Originally posted by darvlay
I was surprised recently when I heard that certain clergymen attempted to become unionized to protect themselves from abuse from parishioners and ensure more equitable wages. The Protestant and United churches have stated that they are not opposed to this move by their clergymen.
What do you guys/broads think of this? Should these clergymen be looking t ...[text shortened]... on Sundays?
This is a very complicated issue where there are many factors to consider. Indeed there are many poor pastors that have little or nothing to retire on. They have lived their lives trying to live in integrity with the Gospel and their faith, and many have been taken advantage of by ruthless congregations that when they say something they disagree with send them packing.
One of the problems that I see is that there are too many ministers. There is not the demand for the numbers they are turning out of divinity schools and seminaries, so I'm not suprised that there is a move to unionize. Where I live many of the ministers have absolutely no educational training. Their churches do not cooperate with other churches unless there is a wet/dry vote on alcohol sales. These tend to be fundamentalist churches with no church structure. Somebody can show up on their doorstep and say "God wants me to preach here" and they will be happy to accomodate them.
If I can tie this in with unions in general, I think unions come about when workers feel discounted, under-appreciated or taken advantage of. When live in a tme when ministers are seen as laughable. It seems that the most laughable ones who create embarrassment for ministers with integrity are ones who get the most attention. My favorite description of these people comes from Will Campbell (see Ivory Tower thread) who describes them as "electronic soul molesters."