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Thu Aug 29, 2013, 06:38 PM

COMMENTARY: Labor Day and the unions’ forgotten religious roots

Adon Taft | Aug 29, 2013

(RNS) Of the 10 holidays recognized by the federal government, the future status of two – Labor Day and Christmas – may be short-lived. And, perhaps surprisingly, for the same reason: religion.

Already, officials in many school districts and municipalities have decided references to Christmas are politically incorrect, deeming them offensive to non-Christians or those of no religion at all. Often, the complaints come not from the average believer but from fanatics or those who resent any ideas different from their own, whether they be religious, political, moral or otherwise.

In the case of Labor Day, a holiday that originated in 1892 by the efforts of the New York chapter of the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor, this country’s first nationwide labor union, the reasons for the possible demise are less distinguishable.

Yet both holidays have something in common: Christmas has become secularized in an America where religious commitment is down and the number of the religiously unaffiliated is up. The labor movement, meanwhile, has forgotten the religious roots that propelled the movement that won a national holiday.

http://www.religionnews.com/2013/08/29/commentary-labor-day-and-the-unions-forgotten-religious-roots/

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Reply COMMENTARY: Labor Day and the unions’ forgotten religious roots (Original post)
rug Aug 2013 OP
cbayer Aug 2013 #1
xfundy Aug 2013 #2
rug Aug 2013 #3
xfundy Aug 2013 #4
rug Aug 2013 #5
LostOne4Ever Aug 2013 #7
LostOne4Ever Aug 2013 #6
rug Aug 2013 #8
2ndAmForComputers Aug 2013 #9
rug Aug 2013 #10
2ndAmForComputers Aug 2013 #11
rug Aug 2013 #12
LostOne4Ever Aug 2013 #16
LostOne4Ever Aug 2013 #17
LostOne4Ever Aug 2013 #13
2ndAmForComputers Aug 2013 #14
LostOne4Ever Aug 2013 #15
gopiscrap Sep 2013 #18
rug Sep 2013 #19

Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 06:48 PM

1. The only think I can think about Labor Day right now is that my idyllic little

isolated harbor is filling up with people and their "devices" and my internet connection is about to go down the toilet.

And right in the middle of watching Orange is the New Black and continuing Breaking Bad.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 07:07 PM

2. "Christmas has become secularized in an America where religious commitment is down.."

"and the number of the religiously unaffiliated is up."


There's a bit of news. Christmas became secularized when it became more about retailers making money from doubling-down year after year screaming "BUY!"

Churches are losing members left and right because their leaders have become infamous for spewing hatred. In fact, I'd bet that "Christian" has become, for many, synonymous with hate, bigotry, greed, republicans, and doing the opposite of what Jesus "said."

"The labor movement, meanwhile, has forgotten the religious roots that propelled the movement that won a national holiday."


Lots of things were begun by the religious. The KKK is a "christian" group. But I've never known labor day as religious at all. It was created so corporations could pretend to care somewhat about labor.

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Response to xfundy (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 07:09 PM

3. Do you have any thoughts on Labor Day?

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 07:16 PM

4. I'm sure I will.

How about holding your breath till it gets here?

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Response to xfundy (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 29, 2013, 07:19 PM

5. Interesting question. Can I hold my breath long enough for you to form a thought?

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Response to xfundy (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 05:19 AM

7. The secularization of Christmas could also be seen an attempt to foist the predominant culture

upon everyone.

I am not saying that greed and and the decline of churches are not the reasons for it happening, but rather the way in which it is happening is being done so that minority religions feel pressured to join the majority culture. Made to feel like their holidays are not as important.

Note that they aren't creating a new secular holiday that everyone can celebrate, rather they are only secularizing Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter. Chanukah and other holidays are treated as if they are not as important but if you don't celebrate Christmas or Easter then something MUST be wrong with you.

Why not secularize the other holidays too and make them part of the mainstream? More money for them. There are holidays in the mid-summer why not bring those to the masses? But the holidays of non-Christians don't seem to get this treatment.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 04:40 AM

6. Deceptive War on Christmas article masquerading as a Labor day article!

Last edited Fri Aug 30, 2013, 06:29 AM - Edit history (1)


Already, officials in many school districts and municipalities have decided references to Christmas are politically incorrect, deeming them offensive to non-Christians or those of no religion at all. Often, the complaints come not from the average believer but from fanatics or those who resent any ideas different from their own, whether they be religious, political, moral or otherwise.


