9/8/07

Unions offend Catholic Latinos

For more than 100 years, Catholics have supported unions. Why do American labor unions go out of their way to offend Catholics?

That’s a question Jesuit Fr. George Schultze, a lecturer on Catholic social doctrine at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, explores in his new book, Strangers in a Foreign Land: the Organizing of Catholic Latinos in the United States. Observing organized labor’s disappointing record in representing the interests of Catholic Latinos, Schultze laments that the unions have stunted their own effectiveness by endorsing positions repugnant to the workers they are trying to recruit.

"Today's labor leaders risk alienating Latinos and jeopardizing Catholic support if they accept and promote abortion and take anti-family and anti-marriage positions aligned with the radical homosexual and feminist movements," writes Schultze, who, prior to becoming a Jesuit priest, worked for the National Labor Relations Board.

He insists that unions’ embrace of perverse sex and gender politics is a “shame” because “Latinos can benefit from union organizing and the growing population of Latino workers offers opportunities for significant growth in the sagging labor movement."

Catholic Social Justice teachings since Pope Leo XIII have traditionally supported the organizing of low-income workers and immigrants. However, the labor movement in California has in many ways strayed from its goals.

As California Catholic Daily has reported, even the United Farm Workers has morphed into a powerful lobbying machine for liberal causes with no connection to farm labor. In 2005, one of César Chavez’s granddaughters, Christine Chavez, and UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta were jubilantly hailed by homosexual activists for their “key effectiveness” in bringing Hispanic legislators over to support same-sex marriage.

And though the United Farm Workers has never officially endorsed abortion, Huerta devoted herself to persuading the California Labor Federation to take a pro-abortion stand.

"It is now the unions rather than Latino workers that are becoming strangers in a foreign land," Father Schultze observed.

The author, who holds a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, documents how dependent American employers and consumers are on immigrant labor, and advocates that Americans should champion the rights of legal immigrant workers, without compromising on American sovereignty.

"Peripheral and membership-dividing issues ... are not part of labor's political agenda,” writes Schultze, giving the example of the AFL-CIO endorsing “Pride at Work,” a labor caucus that promotes the homosexual movement’s goals.

Asks Schultze, “Why should abortion and same-sex marriage be planks in labor's political platform?"

Latinos now comprise between 30 to 35 percent of the Catholics in the United States. Schultze observes that Latinos, the very group labor hopes to organize, and especially Latino immigrants, are culturally conservative.

Latinos who leave the Catholic Church most often gravitate to evangelical and Pentecostal churches, which are active in opposing liberal cultural values.

(calcatholic.com)

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