In their zealous push for every item on the countercultural agenda, modern-day labor leaders and their alleged academic supporters may be alienating some of their natural allies. “I often don’t feel comfortable at academic meetings that discuss labor in the United States because I hear views that are radically different from many union members and my own,” Father George Schultze said in an interview
with Michael Westfall of The American Conservative Worker. “The Catholic Church sees a consistent ethic of life that includes our individual decisions e.g., sexual morality and our communal decisions e.g., just war,” the Jesuit labor expert told Westfall.
“In other words, our personal moral decisions are seamless with our social moral decisions.”
Father Schultze is the Spiritual Director of St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in California’s Menlo Park. He pointedly told Westfall that he blames the leftward cultural drift of America’s labor unions on media and academic elites.
“Unionists aren’t speaking out because they kowtow to those who in recent generations have set the cultural agenda, normally the media and academics,” the Jesuit priest said. “Union leaders also find political correctness politically expedient.”
“Isn’t this how Satan works?” The son of union members, the professor priest’s sympathies lie with organized labor but in a clash between Catholic values and Labor’s leadership, he makes clear which comes first.
“A slippery slope exists in labor’s wrongheaded acceptance of attempts to redefine marriage and the failure to understand the importance of respecting human life,” he said. “If we continue to disregard the unborn, we will find greater acceptance of euthanasia.”
“This has already happened in Europe.” Father Schultze is the author of Strangers in a Foreign Land, which focuses on Catholic Latino workers in the Untied States. He indicates other prominent Catholic leaders may be willing to risk severing the historic umbilical chord between the Catholic Church and labor unions in America over positions that the latter have taken on so-called social issues.
“These culture war issues are divisive in our nation and in our unions,” he argues. “As I explain in my book, the Catholic Church continues to support the right of all workers to organize, and bishops, priests and religious have taken active roles in supporting this fundamental human right.”
“I believe that you will find Catholic leaders becoming more vocal in their rejection of organizations that directly or indirectly promote views inimical to Church teaching.”
“Did the traditional union die of natural causes, or was it murdered?” left-wing investigative reporter Anya Kamenetz asks on TomPaine.com. “It may be up to historians to settle the debate.”
She doesn’t mention a third possibility that suggests itself in light of Father Schultze’s comments—suicide.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.