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Walmart's Exploitation Is Nothing New, So What Made Workers Finally Fight Back?

  • The nation's largest employer has long been the Holy Grail for labor organizers, seemingly impossible to organize -- until now.
  • The group OUR Wal-mart has skipped traditional labor organizing in favor of broad-based campaigns for fair treatment that have drawn on the support of surrounding communities, and particularly of faith leaders. 
  • What Catholic bishops can learn from Hurricane Sandy

Sarah Jaffe, Religion Dispatches / AlterNet

 

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

 

Photo Credit: OUR Walmart

 

November 26, 2012  |  Last month, when strikers from Southern California arrived in Bentonville, Ark., to protest Walmart’s labor practices with reggae beats, pots and pans, and a Latin American-inflected protest culture, it became clear to onlookers that America’s superstore was no longer the small family business that Sam Walton had founded and grown in the cradle of the anti-labor culture of Southern evangelicaldom. But it’s also become clear that Walmart’s own ambitions to become a global empire -- expanding beyond southern suburbs to new regions, and continuing to erode protections for its workers -- have brought the “family values” behemoth into confrontation with another kind of religious and labor rights tradition.

 

Walmart has long been the Holy Grail for labor organizers. The nation’s largest retailer, it is notorious for its low wages, lack of benefits, abusive labor practices , and for leaving its workers dependent on public assistance while making the Walton family rich beyond imagination. And it has been nearly impossible to organize.

 

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What Catholic bishops can learn from Hurricane Sandy, E.J. Dionne, Jr., Washington (DC) Post / Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

The bishops should understand that casting (the church) as a militantly right-wing political organization clouds its Christian message of generosity and social reconstruction visible every day in parishes such as St. Francis and in the homeless shelters, schools, hospices and countless other Catholic entities all over the nation.

 

 

50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church

 

  • The Church uses its resources to oppose social progress and positive change all over the world.
  • Series | How Rome Didn't Decline and Fall (Yet), Part 1
  • Churchgoers, save yourselves

 Adam Lee, AlterNet 

 

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Photo Credit: AFP

November 26, 2012  |   Last month in Ireland, Savita Halappanavar died, and she shouldn't have. Savita was a 31-year-old married woman, four months pregnant, who went to the hospital with a miscarriage in progress that developed into a blood infection. She could easily have been saved if the already doomed fetus was aborted. Instead, her doctors did nothing, explaining that "this is a Catholic country," and left her to suffer in agony for days, only intervening once it was too late.

 

Savita's death is just the latest in a long line of tragedies directly attributable to the doctrines and beliefs of the Roman Catholic church. I acknowledge that there are many good, progressive Catholics, but the problem is that the church isn't a democracy, and those progressives have no voice or vote in its governance. The church is a petrified oligarchy, a dictatorship like the medieval monarchies it once existed alongside, and it's run by a small circle of conservative, rigidly ideological old men who make all the decisions and choose their own successors.

 

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Related:

 

Series | How Rome Didn't Decline and Fall (Yet), Part 1, Bill Annett, American Logo, Salem (OR) News 

  • The Vatican Occupation of America
  • A Tragi-Comedy In Three Acts
  • Part 1: No God Before Me

Churchgoers, save yourselves, Eric Stuberg, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

  • Your influence is waning, but this election, you're doubling down.
  • Child abuse in my church

 

Don't let Minnesota priests use sacraments as political weapons

  • When Lennon Cihak refused to recant his support for marriage equality, the priest refused to confirm him and began denying Holy Communion to the entire Cihak family.
  • Churchgoers, save yourselves
  • All Families, All Saints
  • What Catholic bishops can learn from Hurricane Sandy

Michael Sherrard, Faithful America <>

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Betty Culver

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Lennon Cihak holds up the sign that he photographed and posted on his Facebook page and was ultimately denied taking part in his Catholic Church confirmation about three weeks ago in Barnesville, Minn. (AP Photo/The Forum, Dave Wallis)

November 30, 2012 | The Cihak family of Barnesville, Minnesota, are faithful Roman Catholics who raised their son Lennon in the church. Last month, 17-year-old Lennon was preparing to make his confirmation when the family's parish priest found out that Lennon had posted a photo on Facebook opposing an anti-gay ballot measure.

