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My Take: Occupy Wall Street looks like church to me
Protest Chaplains Robin Lutjohann, left, and Michael Zahniser take part in an Occupy Boston march September 30.
October 7th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

My Take: Occupy Wall Street looks like church to me

Editor's note: Marisa Egerstrom is a Ph.D. candidate studying American religious history at Harvard University. As a member of the Boston-based group Protest Chaplains, she has been involved in the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York and Boston. She is an Episcopalian.

By Marisa Egerstrom, Special to CNN

In the movement that's making campgrounds out of city squares across America, it might seem there's little religion happening. But Occupy Wall Street, and its local offshoots springing up everywhere from Boston to L.A., has described itself more clearly in the language of “soul” than in the language of federal financial regulation policy.

That’s because, at its heart, the Occupy movement is about creating a democratic society in which everyone matters, there is dignity in working together across differences, and there is enough for everyone. Is this vision tantamount to socialism? No. Once upon a time, we called this “American.”

It also sounds pretty Christian to me. What the early Apostles called “The Way” was a vision for peaceful living that built on Christ’s teaching, life, death and resurrection. The Way repudiates the pursuit of individual wealth in favor of building communities that care for the marginalized, the desperate and the powerless. Jesus demonstrated this by healing lepers and dining with prostitutes and tax collectors.

This is not to say that American democracy is synonymous with Christianity, nor to argue that it should be. Understanding what’s happening in these protests, though, requires that we quit impatiently insisting on a list of demands and listen for what the Occupy movement is saying. The US Day of Rage website, one organizational hub for the protests, says we’re “fighting a war for the soul of our nation.” Such language is unmistakably religious and reveals how deeply this popular discontent reaches.

The consistent message emerging from the protests against the concentration of wealth in the hands of 1% of Americans is this: We are the 99%, and we intend to chase the corrupt moneylenders out of a democracy created for the people. It’s a vision of inclusivity and participatory government that confuses pundits and politicians alike, because this movement is more about being for a way of living than it is against anybody or any group. It’s the thing Christianity talks about but often has a hard time doing. It’s a new politics fighting to restore the vision of equality laid out in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the checks and balances so brilliantly constructed in our Constitution.

Critics have derided the protesters with the usual rehearsal of slurs: spoiled kids, lazy hippies and so on. But the occupiers don’t want your money or your stuff. In this entitled era of “Have it Your Way” and overwhelming consumer choice, spend any time listening to people speaking about their grief and hope, and you hear a groan of longing for a different way of living. “I want less,” a friend told me once. “Less of everything.” She wasn’t talking about wanting to be poor. She just wants real life.

Protest Chaplains Heather Pritchard, foreground, Sarah King and Nicholas Hayes in New York on September 17.

Jesus teaches that in return for having less, we get more. More life, not more stuff. The little experiments in community arising in cities across the United States in the Occupy movement are revealing how much there is in “less.” For many, “less” is not a choice. The Boston camp is full of people who have lost homes to foreclosure, whose unemployment applications have gone unprocessed for weeks and whose retirements have been absorbed by the banks.

Yet in the music, conversations, meetings and daily work that come with running a community, there is a profound sense of abundance. A delivery of dry blankets and towels is met with cheers. Trained medics volunteer their skills to treat injuries and illness. The food station is “loaves and fishes” in action: There is always more than enough to eat, and homeless folks eat side by side with lawyers and students off of donated plates. There is always meaningful work to be done. It’s not charity. It’s cooperation. It’s The Way, and it’s happening right now. The Occupation is the church your church wants to be.

I’m with a group called the Protest Chaplains, and we have spent time at the New York and Boston protests, tending to the spiritual needs of protesters. We’ve found no shortage of work to do. Over and over, I hear the chaplains saying they’ve never had such an opportunity to put their faith into action. Coming from a mix of mainline and evangelical backgrounds, we’ve set up an interfaith spirituality tent in Boston where protesters are constantly meditating, leading workshops and holding services in Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist and other traditions. Just as in The Way, it turns out that ideology and theology matter less than what we do. And it’s bringing us all new life.

