Does religion have an Occupy role?

As Occupy movements continue to spread around the globe, various religious organizations and churches are becoming involved on the fringes.

Often with interesting results. Interesting to me anyway.

In London, Anglican Church leaders can’t decide what to do with protesters camping out in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Rifts and resignations have resulted within the church.

Closer to home, religious organizations offering moral and spiritual support has become more commonplace at Occupy Wall Street.

As the Rev. Michael Ellick told PBS here: “this is also a spiritual issue of the nature of what has happened in the United States and how we function as a people together. And that is very, very, much a matter of moral concern, not only to my Christian tradition but to Islam, and to Judaism, to Buddhism.”

The stated goals of Occupy — fairness of opportunity and shared wealth — would seem to align with the Bible’s message. The Bible states that all of God’s children are loved and should have equal opportunities for happiness.

Then again, the Institute on Religion and Public Life states that “income inequality” is just another phrase for “covetousness” and the Bible frowns on that.

There seems to be risk involved with any church becoming too tied with Occupy. One, the movement is very liberal and its future direction is unclear. The issues involved are very emotional and political.

The issue of when to weigh in on political matters is a difficult one for religious organizations. Mormons avoid it altogether, forsaking political endorsements and forbidding political discussion in the church.

What do you think? Should churches take an active role in the Occupy movement?

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
This entry was posted in Anglicanism, Culture wars, Politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Does religion have an Occupy role?

  1. Mark Flamand says:

    The Bible makes it very clear, “…in as much as you have done it to least of these, you have done it to me….” And for those who like to work from principles rather than being enslaved to a text, if you were in the same situation, how would you like to be treated/regarded?

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