Rev. Donna Schaper in Religion Dispatches:
Last week I argued in these pages that the Occupy movement might be diverted by its focus on getting physical outdoor space. I felt that the movement had gone viral—we were everywhere, and didn’t need a particular space any more. I was wrong.
We do need physical outdoor space. Trinity Church in Manhattan, sometimes meanly—and unfairly—referred to as a real estate corporation with an altar, could even give it. They own an empty downtown space at Sixth Avenue and Canal Street that is gated (providing security for occupiers) and accessible to public transportation so that allies, visitors, and media can join them. I really thought this demand was a sideshow until Thursday. Then I changed my mind.
That morning a dozen occupiers addressed forty or so clergy. We clergy were all somewhat skeptical of the demand for public space. You could hear the ministerial, rabbinical hrumph,hrumph in the room. (Most of us had never occupied Zucotti Park and a downward trend in temperature wasn’t going to improve on that.) But the occupiers edged toward the theological as they articulated a need for communal, inspirational face-to-face contact in which they could “appear” to one another.