Let Justice Roll Down

The Working Poor: Challenge to the Religious Community

What is the responsibility of people of faith when confronted with the poverty of working people in a wealthy country? That question is posed by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) in this 2000 video featuring the testimony of working people, faith leaders, academics, and activists. Speakers include Kent Wong, Maria Elena Durazo, Madeline Janis-Aparicio, Richard Gillett, Anthony Thigpen, and others. The film concludes with a message from Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr.: “When we allow millions and millions of people in this country to work for nothing, we deprive them of their basic dignity, we commit mayhem against them. Jesus of Nazareth said, ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’ The church cannot be the church unless we get into the marketplace and insist that work is dignity, and that every employee, every worker deserves those benefits that enables them to indeed attain an abundant life that is full of the riches spiritual as well as the riches of bread.” (En EspaƱol)

Watanabe, Teresa. “A Union of Faith and Labor: As a Booming Economy Leaves Some of Its Workers Far behind, an Interfaith Convocation Reminds Members of the Clergy about Scriptural Commands to Help the Needy.” Los Angeles Times (1996-Current), July 22, 2000. https://www.proquest.com/hnplatimes/docview/2109770274/abstract/92000F9ACB5A47D3PQ/27.