrested. Four by four, more than 40 demonstrators were arrested.


via Why I got arrested in Ferguson – CNN Belief Blog – Blogs.

Clergy from the historic black church, the mainline church, the evangelical church, the Catholic Church, Jewish rabbis and Muslim imams approached officers offering the opportunity to confess and repent of their complicity with the system that terrorizes black and brown men and boys.

—– LSH