Foreclosure and predatory lending, voter suppression, personhood for legal fictions, and all in order for rich folks to force their camels through the eye of that needle. These are just a few of the things that currently have people protesting in the streets. People are hurting, people are bleeding and people are now forced to take their frustrations to the actual places that caused them, Wall Street and PA Avenue.
For these people it’s not just about losing their stuff, although that is a big part; but also about losing their faith. We were all told that in America if you did all the right things, (studied hard, worked hard, played fair) you would be rewarded with stability, security, and satisfaction. We got was flux, anxiety, and unhappiness. Moreover, there is no real relief in sight. Just more of the same and in the murky distance, worse.
In the midst of all this pain and uncertainty, a group, more often than you would think, conspicuous by its absence is the clergy.
This is not to say that there are no clergy in the streets. Indeed one of the most visible faces of Occupy Wall Street has been Cornel West, but when considering the problems being faced by their flock, you would think that at any protest that is for the little guy, there should be more backward collars than you could count. This has not been the case.
I think back on Dr. King and how he came to be the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (because older, more established clergy figured him to be as good as any to be a sacrificial lamb.) Malcolm X’s most vehement critics weren’t the media or even law enforcement but his fellow ministers within the Nation. Therefore, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Even the prophets of old were spurned and low-rated by the Pharisees. Piety is the preacher’s long suit not direct action. Not like there was ever a call to do unto the least of these as to do so is to do unto God.
Nope, not like that at all.