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Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar SouthWhite Evangelical Protestants and Operation Dixie$
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Elizabeth Fones-Wolf and Ken Fones-Wolf

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039034

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039034.001.0001

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The Bible Speaks to Labor

The Bible Speaks to Labor

(p.113) Chapter 5 The Bible Speaks to Labor
Struggle for the Soul of the Postwar South

Elizabeth Fones-Wolf

Ken Fones-Wolf

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on religious resources that the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) utilized to offer an alternative to Christian free enterprise and bring collective bargaining to the South. In the summer of 1946, the citizens of Danville, Virginia rallied behind a local minister and the local of the Textile Workers Union of America to create a Citizens' Committee to fight for economic justice and defy charges that they were led by outsiders “with Communistic leanings.” There were also allies in the Southern Conference for Human Welfare, at Highlander Folk School, and in the industrial department of the YWCA who sought to fuse Protestantism's social message to the organization of southern workers. These pointed to a reservoir of prophetic Christianity upon which the CIO could draw when it mobilized for its crusade to organize Dixie. Perhaps most important, the CIO had a cadre of men and women with ties to Protestant churches whom it could send to build favorable community relations.

Keywords:   CIO, religious resources, Christian free enterprise, collective bargaining, economic justice, YWCA, Protestantism, Christianity, Protestant churches, community relations

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