Letting the dust fly in Concord

Maybe we’re too attuned to the noise of needless internecine strife within the Anglican Communion to hear it properly, but it would be nice to see more of the kind of what follows – an item out of Concord, New Hampshire, from last week, and found at InZane Times.

Seven religious leaders opposed to cuts in human services and anti-union provisions of the proposed state budget were escorted from the State House by police at 7:30 PM after a five and a half hour prayer vigil at the office of Speaker of the House William O’Brien.

The religious leaders will return to the State House Thursday morning to continue their vigil, while the House continues its consideration of the budget.

The vigil began shortly after 2 PM, when the group, Voices of Faith for a Humane Budget, arrived at the Speakers office and announced their intention to begin a prayer vigil. As Rev. Bill Exner, of St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Goffstown, prayed and read from the book of Isaiah, a member of the Speaker’s staff and State House Security ordered the group to leave the office….

In a letter delivered to the Speaker’s office Tuesday afternoon, the group said “In recent weeks we have closely followed discussions and debates over the state budget. As people who believe in loving our neighbors, and as people who believe that we are unambiguously responsible to advocate for and serve those who are most vulnerable among us, we are deeply troubled by the dramatic cuts in funds for essential services contained in the budget proposal, which will be before the House on Wednesday and Thursday.”

“In addition,” the letter said, “we are in profound distress over proposals to lessen the responsibilities of communities to care for those most in need and to undermine the collective rights of those who serve our communities as teachers, firefighters, public safety officers, and other public servants.”

Meanwhile, outside the State House, a much larger protest took place, with New Hampshire’s bishop, Gene Robinson, being credited with some passionate words. This according to the Nashua Telegraph.

There were many quality speeches during the 90 minutes of festivities, but most observers credit U.S. Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson with the most fiery, effective rhetoric.

“We demonize state workers, scapegoating them to balance the state budget partially on their backs,’’ said Robinson, whose gay husband is a state employee.

“State workers are not parasites living off the body politic; they are human beings.’’

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