Sunday, February 20, 2011

Religion and Justice

Today in church, the Old Testament reading included the following passage from Leviticus:

"The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning."

It is a simple, specific rule, but it is typical of the Bible's concern for social and economic justice. The writers of this text tell us that according to God, employers are to deal fairly with their employees. According to God, there is a righteous and an unrighteous way for workers to be treated.

What does this mean for us today?

The Journal Sentinel's Annysa Johnson cites a Catholic Archbishop, a Methodist Bishop, and a Rabbi expressing support for unions and collective bargaining in Wisconsin. Johnson also cites Illinois churches and synagogues that have offered sanctuary to the Democrats from Wisconsin that fled the state to avoid a vote stripping state workers of collective bargaining rights. These religious leaders, with their conviction and faith in God, are standing up for the rights of workers and the usefulness of unions and collective bargaining.

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