I was thinking yesterday about my journey over the past 7 years. IN 2011, I started using occupytheology.org to point to my blog, which, that point, was using the one domain, theoblogical.org that I had been using since starting the blog in 2002. Now, as most of you know, it is primarily ecoecclesia.org. Theoblogical and occupytheology still get you there, but the domain is redirected to ecoecclesia, since that domain defines my emphases of the past 3 years and 4 months.
But occupytheology is still a powerful statement for me. I have not lost interest or passion re: economic inequality and the “Principalities and Powers” , which I identify closely with the 1% who keep the status quo that they want and work diligently to swing the scales further and further toward their exclusive benefit. The ecological crisis is a “fruit” of such labor. The 1% have worked to keep the fossil fuel economy going against the grain of scientific discovery and accelerating warnings about what three centuries of the Industrial/Technological Society have done to the planet, particularly in the last century, and even more so in the past 3-4 decades.
It is perhaps the biggest “gotcha” that the 1% have ever faced, and they have “doubled down” on defiantly maintianing that part of their portfolio by psychotically pushing misinformation about our ecological crisis to keep the public in the dark, and to “go and make disciples” of that denial of the political right wing, who have proven their mettle in being easy prey to buy the American exceptionalism propaganda , which seems wedded to the myth of unlimited “growth” (the “myth ” part of this concept of “growth” is that it is without ecological accounting.
It truly DOESN’T count all of the costs of the “growth” dogma that implies that we will never reach “Overshoot”. That the “ingenuity” of humankind will , by default, “innovate” our way out of any obstacle. (A form of this false sense of security and hubris is also at work as people look at the economic situation of income inequality and just shrug it off and comfort themselves with “history” that assures them that wise men will handle it for us, and that the “economy will always bounce back”. But the problem with this unbounded confidence is that it usually doesn’t include a recognition that reforms are all that necessary, or that, if they are, they are more on the level of “tweaks”.
But the fossil fuel “Overshoot” of our operative, extractive, “savage” capitalism is a critique that is met with firm resistance and dismissive condescension, and often accompanied by an almost liturgical recitation of how “capitalism” is the best thing that ever happened to the world (ignoring that the most “capitalism-driven” economic systems are also those that have produced the most destructive overshoot of ecological economics known in the world, and that this is NOT sustainable for either ecology OR economics.)
So yeah, the “Occupy” concept is still a model we need. It may well have lost its allure as a brand, but the methodology of “occupying” political spaces to demand an accounting is spreading out, even more so as the Trump administration is modeling for us how many things break down— and how badly — when greed is given free reign, and we are allowed to see what the 1% want with such lack of filtration by “political correctness” (which is how they usually characterize anything that smacks of regulatory or “government oversight”, as if it is somehow evil for “the government” to “watch over” anything. That seems to ignore how our own interests can get thrown out by that “the whole of the bathwater, including the baby”).
So , this is all to say that EcoEcclesia is very much an overlapping, interrelated theology with OccupyTheology. EcoTheology is , in our context, a theology which is prepared to “Occupy”, for we know that this confronts those same powers that fear Ecological Activists, who also fear Labor Unions and Economic reformers who are sounding the alarms about the 1% and the continued growth of income inequality. They (the 1%) are not yet, even now, with record “pie slice” sizes of our economy, satisfied. The ecological movement is going to hit this wall of resistance that the same people are putting up vs activists who fight for economic justice, racial justice, and health care for all. And Ecotheology is perhaps THE greatest single health care impacting theology of them all, as well as an important advocate for removal of oppressive conditions for racial minorities. We all have much about which to “Occupy” .