What a load of crap. Apparently ALL non-Christians are not believers and only fanatics would complain about Christmas? What does this author think Christmas is like to Jews? Hindus? Buddhists?

If the schools want to celebrate Christmas they simply need to do so that is inclusive of ALL THE OTHER HOLIDAYS during that period. However, as we have seen over and over and over again that is not acceptable to the far right. They want Christmas to be promoted above all or celebrated to the EXCLUSION of every other holiday during that time.

Put blame on officials ending parties where it belongs on the assholes who are insisting their religion be promoted over everyone else. Secularism is not the problem and it is not the reason unions are declining!

Funny this guy has the audacity to talk about resenting any ideas different from his own, when this entire paragraph shows he is doing just that.


Yet both holidays have something in common: Christmas has become secularized in an America where religious commitment is down and the number of the religiously unaffiliated is up. The labor movement, meanwhile, has forgotten the religious roots that propelled the movement that won a national holiday.


Yeah, the Knights of Labor was one of the first national labor unions. It was not the ONLY union and the formation of Labor day had little direct connection to them.

It DID have a direct relation to the Pullman strike by Eugene Debs and the ARU!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_day
http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm


Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_Strike
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_V._Debs
http://ffrf.org/news/day/dayitems/item/14632-eugene-v-debs

Debs was critical of religion and the entire affair ended up in court where Clarence Darrow (an atheist) defended him. He ended up going to jail fighting for their rights. Debs and Darrow both were fierce advocates for the labor movement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarence_Darrow

Trying to claim labor day is religious to create this defense of Christmas is ridiculous and disrespects the contribution of these great men and all the secular unions involved in the labor movement back then. Labor day was not religious (though a great number of religious AND IRRELIGIOUS men and women contributed to it happening) and to try and claim so is incredibly dishonest. It is the epitome of false equivalency.

Both religious and irreligious men and women fought for labor rights. Labor day is not considered a part of ANY religion. Labor day is a celebration of american labor and labor organizations!!! Not religion! Christmas is a major holiday to most Christians in this country. Despite the efforts of the corporations to secularize it does not change that it is a christian holiday. It is a religious holiday that celebrates a religious event! THE TWO ARE NOTHING ALIKE!

If Schools want to celebrate Christmas they can do so in a manner that is inclusive to everyone. If the author has issues with schools not celebrating Christmas then pester those officials to have a Winter Party/ End of the year party/ multi-cultural celebration or something like that!

I am not going to sit back and let this jerk turn labor day into something its not to suit his agenda.

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 04:09 PM

8. Personally, I prefer to celebrate May Day.

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Response to rug (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 04:23 PM

9. LostOne4Ever nailed it GOOD, huh?

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 04:28 PM

10. "Both religious and irreligious men and women fought for labor rights."

Notice the "both".

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Response to rug (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 05:48 PM

11. You should read all sentences in the post. In sucession.

Also, dismissing all of them except the one you like is not good.

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 06:04 PM

12. I did. You should try it.

Now, why do you think the rest are dismissed?

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 06:25 PM

16. From what I saw it was more the author than it was Rug

The author of the article is being intellectually dishonest and trying to distort history and dismiss the sacrifices of thousands of people simply to further his agenda.

It is disgusting



Thanks for the support though.

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Response to rug (Reply #10)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 06:29 PM

17. Exactly!

Labor day is about labor!

Both the religious and the irreligious put themselves at risk fighting for their rights. Some lost their jobs, others went to jail, still others had their heads cracked open or were shot and killed. We can not let any of them be forgot. Every one of them was important.

The way the author of this article is trying to distort things is an insult to all of them and NEEDS to be challenged.

Thanks for posting my friend!

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Response to rug (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 06:08 PM

13. I am with you on that.

We should all celebrate May Day!

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 06:12 PM

14. May Day IS Labor Day everywhere... except the USA.

Says a lot, doesn't it?

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #14)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 06:22 PM

15. Yes it does

Just like Labor day countless people from AROUND the world made sacrifices to get this holiday and its sad that we ignore it.

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Response to rug (Original post)

Sun Sep 1, 2013, 12:04 AM

18. Yup one of Pope Leo XIII's most important encyclicals was

Rerum Novarum, the dignity in labor.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 1, 2013, 12:10 AM

19. Pius XI followed up on it forty years later.

“The function of the rulers of the State is to watch over the community and its parts; but in protecting private individuals in their rights, chief consideration ought to be given to the weak and the poor.” - Quadragesimo Anno

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