Religious Leaders Come Together to Occupy Wall Street
From our friends at Center For American Progress:
Faith voices have joined the growing protests over economic inequality, bringing hymns, prayers, and a golden calf to the Occupy Wall Street movement, which has spread from New York to hundreds of cities and towns across the country and around the world. Protesters are demanding a dramatic shift in national policies and priorities, calling for fairness and justice for the middle class and the poor. “We are the 99 percent” is the movement’s slogan, and it reflects the vast economic gap that has grown in this country.
Yom Kippur fasts, meditation tents, Muslim prayer services, hymn singing, and food offerings to hungry protesters—these efforts and others are providing a spiritual dimension to the movement. Religious leaders recently carried a golden calf to Wall Street to symbolize the idolatry of greed. Participating chaplains have created a blog, and Interfaith Worker Justice has put together congregational discussion guides.
While the policy agenda and outcomes of the movement are still in flux, the core sentiments are echoing loud and clear: Millions of Americans are distressed by a system of greed and corruption that coddles the rich, sidesteps the middle class, and tramples the poor. From labor unions and unemployed single parents to college students, public-sector workers, and concerned citizens, Americans are calling for our leaders to restore to our economic system core values of fairness, opportunity, and accountability.
We know that many of you are on the front lines, working every day to reshape a flawed economic system into one that protects the poor and strengthens the middle class. We hope that the enclosed materials will be helpful to your work. They include facts you can use about income inequality, an interactive map that shows how your district is weathering the economic crisis, and a recent report on the true costs of hunger in the United States. Thank you for your faithfulness, and let us work together in the days ahead to restore America to a land of promise, fairness, and opportunity for all.
Sally, Eleni, Catherine, and the Faith Team