By Doug Cunningham, August 3, 2016
[Rev. William Barber]: "When I hear Hillary's voices and positions I hear and I know that she is working to embrace our deepest moral values. And we should embrace her!"
There’s a long history of enlightened clergy uniting with labor in the struggle for social and economic justice. That spiritual solidarity is not only our history, but our present.
In Philadelphia at the DNC last week Reverend William Barber delivered a soaring and eloquent assertion that the struggle for social and economic justice is also a spiritual struggle for a moral society. In that struggle labor and clergy can walk hand in hand.
[Rev. William Barber]: “When we fight for $15 and a union and universal health care and public education and immigrant rights and LGBQ-T rights we are reviving the heart of our democracy!"
Bishop Dwayne Royster supports the Fight For $15 at Philly’s airport. For Bishop Royster it’s both a moral and a physical struggle that includes civil disobedience as he describes he and fellow clergy’s actions in support of Philadelphia airport workers.
[Bishop Dwayne Royster]: “We all came together and stood with airport workers over the course of the last five years. Even to the point that on last Thursday after some workers had been dismissed from their jobs at the airport because of a protest that took place earlier in the week, ten Clergy Members of Power were arrested by the Philadelphia police department because we decided to take over terminal B at the airport."
When the labor movement is elevated to a human rights movement and when communities rises up in support of that movement, clergy’s moral endorsement and willingness to walk with workers in that struggle can be a powerful reinforcement to build morale and resolve.
Bishop Royster says faced with this moral movement for social justice, for worker justice, America has a choice.
[Bishop Dwayne Royster]: “America, you have a choice. Political leaders, you have a choice. Business leaders, you have a choice. In my economy, I would say that some of you are going to go to hell if you do not do the right thing
in terms of workers in making decent wages and being able to provide for their families.
It is time that we turned this thing around. It is time that these workers have a collective say in their destiny ! It is time that we all see the intrinsic value in each and every human being and make sure that they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
And the way that they get there in this country and in this economy is that we pay them $15 an hour!"