Wednesday, February 23, 2011

An Amazing Preacher Gives the Religious Right a Lesson on the Bible

The wonderful Reverend Curt Anderson of Wisconsin has an op-ed piece in the Huffington Post, that should put all members of the Religious Right/Conservative/Tea Party group to shame.

Because they have joined the ranks of the corporate world, labelling workers as "greedy" and the unemployed as "lazy", when they should go back to the roots of their faith and remember that the Bible and other religious texts, are critical of the wealthy and business elite who wear their riches and power as a cloak of privilege.

Reverend Anderson explains why he is in support of the workers in Wisconsin, because it's what the Bible tells him to do.
My name is Curt Anderson. I am the Senior Minister at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Madison, Wisconsin; and I am on the Board of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin. There is one theme that is constant throughout the Bible. In Deuteronomy, we read: "You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers, whether your own people or aliens who reside in your land." In Jeremiah: "Woe to him who makes his neighbors work and does not give them their wages."

There is nothing fair about the governor of Wisconsin's proposal to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public workers and unilaterally force public employees to start paying for health insurance and contributing to their pensions. This has been proposed without consultation, without bargaining, without even any concept of shared sacrifice.

There are no provisions to close tax loopholes that benefit corporations. There are no proposals to consider even minor tax increases for the wealthiest members of our state. There are no proposals to restructure Wisconsin's income tax system, where the wealthiest sometimes pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than middle-class working families.
Interfaith groups like KAIROS, Anderson's group, Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice, and others, demand social justice. The Religious Right that Stephen Harper has camped out on Parliament Hill represent the very worst in religion, and the reason why so many end up rejecting the Church. They advocate for greed and you don't have to be religious to know that that is just wrong.

Jim Flaherty recently announced that he will be spending $6.5 million to advertise his government's tax policies as helping Canadians. What won't be included in this taxpayer funded blitz, is the fact that taxes only went down for the wealthy, while Canada's working class have seen an increase.

The protests in Wisconsin are growing, with tens of thousands taking to the streets in solidarity. In a desperate measure they tried to shut down the worker's website, but they are not deterred, and polls show overwhelming support for the workers.

And in Indiana where the Republican government is also trying to push through a union busting agenda, the Democrats have left the state, to avoid having it passed. This is the people fighting back and it's about damn time.

Let's hope we can inspire the same kind of movement in Canada. Where religious organizations, unions, advocacy groups and all Canadians not in support of the Corporate Welfare State, will march together. We are in a unique situation now with an election on the horizon.

A time when our voices can become the loudest.


  1. An amazing - and very wise - preacher indeed. There are many like him here in Canada, who believe in sharing, in helping the poor, in caring for the weak and the sick. Unfortunately, they are not recognized, because they don't flaunt their beliefs, but work quietly in the background, helping their fellow Canadians.
    A sad state of affairs when the loudly-shouted religious right can convince Canadians they are 'right' in more ways than one.
    What ever happened to the parable of the rich man standing less chance of getting into heaven than the camel getting through the eye of the needle?

  2. I can see a popular groundswell,to address the inequities in our tax laws developing.I believe this will grow into a Tzunami in time.We simply have to keep plugging at it.