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The Reverend Mark Bozzuti-Jones, a priest for pastoral care at Trinity, spoke on “The Gospel of Occupy Wall Street” and also used occupation as a metaphor for divinity.
“Recently, I completed a book, The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama According to Mark. It is not a political manifesto or propaganda, but a lens for us to see how God occupies humanity in new ways,” the Reverend Bozzuti-Jones preached.
“In the book, Barack says, ‘Blessed are those who live a preferential love for the poor…. Blessed are those who die before their time because they are poor. Woe to those who advocate solving the economic woes [by putting burdens] on the backs of the poor. They advocate balancing the debt by cutting the social programs and refusing to tax the richest in the country.’”
When you elevate a social protest movement as divinely inspired and endorse occupation as a heavenly tactic, it becomes awkward when you then have to tell the occupiers that they can’t have your land because it belongs to you and not to them. Trinity had been willing to associate with OWS to give it an air of spiritual activism. In return for all the positive publicity about its clergy grappling with social issues, it would give OWS leaders access to its meeting rooms and a shot at the toilets. It wouldn’t however give them Duarte Square.
Occupy Wall Street has never gotten over the betrayal, but it’s more likely that OWS just smelled an easier target. Willie Sutton said he robbed banks because that’s where the money is. Trinity has lots of money and was a lot more willing to cater to the community organizers of Zuccotti Park than their neighbors in the financial district were. Left-wing groups are expert shakedown artists, and the hunger strikes and assaults on Duarte Square were intended to shake down some of that money under the threat of negative publicity. But if Trinity sent along any money, it wasn’t visible in the OWS laundry bucket, which seemed to have just about enough money to run a few dirty OWS t-shirts through the wash.
OWS may have also been looking to the future. Wall Street is slowly dribbling out of New York City. What September 11 couldn’t do, the Obama economy has. The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama means massive unemployment and low confidence in the economy, but the Gospel of Michael Bloomberg means more regulations and higher taxes.
Continuing down, past the sad tattered remnants of Occupy Trinity, Broadway unwinds itself down to the river where the Dutch once planted their flag for a while, where the gun batteries of Fort Amsterdam tried and failed to hold off the English, and down to Bowling Green Park, the first official park in the city, dating back to 1686, where the rebellious colonists pulled down a statue of King George and melted him down for ammunition.
At the edge of the water, you can see Newark, once a powerhouse city, now a local version of Detroit. What separates Newark from New York, besides the Hudson River and several letters, is Wall Street and a handful of relic industries, like magazine publishing, with a limited future.
On the river, which flows both ways, a dirty barge spewing fumes tows a load of garbage marked for recycling. In the distance, the Statue of Liberty, a faint green stick figure, stretches out her hand with the once-golden lamp. And a few miles away, on top of an artsy building in the Village, a statue of Vladimir Lenin stands on the roof. The statue was imported after the fall of the USSR by a radical professor, who was also one of the building’s investors. The bank has since foreclosed on the building, but Vladimir still stands there, one hand raised ominously toward Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty.
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