At first I wasn’t so sure about this whole Occupy movement.
The TV snippets I saw made it seem like a bunch of hippies camping out and waving protest signs because they could. But then I took a closer look.
Sure, there are hippies participating. But so are young moms, students, middle-class workers, grandparents, republicans, democrats, clergy and the list goes on and on.
It’s amazing really.
People from across 900 different cities worldwide are finally saying “enough.” They’re camping in parks, waving signs and marching in the name of justice. In a non-violent way the world is coming together, protesting social and economic inequality, corporate greed, the power and influence of corporations, and the financial service sector.
According to Adbusters, which inspired the movement, the goal of the protests is to “ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington.” But protestors across the U.S are saying it’s about more than that, it’s about coming together as a community and finding ways to set aside differences and relate to one another.
I, for one, can get behind that. And I’m proud of our religious leaders for getting behind it as well. Sure, I’d love to hear a statement from some of the big dogs, like Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, or Bishop Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, for instance. But on the local level pastors are making their voices known and are showing that they stand with the 99 percent. Heck, clergy are part of the 99 percent. Trust me, most don’t make a whole lot.
On Monday at 10:30 a.m., clergy from all across the map are joining the protestors. They’re going to march along side them, in their vestments, to show that they too have had “enough.” And to show the protestors that they aren’t in it alone, that the church is ready to have a voice again and be relevant in making change happen. You can find more on the Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=161988007225292
According to the Facebook page, “Many of us have been moved by the moral voices calling for corporate and political accountability being lifted up by the various Occupy demonstrators across the country. Many of us have already taken time to visit these sites to express support and solidarity. On Oct. 24, religious leaders are beginning to plan a time to do so, together.”
This is an opportunity for religious leaders to be leaders, to be a voice and an example and it’s a chance for the church and the un-churched to walk side-by-side for a cause.
And hopefully, it will inspire conversations about ethical investing.
In Hartford, religious leaders are planning meet at Asylum Hill Congregational Church at 10 a.m. to march to the Occupy site. If your community is planning something, post it in the comments below.
Tracy Simmons is editor of Creedible.com, which is an online magazine that covers religion news in Connecticut. Her column on CtWatchdog, CT@Prayer, covers the consumer aspect of religion in Connecticut, reporting on the good deeds being done at different houses of worship, where they are falling down, and she will be looking into complaints from members of congregations. Please contact her at <a href="mailto: <!– var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addy84819 = 'tsimmons' + '@'; addy84819 = addy84819 + 'creedible' + '.' + 'com'; document.write( '%E2%80%98 ); document.write( addy84819 ); document.write( %E2%80%98%E2%80%98 ); //%E2%80%93>n <!– document.write( '