Saturday, October 29, 2011

saturday night reading

in a short essay on the ezine he co-founded, gary kamiya has articulated some of the feelings many of us in the religious community have felt but have thus far been unable to communicate. I am in awe of his ability to simply and coherently wrap up one of the most important ideas about what occupy america is about.

"Yes, the Occupy San Francisco tent village is illegal. Yes, it is unruly. Yes, there are homeless people there. The movement is filled with oddballs and dropouts and nuts, and based on my own visits there, they outnumber the “respectable” types, the unemployed workers and students and housewives. And if real problems arise, violence or vandalism or disease, the city has the right
and obligation to take steps to remedy them. But since no such problems have arisen, it’s impossible to escape the conclusion that the hand-wringing about the tents is all about image. The Occupy San Francisco movement is flawed and unsightly, like panhandlers and street people. The tourist-friendly solution: clean it up.

"But the crazies and dropouts and street people who are part of the movement deserve to be there, deserve to be seen. For they bear inarticulate witness to the inequities the movement is protesting. Of course, they didn’t all end up there because of society’s sins; bad choices and personal responsibility also played a role. They’re not the best spokesmen for the movement. But they, too, are part of the America that the movement is trying to make better. They, too, are our brothers.

"That isn’t liberal swill. It comes from a book called the Bible."

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