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Mid-term elections in the US are still a few months away, but it’s time to reflect back to 2008 as well as keep an eye on the future.  

I found an article entitled ‘The Coup: A Position Paper’ by Robert L Kocher.  I am unfamiliar with Mr Kocher’s work, but found it whilst reading posts on Karl Denninger’s MarketTicker Forum, specifically this thread, ‘The STORM Handbook’.   

Kocher posits that it’s no accident that the United States has the administration it does.  He says Marxists have been carefully honing the American psyche for the past 50 years.  It’s not very long, and it’s well worth a read.   

First, here’s a video from Chester, Pennsylvania, from October 2008.  An interviewer asked a crowd of people at an Obama rally why they find him so fascinating.  Not one person could articulate why, although it will become clearer once we get into some of Kocher’s insights:   

Kocher says that Obama’s election to the presidency was clearly calculated, and not just by David Axelrod and his campaign team:   

Two things occurred. 1) The Marxist/socialist coup strategists developed and supported a person with the capability of selling its intentions and position. 2) Previous to the election the strategists spent decades subverting the population into a sickened and weakened state so that there would be no serious opposition when the time to strike came. The coup represents an overthrowing of the constitution, an attack or overthrowing of the educational system, a weakening/overthrowing of our economic system, an overthrowing of our moral system, a subversion of religion, an overthrowing and a wearing down of our evaluative/rational processes.   

So, this was no accident! But what about the Republicans?  Kocher wrote:   

McCain and many others were among those who were so weak and useless as to present no opposition. In displacing defense of the American people they effectively worked to effect the coup. You don’t need much of an army to defeat a people who don’t defend themselves. You don’t need much of army to overturn the government of a nation who’s leaders are disinclined or incapable of defending it.   

Obama wasn’t particularly an overwhelming superman or even competent intellectually. He was successful because not one national figure of prominence would stand up and dispute him. Not one.   

Don’t  forget that McCain and his closest advisers firmly opposed saying anything that could be viewed as even potentially hostile to the future President.   

‘Well, so what?’ you might say.  Think back to the video above whilst you read the next bit of Kocher’s essay:   

Years ago I studied with a Marxist psychologist whose forte was mathematical models of behavior. His position was that the way to impose an authoritarian Marxist state was to apply psychologically operant techniques and attitude change mechanics until you had people voting the way you wanted because in their distorted and manipulated condition of mind that is what they thought they wanted, even to their detriment. It has been my experience that Marxists have dedicated great emphasis on psychological operant techniques, on crowd manipulation, on cognitive dissonance management, on propaganda strategy and they haven’t missed a beat in successfully and diligently applying it in over 50 years. This goes back historically into Adorno et al and the Frankfurt School during the 1930s who established what became law within the psychological profession and up though the expansion by the Saul Alinskys and others during the ’60s. The cute part about it is that the people who are successfully processed then become agents to impose processing. The successful result of this has ultimately been hysterical militant crowds supporting Obama … He plays upon every conditioned nerve and reaction like a concert pianist.   

Americans, he says, who helped make this happen:   

expect to act in a stupid devil-may-care impulsive destrucive and irrational manner and view the foreseeable consequences of their behavior with indignation and wild anger as if it were an injustice forced upon them instead of their own self-centered degeneracy. From their subjective point of view they believe a self-righteous retaliation is justified, including a reign of terror by the more physically inclined and radical elements, for their victimization by reality.   

He describes how it works:   

Parenthetically, when designing a system of destructive manipulation to enslave a population the tactic is to promote generalized doubt and weakness in all things — in morality, in acquisition of competence in hard core skills, in diligence, in acuity of judgment. But nobody wants to be perceived weak or stupid, either by themselves or by others. As part of system design the tactic is to promote weakness while at same time inculcating psychological defenses and blocks against self perception of weakness and perception of it by others. It works with preexistent non-programmed conditions or propensities and hence is easily or willingly adopted. Hence soft effete products of affluent environments are pre-susceptible without great expenditure of effort and can become converted into an immediate core of manipulative system products. This is a good place to start and as the advantages of their background ascend them into power and prominence your mission is ascended accordingly.   

Note that Kocher mentions ‘generalised doubt and weakness in all things’, morality, skills, education and judgment.  They act like children and need a parent at all times.  That parent is partly the conditioning and partly the government — including its useful idiots, like educators, so-called experts and community organisers, to name just a few.     

People ‘programmed’ in such a way will exhibit certain behaviours which are fit for purpose:   

This explains why Obama intends to institute mandatory public service. Youth are to be diverted from real life and programmed, brainwashed, as part of a mission to create engineered mentalities suitable for consolidating the coup and its mission. Many will become permanent fixtures and activists in that so-called public service for want of any other serious direction in their lives and deficiency of competence in other areas. They will have found a soft spot which they will defend and perpetuate forever.   

Kocher concludes by mentioning Yuri Bezmenov, himself an expert at conditioning through propaganda in the former Soviet Union.  As many of you will know, Bezmenov defected to the United States and subsequently exposed these techniques for what they were.  As a result, he has been made a laughing stock — by today’s conditioned Americans!   

