As of 5:15 pm there were lots of people, marching and carrying signs and chanting in unison, headed for Legislative Plaza. Looks like there will be a lot of people occupying Legislative Plaza tonight.
It’s a gorgeous, crisp fall day in Nashville today. I stopped by Legislative Plaza this afternoon and snapped a few quick shots of the Occupy Nashville protest. They were in the middle of demonstrating the “human microphone” made famous by Occupy Wall Street. Throngs of passers-by were headed across the street to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s run of the musical “Wicked,” which I believe is a wonderfully ironic juxtaposition of messages. It’s been a few years since I saw the show but I seem to recall heroine Elphaba being a rabble-rouser for the oppressed animals of Oz.
Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?
Today’s Tennessean has a message from Ken Locke, pastor of the Downtown Presbyterian Church, a place active in social justice and a congregation Mr. Beale and I have visited many times. Locke writes:
While many have been quick to jump in and either support or condemn the movement, I have noticed that voices from the church have been rather quiet. My belief is that this is because it is embarrassing, especially for my fellow clergy. Frankly, they are making us look bad. With little organization and no training, they are doing something we Christians are clearly not doing very well.
As a Christian in the Reformed Tradition, I believe very strongly that God is able to use non-Christians to spread God’s message of caring for the oppressed. By the power of God’s Holy Spirit, God is able to use anyone God pleases to spread the message of liberation.
My firm conviction is that these Occupy movements, touched by the Holy Spirit, are powerfully drawing the world’s attention to the growing disparity between the rich and the poor. On behalf of the powerless, they are speaking truth to power: It is obscene that only a small number of people control such vast sums of wealth. It is wrong that our legal and economic system is making it possible for a small number to continue getting richer while more and more are finding themselves unemployed, uninsured and foreclosed on. It is indefensible that for lack of relatively small funds, the price of a pair of shoes, children have to sleep in the family car and then get up and go to school the next day.
In other words, they are spreading the message that we, the church, should be spreading.
So I say to the Occupiers, you have my blessings and my prayers. If I can offer you support please let me know. Thank you for shouting out the message much louder than I have ever been able to. And please forgive me, forgive us all, for letting things get so out of hand that you have had to take up the message yourselves. You are unlikely prophets, yet nevertheless, may the Lord bless your ministry and show me a way to be a part of it.
Well said, Pastor Locke.