Faith Reflection by Rev. Gail Tapscott

- Friday, May 23, 2014

When members of my congregation ask me why I have been on the board of the South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice Group for 8 years, I always have to stop and think for a couple of minutes and then I say something like”because we aren't finished with our work yet.” Now, of course, in reality, I do not delude myself that the work of bringing justice to working people and poor people will be something that I personally can ever finish. Nonetheless, I feel obligated to stay in the struggle for as long as possible even though it often seems to be filled with “little victories and big defeats” as Joan Baez once said about justice work in general. I have actually seen positive things happen in my time on the SFIWJ board, though. Sometimes I haven't even learned about our successes until long after the work we did as was the case with the NOVA workers who finally got their union long after I felt all our work had been for nothing.

Other times we win victories and then have to spend years trying to protect those victories as is the case with the local Wage Theft ordinances. Still, I know we are doing what we should be doing despite the set backs and the glacial pace of change. Every faith tradition tells us that we should pay special attention to the poor and that people who work hard should have a decent life. Pope Francis has been a huge inspiration to many people of faith, Catholics and others, with his bold effort to bring back some the tenants of Liberation Theology, namely what was termed “preferential option for the the poor.” After many years of Christian Prosperity theology combined with New Age ideas about creating our own reality, it is very refreshing to see the religious left grow bolder again in supporting an increase in the minimum wage, protecting people's right to all the money they earn, and other ideas that should seem obvious to any person of any faith tradition. May we all stay strong and ever hopeful for the journey to a more economically just world.

Rev. Gail Tapscott, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Ft. Lauderdale and apparently life time board member of South Florida Interfaith Justice

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