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The whole world was watching

The whole world was watching

The mainstream media paid quite a bit of attention to the confrontation yesterday between Trinity Wall Street and Occupy Wall Street.


The New York Times mentions Bishop George Packard’s arrest. The Associated Press has a balanced story that does not. MSNBC is also on the case.

The CBS affiliate in Hartford carried a brief report. NY1 has a short story and video.

The story also received international attention. The Daily Mail’s coverage is vintage Daily Mail, rightwing populism and photo of what was probably the only “scantily clad” woman at the protest. An Irish paper’s coverage was especially revealing in highlighting the manner in which Trinity Wall Street used statements from various Anglican and Episcopal leaders to buttress its case.

The church’s rector, Rev James J Cooper, said the church is “saddened that OWS protestors chose to ignore yesterday’s messages from Archbishop Tutu, from the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and from Bishop of New York Mark S. Sisk”.

Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic thinks Occupy made a strategic mistake.

From what I can tell, Trinity (which had been supportive of Occupy) has committed the sin of owning a lot of land in downtown Manhattan. This just seems like really small-ball–a concern for the activist one percent.

With all that said, this story from Episcopal News Service is among the best out there today.

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John D. Andrews

To speak against the Packards is to speak against history. We celebrate Desmond Tutu for his civil disobedience. We celebrate Martin Luther King for his civil disobedience. We celebrate those who took part in the Arab Spring. But, when it happens in our own church some speak against it. To me that is being a hypocrite. Too many Episcopal churches have become settled churches, perhaps TEC has too. They have become comfortable and do not want to be bothered with discerning God’s Spirit, acting in concert with what the Spirit is doing in the world. Too many see piety as the goal instead of working with the Holy Spirit to bring justice to the world. Trinity Wall Street and TEC had an opportunity to work for justice in this very public arena; they chose not to. People, especially young people, are looking for churches that practice authentic Christianity. Rightly or wrongly they will most likely form the opinion that Episcopalians do not practice authentic Christianity, but are hypocrites.

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