When Lennon refused to recant his support for marriage equality, the priest refused to confirm him and began denying Holy Communion to the entire Cihak family.

With this story making national news, we have an opportunity to shine a spotlight on how right-wing extremism is hurting the church. Let's show the local bishop that we're standing with the Cihak family and demand that he stop priests in his diocese from using holy sacraments as political weapons.

That's why I created a petition on SignOn.org to Michael J. Hoeppner, Roman Catholic bishop of Crookston, which says:

Bishop Hoeppner: We're outraged that a family in your diocese would be denied holy sacraments simply because of their political beliefs. Please immediately rectify this injustice and instruct your priests to refrain from using confirmation and Communion as political weapons.
 

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends. <>

Related:

What Catholic bishops can learn from Hurricane Sandy, E.J. Dionne, Jr., Washington (DC) Post / Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune
The bishops should understand that casting (the church) as a militantly right-wing political organization clouds its Christian message of generosity and social reconstruction visible every day in parishes such as St. Francis and in the homeless shelters, schools, hospices and countless other Catholic entities all over the nation.

Minnesota Teen Denied Confirmation For Supporting Gay Marriage, Meredith Bennett-Smith, Huffington Post

  • Earlier this year, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Moorhead, Minn., was fired because she questioned the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage, Minnesota Public Radio reports.
  • Churchgoers, save yourselves
  • All Families, All Saints
     

What Catholic bishops can learn from Hurricane Sandy


 

The bishops should understand that casting (the church) as a militantly right-wing political organization clouds its Christian message of generosity and social reconstruction visible every day in parishes such as St. Francis and in the homeless shelters, schools, hospices and countless other Catholic entities all over the nation.

E.J. Dionne, Jr., Washington (DC) Post / Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to all reader-supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish of Rockaway Park, N.Y., is the center of hurricane relief areas for the community. People come for clothes and other assistance in the school gymnasium. Photo: John Minchillo, Associated Press

November 25, 2012 | To say that the Belle Harbor neighborhood on New York City's Rockaway Peninsula was slammed by Hurricane Sandy understates the case. Like many other parts of the region, it has suffered the kind of devastation we usually associate with wars.

In these circumstances, people turn to government, yes, but they look first to trusted friends and to neighborhood institutions that combine deep local knowledge with a degree of empathy that arises only from a long connection with residents of a particular place.

Full story...

Series | How Rome Didn't Decline and Fall (Yet), Part 1

  • The Vatican Occupation of America
  • A Tragi-Comedy In Three Acts
  • Part 1: No God Before Me

Bill Annett, American Logo, Salem (OR) News

November 25, 2012 | I remember as a little boy in our small town saying something derogatory about the Catholic church within the hearing of a catholic man, who not only upbraided me but reported the event to my father. I was punished by being forced to go to the man and apologize and – characteristic of my Dad – I was instructed to write an essay on tolerance. (Or as we say in contemporary America, “Religious freedom.”) It was a great idea on Dad's part, but something intervened which I can't recall, and I never did complete the penance by composition. My life has probably been incomplete as a result.
          
We Americans are so fixated on protecting our freedom that we will carpet bomb anybody who challenges our worldwide endeavor to make everybody as free as we are. And religious freedom is at the top of our list.

Full story...

Maryknoll: Vatican has dismissed Roy Bourgeois from order

  • In interviews Bourgeois focused on the rights of conscience of Catholics and "the importance of people of faith and members of Maryknoll to be able to speak openly and freely without fear ... of being dismissed or excommunicated."
  • SOA Watch Activist Arrested by Military Police
  • Churchgoers, save yourselves

Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Dominique Diaddigo for this contribution.

