A report from today's Pro-Nun rally in Oakland, CA
I was walking home from downtown this evening when I came upon an outside demonstration/meeting of Sisters for Peace & Justice. The rally was in solidarity with the nuns meeting in St. Louis where the nuns there are deciding what to do about the Vatican's most recent attack on them - with one option being seceding from The Holy Mother Church. I figured something might be going on, because when I was walking to downtown earlier I ran into a guy with a sign that said "VATICAN: Clean up your own sewers - LEAVE THE NUNS ALONE!", and stopped to talk with him for a minute [during which time he didn't mention the rally, or why he happened to be walking around with a sign in support of the rebel nuns, but we did talk about the meeting in St. Louis, and the coverage on the MSN news site this morning: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/07/13162177-after-blistering-vatican-report-nuns-gather-to-weigh-response?lite
The Man from the Vatican was there - a guy at the top of the stairs, dressed in a suit, with a walkie-talkie at ready. He appeared to be the church's security detail. He was engaged in a spirited discussion with some old guy about my age, although I couldn't tell about what. It seemed heated, but not quite on the verge of violence, so I guessed it was about religion, politics, or the weather.
The rally was on the flight of stairs going up to The Cathedral of Light. Many people had chairs that appeared to be from inside the church, so someone in there seems to be supportive. I should've counted, but didn't, so I'll estimate the number in attendance at about 83 [including me]. They were mostly women, but the male AARP contingent was noticeable [about 1/5th, I'd guess, the men all about my age or older]. One nun was in full Bride of Christ regalia, weird hat and all, looking for all the world like a smiley faced penguin. Other nuns present had kicked the habit, at least as far as this one demo-rally was concerned. The women's ages ranged from what looked to be late 30s to [dare I say it?] the early to late 90s.
When I sat down a woman who identified herself as a nun was telling the crowd an empirical tale,about how little things can become big things, and big things continue even after their big thing numbers dwindle [i.e., the good deeds are continued, possibly through a different venue, such as direct action]. Her examples were about different gatherings and groups in years gone by opposed to nuclear madness..
Another woman who said she is a nun spoke about Hanford Atomic Works in Washington state, and the ongoing [some say escalating] crisis of what to do with all that radioactive plutonium waste laying around up there. During a back-and-forth type of prayer people asked for God to intervene on behalf of the Palestinian people; the poor and downtrodden; and the people who "are right at this moment meeting with Chevron, in hopes of getting environmental justice." And, of course, the rebel nuns meeting in St. Louis I was going to shout out that God should intervene on behalf of the Pussy Riot defendants in Moscow, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/31/god-is-judging-pussy-riot
but I was too shy to yell that in public. I've gotta work on that fear of public speaking thing.
I got up and split, and everyone else started to mingle, after the concluding song, "We Have All Been Called to Work for Peace and Justice." Nice words, but sort of a too church choirish tune.