Be careful before you go into the voting booth this November.  Really try to catch up on the stories behind the candidates to see them for what they are. We’ll review the top stories here, but you may wish to check out other American-focused blogs.  

In closing, don’t miss my earlier posts on Saul AlinskyYuri Bezmenov and the Frankfurt School.

Today, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown packed his bags. Late this afternoon London’s Evening Standard reported:

The Labour leader’s final desperate attempt to cling on to power with a Lib-Lab deal crumbled amid a rebellion on his own side and policy disagreements with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

This afternoon he retreated to No 10 to discuss his situation with senior ministers, friends and wife Sarah.

Mr Brown had planned to stay in power until the summer if the deal had worked, earning himself a place in history as the man who won a historic fourth term for Labour.

However, Labour MPs and ministers reacted with anger to the attempted deal, saying they would prefer to be in opposition than in government with the Lib-Dems.

A friend of the Prime Minister said: “The deal with Clegg was just not do-able.”

Talks with Mr Clegg’s team took place this morning but lasted less than two hours. Mr Clegg then reopened talks with the Conservatives, amid speculation that a Lib-Con deal was imminent.

Yet, yesterday, Labour tried to spin their ‘victory’ on Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News.  (They also spun on the BBC, but that’s a given, bearing in mind their obvious partiality towards Labour.  It’s a pity the British are legally bound to pay a licence fee for such a service.)  Labour insiders used Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals against Sky’s political editor Adam Boulton twice in the space of a few hours: ‘Pick a target and polarise it’. 

Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell pushed Mr Boulton’s buttons around dinnertime:

Later that evening Exeter MP (Member of Parliament) Ben Bradshaw managed the same and spun exquisitely, practically denying that the Tories clearly have the most seats (306 to Labour’s 258 to the LibDems’ 57):

A fair number of the British public are taken in by politicians and pundits promoting this line which, along with the push for voting reform, came out of nowhere to gain remarkable currency in the past few days.

A number of leftist activists are trying to create a big lie by saying that Sky News is the British equivalent of Fox News.  Other than the fact that they have the same proprietor, nothing could be further from the truth.  Sky’s reporters and commentators, including Mr Boulton, were not exactly on Mr Cameron’s side in the run-up to the election, although they did give him more coverage than the BBC did.  By ‘more’, I mean equal to that given to Messrs Brown and Clegg. 

The left would do well to remember that Mr Boulton was particularly fawning in his admiration of President Obama and presented a well-publicised report of his first 100 days in office last year.  They might also keep in mind that Mr Boulton is married to a former Labour public relations adviser Anji Hunter, who was prominent in Tony Blair’s government.  

Have the scales finally dropped from Mr Boulton’s eyes?  It would be nice to think so.  In any event, many appreciate his speaking out on behalf of the British public.  It’s time someone in television media did.

The lesson here is that we must scrutinise — yes, discern — what our leaders and media are telling us.  Regular readers will know that my suggestion is for every household to have someone who is capable of reading and viewing a variety of news output from the political spectrum and filter it to their families through a prism of truth.   

A second and perhaps more important lesson is the following: David Cameron moved into No. 10 Downing Street because he played with a straight bat.  He kept his own counsel, followed the rules and did the right thing.  May Providence continue to guide him in the weeks and months ahead.

I leave you with this Fox News video of his first speech as Prime Minister:

May right-thinking people now appropriate the term ‘progressive alliance’?

Rey Lopez-CalderonYes, it just may be possible that there are a few honest, helpful community organisers on this earth.  One of them, Rey Lopez-Calderon, appears to be one of the good guys who went into organising to genuinely help the underprivileged.  He’s worked with the United Farm Workers in California and in the Pilsen neighbourhood in Chicago

He also worked for the Gamaliel Foundation, recipients of Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CHD) funding.  And that’s where he got a slightly different insight about community organising.  He wrote his story recently for Blogcritics.  It’s called ‘Walking the Edge of Immorality’.  What a picture he paints.

As regular readers of Churchmouse Campanologist know, Gamaliel’s head organiser is a chap named Greg Galluzzo, who is either an ex-Jesuit or went to a Jesuit seminary — reports differ.  Barack Obama also worked for them in the early 1990s.

By way of apology, Rey says:

The idea of an international, faith-based organization that brings together people of all colors and creeds is certainly a noble cause. But the organization’s philosophy was flawed from day one. I worked for Gamaliel in the late 1990s up until 2001…

My former mentors, Greg Galluzzo and his wife Mary Gonzalez, took over the Gamaliel Foundation after breaking with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the organization founded by Saul Alinsky. Gamaliel’s leadership system was built on notes obtained from the IAF …

Working life was more Alinsky-oriented than faith-based. It certainly wasn’t Catholic. Rey says:

I have never seen such a strange and warped culture anywhere. Staff were pitted against each other by Galluzzo and Gonzalez.

Galluzzo, in Rey’s words:

wanted organizers to be tough bastards who could build power like the Conquistadors … (no virtù needed at all).

felt that organizers should fight fire with fire.

used to give a cultish advanced training seminar titled ‘Walking the Edge of Immorality’ where he repeatedly stated ‘the ends justifies the means’ and nonchalantly told us that to have an impact on society we had to be willing to ‘lie, cheat, and steal for the greater good’.

