He had just been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct last week, after police said he shouted from the gallery of the U.S. Senate. He’s been convicted five times in the District since 2009, mostly on charges of disorderly conduct and disobeying police....Some of this reminds me of our tenacious Wisconsin protesters, whose deep convictions and emotive righteousness have led them to specialize in loud annoyingness and innumerable petty violations. Grogan is different from them too. He's driven by religious fervor, and he's not on the left.
Police said Grogan once dropped to the ground in the Capitol Rotunda while clutching a doll and screamed in front of 60 visitors. Another time, police said, he paced the Capitol steps holding a bible and shouting, “Stop killing the babies.”....
Officer Shennell S. Antrobus, a U.S. Capitol Police spokesman, said officials decided to leave Grogan in the tree until after the swearing in to avoid disruptions. Police said he came down on his own after five hours.
What are the limits of protest?
ADDED: This story reminds me of an old Sunday School song:
I remember singing that as a child and feeling embarrassed by how cute the adults found it whenever a child did the spoken-word part, "Zacchaeus, you come down." Are children's songs written to amuse children or to lure children into performances that will amuse adults? If the latter, is it wrong?
Here's the Bible story, in chapter 19 of Luke:
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.Jesus looked with favor on the tax collector, it was his method to conspicuously reach out to those who seemed conspicuously to be sinners when there was a more subtle point that all are sinners and he is reaching out to all of us.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”Lefties and righties can argue about what (if anything) Jesus meant to say about taxation. One might say, as I suggested above, that Zacchaeus was chosen because the people had a stereotype equating tax collection with sin, so he easily became The Sinner, for Jesus to bounce his lesson off of. But you might say that Zacchaeus's conversion shows the importance of taxation when it is used to take accumulated wealth from the rich and to distribute it to the poor. That's not the way the taxation of the time was used, and Zacchaeus had become wealthy through his tax collection work. So he's more like a typical rich man, and he is declared saved because he instantly gave half his possessions to the poor, without regard to whether that wealth was ill-gotten. Zacchaeus makes a second promise, to give quadruple restitution of any ill-gotten gains.
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
What is the proper tax rate for the rich? The Bible implies that it's 50% and that the spending should go toward alleviating poverty. And that's not a 50% income tax, by the way, Mr. Buffet. That's a wealth tax. You should cough up about $15 billion to get right with God.