Would a CofC Bishop Get Arrested for Occupy Wall Street?

I was at Duarte Square, Lower Manhattan, this afternoon as retired Episcopal Bishop George Packard, and several other clergy were arrested supporting Occupy Wall Street’s attempt to start a new occupation on land owned by Trinity Church Wall Street. For a video of him talking with protestors in the back of an NYPD paddywagon, click here.

“I am still baffled that the Episcopal Church of which I have been a member all my life could not–through Trinity–find some way to embrace these thousands of young people in our very diminishing ranks,” said Bishop Packard, the former bishop for the armed services, on his blog, Occupied Bishop.

Packard is not the only high-ranking Episcopal leader who has supported the movement. In an open letter to Occupy Wall Street, anti-apartheid hero Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and former Deacon at Trinity Church, said:

“Injustice, unfairness, and the strangle hold of greed which has beset humanity in our times must be answered with a resounding, ‘No!’ You are that answer. I write this to you not many miles away from the houses of the poor in my country. It pains me despite all the progress we have made. You see, the heartbeat of what you are asking for–that those who have too much must wake up to the cries of their brothers and sisters who have so little–beats in me and all South Africans who believe in justice.”

To watch a video of interfaith leaders addressing the Occupiers at Duarte Square today, click here.

Do you think Community of Christ clergy should join the Occupy Movement? How should the church more generally interact with the Occupy Movement?

[Updated 19 December 2011]

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11 comments on “Would a CofC Bishop Get Arrested for Occupy Wall Street?

    • George Williams says:

      One of the reported leaders of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement is the manager of “Revolution Books” in NYC. His name is Travis Morales. He is a well recognized Communist rabble-rouser from as long ago as 1978, when he was identified by the municipal police as the inciter of a riot in Moody Park.

      For some reason, the Community of Christ has an affinity for communist affiliated groups. Interest in Occupy Wall Street is no exception.

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  2. David@Montreal says:

    ‘Do you think Community of Christ clergy should join the Occupy Movement? How should the church more generally interact with the Occupy Movement?’

    Meet with them? Listen to them? Leave ourselves open to Spirit and to the Occupiers to teach us?
    In other words, perhaps treat them with the appreciation and respect their prophetic gifts deserve.

    These folks didn’t make the mess they’re inheriting with so few resources, with so much hurt and disillusionment.
    How about we meet with them and let the first two words out of our mouth be ‘Tell me’ how you feel; what you think; about what brought you here, and then perhaps the church could provide save mediums (both physical and technical) for the conversation to continue. Just a thought..

    • Carla says:

      How about we wait til they stop destroying everything in their paths. It would be difficult to have a civil conversation with them while they’re making such a mess of things. It has become painfully clear that this group is only interested in anti-american rhetoric.

  3. Rick C. says:

    “Do you think Community of Christ clergy should join the Occupy Movement? How should the church more generally interact with the Occupy Movement?”

    I think the clergy and individual members of the Community of Christ should take whatever opportunities they can to act to further the cause of economic justice.

    The Occupy movement is a huge opportunity. If you’re not trying to be involved in it, then you had better be doing something else that is going to make a bigger difference.

  4. […] Would a CofC Bishop Get Arrested for Occupy Wall Street? (saintsherald.com) […]

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  7. mattfrizzell says:

    Of course, we should interact with the Occupy movement. There is a lot to work to do not just protesting economic disparity, but also rebuilding the fabric of our society.

  8. stan chaz says:

    Re Occupy & Trinity Church: You don’t need to be religious to understand -and embrace- the idea that “Whatsoever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” But many of the 1%, in blind greed and endless schemes, have forgotten this. They have closed their eyes to what the word “society” should really mean, what it can mean. But due to Occupy Wall Street, we are finally talking less about CUTS and more about BLEEDING. Instead of demanding m-o-r-e budget cuts -to be borne by the middle class and poor- we are FINALLY focusing on the shameful bleeding that the poor and middle class has endured, for all too long. Instead of talking about even m-o-r-e cuts in the taxes of millionaires….we are now talking about fairness and justice – about an economy and a political system that is increasingly run for the rich, and by the rich. Instead of talking about LESS government, we are talking about a government that WORKS FOR ALL OF US, not just a favored few. Thank you OWS, for reminding us that people -ordinary working people- really DO matter, and for helping open our eyes to what’s going on in this country, and why. The attempt by OWS to occupy Duarte Square (the empty lot owned by Trinity Church) is much more than a plea for sanctuary. For like Zuccotti Park, it’s an attempt to carve out a protected space, a living conscience for the city, amid the repression. A refuge…in a city where control-freaks would sweep us under the rug, and out of the way. In a city where they would pen us in, and permit us to death. In a city that tells us to “move on, move on”….. you don’t belong, you don’t count, you don’t have a right to be here…don’t assemble, don’t block the street, don’t trespass, don’t EXIST! They would deny us, deny our lives, deny our very futures. IF WE LET THEM. But OWS responds, both in word and in DEED: it says we’ve had ENOUGH – we BELONG, we STAND our ground, and we DO matter! This IS our land, and we want it BACK! The word OCCUPY…says it all! That’s why OWS has captured our imagination. That’s why a living breathing OCCUPIED public space is important for OWS. Like Lady Liberty’s never extinguished torch that burns in our harbor, OWS needs to have a concrete, persistent, in-your-face presence.. ..to continually remind us of what we’ve lost, of what we are, and what we can be; a protected place to affirm, to illuminate, to defy…and to inspire. Trinity Church, with its oft-proclaimed ideals (and its huge land holdings), should look deep into its collective soul, do the right thing, and help OWS secure a sanctuary. Not merely a space of refuge, but one of hope, non-violent change, and compassion. And dare I say: a space of love – love of country, love of your fellow man and woman, love for the poor and oppressed. Can thoughtful Christians argue with these simple Christian / human values? For if Christ were physically with us today, as He was 2000 years ago, He would be among the FIRST to climb those fences, and occupy Trinity’s Duarte Square. Of this I am certain. Let us pray that Trinity Church -and others -hear the call, and respond. For the old ways are not working…

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