… We could be shady to get power but once we had enough power, knowing the Good would be enough for us to make the right decisions.

Rey explains:

Too bad Galluzzo … skipped the course on Aristotle where he would have learned that character is a function of habit — i.e. doing shady things makes you shady whether or not you grasp the Good. The final straw for me was when Galluzzo sent out a weekly report with a reflection that we organizers needed to promote a noble myth to our churches that our work was about justice, God, and peace even though we really knew it was about power.

He knows it’s the wrong way to go about things.  Okay, he’s way, way to the left and works with IAF affiliates — you can read his blog here. I can’t see the point in encouraging victimhood in this day and age. Whatever happened to character and virtue?  However, do note his conclusion:

I left Gamaliel disillusioned and disgusted by what seemed to me to be pure evil.  How could a faith-based organization operate under such a skewed, cynical view of the world? Where was God in that scheme? I should have exposed them then. I had a duty to do so. We can’t content ourselves with feelings of moral superiority while people with corrupt principles are out there building power.  We ignore these bad apples to our own peril.   We have to be willing to shake the tree, letting the rotten ones fall where they may.

Rey would probably disagree with my advocating a boycott of CHD.  Some of that money just might be going to organisations he works for and with.  Nevertheless, we know already that some of the funding goes to the Gamaliel Foundation. 

Please think carefully before giving to the CHD — in fact, please boycott the collection.  It’s not Catholic and it doesn’t support Catholic ideals, no matter what the USCCB or their spokespeople say.

Progressives and US Churches

Above is a set of progressive connections with American churches.  Blue boxes denote recipients of secular funding.  Green boxes signify active donors.  Pink boxes signify progressive recipients and related connections. 

Part of the reason for my putting this together is to help you understand that Christianity in the US does have progressive connections which may be leading your church down a secular, relativist route.  It’s also to help give Catholics reasons for boycotting the Campaign for Human Development collection later in November. 

Documented sources for the chart:

Archdiocese of Chicago

Campaign for Human Development (CHD)

Saul Alinsky

Arcus Foundation

ACORN and Tides Foundation: The American Spectator, Michelle Malkin

Faith in Public Life

Sojourners and Brian McLaren

This is by no means an exhaustive chart, but it gives you an idea of where some of your donations go and where your church or related institutions may get some of their money.

cash continuumjournalscomHello, Catholic readers in the US! 

This is just a reminder that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CHD) is coming up in November.  Whilst this might be a bit early for you to think about it, please be aware of where this year’s funds will be going.  Ask yourself: is it time to starve the beast?

For background on the CHD, as covered on Churchmouse Campanologist, click here and here.

Thanks to the USCCB list of 2009-2010 grantees — 26 pages — you now have the information below to pass along to your friends, families and fellow parishoners.    

Who will be receiving funds from this year’s collection

Read the document in full to see who will be receiving funds from your area.  Here are a few snippets (emphasis mine for words or phrases that should set alarm bells ringing).  Remember that CHD does not give to Catholic organisations!

Area ANew York City – Movement for Justice en El Barrio: a social justice organisation which is funding its own full-time … community organiser

Area AAllentown, PA – Congregations United for Neighborhood Action (CUNA): a member of the PICO National Network and trains ‘ordinary people’ to become ‘leaders’ for their communities.  Sounds like more community organising!

Area A – Philadelphia, PA – JUNTOS: Helping Mexican and Latino immigrants ‘build power for justice’ and ‘strengthen the ability to organise workers’ (day labourers).

Area A – Providence, RI – Fuerza Laboral: ‘immigrants and low-income workers who organise to end exploitation in the workplace’.

Area A – Providence, RI – The Rhode Island HUD Tenant Project, Inc.: They ‘organise the unorganised tenants’ into tenant associations that ‘take action‘ 

Area B – Chicago, IL – Southwest Organizing Project: The name says it all. 

Area B – Chicago, IL – Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew: This ‘organizing center’ builds ‘leadership and power‘ of low-income parents.

Area B – Joliet, IL – DuPage United:  This ‘network of institutions’ helps citizens to ‘take collective action‘ for ‘human dignity, social justice and the greater good‘. 

Area B – Gary, IN – Central District Organizing Project: What’s in a name? They ‘bring together residents, religious and community organizations‘ into ‘a powerful coalition‘.

Area B – Baltimore, MD – United Workers Organization: This is an ‘organization of low wage workers who are organizing for better wages and working conditions’.

Area C – Washington, DC – Partnership for Renewal in Southern and Central Maryland: This is ‘a congregation-based organization’ affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation.

Area C – Miami, FL – Broward Organized Leaders Doing Justice: Helps support ‘organizing and training’ to ‘bring about systemic change‘.

Area C – Palm Beach County, FL – PEACE: A ‘community-based organization dedicated to building member organizations to effectively fight injustices‘ in low-income areas.

