Blue Collar Prophets

How my rural community’s fight for fair wages has deepened my calling as a pastor.   Unless fog has rolled into the lower Columbia basin, you can usually see the great funnels of smoke rising from the industrial plants that power Longview, Washington. In fact, you can usually see smoke before you can glimpse the town itself. Perhaps that’s appropriate. The plant is the heart of this blue-collar manufacturing town. The manufacturing sector—the lumber, paper, and pulp mill in particular—defines the town’s identity. Longview is a mere 45-minute drive on I-5 north of Portland, Oregon, but culturally speaking, it’s...

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