Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Labor Movement and St. Paul

Did you know that trade unions played an instrumental part in the growth of Christianity during the first years of its existence?  Many people are aware that St Paul undertook three major journeys in the course of his work to spread Christianity.  Paul visited much of the Roman empire, with stops in cities such as Phillippi, Corinth, Thessalonica, and Ephesus along the way.  What most people don't realize is that much of Paul's major travel would not have been available if it hadn't been for his union membership.

Paul was a union member?  YES!

You see, Paul was a tent maker by trade, and was a member of a tent maker's guild that had given him the contacts in the various cities, as well as access inside the cities.  In those days, one couldn't just walk up the the gates of a city and walk right in.  You needed someone to vouch for you, and Paul's membership in the tent maker's guild provided that for him.

So, whatever your view of Christianity, it is important sometimes to see how the labor movement has shaped history, even going back a few thousand years.

In Solidarity,


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