Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Catholic Social Teaching rendered with eloquence

Rev. Bryan Massingale has always been eloquent and inspiring when he presents the best of Catholic Social Teaching, and so he was again in this morning's paper:

Catholic social teaching and Judeo-Christian values insist that workers must have an effective voice in ensuring safe working conditions, just wages and reasonable benefits. These basic principles honor the dignity of work and promote economic fairness. These gains were not easily won and must be protected today.

History is stained with the sweat and blood of those who struggled to win labor rights many of us now take for granted. Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker movement, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel - to name just a few - all were inspired by their faith to stand with workers demanding living wages and working conditions consistent with human dignity...

...when the governor offers huge corporate tax breaks to some, yet refuses to even negotiate with tax-paying workers, this violates the principles of shared sacrifice and fiscal common sense. It's both immoral and fiscally irresponsible to ask those who teach our children, protect our communities and care for our sick loved ones to bear the greatest burden and give up basic rights that have provided economic opportunity for generations.

Read more here

Photo: Margaret Swedish
Big day in Madison. Gov Walker is clearly unsettled by the sleeping giant he has awakened. So they are trying to shut down the citizens' house in Madison to keep protesters from embarrassing him with chants and drumming during his speech this afternoon (4 CST) during which he will deliver a budget that will gut the well-being of all but the richest of this state, that is likely going to destroy school systems, collapse social services, rip to shreds health programs for the poorest and most vulnerable citizens - among other things.

Expect the sleeping giant to roar when these numbers come out.

We all know now this is not about balancing budgets; this is about collapsing government by de-funding it then balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class. The budget can be balanced with the simplest of remedies - raising revenues by taxing the wealthiest and the big corporations (like the Koch brothers) who right now are on the state dole, a dole Walker intends to increase. This isn't about balancing budgets; it's about the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to wealthy corporate financiers and private sector contractors.

When one looks at this battle through that lens, everything suddenly makes sense.

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