I was reading about the Catholic Worker Movement the other day and I asked myself if anything has changed in the public sector, because of the movement she co-founded. Here is something she said:
“We want no revolution; we want the brotherhood of men. We want men to love one another. We want all men to have what is sufficient for their needs. But when we meet people who deny Christ in His poor, we feel, ‘Here are the atheists.’ They turned first from Christ crucified because He was a poor worker, buffeted and spat upon and beaten. And now-strange thought-the devil has so maneuvered that the people turn from Him because those who profess Him are clothed in soft raiment and sit at well-spread tables and deny the poor.”
What do you think? Have Ms. Day’s words had any effect on the public sector? What’s more; have they had any effect on the Christian Church? Are the churches advocates for the poor where you live? Should they or any religious institutions be advocates for the poor?
A number of years ago a friend of mine, a Catholic nun, with whom I worked on issues of justice for immigrants, went back to her convent, leaving social services in order to return to her “community”. Before she left, she gave me a subscription to the Catholic Worker magazine. She told me that she thought a pastor of a church, (Presbyterian), that is so identified with capitalism ought to have the idea challenged.
From time to time, churches of many denominations have shown identification with the poor, but the affect on the public sector has diminished as we have gotten mired in social issues involving sexuality. As I read Ms. Day’s words again, I was saddened. We have a responsibility to Christ’s brothers and sisters beyond single issue debates.
What do you think?