Support GM Workers in Colombia with Prayer and Fasting

“Our lives have been left in ruins by GM. We were fired due to work-place injuries and offered no severance, no worker’s compensation insurance and the company lied about the reason for our dismissal.”–Jorge Parra, injured GM worker

A group of injured Colombian workers are on a hunger strike. They were wrongfully fired by GM due to workplace injuries and have called on people across the country to take action to demand justice from GM. September 17 is a fast-day in solidarity for worker justice.

I traveled to Colombia with Witness for Peace in 2001 (see In The Time of Coca). And it is the Witness for Peace team that is organizing with GM workers in Colombia to protect their worker and human rights. GM in Colombia fired them after they were injured on the job, without any compensation. They’ve been fighting this injustice in Colombia since May 2011. Now they are bringing their grievance to GM’s world headquarters in the United States.

This demon of injustice is deeply embedded–but it must be cast out. For the sake of the injured workers who deserve justice–and for the sake of GM executives who need to do what is right for the salvation of their own souls. But some demons, as Jesus said, can only be driven out by prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29).

Learn more here.

‘D’oh! I Thought This Was A Confessional’

L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, declared Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie (aka The Simpsons) to be a Roman Catholic family.

With more than 20 years of episodes under their belts, the dysfunctional working-class family whose dynamics and perspectives offer biting social critique of American society have found a home under the Vatican wing. L’Osservatore Romano wrote:

…In an article headlined “Homer and Bart are Catholics”, the Vatican newspaper said: “The Simpsons are among the few TV programs for children in which Christian faith, religion, and questions about God are recurrent themes.”

The family “recites prayers before meals and, in their own peculiar way, believes in the life thereafter”. It quoted an analysis by a Jesuit priest, Father Francesco Occhetta, of a 2005 episode of The Simpsons, “The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star,” which revolved around Catholicism and was aired a few weeks after the death of Pope John Paul II.

The episode starts with Bart being expelled from Springfield Elementary School and being enrolled in a Catholic school where he meets a sympathetic priest, voiced by the actor Liam Neeson, who draws him into Catholicism with his kindness. Homer then decides to convert to Catholicism, to the horror of his wife Marge, the Rev Lovejoy and Ned Flanders. The episode touches on issues such as religious conflict, interfaith dialogue, homosexuality and stem cell research.

“Few people know it, and he does everything he can to hide it, but it is true: Homer J Simpson is a Catholic,” insists L’Osservatore Romano.

The Simpsons even skewers its own success. See below U.K. graffiti artist Banksy’s dark satire of the sweat shops that produce Simpsons paraphernalia.

One could call it an animated reflection on Rerum Novarum: On Capital and Labor (Pope Leo XIII, 1891) and “the right of workers and dignity of work.”