During the last week of 2020, our editor published articles about two inspiring clergy members who concluded that socialism is the truest expression of their faith traditions: Rev. Angela Cowser, a Presbyterian minister, Louisville Seminary associate dean, and co-chair of the Institute for Christian Socialism--profiled in Jacobin magazine-- and Rabbi Michael Feinberg, director of the Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition, veteran of successful living wage campaigns, and an active member of the Religious Socialism Working Group of the DSA--profiled in Commonweal magazine.
Rev. Dr. Cowser, as quoted in Jacobin magazine:
“The Biblical basis for socialism is just undeniable. Just look at the early books of Acts, where the body of believers responded to poverty—and a very gendered poverty—by organizing money and resources for the benefit of poor people,” she says. “And the Jubilee platform in Deuteronomy lays out the whole program for a sharing economy where no one person can be strong without the community being strong.”
“We want to deconstruct the word socialism as a slur and reconstruct it as a new possibility for society that gives everyone the best chance to thrive in life,” she says. “Once you put it that way, especially with socialism’s deep connection to scripture, it’s hard to argue against it.”
"I had spent several years realizing that things were not right in our society. And now I saw there were other ways to do this, to organize an economy that rewards people for their work and enables them to sustain themselves. Capitalism was doing that for some, but it was leaving a whole bunch of other people to suffer and die.”
Rabbi Michael Feinberg, as quoted in Commonweal magazine:
“I wouldn’t say Hebrew Scripture is a socialist blueprint,” he says. “But the principles are key: the communalism, the concern for the most marginalized and most vulnerable in society—the widow, the orphan, the stranger—the need to cancel debt. The insistence on dignity for all people who are created in the divine image. That ethical framework is the core of Judaism, and I think all of those are deeply socialist principles.”
Note for 2021: Thank you for your support of Faith in Healthcare during 2020! If you want to see more content from our editor, he is part of the editorial team publishing the weekly blog and article posts for the Religion and Socialism Working Group of the Democratic Socialists of America, which like Faith in Healthcare works for universal healthcare from a multi-faith foundation. Those weekly posts are shared via the Religion and Socialism Facebook page and Twitter feed