Area C – Baton Rouge, LA – Faith United for Empowerment and Leadership, Inc.: A PICO affiliate.

Area C – Baton Rouge, LA – Greater Baton Rouge IAF Sponsoring Committee: Part of Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation!

Area D – Tucson, AZ – Pima County Interfaith Council: Affiliated with Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation.

Area D – Des Moines, IA – A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy: A multi-faith ‘community organization‘ to help the ‘faith community live out its prophetic imperative for justice’.

Area D – Omaha, NE – Omaha Together One Community: A mix of church congregations, neighbourhood organizations and ‘a working affiliation with labor organizations‘.

Area D – Santa Fe, NM – Albuquerque Interfaith, Inc.: ‘A broad-based, multi-ethnic, power organization‘ affiliated with Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation.

Area D – Fargo, ND – New Sudanese Community Organization: ‘A new community organizing group’ for ‘a powerful and unified voice’.

Area E – Fresno, CA – Faith in Community: A PICO affiliate.

Area E – Los Angeles, CA – Southern California Education Fund: Part of Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation.

Area E – Los Angeles, CA – People Organized for Westside Renewal: It ’employs a community organizing strategy focused on relationship building and direct action‘.

Area E – Sacramento, CA – North Valley Sponsoring Committee: Part of the PICO Network.

Area E – Orange, CA – Orange County Congregation Community Organization: This is the OCCCO discussed in one of my earlier posts.

The choice is yours. Don’t forget that the descriptions of the organisations and their purpose is designed to work on your heartstrings and emotions.  But, you can’t be completely sure what the reality is. So, give if you feel the need and do so at your own risk. 

It’s disingenuous that the USCCB makes this statement, particularly with regard to ACORN, which many people knew about months before the bishops stopped the funding:

… the Bishops work very hard to promote [the CCHD mission] and protect it by careful review and monitoring of CCHD grants to make sure they comply with CCHD’s guidelines and Catholic teaching.

Alinsky (if he could see this) be proud to see the extent of infiltration in the Church!  Why make his successors proud? Stop funding the CHD!

Tomorrow: More recipients of the CHD’s 2009 funding

Organising for Health CareSeptember is make or break time for leftist organisations and networks pushing Obamacare in the United States.  Some of these have church affiliations.

There is much to read for those who are interested in the networks and how they operate.  Brief highlights with links to blogs and documents follow. My sincere apologies for the formatting problems below.

But, first, please note the official Obamacare marque and the words ‘organising for’.  Who ‘organises for’ anything except a leftist?  The rest of us ‘organise’ things, like a sock drawer.  Now read on …

HotAir reports on ‘astroturfing churches’, ironic for an administration supported by people who believe in a separation of church and state.  Oh, well, when it comes to Obamacare, it’s all right for them to stick their secular noses into church but not okay for you to have a nativity scene at the courthouse come Christmastime. Ed Morrissey warns (emphasis mine):

If you attend church in Ohio on a regular basis, you may notice a subject creeping its way into your pastor’s sermons over the next two months. A Hot Air reader working at a non-profit received this RFP [Request for Proposals] from the Ohio chapter of UHCAN, the organization behind the Health Care for America Now counter-demonstrations at town-hall forums, where volunteers are trained to disrupt and shut down dissent.

In other words, UHCAN wants to pressure churches into transforming themselves into campaign rallies.  That kind of contact could risk their tax-exempt status (and should), but the moral problem goes beyond that.  Will pastors who agree to this disclose that they’ve been lobbied and pressured by ObamaCare advocates?  If they do, it would undermine the credibility of the sermons, but if they don’t, it undermines the credibility of the minister and the church itself.

I deliberately chose the word ‘creeping’ in the lead.  This is a rather creepy idea, one which essentially asks ministers to become tools of the state.  It’s one thing to ask ministers to join their cause, but another entirely to launch a lobbying campaign to astroturf their sermons.  It shows the level of desperation among ObamaCare organizers as Americans reject their radical agenda

It’s creepy because someone in the not-too-distant past also intimidated churches and demanded fealty from pastors. A Socialist masquerading as a Christian. Not sure who it was?  (Here’s a hint: Godwin’s Law.)

In California, PICO is pushing Obamacare.  PICO stands for Pacific Institute for Community Organising. It receives 6% of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development monies annually.  Stephanie Block, an investigative journalist, has more here in her article ‘How to Shoot Yourself’ (see page 3). She writes:

The California Right to Life was particularly disturbed by mobile health vans that travel around to different area dispensing health care services. As these vans are under the supervision of the County Public Health Department, they refer their clientele, including school children, to county agencies and non-profits such as Planned Parenthood that dispense birth control and abortion. Families without medical insurance are encouraged to sign up for Healthy Families, a California medical care program with options to cover such referrals.

The Contra Costa PICO affiliate was the primary promoter of the mobile medical van. In addition, PICO affiliates are the major source for lobbying in Sacramento for more school-based health clinics and government health care programs.

Even more insidious, individuals have become ‘application assistants’ within their church communities, trained and authorized to sign up fellow congregants with Healthy Families.

