Oh No He Didn’t!

Check biased behavior before it keeps your holidays from being merry and bright. As I thought last week about Thanksgiving dinner and hosting my extended family, it dawned on me that I should also think about – and be prepared for – the many ways that the dinner conversation could take an unpleasant turn. The folks who will gather around my table have different class backgrounds and are of different races and ethnicities. This usually makes for lively, engaging conversations. However, every once in a while this leads to awkward silences after someone makes a comment or does something that... Read More

Championing Postal Workers Is Good Class and Economic Sense

I watched the second Democratic debate hoping that Senator Bernie Sanders would clearly articulate an economic policy that would differentiate him from Hillary Clinton, that would advance the interests of American workers and that would easily resonate with the millions of debate viewers. Unfortunately he didn’t. Instead he continued to lash out at the one percent, the greed of corporations, and the obscene inequality in the United States. All of that is true, but as long as he stays at an abstract level, it’s easy for Hillary to agree with him, and if there’s no distance between them, then she... Read More

Election Day 2015

Despite “get out the vote” efforts by civic groups, nonprofit organizations, religious institutions and political parties, millions of registered voters in towns and cities across America won’t bother to vote tomorrow, Election Day 2015. Some will tell you that they are just too busy. Many will tell you that they see no value in voting in an election that is so hyper-local. Still others will say their individual vote doesn’t matter. How can you feel otherwise when corporations funding super PACS are people, and billionaires Sheldon and Miriam Adelson[i] gave more to shape the 2012 federal elections than all the... Read More

Voting Today Means Democracy Tomorrow

I don’t think so! Democracy is often measured by free and fair elections. Free and fair generally means that individuals vote one time every two or four years for the candidate of their choice. After standing in long lines and casting a vote for the “best” candidate or candidates most people who live in America feel like they have exercised their rights and that they have participated in ensuring that democracy can live on for the next four years. However, as one takes a closer look at the voting process, democracy and class contradictions we can see that what is... Read More

10 Times Classism Hurt Jesus

When I hear people ask, What can religion do to address classism and poverty? I think instead, What does classism do to religion? Classism hurts Jesus, y’all. We may be struggling/working poor, fallible and often defiant, but Jesus still loves us (the Bible told me so). Here are 10 times when Christian churches denied that truth, and, thusly, hurt the lil’ baby Jesus: A 92 year old woman was excommunicated for being too poor to tithe. Fifty percent of your church chorus/band had the best equipment and clothes … but couldn’t pay their electric bill or rent. You really wanted... Read More

Does Organized Christianity Justify Class Bias

… and Make It Appear Inevitable? I’m British. I’m white though not ethnically English. I’m from a poor working-class background in a Northern English city. I am lucky enough to have a university education. I passionately believe in social justice and that everybody should have the same chances for health care, educational opportunities, career advancement, and the right to work hard and prosper. I am also a Christian. Being Christian, One of the Good Guys Like the United States, the United Kingdom – but really we are talking primarily about England – presents an image of being Christian, socially responsible,... Read More

Rich People’s Church, Poor People’s Church

I have much to say on the topic of religion and class, but let me begin with a disclaimer. I know people who experienced the same churches I did and did not come away angry, feeling they were warped by them. So I recognize that more than one experience is possible. Like many poor and working class people, I went to Pentecostal churches for a good part of my life. They were “Holy Roller” churches, where we talked in tongues, laid on hands for healing, and believed the end of the world was just around the corner. Some of these... Read More

Pope Francis’ Call to Action

Paving a New Path for Economic Equality Last Thursday my heart swelled with pride as I listened to Pope Francis call the U.S. Congress to action against the extreme economic inequality in the United States and throughout the world. In his opening remarks, he reminded Congress of their larger mission to “defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.” Disappointment and Discontent This statement is not only true of governments but of religions as well. All major religions hold similar... Read More
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