Media Hit of the Week: Victory in Ohio
Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite wrote about Ohio’s repeal of the anti-workers’ rights law SB-5 this week at the Washington Post’s On Faith page. Thistlethwaite interviews FPL board member Rev. Tim Ahrens of We Believe Ohio, who we worked with on the anti-SB-5 campaign:
But another thing the sign “Thank God for unions” represents is the role of people of faith in the defeat of “Issue 2″ in Ohio. The sign and its sentiments show that political conservatives no longer “own” religious values in the public square. Thus, there was not only a groundswell to fight these draconian cuts in state workers rights, but also there was also strong faith support for rejecting these cuts. Drawing ‘values voters’ into campaigns used to be only a conservative strategy, but that is no longer the case.
Rev. Tim Ahrens, senior minister of the First Church of Columbus, Ohio, and one of the founders of We Believe Ohio, a coalition of diverse religious voices in Ohio dedicated to achieving social justice, has been working hard with other people of faith in Ohio to defeat Issue 2.
I contacted Rev. Ahrens, following the defeat of Issue 2, and asked him what this vote in Ohio meant in terms of faith and public issues.
Rev. Ahrens replied, “Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans have fought long and hard for the past 11 months to reverse the river of a right-wing attack on working men and women and their families. We have overcome lies and deceptions to do so. As people of faith, we need to remember that labor and economic questions are fundamentally religious questions. There are no purely spiritual interests in our times that are not made manifest in the every day life of working people. Every day real working people get up, pray, walk out their door and give us their best. They return to their families exhausted from serving. That is spirituality made manifest. That is faith beyond belief.”