For Christians, the Occupy movement amounts to an invitation from people outside of the church to join them in prophetic witness to the failure of a hyperindividualistic consumerist society. Will Christians find the humility to accept the welcome and join? Or will we fail to recognize The Way in what’s happening in this movement simply because it doesn’t speak Christianese? Could it be that open-hearted participation in this growing experiment in abundant life is exactly what the church needs to recover its own sense of vitality and mission? As Jesus said, “Come and see.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Opinion • Protest

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soundoff (769 Responses)
  1. CGoodrich

    The picture painted by the article sounds quite noble but sadly has little to do with Christianity. It is neither a virtue nor a vice to be rich or poor. It is what a person chooses to do and say that determines whether they are good or evil, not what their income is. True religion is not hijacked by "social justice" masquerading as doctrine. The protesters are advocating that businesses be punished for being a business. It is obvious that they are against other people having money, unless that money is given away with no strings attached. "Free college education", "debt forgiveness", etc. are their demands. They don't really want to be poor, they just want to make sure that no one is "rich" by their standards. Just like a rising tide lifts all ships, the redistribution mentality will equally lower everyone's standard of living by killing productivity and incentive for wealth creation.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Barbara Nichols

      Sadly, CGoodrich, I think you might have missed the intention of the article. It's about loving, kindness, and coming together for the right reasons.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • A. Buendia

      Actually the notion of social justice has its roots in christian teachings. The doctrine was first developed by Jesuit Luigi Taparelli in 1840 based on the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Fortunately you are incorrect in saying it has nothing to do with christianity. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).

      October 7, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  2. Really?

    Give me a break! People are frustrated, poor and out of work. It's utterly shameful that one would try to weave this into a religious context.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  3. Shane

    You mention that at it’s heart the occupy movement is about creating a democratic society where every one matters, well Christianity is in no way inline with this concept at all. Christianity is about control, controlling who you worship, how you pray, how you live your life, condemning any other religious group, state, or person out there who doesn’t share the same beliefs. Is that democratic? Is that about everyone mattering? Not at all!
    You say that you set up an “interfaith spirituality tent” which includes jews, muslims, Buddhists, etc, but your whole article is to claim this protest is Christian? This claim right there proves that again you are against what this protest stands for. Oops sorry any muslims, jews, or Buddhists, or any other religious group that happens to also be participating in this protest, we Christians have claimed this as ours, go claim your own protest group somewhere else. What a load of crap!
    You say that Christianity talks about but has a hard time being for a way of living than it is against anybody or any group, open your eyes woman, Christianity is all about being against everybody, and any group that is not inline with their way of thinking.
    This protest might have some Christians in it, but it is in no way Christian.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • LKJ

      Unfortunately, many Americans continue to believe that anything good is Christian and anything not good is unChristian. It's a simplistic view of the world but it apparently serves them well.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  4. Brian

    " the failure of a hyperindividualistic consumerist society."...........................

    That's an interesting expression. Nihilism is another word for it.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • martinipaul

      Interesting idea. How does Nihilism fit? Seriously, I would like to know. Might learn something.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  5. Toulouse la Trec

    I am sure that Jesus lived a life of example and while he wanted us to follow his way, he did not intend for us to rob from the rich to give to the poor. That was a decision left to each of us to secure the keys to the kingdom on our own. To force others to do what a majority of their peers made them do under threat of death or imprisonment was not the way of Christ. This appears to be the way of these people who lead a Socialist?Communist agenda. Further Christ would ask us to help others to help themselves not bribe and coerce people, lie to, mislead and obfuscate nor would he use the term "by any means necessary". I would not nor could I allow myself to associate with these people outside of praying that they might truly follow and see the Way of the Lord.

    October 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Jesus101

      "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." Jesus

      October 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • LKJ

      The purpose isn't to "rob from" the rich. We are simply asking them to pay their fair share. They did before the Bush tax cuts came into effect. Why is it so hard for everyone to understand that Bush is not Moses and the things he enacted are not the Ten Commandments?

      October 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • ch

      @jesus101 your implication is that Jesus Christ was saying that being rich was a sin, I suggest you read the WHOLE story. Jesus told the rich man to go and give his money to the poor, the rich man could not do this because he loved his money more then God. The point of the story is the "love of money" is a sin not being rich. So please if you are going to attempt to quote the Bible read the whole story first

      October 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • stella

      It's not really robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. I'm rich and I spend a lot of time with real, working class people - and I'm pretty sure we are stealing from them in several very large ways and a huge number of smaller ways. The way I see it, we rich need to stop robbing the people who are this society, both in terms of percentage and contribution value. I have to believe that we can bring about social change so that the class disparity of wealth and privilege is not an endemic part of what we are as a nation and a people.

