c. 2013 Religion News Service
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religion News Service asked participants in the 1963 March on Washington to reflect on their lasting memories of the event and how it shaped their faith. Their comments have been edited for length and clarity.
In Philadelphia, people of faith are stepping forward to defend the rights of their hardworking brothers and sisters.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a city of great cultural diversity. I arrived here after working for 10 years with undocumented immigrants in Tennessee and Kentucky as a lay associate of the Glenmary Home Missioners. I knew I would continue to work with and for immigrants because of the profoundly deep experiences I had relating to them--that and the fact that I feel a deep connection with them being as I am the son of poor immigrants myself.
Numbers of poor people in the suburbs are growing twice as fast as their city counterparts. But many of these picket-fence poor don’t know where to get help—or can’t bring themselves to ask.
When Ellen got the phone call from Hope House, a long-term homeless shelter in Villa Park, Illinois, confirming an available room, she was overcome with relief. “The tears just flowed,” she says. “Even the woman on the other end was crying.”
Spending a night sleeping outside shouldn’t lead to a criminal record.
Sounding Boards are one person's take on a many-sided subject and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.
Buyer beware: That low-priced shirt might have cost someone their life.
New York City made it easier to eat healthier a few years ago by requiring that calorie counts be included on restaurant menus and display boards. What a revelation! Sixteen hundred calories for that moldering pile of corn syrup-infused noodles; 1,300 for the “light” tuna platter? Who knew? Armed with more data, many New Yorkers now wave off that momentarily tempting triple-bacon calorie bomb and opt for something less likely to lead to an early coronary.
It would be hard to compete with Pharaoh in the realm of obduracy, but Walmart is giving the old man a run for his money. Like the Israelite brick makers of Exodus Chapters 5-11 Walmart workers, organized as OUR Walmart, are asking for respect—specifically, increasing the flexibility of working hours, moving up to full-time work when possible, and increasing pay to a minimum of $25,000 annually.
The best resource on wage theft is Kim Bobo’s outstanding book Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid—and What We Can Do About It (The New Press). Originally published in 2009 and updated in 2011, it includes a wealth of information about the problem as well as tons of practical tips on what both individuals and religious congregations can do about it.
U.S. employers routinely violate the seventh commandment when they refuse to pay their workers their legally mandated wages.
Growing up in what she describes as a “pretty conservative church background” in Ohio, Kim Bobo excelled at memorizing her Bible verses. “I won all the contests,” she remembers. “It has served me well in my life. You can’t really know the scriptures and not realize their core commitment to caring for our neighbor. My life has been about trying to figure out how I play a role in helping people and how I can do that in the most effective way possible.”
Catholic Relief Services circles the globe to provide life-changing aid, but it doesn’t have to look far for inspiration—there is plenty in the gospel.
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