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Roy Bourgeois (NCR photo/Joshua J. McElwee)

November 19, 2012 | Roy Bourgeois, a longtime peace activist and priest who had come under scrutiny for his support of women's ordination, has been dismissed from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, which he served for 45 years, according to the congregation.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made the dismissal in October, according to a news release issued Monday afternoon by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

Full Story...

Related:

SOA Watch Activist Arrested by Military Police, Hendrik Voss, SOA Watch

  • Thousands Gather at the Gates of Fort Benning, GA, to close the SOA/WHINSEC
  • 3-day mobilization culminates with mass die-in and funeral procession to memorialize the victims of SOA/WHINSEC violence and US miliarization.
  • Nashua Chantalk, 60, of Americus, GA, crosses over the fence to carry the protest onto the military base; faces six months in federal prison.
  • SOA Watch Meets with White House Deputy National Security Adviser: Lessons Learned

Churchgoers, save yourselves, Eric Stuberg, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

  • Your influence is waning, but this election, you're doubling down.
  • Child abuse in my church
     

Minnesota Teen Denied Confirmation For Supporting Gay Marriage

  • Earlier this year, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Moorhead, Minn., was fired because she questioned the Catholic Church’s stance on gay marriage, Minnesota Public Radio reports.
  • Churchgoers, save yourselves
  • All Families, All Saints

Meredith Bennett-Smith, Huffington Post

This article is made possible with the generous contributions of
all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

Lennon Cihak holds up the sign that he photographed and posted on his Facebook page and was ultimately denied taking part in his Catholic Church confirmation about three weeks ago in Barnesville, Minn. (AP Photo/The Forum, Dave Wallis)

One Catholic teen's Facebook post reportedly cost him his confirmation last month after a picture of him holding a sign urging people to vote for "equal marriage rights" was spotted by his priest at a Minnesota church.

Rev. Gary LaMoine of the Assumption Church in Barnesville, Minn., allegedly denied Lennon Cihak the religious rite of passage after seeing him online holding a sign altered to criticize the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports. The amendment would have changed the state’s constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Full story...

Related:

Churchgoers, save yourselves, Eric Stuberg, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

  • Your influence is waning, but this election, you're doubling down.
  • Child abuse in my church

All Families, All Saints, Bradley Schmeling, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (St. Paul, MN)

O Minnesota, Is that what you would have us do?  To have each of us pull down the shades before we pick up our children and twirl them around, giggling in delight?  To make promises and build lives outside the view of everyone else?  To sneak into hospital rooms, pretending we’re a good friend?  To interpret our commitments, our promises, our our families as sin?
 

All Families, All Saints

O Minnesota, Is that what you would have us do?  To have each of us pull down the shades before we pick up our children and twirl them around, giggling in delight?  To make promises and build lives outside the view of everyone else?  To sneak into hospital rooms, pretending we’re a good friend?  To interpret our commitments, our promises, our our families as sin?

Bradley Schmeling, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (St. Paul, MN)

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to
all reader-supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

November 1, 2012 | I’m humbled by the invitation to be here tonight. It’s a joy to be with you at this important time.  My partner, Darin, and I have only lived in Minnesota since this summer. We moved here from Georgia, a state that already has a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Darin was living in Minneapolis when we met at a conference.  I only knew Minnesota by reputation.  Of course, I knew about the density of Lutherans.  But I also knew Minnesota to be a state with a strong commitment to community life: a place where the safety net was more secure, schools that ranked high, health care that is more accessible, the home of Hubert Humphrey, Paul Wellstone, Ollie and Lena, and that big burly Paul Bunyon. It’s a testimony to the power of love that Darin was willing to move from a state that’s predictably blue, at least on the weather map, to the red clay of Georgia.

Full story...

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