Economic Update: Faith & Labor Fight Inequality [CLIP]

Economic Update: Faith & Labor Fight Inequality [CLIP]

[WOLFF] What kind of activism does your
commitment to be critical of inequality, to overcome it – where does that take you?
What what are you doing? [HENKEL-RIEGER] So one of the things we done in Dallas and that we started also in Nashville is to hold a meeting open to the public and a “worker
rights board hearing” is what we call it. It’s something Jobs with Justice has
done all over the nation and we’ve picked it up in Dallas. And and that
gives so we give workers an opportunity to tell their story to the community, and
to educate people on what’s going on? Why are Walmart workers not able to make ends meet? Or construction workers, or
others. We’ve even had people with from organized labor speak, and so that’s one thing we’ve done to educate people about what’s going on. And when they hear stories from workers themselves that’s different
than if they hear it from us. [WOLFF] Is this working? I mean, do you get
people to come to these meetings to participate in an ongoing way? In other words, is this an effective way to begin to build change? [HENKEL-RIEGER] I think it is. It’s an
effective way to get dialogue going. We also invite people, community leaders
from City Hall or our state leaders to come and hear these stories
because often times our elected officials don’t really know what’s going
on. So we think it is an effective way. [RIEGER] And the faith part of that is the
question: what role are you playing in that story? Oftentimes these workers are not ever given credit for playing a role in any story. So here, first of all, we’re telling the story – or they’re telling their story –
what difference they’re making in the world. The fact that there is production
is actually based with the workers. Somebody who produces is a working
person. Somebody who manages has a role, too, but it’s the workers who ultimately
make that difference. To hear those stories, to hear some of
the struggles that they’re going through, to take that seriously; and we’ve done a
lot of this work in this also. We talk about Dallas, we talk about Nashville,
there are other places. But a lot of the working people that we’re working with
are people of faith. And so, for them to see that what they’re talking about – what
they’re experiencing – in the bulk of their waking hours, has to do with their
faith. It’s something that’s pretty powerful because they realize they
actually matter. You know they play a role they play a role, in the world, they
matter to God. Now here comes a theological piece: this
may be surprising because when people then think about God,
what do people have in mind? How do people envision God? In the ancient world, God was oftentimes envisioned in terms of a ruler: a king, a lord, an
emperor. Today, when you think of God, people think of God maybe as a
powerful person, perhaps a “CEO” even – but do you ever think of God as a worker?
Those things we are discussing with working people. And for them it’s
not that hard to see that God may actually be more like a worker than a
CEO. [WOLFF] Maybe a carpenter? [RIEGER] There’s the Jesus story, right? So so this is something that should be fairly easy to understand for Christians. Even though it takes a little time to interpret but this is why these Christians in
Oklahoma that you mentioned earlier, for them it was very natural to understand
that Christianity might be related to socialism. Why? Because this is
something that their sacred books talk about. But take it back one step
further, there’s the old story of the Exodus, right? This is the Hebrews, the
Hebrew slaves in Egypt. And then you have the Pharaoh, and you have Moses. Now these
stories are in common with Christians, Jews, and Muslims. And what’s so amazing
here is that God takes the side of the working persons. God is the one
who not only liberates, but is active in production, later on
finding a way of life that’s more egalitarian, no longer slavery. You
know, those things are stories that are part of
people’s legacies, people’s heritage. And we don’t have to bring this to them,
they’re already there. And all we have to do is help them see what’s
already there and make use of that for for sort of a positive change in their
own lives, and in the communities. [WOLFF] I’m struck in listening to you that, for many
years in many parts of the world, a worker in a capitalist enterprise was
referred to as a “wage slave”: someone who’s enslaved to the wage system. If you
actually took that literally, then you might be celebrating a religion that was
formed out of a protest against slavery, well then it becomes logical to be
protesting against wage slavery, too.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

11 thoughts on “Economic Update: Faith & Labor Fight Inequality [CLIP]

  1. you never hear much about jesus' carpentry work, does the bible even talk about anything he made? he must not have been very good, and didn't that part of the middle-east have one tree every 1000 square mile? bet that was some expensive lumber not to mention most homes were made out of dirt and rocks…

  2. When you're driving the economy in the wrong direction it's more destructive to continue along that path and I just say no to that. You do not have my consent. Friedman, Negative Income Tax, Free To Choose. That lady was right, they don't know what's going on. I'll be the first to admit I'm an insane idiot, and now it's everybody else's turn 😛 Wake up.

  3. One small step forward and one giant leap back. Faith, believing something without any good evidence to support it. As in, "I have faith that Donald Trump will be a good President", or "I have faith those corporate execs. know what is best for my job security". Oh yeah, they know what they're doing, looking out for their own best interest. Now there's something you can believe in.

  4. I understand why many leftists who call themsves communists and socialists are ardently antireligious considering its history of hierarchy domination inequality and keeping the status of Quo for empire, but i dont think being antireligious helps the cause. Liberation theology is one good example of religions potential for social change. We cannot afford to exclude a major group of people based on their belief its also hypocrisy. atheism should not be imposed nor should religion. As long as mystery, risk, the unknown, subjetivity remain so will faith, science, logic, reason and critical thinking are important but they are not the ultimate.

  5. "Where there is evidence, no one speaks of ‘faith’. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence." – Bertrand Russell

  6. Where the hell is the second half of Economic Update? Did they put up a paywall for the second half? I feel every watcher deserves to see the whole show for free just for putting up with that horrible new intro.

  7. That is an awesome point! Social policies are actually all over the Old Testament if you have the eyes to see. But God goes further than a socialist because He decrees a plot of land to every family of all tribes. He wants independence from either a slave owner or a feudal or an employer! When you have your own means of production like the land, you are truly free!

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