There hasn't been a complete absence of organized religion at the City Hall camp. Aside from the Jewish group that erected the sukkah, at least two churches — All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena and the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica — have sent members to show support. But they have been the exception.
That partly reflects the nature of those drawn to the event: young, skeptical, typically leery of organizations. "There's a rejection of the establishment," said Rice, "and that may be why there's a rejection of religion as an establishment."
It may also be a reflection of wariness on the part of churches to ally themselves with a movement that is not clearly defined and is more than a little scruffy around the edges.
"It strikes me as a little bit of a gamble for them," said Mark Tooley, president of the conservative Institute on Religion and Democracy. "I don't see Occupation having a lot of appeal for the average suburban, evangelical churchgoer."
Occupy Wall Street has had a more vigorous religious presence than its L.A. offshoot, with support coming from nearby churches and various progressive, faith-based organizations.
Although there have been accusations of anti-Semitic elements in the movement, Occupy Wall Street has also had a robust Jewish presence, including a large outdoor religious service on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
And in one of most resonant images of the occupation, an ecumenical group marched with a golden calf to the camp at Zuccotti Park, turning the Wall Street bull into a biblical symbol of greed and idolatry.
Butler, of Faith in Public Life, participated in that demonstration and said she sees a lot of excitement about the Occupy movement in the faith-based community. She believes it could become a rallying point that will reinvigorate the religious left.
"Like a lot of things … it takes a while for churches to get organized," she said. "But you are seeing folks get organized.... There's a natural fit there, in other words. These values are our values."