Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holy Mess: Faith and Spirituality at Occupy Boston

For seventy days and nights, activists occupied a patch of greenway in the heart of downtown Boston's financial district, as part of the global Occupy movement. In this encampment, a community of faith and spirituality took root, in prayer and worship, meditation and yoga, communion and conversation. This documentary provides an interfaith space for the voices of "Protest Chaplains," prophets and solutionaries, a poet-evangelist, and many others.


  1. Let me just say, as an athiest whose personal beliefs match incredibly well with the archtype of This "jesus" Fellow (Slap the title of "Metaphor" on the thing and it jibes quite well with me), I am greatful to have found some kin in the faith community.

    I always thought it was a shame to have this great story of a pretty legit Nazarene character corrupted and obfuscated by "Christianity".

  2. Thanks so much for your comment, friend, and welcome! In addition to working on creative ways to navigate the incredible internal pluralism of the Religious Left, it is also very important that religious progressives find ways to situate ourselves within the context of the broader movement. That means finding ways to work with those who might share similar values but who have come to embrace those values for reasons often very different from our own.

    Pluralism is hard work, and personally I'm thrilled to be connecting with folks in the atheist community willing to make common cause without needing to share common beliefs.

  3. I'll admit, I've been thinking alot about Jesus lately as a result of having watched this last night. Wondering how he would respond to situations in which I find myself. I don't believe a man known as Jesus ever existed, but rather I consider him an archetype to which we should all aspire. My only problem with religions are the supernatural elements. I just don't believe in them. You know, if you went through the bible and replaced all the references to "God" with "General Spirit of Love" you'd have quite a book on your hands.

    I want to meet friendly religious people. I want to meet people who share my views about spreading kindness. I want people to tell me cool stories about people who may or may not have existed. I want to exchange ideas and learn from one another.

    None of the stuff I hear about "Jesus" rings true with me. I don't see Jesus justifying hate. This is what Jesus is to me Offering your cloak to someone who, about to betray you or not, might be cold. I'm down with that.

  4. Hearing that one of our articles has you thinking seriously about these questions is super encouraging, so thank you so much again for your comments.

    If you're interested in following up on some of your questions and getting more familiar with some religious communities that actually sound pretty similar to some of your beliefs, I would recommend maybe looking into making contact with a local Unitarian Universalist congregation. There's a very strong historical strain of humanism in the UU tradition, and there is also an increasingly non-theistic strain emerging in Quakerism that might interest you.

    Thanks again for your comments!