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“There Was a Time in This Country…” – Rev. Kiley Delivers Labor’s Invocation to the BCTD

Reverend Cletus Kiley inspired the 2,000+ Building Trades union leaders and members who filled the Washington Hilton for the 2011 Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) Legislative Conference.

The AFL-CIO blog ran a nice piece on BCTD President Mark Ayers’ speech.

The tone was set by Reverend Kiley’s heartfelt repudiation of the status quo, of the “current social contract,” and his espousal of the blessing of the “righteous anger” that has filled the movement. Full video of the invocation is below.

There was a time in this country…


19 Comments on ““There Was a Time in This Country…” – Rev. Kiley Delivers Labor’s Invocation to the BCTD”

  1. The speech was inspirational.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  2. I love it!

  3. Thanks, Father. What a great prayer, asking for strength to fight for justice for working people.

  4. this invocation should be required listening for everyone who actually work for a living. those of us who are and have been in the labor movement for many years know what is at stake here. God bless Rev. Kiley, that is one of the most inspiring things I have ever heard. I am sending it out to all my mail addresses and urging them to forward to all of theirs’. If we all do this I know it will make a difference.

  5. […] The Rev. Cletus Kiley Delivers a Resounding Invocation in Support of Unions and Teachers […]

  6. Bless you Father Kiley.

  7. Best Invocation I have ever heard!! Touched my soul!!! A must view for ALL union members and workers!!

  8. Father Kiley’s message caused my wife & I to cry. We cried because we’ve been caught up in the fight to keep our heads above water (as is everyone). We cried because of our (my) “sitting on the sidelines” and just accepting the status quo… Well, no more!! We are asking what God wants us to do – and we will do it. The greed of the ultra rich must not ruin our lives anymore! Please call on me to get involved in any way I can in order to take this wonderful message to its deserved level of influence.

    Bob Dodson

    1. yes, Bob! Share and share and share the knowledge you know people need most. Feel free to send article, links, anything you think is important to

  9. Seriously! With all the sins being perpetrated on, and by, this great nation, this selfish prayer is the focused on the poor unions?

    1. No, it isn’t “focused” on the unions. Maybe you should’ve actually listened. It’s for all working people who have been screwed over since Reagan. I’m not religeous in the least and thought his invocation was outstanding. Conservaties whining about unions instead of tax dodging, job robbing companies and their wealthy owners are pathetic. 31 years hasn’t been enough for you?

    2. He was speaking to the “People of this Great Land.” Listen to it again…

  10. This is the Time!
    Father Kiley said it now we have to believe beyond our circumstances and change this countries anit-worker, anti-union agenda and organize our communities to stand up and do what is right. The power is in the people and we can change this great nation. Su Se Pude!

  11. Maybe if the preacher would pick up the bible he could read the following passages spoken by Jesus.
    Matthew 20:1-16
    Luke 20:9-19
    Now, go on and sin no more

    1. Roxie, you have seriously twisted these parables to fit a truth you feel in your heart.

      To imply this preacher does not pick up the bible is disrespectful. Can a man not agree with the state of our country and still be given respect?

  12. […] out Father Cletus Kiley and his invocation at the Building and Construction Trades Department Legislative Conference.  He points out the […]

  13. As much as I agree with most every word the Rev. Kiley spoke, …We as Building Trade Union Members must begin to separate ourselves from the “rank and file” type or “government worker” type unions. We build America, it is as simple as that. If it were not for Building Trade Unions most of these others union members would have nowhere to go to work. We build America..!! When is it that American’s see, …when Building Trade Labor (aka skilled building trade labor) is not working, …NEITHER IS AMERICA..!!
    YES…We earn the highest wages, however there is a reason for that. We serve a 5 year apprenticeship plus continuous journeymen training for one reason,…TO BUILD SAFE BUILDINGS, ….safe work places for all American workers, including over paid Wall streeter’s. This is what separates us from all other unions. Many times in my life (36 year UA Pipefitter member) I have had conversations with none union people discussing our high wages. Most people believe we are paid too much. I have never had any one every comment again after I simply ask one question when I am attacked about our wages. I asked, “have you ever been is a 30, 40 or maybe an 80 story building?” Everyone always replies, “Sure I have.” I reply with, “Did you always feel safe going up in these high buildings or were you afraid?” Again the answer is always, “No,…I’m not afraid”. And I reply, “that is because the building 99 times out of a hundred was built by union trades”. I rest my case.
    We do nothing as an origination to promote what we do for the general public, all the general public knows is that pipefitters and plumbers get paid a lot per hour. This sends a negative message to most people and we must do something about it. If we choose to do nothing we will be lumped into the general mistrust most American’s have towards unions these days. We are Building Trade Labor Union Members and not government employees or are we cashier’s at the local supermarket.
    All American’s, no matter from what walk of life need to be educated on what we do, …we do not need to lie or to fabricate our importance to America, we just need to explain ourselves. Pointing at the features, advantages and benefits of what we as a Building Trade Union give and do for America’s well being. Till know we have failed at promoting ourselves. I for one would like to change this. I’m proud to say I help build America.

    Local 274

  14. GOD has to help America. The republicans sure wont.

  15. Labor after the second world war re-build American

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