Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hey Glenn Beck, Read It and Weep: Social Justice And Economic Justice

The Condition Of Labor by Pope Leo XIII,

Encyclical (Latin Title Rerum Novarum), written by Pope Leo XIII, May 15, 1891.

Main points: Promotion of human dignity through just distribution of wealth. Present inequality creates a decline of morality as shown in alcohol consumption, prostitution, and divorce. Workers have basic human rights that adhere to Natural Law, which says all humans are equal. Rights include the right to work, to own private property, to receive a just wage, and to organize into workers' associations. Employers and employees each have rights and responsibilities: while the worker should not riot to create a situation of conflict with the employer, the employer should maintain an environment respecting worker's dignity.

The church has the right to speak out on social issues. Its role is to teach social principles and bring social classes together. The state's role is to create a just society through laws that preserve rights.

Context: Much poverty. Because of the Industrial Revolution, workers are being exploited by profit-hungry employers. Public authorities are not protecting the rights of the poor.

Innovation: First comprehensive document of social justice; brings the subject of workers' rights to light.

No comments: