Organized Labor and Organized Theocracy
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Fri Sep 25, 2009 at 09:45:07 AM EST
Reading stories about the religious right often led me to questions as to how organizations in the group came up with so much money.  I ran across several reports about ministers like Gerald Smith being hired as a union buster.  Business men like Henry Ford saw unions as a threat to their fortunes.  During this period some anti-union sentiments were connected to fears of Communist infiltration.  Growing up in Oklahoma and living in a white collar town meant I received a two fold indoctrination on the evils of unions.  As a general rule of thumb the religious right has been anti union.  It has a legacy of hostility towards organzied labor. Christian talk radio often uses the word "union" in the same disdain they would  mentioning  the ACLU.
     Journalist Arnold Hamilton states that anti- union sentiment is so severe in his state it threatens to hamper education.  He wrote about the teachers union's recent assault from politicians by stating, "from a Legislature controlled by union-hating corporate leaders who forged an unholy alliance with homeschool-and parochial school-loving theocrats that want to destroy public eduation and replace it with religious schools."  Hamilton noted that union  membership in the nation has fallen to less than 8%.  He blames the diminishing numbers on the constant media and the Oklahoma State Chamber that operates the Legislature by remote control.1
     In Bryan Burrough's recent work on the rich power brokers in Texas, he calls attention to a common thread that runs through the fabric of Texas/religous right connections.  The fear of unions brought together many of the rich oil barons in the state.  The fear of losing their wealth caused them to be generous to religious right organizations.2
     In Jeff Sharlet's undercover work published in a recent bestseller, a similar claim is staked.  Sharlet wrote that in the organization he calls The Family, the initial foundation of the movement comes from a Seattle man who forged an alliance with business leaders.  This man grew to see unions as a menace and a threat to the American way of life.  Thus the groudwork for the entire movement with international connections, not to speak of decades of U.S. Legislatures, has a common root in being anti-union.3
     I never recall seeing any "Christian" voter guides with any mention of labor concerns. If anything was stated, as in the case of late Jerry Falwell's paper, raising trhe minimum wage would only harm the country.  Early in the last century Southern Baptists refused to deal with the issue of child labor and turned their heads the other way regarding labor even though most of the congregations were made up of blue collar families.  As Southern Baptists became more upwardly mobile, structures like Alabama industry owners gained a huge influence, not to mention some oil tycoons in Texas.
     The irony of the story is that much of the religious right is made up of labor which tends to vote to uphold owner positions.  They have bought into the belief that organized labor is bad for their family.


  1.  Arnold Hamilton, "Labor Daze", Oklahoma Observer, Sept. 10, 2009, pg. 1.
  2.  Bryan Burrough, THE BIG RICH, Penguin Press, N.Y., N.Y., 2009, pg. 129.
  3.  Jeff Sharlet,THE FAMILY, Harper, N.Y., N.Y., pg. 61.

has a lot to do with the fact that southern states are all "right to work".

by Da Rat Bastid on Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 02:24:12 PM EST

Just remember that so-called "Christian talk radio" is no different than the "Hate radio" folks who claim that their 'values' are our values even as they know it ain't so! And while there is no more widely held or supported value than 'education' [read: public] in Mainline Protestantism, righties hack away at the root-system and preach home-schooling essentially as a means to an end for their anti-science agenda: not to let a kid's ear-drum hear that deadly confluence of letters that spells e-v-o-l-u-t-i-o-n. It makes no difference as to the damage to their child's lessened chance(s) in life that they pose, so long as their phoney-baloney is left intact.
   Texas Baptists started their own K-6 or K-8 schools in church educational spaces in the 1970s & 1980s not only for their anti-science fears being exposed but as a gutless means to oppose integration without saying it forthwith. They pointed to declining public school products and not wanting an association with such, but it was really rooted in racism. It would also serve them well following the SBC Disney World 'hate mongering' spectacle where they voted their 'homophobia' & while vowing to convert the homosexuals, also shamelessly voiced a protectionism for their children simultaneously.

Yes, "right to work" is a strange phrase which means not a right at all but a near guarantee one will not work at all if it is union-connected. Texas Baptists and the SBC have always courted those with 'deep pockets', laughing that they will survive the 'taint' and fund their agendas.

by achbird65 on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 10:50:53 PM EST

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