In order to bring attention to the ongoing plight of the poor, Kip Tiernan, founder of Rosie’s Place, a sanctuary for women, the Greater Boston Food Bank, which distributes millions of pounds of food a year, and the Poor People's United Fund will begin a public fast at Old South Church, June 1st at noon. All are invited to witness with Kip.
I have decided to begin a public fast at Old South Church. Why? There are a number of reasons, all of which make good sense to me:
For atonement: We should atone for what we have allowed to happen to all poor people in this state, in the name of fiscal austerity or plain mean-spiritedness. We should atone for silently participating in a holocaust, by our consistent denial of reality of what really happens to poor people when we remain silent.
For redemption: I feel redemption can’t be too far away, if atonement is part of the circle of hurt. We must bring hurt into public expression. It’s the most visceral announcement that things are not right.
For repentance: We have, as citizens, much to repent for, for what we have and have not done, to ease the suffering of our sisters and brothers who have no lobby to protect them.
For resistance: I think the time is ripe for all of us who are disillusioned and who feel powerless to renew our spiritual values and come together in some kind of community of resistance, with a clear vision of how things might yet be.
For hope: It is the wellspring of all human energy. If it is true that energy comes from the embrace of the inscrutable darkness, there’s plenty out there! But together we have the opportunity to come into the light of understanding and compassion once again.
I invite those who want to support me to come and begin to share some dreams and hopes.
It is a way we can come together in some kind of thoughtful harmony, around the issues of poverty and deprivation.
There are now at least 10, 000 people per month who can’t get on food stamps because there aren’t enough case workers. We urge the state to get those 10,000 folks on food stamps now. We urge the state to find immediate housing for the thousands of homeless now. This atrocity has been going on for at least three decades. ENOUGH.
I welcome your presence with me and hope you will feel free to speak to those issues most pertinent to the health and welfare of the poorest victims of this latest onslaught.
All movements that have mattered to us have begun with a spiritual base and a need not to be isolated.
Perhaps this is a foolish gesture, but I’m committed to it. For me, it is truly a way to find hope together.
We ask you to bring a donation of food for local pantries.