 

 That was a few years ago.  Now, California Catholic Daily examines PICO, the Sojourners and the Catholics in the Alliance for the Common Good in promoting Obamacare.  Gibbons J Cooney tells us:

 

How did pro-abortion Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez end up speaking in a Catholic Church? The ‘prayer vigil’ for healthcare was sponsored by the Orange County Congregation Community Organization. This group is an affiliate of the PICO National Network… Ten of the Orange County group’s 22-member congregations are Catholic churches. 

I have experience with one such group. In 2000, my parish signed up with the Bay Area Organizing Committee. They are an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, another Alinskyite umbrella organization. We held some meetings. Some other more active parishioners and I were invited. At the first meeting I asked the Bay Area Organizing Committee representative what we were going to try to accomplish. The answer was that we were going to join together for common action. But for what aim? I asked… 

I received no answer … because the technique of Alinskyite organizations is to avoid concrete issues whenever possible. Issues such as abortion or same sex-marriage are to be avoided because they are ‘divisive’, and divisiveness would inhibit the growth of the organization. For the Alinskyite organizer, as for any political organizer, growth equals power

PICO was founded in Chicago in 1972 by a Jesuit priest, Father John Baumann. It continues to receive much support from the Jesuits. One of this year’s Jesuit Foundation grants at the University of San Francisco will go to ‘training 50-75 USF students, faculty, and staff in the best approaches to community organizing’…

Right now PICO is running a national ad supporting ‘Health Insurance Reform’–the most divisive issue in recent memory. They are urging people to contact their representatives to express support…

Though ten of the Orange County affiliate’s 22-member churches are Catholic, in San Francisco, 22 Catholic churches are listed on the website of the San Francisco Organizing Project, and the archdiocese is listed as ‘a partner’. The San Francisco group is an affiliate … Go anywhere: in Denver, home of Archbishop Charles Chaput, it’s the Metro Organizations for People. Of the 17 churches belonging to the Denver group, nine are Catholic—Denver is an affiliate of PICO. Does this mean all those churches and bishops support the network’s lobbying for healthcare bills that include publicly funded abortion?

… because these prelates agreed with PICO on other issues, they tolerate it. And this policy has allowed the organizing committees to consolidate their power via Catholic parishes, using the parishioners’ own money

Alarming — please be sure to read the whole article.  There’s more on PICO, again in the California Catholic Daily, ‘Healthcare “Reform”‘, excerpted here:

PICO, in conjunction with the Sojourners, has provided a document it calls the ‘Health Care Tool Kit: A Guide to the Health-Care Reform Debate’.

… PICO’s position becomes even clearer: ‘Some people will try to twist the issue into a secret plan to socialize medicine or have a government takeover of the health-care system. This is not true, but some fear it excessively just the same.’

… note the unnamed ‘some people’ … demonized (‘secret plan’) and accused of wanting to ‘twist the issue’. Thus the spinning. 

 … For faithful Catholics, the issue of publicly funded abortion and conscience protection looms large. But in the section ‘A Role For the Faith Community’ PICO informs us there is nothing to worry about …

Once again a categorical, declarative statement asserting something PICO/the Sojourners cannot possibly know to be true. No evidence is offered, no citation given, no quote from any legislator.
   
This is the document discussed in the article — worth reading in full if you live in the US.

 

Back to Stephanie Block, who has three articles about Obamacare and the link to Alinsky community organising:

‘The Shenanigans of Alinskyian Organising’:

On Sunday, August 2, 2009, Sanchez spoke at St Callistus Catholic Church, Garden Grove, California as part of an event identified as a ‘Healthcare Prayer Vigil’ on the Orange County Congregation Community Organization (OCCCO) website.  

‘OCCCO is an Alinskyian community organization, affiliated with the PICO National Network.’

… Georgeann Lovett, Director of Respect Life, Justice and Peace for the Diocese of Orange, responded that ‘the event was an OCCCO event, not a Loretta Sanchez event or an exclusively Catholic event. OCCCO is an interfaith organizing group that works through various congregations and some of our parishes, including St. Callistus, are participants.’

‘Alinskyian Organising and Activism II: The IAF’ [Industrial Areas Foundation]:

Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) [an IAF local in Massachusetts] claims to have 70 institutional members though it actually only lists 59, most of which are churches and synagogues. Healthcare is an important issue for the group…

‘Exerting real political pressure’ makes GBIO a real political organization with a real political agenda… Real progressive political pressure, leveraged with the support of religious bodies, while vitiating their core moral values…now that’s Alinskyian organizing for you.

‘Alinskyian Health Care Push, Part III’:

With only a little more than a month to counter growing public sentiment against federal health care plans, many of the key players of the We Believe Together – Health Care for All coalition – PICO National Network, Sojourners, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Gamaliel among them – have begun a special campaign, 40 Days for Health Reform.

