The Common Good

A Faith-Full Labor Day Weekend

Socrates famously said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Sometimes I wonder if the church that fails to robustly examine the life's challenges in light of faith is a church worth having.

Let's be honest. The church has done a great job avoiding serious theological examination of many of the big challenges facing our society over the past several decades, including how scripture might best understand and engage unions and the labor movement.

In the absence of rigorous reflection, perspectives in the pews have mimicked societal drift toward a less than favorable view of organized labor.

So when aggressive attacks on organized labor emerged earlier this year in places like Ohio and Wisconsin, vast segments of the church was ill-equipped to respond in thoughtful and biblically informed ways.

So let me suggest that this Labor Day, the church cannot afford to perpetuate the labor movement as an unexamined challenge in our society. Debates about the role of unions are everywhere, and demand thoughtful theological discussion, consideration, and action.

This Labor Day weekend, we are challenging every congregation and faith community in Ohio and around the nation to devote a portion of your worship service to exploring a biblically informed perspective on labor. This could include part of a homily, a testimony, a time of prayer for labor members in your parish, church, or faith community, or hosting a special conversation or panel on issues of faith and labor.

Find the platform and means that will work best for your church, and make a commitment to address this important topic this Labor Day weekend. We desperately need our views on all of the big challenges and issues of our day to be considered in light of the heart of God and to be biblically informed and inspired. Make this Labor Day weekend a faith-full Labor Day.

Troy Jackson is senior pastor of University Christian Church in Cincinnati, a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, and earned his PhD in United States history from the University of Kentucky. He is author of Becoming King: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Making of a National Leader (Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century) and a participant in Sojourners' Windchangers grassroots organizing project in Ohio. Learn more about organizing around Ohio jobs. This article first appeared on the Huffington Post.

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