      October 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  6. pedreiro

    The term "The Way" is not used properly in the article. In the Bible, Jesus says: "...I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." John 14:6

    October 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Middle America

      You are SO right.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Andrew

      The use of "The Way" isn't referencing his quote. Rather, it's the name the early Christians used for their religion and spiritual path. It's historical. Remember, this was the birth of a whole new religion, one that didn't have a name at the time. The word "Christianity" came around much much later. The early "Christians" referred to their belief and their practices and path as "The Way." Whether this was in reference to the quote or not is something you'd have to ask of a historian or theologian with historical knowledge of this early stage in the religion. In any case, the article's use of the term is historically accurate.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • A. Buendia

      She was referring to the early church principles and teachings, not a particular verse in scripture. She is a religious historian and is speaking from her knowledge of early church history. Please allow your mind and heart to open.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  7. Martin

    I think the picture says it all: A guy holding up a sign that says "Blessed are the poor" . ... leaving off "in Spirit" as in, in grief over your sin. This is a parade of covetousness, nothing more. The guy is dressed like a monk with a cross on his neck, supposedly representing Christ. But if he had any clue about the meaning of Scripture, he would not purposefully distort the words of Christ.
    It's true that the strong victimize the weak, and it will continue. But the Christian remedy for evil is not to force people to do your will..i.e. have congress write laws to take money from rich people. The Christian remedy is not to "Overcome evil with evil, but overcome evil with good" and "Bless those who curse you, bless and do not curse"

    What Jesus called for is for us to change mens hearts.. rich being called to compassion, mercy, and generosity, and the poor called to the same. If these people were Christian, they would be calling for those who hold the wealth to be converted, have a changed heart and bless the nation. But this is not what they are doing.. thier hearts are full of covetousness, bitterness and envy, accusation and strife. The rich are full of greed, pride, spiritual blindness and hardness of heart. Both parties need to forgive, and bless each other in whatever way they can.

    "Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"....
    "As far as it depends on you, leave peaceably with everyone..."

    October 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Nadine

      My, how you distort Christ's message. This is the same Jesus that overturned the tables of the moneylenders in the Temple. You seem to have convinced yourself that Jesus stands for what you are rather than what you could be.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Toulouse la Trec

      I just sent a note expressing what you had said before I read your note and am glad that I find myself not alone in these thoughts on following Christ Thank you for your thoughtful comments and know that your awareness of our Lord and his teachings is shared by many including yours truly.
      Thank You.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • Middle America

      Amen

      October 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • noknow

      Make not my Fathers house a house of merchandice... That Jesus is that the one your referring too? Read your bible and quit making up jesus stories (small j for your imaginary jesus) J for my King.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Solomon

      Actually, she didn't misquote Jesus. You're thinking of the version in Matthew in which Jesus refers to the "poor in spirit". In Luke, Jesus specifically says "Blessed are the poor" and "Woe unto you who are rich".

      I would probably wager that in general, an ordained chaplain that is also getting her PhD in religious history at Harvard might just have a little more biblical expertise that you, so you might want to research a little before you accuse her of not understanding the bible.

      Here's Luke 6:20-27:

      "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [are] ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed [are] ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed [are] ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice in that day, and leap [for joy]: for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

      But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you, ye that are full now! for ye shall hunger. Woe [unto you], ye that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Woe [unto you], when all men shall speak well of you! for in the same manner did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say unto you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you."

      October 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • Martin

      All: Before God, none of have the moral high ground: Neither the envious coveting poor, nor the compassionless greedy rich. You can read and quote the bible all day, but if you are not born again, you cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.. whether you are rich, or poor. Being poor does not put you on Gods side, neither is wealth "Evidence of blessing" .."I send my rain on the evil and the good alike"
      The episode in the temple was spurred by Christ's zeal for the Holy place, not his outrage at rich taking advantage of poor. "Zeal for your house will consume me"
      I've been in protests before.. it is part of our civic duty, part of our process. There is nothing wrong with protesting. Many of these people are hurting financially, and it is understandable that that pain would come out in this way.

      But the idea that this movement has a christian foundation is way off base. The poor are not to be saved by the US government using the threat of force to remove resources from the rich. That is not Christian.

      The poor are to be saved by the converted rich, the Christian rich, having hearts full of compassion, and giving freely. If these people were Christian, they would be evangelists trying to convert the hearts of the rich to Christ. That is the great commission, of which all Christians are called to.

      All these people are doing is saying "We are poor/suffering, therefore Jesus is on our side. " This is not true. A poor person and a rich person can have an evil heart, and it is evil to covet what others possess.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Martin

      Solomon / All:
      These phrases in Luke "blessed are the poor..for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" Is the introduction into Jesus' long discourse on loving your enemies and turning the other cheek.