 To understand the work of We Believe Together – Health Care for All and 40 Days for Health Reform, one must understand that PICO and Gamaliel are community-organizing networks built on the theories of Saul Alinsky. They organize primarily among religious institutions …

In order to clothe health care ‘reforms’ in moral clothing, 40 Days for Health Reform sponsored a highly publicized conference call (Sojourners called it a national ‘call in’) between President Obama and the ‘people of faith’ within its networks to discuss the issue. It has also run a nationwide TV ad, featuring clergy, to support health care reform. It has prepared printed material that misapplies scripture verses, such as the Matthew 25’s warning that people will ‘be judged by how they treat the least of these’ as a spiritual mandate for health care reform

PICO is pushing this in several states: Alabama, Colorado, California, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont.

Apologies for the long post, but it’s important to be aware of the emotional blackmail which is likely to increase dramatically as September draws to a close.

 

‘ … 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.]

Faith in Public Life logoFor 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 authoritySecond 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!

    Hillary Clinton graduateThis is my final post on Saul Alinsky’s influence on American Christianity.  Thankfully, I have exhausted my references and told the stories that needed telling.  It’s been dispiriting, a bit like walking with the devil.  So, we’ll move on to other topics starting next week.

    And, at some point in the future, I’ll be looking at Marxist influences on the Church in other countries.

    But, for now, this final story involves the influence of the Methodists’ social programmes on the current Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (pictured at left graduating from Wellesley College).  I am Hillary-agnostic, but her story is an excellent illustration of an individual being intrigued by leftism through church influences.

    Hillary Diane Rodham grew up in a comfortably-middle class Methodist household.  Her father, like many men of his generation, would have been viewed as ‘strict’ today.  Mr Rodham wanted things done properly and wasn’t one for a lot of hand-wringing emotions we get with new ‘in-touch’ dads who cry. 

    Nonetheless, Hillary was a little girl growing up with ambitions to make it big on the national stage.  And, it’s a credit to the Rodhams and her brother — her childhood playmate — that she was able to develop her imagination and idealism to break through traditional female stereotypes as an adult.  When they were children, she and her brother used to play astronaut, with Hillary piloting the spacecraft. But, women weren’t allowed into the space programme.  Even if they had, though, her eyesight would have disqualified her from becoming a fighter pilot, a prerequisite for the programme.  Mrs Rodham suggested Hillary become a lawyer with the possibility of sitting on the Supreme Court. 

    As time went on, however, Hillary began to consider a more influential position, which would have an impact not just in the United States but around the world.  The Revd Don Jones, Hillary’s Methodist youth group minister and first mentor, remembers: ‘From an early age, she dreamed of living in the White House.’  In her book The University of Life, author Barbara Olson explains how pivotal the family’s Methodism was to Hillary’s outlook:

    At an early age, Hillary absorbed the lessons of the Methodist church, and was shaped by the power of its social gospel…Like all Christians, Methodists believe in salvation through grace. But John Wesley…distinguished Methodism from other Protestant denominations by injecting it with the doctrine of the ‘second blessing’ — the dynamic interaction of human will and divine grace that could lead toward spiritual perfection.

    Methodist theology became increasingly popular in the 19th century, a subject this blog will cover in more detail at a later date.  Suffice it to say that its influence carried into the 20th century.  Part of the appeal was spiritual and part was its emphasis on a ‘Social Creed’ as a means of achieving human perfection.  The denomination brought to the fore the issues of social class and race in its somewhat socialist concepts of ‘progress’.  During this time, the Methodists also came out strongly in favour of temperance and later Prohibition.  The Methodists I knew growing up were very much anti-drink.  However, they were also quite conservative politically, which would seem to tie in with Hillary’s father’s political leanings and contradict a progressive interpretation of the ‘Social Creed’.  Yet, whatever their political stance, one thing seems true universally: Methodists are committed to fairness for everyone, in and out of church. 

    To begin with, Hillary, too, was supportive of the Republican Party.  However, she broke with their views in the late 1960s once she got involved in Pastor Jones’s Methodist youth programme — The University of Life — in Park Ridge, Illinois.  Barbara Olson explains:

    [Methodism] became the root of her worldview, one in which it is never enough to attack an opponent’s actions. One must also expose his motives, and use that perspective to destroy both the action and its proponents.  For the natural companion of a doctrine of perfectibility is a conviction in the existence of evil — and immorality — of one’s enemies.

    Hillary was confirmed at the age of 11. She was catechised and learnt the tenets of Methodism. A few years later, Mr Jones’s cultural Marxist outlook would have a deep influence on Hillary.  Jones was a young, enthusiastic minister who had recently graduated from seminary.  He was the youth minister for her church in Park Ridge, Illinois, in the 1960s.  He wanted to show the teens in his charge just what the real world was like with its constant injustice and ongoing struggles.  Olson elaborates:

    Don Jones was determined to break open the comfortable cocoon of Park Ridge [Hillary’s home town] and expose his protégé to the disturbing realities of the contemporary world. He brought in an atheist to debate the existence of God. He upset the congregation with a discussion of teenage pregnancy. He conveyed his deep commitment to the theology of Paul Tillich, who redefined Christianity in terms of the German idealistic tradition and existentialism … Its revival, Tillich argued, could come only from a critique of society that took its inspiration from Marxist lines of thought.

