‘ … do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments … Moral rationalization is indispensable at all times of action whether to justify the selection or the use of ends or means.’ [Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, 10th Rule, p 43.]
For better or worse, Churchmouse Campanologist returns to the late Saul Alinsky and his web of community-based organisations linked with Catholic and Protestant churches. (To read past entries, click here.) Over the next few posts, this blog will provide you with the latest updates particularly in light of Obamacare, gay rights and abortion.
Faith in Public Life is a group of leftist organisations which oppose traditional, conservative values using rhetoric and moral language (e.g. ‘for the common good’). Faith in Public Life says these traditional positions represent the ’radical right’, but, really, they are what most people in the West know as Judeo-Christian values. To this end, Faith in Public Life’s affiliated groups ‘fight the right’ through ‘strategic partnerships’ and co-ordinated action.
This is what Faith in Public Life has to say about Obamacare under the not-so-subtle headline, ‘Religious right gets health care very wrong’. I’ve highlighted certain Alinksyite words and rhetoric:
For those that scripture commands people of faith to care for — the poor, the sick, the powerless – our healthcare system doesn’t just have problems, it is a problem.
Not only is this new attack on as factually shaky ground as their previous charges, but their argument inverts the priorities of the Gospel by defending a system that works for the rich at the continued expense of the poor and breezily flouts of the common good. There’s certainly room for reasonable disagreement among people of good will on various aspects of reform, but it’s hard to make an honest, moral case that the status quo just needs a couple of tweaks.
Here’s what they have to say about immigration ‘reform’ in ‘Keeping immigration on the agenda’:
The faith community is pushing Members of Congress and the Obama administration to pass just and humane immigration reform this year. Fixing the broken system just can’t wait–children are torn from their parents because of an endless mess of red tape and wage theft is on the rise. We aren’t honoring the dignity and humanity of immigrant men, women, and children.
You get the idea. A high school or at university student reading that would think, ‘Yeah, our government and right-wing Christians are awful!’ Christian youth workers and teachers must have a field day with this stuff. You can easily use it in schools and in church youth groups.
Do check out the blogroll in the right-hand column of the pages cited above. Note the words ‘progressive’, ‘religious’, ‘peaceful’, ‘revolution’ in the blog names.
Please look at the Faith Map to see what organisations are affiliated with Faith in Public Life. Not all of these are faith-based. Here are some examples by state:
- California (225 in total): ACORN, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Catholic Charities, Dignity, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Fuller Theological Seminary, Network of Spiritual Progressives
- Florida (244): ACORN, Catholic Charities, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Church Alliance, First Assembly of God, Methodist Federation for Social Action
- Illinois (126): ACORN, Americans for Peace Now, Archdiocese of Chicago, Baptist General State Convention, Chicago Theological Seminary, Christian Community Development Association
- Michigan (126): Catholic Charities, Catholics for the Common Good, Diocese of Grand Rapids (Roman Catholic), Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, United Methodist Church
- Texas (130): ACORN, Catholic Relief Services, Lutherans Concerned, Methodist Federation for Social Action, Pax Christi, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Soulforce
In January 2009, Faith in Public Life adopted a ‘third way agenda’ (think Tony Blair’s communitarianism and Democratic Party rhetoric from the 1990s) to work alongside the new administration in the White House. They called it the ‘Come Let Us Reason Together Governing Agenda’ comprised of:
- reducing abortions
- supporting employment rights for LGBTs
- renouncing torture
- creating secure and comprehensive immigration reform
They’ve got a real odour of sanctity about them, wouldn’t you say? Journalist Stephanie Block has been studying progressive faith-based groups for several years. In an article entitled ‘The Third Way Is Really the Same Old Way’, she writes of evangelicals as targets:
… here’s Third Way, the organization – a 21st century Faith in Public Life missile aimed at evangelicals.
Want to ‘reduce abortion’? Download a Third Way fact sheet: ‘In anticipation of the President’s repeal of the Mexico City Policy, we have prepared a fact sheet with talking points that lays out the key facts demonstrating why the repeal is a life-affirming step.’ Really?
Want to protect homosexuals from unjust discrimination? Well, according to other Third Way materials, ‘Americans must be persuaded that moving forward on gay and lesbian rights represents progress for the nation. These insights, gained through both original qualitative and quantitative public opinion research, provide the framework for progressives to advance same-sex relationship recognition and make progress on other gay and lesbian issues.’
There’s no compromise about this – no ‘common ground’. This is the progressive agenda, plain and simple.
Block says in her article, ‘American Catholics and Faith in Public Life’:
Faith in Public Life is a propaganda vehicle that has allies in every state. Faith in Public Life identifies official Catholic organizations – that is, organizations that are in good standing with their dioceses and operate under the authority of their local bishop – as part of their progressive network. Faith in Public Life exists to fight any political attempt on the part of religious bodies (particularly the Catholic Church) to oppose abortion or homosexual ‘rights’. Many Faith in Public Life member organizations and spokespeople are abortion or homosexual ‘rights’ advocates – that is, their sole political effort is to sustain legal abortion or obtain homosexual ‘equality’. Some Faith in Public Life member organizations specifically target Catholic moral teaching about abortion and homosexuality, seeking to change it.
Note that she says the organisations are in good standing with their dioceses and operate under the bishop’s authority. Second collection alert!
And, there’s a Soros connection, too. In March 2009, Block uncovered the money trail and a link to his support of John Podesta’s Center for American Progress (CAP). Writing for Spero, she says (highlights mine):
Faith in Public Life, which CAP also helped establish – according to, ahem, reliable sources (namely, my corrector, Jason Gedeik, Deputy Press Secretary of Jim Wallis’ Sojourners. But one also finds, independently of Gedeik, that the information was published in The Nation [Sarah Posner, 'Democrats Chase Evangelical Votes', 10-27-08, which says Faith in Public Life was 'incubated' at the Center for American Progress after the 2004 election]).
… Censor, attack, and make it look as though God is on your side…you have to hand it to CAP …
The target of all this activity, remember, are ‘faith communities’. CAP was founded on July 7, 2003 due in no small measure to the generosity of billionaire George Soros (also one of the major funders of the Democratic Alliance, with its ‘religious outreach’ component, including Faith in Public Life representation), who wanted to create a progressive think tank, able to respond quickly to conservative media ‘attacks’.
CAP has over a dozen spokespeople to which are added Faith in Public Life’s capabilities, directed particularly to people of various religious traditions. CAP posts daily ‘Talking Points’ and a daily email newsletter, The Progress Report. It has several associated blogs, a youth outreach program, and a ‘sister advocacy organization’ – the Action Fund – a 501c-4 lobbying arm. Faith in Public Life also has daily ‘faith news’ emails – linked summaries of various media reports, usually with a progressive bent.
What’s going on here? If you – the observant Protestant, Jew, or Catholic – feel a bit like a clay pigeon, there may be a very good reason for it. Big money has been spent to shoot you out of the heavens and into the progressive hunting pouch.
Please take the time to read the articles in full and click the Faith Map. You may be surprised at what you find!