By Chris Crass (September 25, 2015)
Don’t let anyone sell you a pack of reactionary moderate whitewashing about who #DorothyDay and #ThomasMerton were, two of the Catholic leaders named by #PopeFrancis. Day was an anarchist socialist founder of the Catholic Worker movement that both feeds the poor and actively opposes the capitalist system that creates poverty. Day was a member of the Industrial Workers of the World labor union, had an abortion before raising her daughter, and was a proponent of disruptive non-violent direct action. Her life’s work was dedicated to creating grassroots people’s movements to help build up a democratic and socialist society.
Thomas Merton opposed the U.S. imperialist war against Vietnam, supported the political and spiritual leadership of Thich Nhat Hanh in building international opposition to the war. Merton was a vocal white anti-racist who spoke out to the white faith community during the Civil Rights movement of the 60s and 70s, calling on white people of faith to challenge structural racism and racist violence against the Black community. He said that racism was a problem coming from the white community and white’s needed to take responsibility.
Merton, like Day, would today be speaking out for #BlackLivesMatter, #FightFor15 minimum wage increase, and galvanizing people of faith to understand and strive to practice the revolutionary values of Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the Palestinian Jewish migrant working class socialist who took direct action and was always on the side of poor, working class and oppressed people, and was killed by the ruling class of the Empire, who feared his ability to galvanize poor people into action.