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Credit: Jack Delano | Library of Congress
Worker Rights in the 1930s, When Catholic Morals Controlled Hollywood, and More
February 27, 2014
Summary: 'Labor priests' and other people of faith led the fight to pass the federal minimum wage in 1938. And forget the Oscars, let's talk about the Catholic Legion of Decency, which once slapped movies with 'C's' for 'condemned.'
Credit: The All-Nite Images | Flickr
The Minimum Wage, 75 Years Later February 27, 2014
Back in the 1920s and 30s, the average worker clocked in 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week. That's if they had a job. Children toiled in factories, and employers could pay workers anything they wanted. Feisty priests, rabbis, and other people of faith led the fight to create a federal minimum wage, in 1938. This week, we return to that moment in history, as President Obama decides whether or not to raise the federal minimum wage to just over $10.

Pictured: An October, 2013 rally to raise the minimum wage in New York City.

Kim Bobo, founder and director of Interfaith Worker Justice
Joseph Fahey, professor of relgious studies at Manhattan College and chair of Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice

Credit: Wikimedia Commons
'C' For 'Condemned': The Catholic Legion of Decency February 27, 2014
Before you curl up to watch the Oscars, let's go back in time to another era, when one of the most powerful forces in the movie business was none other than the Catholic Church. From 1934-1965, the Catholic Legion of Decency rated movies from the official Catholic moral perspective, giving out A’s for acceptable and B’s for objectionable. The dreaded “C” for "condemned" was reserved for movies it deemed immoral, like the 1956 dark comedy Baby Doll.

Thomas Doherty, professor of American Studies at Brandeis University
Credit: John Mulderig
John Mulderig, Catholic Movie Critic February 27, 2014
As the chief film critic for Catholic News Service, John Mulderig hands out Catholic movie ratings--A's, L's, and O's--to all the major movies that hit theaters. Extreme nudity or violence will take you into L-territory, but there's only one true deal-breaker that warrants the loathsome O for "morally offensive": a clear flouting of the teachings of the Catholic Church. He spoke to senior producer Laura Kwerel.

Read Mulderig's review of the O-rated The Wolf of Wall Street.

John Mulderig, lead movie critic for Catholic News Service