The winter issue of the Wilson Quarterly features a short piece on Lew Daly’s “The Church of Labor,” which appeared in our Fall 2011 issue. The Wilson Quarterly aims to present “the best writing and thinking of academics, specialists, and others to a broad audience.” A synopsis of Daly’s argument appears in the journal’s In Essence section, reserved for promoting recent articles of note.
In his essay, Daly argues that unions owe much of their success to cooperation with Christianity, which has helped to subsume labor rights into a part of the common social fabric. In Europe, where union membership is high, collective workers’ rights are a bedrock institution along with church and family. Daly contrasts this with the United States’ tradition of individual rights and secularism, with particular criticism leveled at modern progressives’ aversion to religion in the public sphere. Daly wrote:
The very same liberalism that has separated church and state and strengthened individual rights on social issues such as gay marriage has helped to undermine collective rights in the economy.