Editorial: Michigan's Right to Work Legislation Signed into Law. Class Warfare Fueled
should be union-members, they must be capable of self-regulation and be able to evaluate the consequences that their decisions will have on the common good."
Ironically, some on the political right who have an animus against unions welcomed the role they played in bringing down the tyranny of collectivism under the Communist tyrants who once ruled Poland. Together with all justice and freedom loving people they hailed the role of the Polish Trade Union named Solidarity and the leadership of that great Union Leader named Lech Walesa. He responded to the hour, informed by his Catholic faith, and courageously stood for the dignity of the Polish worker.
However, some Union leaders in the United States of America are a far cry from Poland's Solidarity Union. They also seem to be almost a polar opposite of Lech Walesa. They are too often controlled by the ideology of some on political left who seem more interested in fostering collectivism than protecting freedom and expanding participation. They also have little respect for the rights of the worker to make their own choice of association.
We live in an age that has lost sight of the true dignity of work - because we have lost sight of the dignity of the human worker. This loss is one more bad fruit of the rupture which was wrought by sin. In the industrial age, men and women were often reduced to mere instruments in a society that emphasized productivity over the dignity of the human person, the worker. Trade unions helped to protect that dignity and promote the basic human rights of the worker.
The technological age promised something different, but has failed to deliver on the promise. Too often, men and women are still viewed as instruments and objects rather than persons and gifts. Even Science, a great gift meant to be placed at the service of the human person, human flourishing, the family and the common good, has often promoted a view of the human person as an object to be experimented on and disposed of at will. This fundamental error is the root of the contemporary culture of death and use.
The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church issues a challenge which must be taken up in this hour, "Given the changes that have taken place in the world of work, solidarity can be recovered, and perhaps with a firmer foundation in respect to the past, if the effort is made to rediscover the subjective value of work".
Catholics need to examine the events unfolding in Michigan in light of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church. We should not succumb to those who want to place us in any of the politically charged camps. To again quote the Compendium, "there is a need for ever new movements of solidarity of the workers - and with the workers".
In an age when collectivism is growing - from the federal government on downward - we need to form and encourage new mediating associations from the ground up. They are an alternative form of governance and we will need them for protection if the trends continue. That includes forming true trade unions which fit the day in which we live and are not carryovers from a bygone era led by Big Labor Bosses with a political agenda.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: labir unions, trade unions, right to work, Michigan, solidarity, collectivism, human dignity, Governor Rick Snyder,
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