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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Prayer for Justice for All

God of all humankind. God of many names, honored in many ways.

Your prophet Amos told the people of his nation, "Hear this, O ye who swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail. . . . I will turn your feasts to mourning and your songs to lamentations."

As your prophets long ago called their nation to repent of theirs sins against your justice, may our nation in our time hear the call for us to repentance of our sins against those most in need of justice.

Lord, forgive us.

For we have failed to pay many workers a livable wage, so they and their families, including their children, must live in poverty in our land of wealth and plenty.

We have treated health care, not as the human right it is, but as a commodity for our profit, making money from basic human needs, causing medical care to become so expensive that 40% of all American companies now offer no health benefits at all for their employees.

We have denied the workers of this great land their right to free association by allowing those in power to harass and intimidate workers who wish to form unions, even to the point of denying them their constitutional right to organize at all leaving them weak and vulnerable to those in power.

We have denied our fellow Americans their right to dignity. For Lord, when we try to call human rights, "special rights," we merely seek to justify our fears, our prejudices, and our exploitations.

Lord, forgive us our sins, for we have truly done what we ought not to have done, but, what is worse, we have left undone those things that we ought to have done.

May we not grow weary in our labors to brings about your justice and mercy to our land. For in these times, your work must truly be our own.


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