      Luke 29 :" And do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away". ... This is the opposite of what the protesters are saying: They are saying they have been robbed and want to be made whole.

      Is what these protesters have in mind "loving their enemies"? Somehow, I don't think so.. No, they lifted "Blessed are the poor" and left off the main thrust of the whole passage: Loving your enemies.
      These people are not Born Again, they are thinking like all humans think: "I was robbed and I deserve and demand justice"

      October 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  8. donotreply

    no reason to argue anymore, CNN dropped the front page cause they were getting too much bad press comments.

    As usual. Stupid CNN libs...

    October 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  9. svscnn

    Ugghh... really?

    October 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  10. Chris Collino

    I think the author speaks to something that some comments and some on the right and left have failed to realize. The press, the government and Big Money are not listening. When Howard Cain implies that the protesters are envious, he fails to realize that people are talking about the condition of the whole boat. The 1% cannot be on the boat and not care about the boat or the other sailors. The Neo con/tea party days of spend on the military and send the bill to the middle-class and working poor only are over. You can 't have it both ways: either you believe in small government or you don't.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  11. Artic

    The Article is crap, and proof of why our school system is broke.

    Harvard? wow so sad...

    October 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Allen

      your crap and the reason our school system is broke. I am not a christian and have not set foot in a church for many years but her words are historically and factually responsible. Listen and pay attention or it will be your ass, education, job, money, family, life, land, liberty on the line. sic... It already is.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  12. Reverend Wayne

    No Jean, the protesters are lashing out because they don't have jobs and have no one to blame but themselves for Electing the Great Divider Obama.

    Thank Obama for the no jobs, and tell him to quit blaming Bush while you're at it.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Jean Sartre Milwaukee, WI

      Hey, Rev., would you use some of your soulful prayers and get everyone in America who wants to work a JOB?

      Come on, I know you talk with that invisible man in the clouds, daily...

      October 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • EdB

      Rev,

      How short is your memory. Did this whole mess start in 2009? I don't think so. Deregulation, unfunded wars, tax cuts with no costs cuts, and Medicare perscription benefit increases all happened under your boy Bush and still amount to more of our deficit than what has occured under Obama. Open your eyes. The Republicans have you fooled.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Jean, I for one firmly believe that if everyone of us in this nation were to start praying for that – healing of this nation and jobs for those who need one – that He would answer and provide them, and heal us and our debt.

      I do believe it, pray and hope for that, and hope that others will begin to look toward and lift Him and His name up again, and not in hate or politics or rhetoric, but in Love.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • steveinmo

      EdB,
      You're right the mess didn't start in 2009. The deregulation of & allowing for the subprime mortgage garbage was signed into law by President Clinton, specifically so Fannie & Freddie could give mortgages to those who should not be allowed to get one. Look to your own party.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Frances

      "that He would answer and provide them, and heal us and our debt."

      No dude – ain't gonna happen. What it will take is personal responsibility for the choices you are making in your life and with your money. We have the power to change now – it's in your vote and who you put into congress. You want to change this country start there, get people in office who have the guts to do what's right. People need to look at their own issues in their homes, they buy their cars on credit, their homes on credit, many even buy their x-mas on credit. So, the gov't does the same – live beyond our means it's the American dream! The reality is people have gotten lazy, it's time to make hard choices and tighten our belts to get out of DEBT! If you are in debt you have no right criticizing our gov't for it.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • siochain

      dear Mr. Shortmemory,

      Obama did not create the financial mess and unemployment. That came to crisis proportions in the fall of 2008, after 8 years of failed Bush/Cheny/Haliburton policy. It is fair to argue whether Obama may have worsened the problem or helped it but he did inherit it – he did not create it.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • steveinmo

      @ Frances,
      I'll agree with what you say about taking personal responsibility. That's what these protestors don't get and are ignoring, that the way we lived for too many years, and allowing these practices are what caused the mess.

      But when you say prayer won't do anything and that "we have the power" is wrong. Let's see your power. I'll wait on mine, and when the Lord chooses to give it. Maybe He won't, but I'll still wait. If you deny Him though, He will cutoff "your power". Let's see your power.

      October 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  13. us1776

    We are throwing the religious crap back at the teabagger idiots.

    Sorry if that has gone WAY OVER YOUR HEAD !!

    .

