In an article at Religion Dispatches, Kim Bobo, the founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, describes the religious presence at some of the recent protests in Wisconsin. According to her account, a group of 75 religious leaders participated in the marches on the capitol building in Madison, showing their support for workers and their righteous anger at the attempts of Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislature to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees. A chant started, with the call “Tell me what religion looks like,” followed by the response: “This is what religion looks like!”
Of course, there is disagreement over what actually counts as religion. Many Tea Party supporters of Gov. Walker’s legislation are themselves religious and would likely disagree with the assertion that religion looks like marching on behalf of workers. Stories like this one are important for that very reason. Over the past several decades, being “religious” or being a “values voter” has become synonymous with political conservatism in many quarters. But for many religious Americans, having religious and moral values does not mean being against gay marriage or contraceptive and abortion rights—it means supporting the rights of poor and middle class workers against the moneyed corporations behind efforts to crush unions as part of “balancing state budgets.” The religious leaders in Wisconsin serve as a reminder that religion can look like many things, inspiring support for leftist populism as much as right-wing conservatism.
Read more here.