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Archive for February 16th, 2012

Occupy Boston &the Christian Left via TheBostonOccupier HT @zoecarnate #OWS

February 16, 2012 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

It’s a bit frustrating to see that we’re talking about “sympathetic churches” (neccessary because of the Right wing church whose bullhorn is so loud that many other more moderate churches also absorb the “anti-protest”, status-quo defending posture of the America-loving Christian) rather than asking where the churches have been all along as this economic tipping of the scales has been building for decades.

It reminds me of the imagery Sojourner’s Jim Wallis talks about in saying that politicians wet  their fingers and hold them up to see where the winds are blowing and then follow that.  But we ought to instead be seeking to change the wind.  The church has been following the winds (and sometimes,  are  some of the last to go with the wind.)  Occupy has changed  the wind.  There are Christians in Occupy that have been there from the start,  but Occupy is the vessel in which the message has been delivered. We have seen the church coming alive to its justice-seeking calling  by the consciousness awakened by Occupy.  It has ,  fortunately ,  been arriving to lend its voice and its messages of solidarity,  but it has  not been the kind of instrumental , effective voice and movement builder that it was in prior movements. But that’s water under the bridge.  We’re with the program now (and holding out hope for the rest).  And so we want the 99% to know we find deep theological resonance with Occupy.  Stories such as Occupy Boston are helpful.

 

The relationship between Occupy movement and sympathetic Christians dates back to just about a week before the first sleeping bags hit the ground at Zuccotti Park in New York City. A small group of students from Harvard Divinity School and a few members of the Christian organization The Crossing decided to take part in the action they had read about in Adbusters that summer.

Heather Pritchard, a member of the original group that ventured to Occupy Wall Street, recalls  that “we wanted to bring an explicitly Christian voice to the protest.” Dressed in full Albs and carrying a cardboard cross through lower Manhattan, the Protest Chaplains were born amidst the same burst of activist energy that would find its way to Boston just a week and a half later. Five of the Protest Chaplains came to Occupy Boston’s first General Assembly on September 27th, where they immediately formed the Faith and Spirituality Working Group.

http://bostonoccupier.com/2012/02/15/occupy-boston-and-the-return-of-the-christian-left/

We can help to strike the chord of resonance for our churches who are still in the dark;  as yet unconvinced,  or still largely unaware,  of what is happening to the rank and file in this country.  We must ,  at some junctures,  combat the Glenn Beck-isms that demonize “social justice churches”.  The “yet to be ” Kingdom of God types who insist that the “kingdom of God” is some future fulfillent scenario.  It is that as well as PRESENT;  as  Clarence Jordan tells us,  is “IMPINGING UPON YOU”.  It’s not “out there” or “up there”.  It’s HERE.  Breaking into our moment.  We need to tech a healthy theological understanding of apocalyptic.  That the “as it is  in heaven”  is a MODEL,  not an afterlife out  of this realm.  It’s a “way it is”  as reflected in God’s realm.  And we must work at overcoming the sense that this realm of God is some glittery other dimension,  and reveal it as a calling and a vocation,  not something for “some day”.

The participants with OccupyBoston are seeing the momentous moment.  It was there before  Occupy.  It is capturing people In and THROUGH Occupy,  and it seeks to draw in yet more of us.  It’s going to take a powerful movement to upset the apple cart of the present political realities.

Oil Companies #Shame #OWS #GasPrices

February 16, 2012 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS, Theoblogical

NBC News led Tuesday night with a story on gas prices going up,  during a time when the economy is trying to recover.  And I ,  like I have been for a few years now,  and especially since the economic crisis hit,  why are oil companies allowed to brag about “record profits” while they seem unwilling to “share the load” as one of the richest conglomerates in the world.  Where is their patriotism?  Where is their “share the load” responsibility?  Perhaps they need some “Occupy” medicine.  Occupy has been the most effective educator of our populace regarding the economic realities,  and in raising to public awareness the runaway greed and irresponsible and GREEDY , SELFISH behavior of the nation’s ONE PERCENT  (and as we have been informed lately,  it’s an even smaller minority than that…the top .0025 percent control an even more disproportionate share of our wealth.

And  not only do the oil companies have a strangle hold on controlling what we do for our energy needs,  they exert their enormous power to keep us in those dire straits. They create think tanks to actually try to undermine science,  and they are aided by their lackeys in Congress,  mostly Republicans  in that a-scientific ignorance (and Democrats who may not have joined the inane GOP characterization of global warming a shoax,  but nevertheless do the bidding of this industry as so moved by massive amounts of lobbying money).  So not only do they horde their riches,  and continue to bilk us and refuse to use their massive reserves to aid our recovery (which practically,  would eventually help their own “bottom line”!)  ,  they expend that massive wealth to distort information to help prop up their dominance.

Oil companies,  in my estimation,  are one of the top (if not THE top) “ensconcers” of the 1%,  and a deeply “profiteering” corporate force that cares only about itself and not at all for the country in which its “home customer base ” live their  lives.

Interesting how Exon and BP seem to be the bulk of advertising on MSNBC.

 

Checking on the progress of the Mainline denominations re: #OWS #occuppytheology #occupychurch

February 16, 2012 By: Theoblogical Category: Occupy Theology, OWS

Denominational agency efforts and reports re: economic/budget issues affecting our economy are few on the front pages of the denominations’ websites. (This post was originally published on Sep. 29,  and I am re-posting it today to check on who may or may not have made progress on this front,  now that  the OWS movment has garnered at least some popularity,  especially among the politically progressive)

From Sep. 29, 2011:  I have seen exactly TWO (both UMC)  so far in a month of watching this.  (Don’t know if I missed any,  but given what kind of nformation is onthe front page of most denominational websites, I doubt that things dealing with #occupyWallStreet and its various themes would make their way in to the “Face” put  forth in this or that denominaiton’s home page.