The Common Good

Pope Francis' Glaring Omission: Why Spiritual Leaders Must Champion Workers' Rights

Source: Salon
Date: March 27, 2014

In a daily mass last month, Pope Francis spoke of joy as a major aspect of Christian identity. “It’s the style of a Christian,” he said, quoting St. Augustine, “‘Go, go forward, singing and walking!’” True enough. All of us, religious or not, could benefit from a bigger bounce in our steps...

According to Timothy King, chief strategy officer for progressive Christian advocacy group Sojourners, these are conditions which run entirely contrary to the intent of the Divine. “God is a laborer and part of what it means to be made in the image of God is that we are co-laborers,” he says, something that gives labor inherent dignity. Just as importantly, however, it is not solely work that bestows this dignity. “God labored for six days, God rested on the seventh. The idea of a ‘sabbath’ was radical at the time. [Everyone] had time to rest. Even the land was supposed to rest and be laid fallow every seven years. While there is dignity in work, it is not all we are created to do and be.”