    October 7, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • cellblock131

      the DemonRats suffer from seizures when asked about their morals. tell the former confederate soldiers party to get right with their marxist god.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  14. Brad

    Christian? No. It's ugly socialism at work here. It's "I want what you have" even though I didn't earn it. Truly ugly.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Jessica

      You sir have obviously missed the point of the Bible and never truly read any socialist readings. Unregulated capitalism and greed creates indignities of the worst kind. There is no rational way in which you can interpret the Bible to say that society should not take care of its poor.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Laurie

      I agree with Jessica.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Angry Birdz

      No, the people are protesting because they aren't even given a chance to earn what the other guy has. When you get fired for turning fifty, the only job left is the one you make for yourself by cashing in your life's savings and hoping against hope that people want to buy what you're peddling. When you're just graduating from school and there's no jobs, not even minimum wage ones, that's what makes people so angry. People don't want handouts, they want hope!

      October 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • cellblock131

      if a man doesnt work, while fully capable, he should not eat.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • EdB

      Yep. Christ always sided with those with the most wealth and power and told the poor to suck it up and get to work.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • noknow

      You may have forgotten your history, remember fruedal England? remember how they treated the serfs what about bad king john and how he treated everyone? America is quickly becoming an oligarchy and we will be looking for freedom in another country... china perhaps? How can anyone say the rich shouldn't pay taxes and say we're all equal in the same breath? How can you justify that injustice. In mankind, power corrupts, who would use the name of Jesus to justify starvation? greedy men that's who!!

      October 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  15. Mark

    What a shame the religious had to stick their noses into this after a few weeks. They're the ones that voted to let the theives in.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • EdB

      Not all religious people Mark. The ones you don't see on TV and the ones I know voted for Obama. We were tired of Bush's hypocrisy.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  16. MarPeter

    The article, well-written and substantive, intuits the soul of the movement – as did MLK of the civil rights movement, and Gandhi in the campaign to free India. Oddly, always a minority voice, and unrecognized by most, the soul of all egalitarian efforts for social justice, human rights, compassion for the marginalized, and a beating heart for all those who suffer exploitation, genocide, and terrible losses continues to redeem society through the efforts of those such as the Protest Pastors, and even through the kindnesses and sacrifices of those who deny its existence.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  17. Jean Sartre Milwaukee, WI

    I am so tired of my fellow Americans bringing CHRISTIANITY into every facet of life in this country!

    Who really cares?

    The protestors are, rightfully so, lashing out against corporate GREED and a GOVERNMENT that has been BOUGHT by WALL STREET! That is what they are doing...

    Now, IF you can conflate this exercise into having absolutely ANYTHING at all to do with CHRISTIANITY, then you are even more corrupt than WALL STREET and our GOVERNMENT combined!

    October 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • svscnn

      Amen.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Jessica

      I don't think that the article is trying to say that all the protestors are Christian. I think it is pointing out that the values of the protest movement are in line with the values of Christ which Christians and the Right Wing in this country so often forget.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Allen

      Jessica, people forget to read the article and insert thier own meaning, in the bible and with the non believers. People miss the target of the message and spew rhetoric; Jean is no different.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
  18. Reverend Wayne

    As a black liberal-leaning Christian, I am offended by CNN and Obama's hate mongering.

    I'm sorry to inform you but they do more to divide the races than white folks, and I'm sick of it.

    And quit trying to demonize Christianity (CNN) with these ridiculous kids pretending they're playing the bog boy game, but with their fists and flying snot instead of intelligence and planning.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Jean Sartre Milwaukee, WI

      I am deeply offended by you and "christian" folks like you who believe in some magic man in the sky and force the rest of America into a position where we have to deal with your delusions, as you have pushed them so far into our secular government that I don't really know from one day to the next if I'm waking up in Iran or America!

      Please keep your religion, your delusions and your mental disease out of MY GOVERNMENT!

      October 7, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Allen

      I'll bet your as black as a wedding dress.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  19. Jim

    What a crock. The protest is not about living a simpler life, or about dignifying the impoverished. You don't "protest" those things, you just go live it. The protest is largely about "I want some of yours".

    October 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Snoozie

      It takes someone who's paranoid that everyone wants their stuff not to see her very excellent point.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  20. Wanderer81

    ...religious people have been tearing NYC up for hundreds of years (Dutch Reformed, Scottish Presbyterians, Irish Catholic draft riots, A.M.E race riots, Muslims on 9/11, etc. Just another aspect of the Big Apple.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
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