    In this new spin on Christianity, sin and grace, death and redemption were no longer the key features of theology. The major problem facing American youth, the Reverend Jones informed his students, was a crisis of meaning and alienation. Hillary carried this forward to her ‘politics of meaning’

    Did you catch the words ‘critique of society’ and ‘Marxist lines of thought’?  Yes, our old friend ‘critical theory’ rears its ugly head yet again.  At some point in the future, this blog will explain the principals and principles in the cultural Marxism that the Frankfurt School spread throughout Europe and the United States.  Its proponents were Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse and Erich Fromm, among others.  They fled Nazi Europe for professorships in other countries and were highly influential in academia.          

    But, back to our story.  As one would expect — and had I been there at the time — I, too, as an adolescent, would have found Jones’s educational tactics exciting:

    a bracing mixture of counterculture and high culture, the poems of e.e. Cummings, J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and a discussion on Picasso’s GuernicaHe drew explicit parallels between the utopia of Karl Marx and the heavenly kingdom

    Pity the parents who were paying this guy’s salary through their tithes to the church, though!  Jones lasted two years at the church in Park Ridge before accepting a new post in New Jersey. Although older Methodists weren’t sorry to see the back of him, young Hillary was.  Jones had transformed her outlook from that of a young Republican to a Christian socialist to a young woman with a focus on politics and power.

    But how could it all happen so quickly?  Before Jones left suburban Chicago, he took the youth group into the South Side of the city to meet Saul Alinsky.  A Rake’s Progress explains:

    It allowed her to have an open heart to the suffering she saw in Chicago … it also meant that she could hear firsthand what he had to say in a context that probably spoke louder than his words

    Alinsky believed the poor were poor because they lacked power.  It would seem that Mrs Clinton believes the poor are poor because government policies aren’t up to scratch:

    Hillary Clinton still seems to believe that the middle classes can do things to make life easier for the poor, and that is the lever she pulls most often. Her decision about the best way to create change ultimately led her down a path that made her a senator; had she made the other decision — to organise the poor — she would not be in government, but rather in that place where she learned so much — the ‘streets’ …

    Hillary — even as a girl — was used by the [cultural Marxist] movement. She added her consent later …

    That the Sixties, Alinsky and religious faith taught her to learn from experience is the deeper and more enduring social source of her behavior.

    A few years later, when she was a student at Wellesley, one of the prestigious Seven Sisters colleges, she took the Bible study course which was part of the required curriculum.  She and the other students saw how one’s faith could influence one’s response in the public sphere.  If community organising didn’t tick all of Hillary’s boxes, faith could inform her social mission.  A Rake’s Progress notes that Wellesley’s motto bears this out: ‘Non ministrar sed ministrare’ (‘we are not here to be ministered to, but to minister unto’).

    Having said that, Hillary hadn’t forgotten about Alinsky.  She went to hear him speak in nearby Boston and later organised a demonstration in Wellesley. Alinsky told her that protests in a comfortable town like Wellesley were for the middle class, not part of his community organising.  She took his comment on board.  Still enthralled, she wrote her senior thesis about his work.  After she graduated, Alinsky invited her to work for him on his community projects. It’s important to note that Alinsky didn’t offer these positions to women.  He also didn’t extend such an invitation unless he had throughly researched the candidate beforehand.  So, he would have known about her background, campus activities, personality, strengths and weaknesses

    Hillary declined Alinsky’s offer.  She thought that the local level that community organising demanded would hold her back.  Instead, she chose to study law. But, think of it, she stood up to Alinsky and said ‘no’!  More than Catholic priests did!  Still, it wasn’t for entirely altruistic reasons.  Hillary had ambition and a plan to influence as large a stage as possible:

    Her assertion to Alinsky that confrontational tactics would upset the kind of people she grew up with in Park Ridge,thus creating a backlash, was either naive or brilliant. He surely told her what he is reported to have said — ‘that won’t change anything’. It couldn’t have been said with respect. She apparently countered, ‘Well, Mr. Alinsky, I see a different way than you.’    

    That she thought Alinsky could not provide that is surprising, but that is what she thought at that time … Her thesis concluded that ‘organising the poor for community actions to improve their own lives may have, in certain circumstances, short-term benefits for the poor but would never solve their major problems. You need much more than that. You need leadership, programs, constitutional doctrines.’ That analysis ultimately led to law school and not back to the University of  Life  or to Alinsky’s streets. In extensive correspondence with Revd Jones during college, she began the shift from Goldwater conservatism to a more liberal viewpoint. ‘Can one be a mental conservative but a heart liberal?’ she asked him at one point.

    And, so we have the story of the influences on Hillary Rodham Clinton: lawyer, First Lady, Senator, Presidential candidate hopeful and, now, Secretary of State.  Her outlook reveals the combination of conservative upbringing at home, the role of Methodism, the insight into the lives of the disadvantaged, the influence of cultural Marxism and Saul Alinsky.  She sees the public purse as offering ‘short-term benefits’ — that’s the Rodham conservatism talking. But she proposes a ‘need [for] much more than that’ — that’s the Methodism. Finally, she sees the solution through programmes and ‘constitutional doctrines’ — an Alinsky-inspired activism but tempered with orderly agitation leading to change.  It’s all there.

    To read more, see: ‘Hillary’s Takfir’, Gerald L Atkinson, June 15, 2008, and ‘Hillary Clinton’s Thesis about Radical Activist Saul Alinsky’A Rake’s Progress — Donna Schaper, Rake Morgan and Frank Marafiote, July 18, 2007 (includes a link to Hillary Rodham’s senior thesis on Alinsky)

    CHD bannerNEW_02To read previous posts about Saul Alinsky, the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CHD), click here.

    The social activism of the Catholic clergy might appear to laypeople to have peaked in the 1970s, but that would be a mistaken view.  It has merely gone mainstream, with funds still pouring in to the CHD via designated second collections at Masses across the country, normally in November.  

    Here are just a few examples of where CHD money has gone over the past 25 or more years:

    • 1985$40,000 for Chicago’s Developing Communities Project, led by then lead organiser, Barack Obama
    • 1986: $33,000 for Obama’s Developing Communities Project, which Obama continued to lead 
    • 1992: ACORN funding (see below) for Project Vote, a Chicago programme which Obama also led
    • 1995: Cardinal Bernardin helped commit $116,000 from the national CHD fund to Chicago Metropolitan Sponsors, an Alinsky Industrial Areas Foundation organisation
    • 2000 – 2008: $7m went to ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), an Alinsky-influenced, leftist network under criminal investigation in several states.  ACORN supports radical, ‘in your face’ local and national causes as well as abortion.  CHD funding stopped only in November 2008, well after every other American wondered when the bishops would halt the allocation of $1m to the group.
    • Ongoing: $20,000 to $30,000 per community group across the country under the guise of ‘community organisation’
    • Also ongoing: 4% to 5% of total CHD funds to the Gamaliel Foundation, a Marxist socio-political network of Alinsky-inspired organisations
    • Still ongoing: Alinsky’s own Industrial Areas Foundation, which receives 16% of CHD funds annually!  

    Barack Obama was still a lad when Alinsky died in 1972.  So, how did he get to be so adept at Alinskyite techniques?  One of his community organiser mentors was Greg Galuzzo, a former Jesuit, who was lead organiser for the aforementioned Gamaliel Foundation.  Gamaliel has no direct connection with the Catholic Church and does not support Catholic teachings.  

    The Revd Owen Kearns, editor-in-chief and publisher of the National Catholic Register, was among a small group of representatives from the Catholic press in the United States who met with President Obama in July 2009. (H/T: Doug Lawrence’s blog.) Fr Kearns states (emphasis mine):

    The President said he had fond memories of Cardinal Bernardin and that when he started his neighborhood project, they were funded by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development …  The president spoke about how during Cardinal Bernardin’s time the U.S. bishops spoke about the nuclear freeze, the sanctuary movement, immigration and the poor, but that later a decided change took place. He said that the responses to his administration mirror the tensions in the Church overall, but that Cardinal Bernardin was pro-life and never hesitated to make his views known, but he had a consistent ‘seamless garment’ approach that emphasised the other issues, as well.

    InsideCatholic.com explained last year:

    99% of Catholics in the pews haven’t any idea of how much they have invested in building the political infrastructure that has now been activated to support Obama. That infrastructure always supports the Democratic Party and its candidate, but now they have a candidate who comes directly out of their political culture, well to the left of previous Democratic nominees like Gore and Kerry.

    Yet, it’s not just laypeople who are ignorant of the facts.  Catholic journalist Stephanie Block observes:

    A few bishops understand exactly what the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is and approve what it funds. Most, however, swallow the concept of its ‘helping the poor’ and have probed no deeper. Busy about the Lord’s work of minding their dioceses, they’ve trusted others to run the ‘social justice’ offices.

    It’s important to understand that the USCCB does not fund Catholic organisations and charities with CHD monies!  This is because they wanted the CHD to be seen as impartial when the campaign was established in 1969.  The American Catholic sagely notes:

    The bishops could really help poor people by promptly shutting down CHD and giving any remaining funds to, for instance, Catholic inner-city schools. In any event, if there is a collection at your parish this month, I suggest that you return the envelope empty—and perhaps with a note of explanation—without the slightest moral hesitation

    For all of us still scratching our heads and wondering why this is allowed to go on, the Snow Report offers an answer:

    For anti-capitalist radicals — as indeed for zealots generally — the ends justify the means. It has ever been so — for the Jacobins, the Communists, the fascists and now the post-modern Alinsky/Obama left. And that is because of the very nature of those ends as radicals conceive them. A world without poverty, war, racism, or ‘sexism’ is so noble, so perfect in contrast to everything that has preceded it — that it would be criminal not to deceive, lie … in order to advance or protect the cause

    You can also read more here: ‘The Influence of Saul Alinsky on the Campaign for Human Development’, Lawrence J Engel, December 1998

    To read previous posts about Saul Alinsky, the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CHD), click here.

    In 1970, the Revd P David Finks, personally trained by Saul Alinsky, and now effectively controlling the CHD, went with the other members of the Catholic Committee on Urban Ministry to an Industrial Urban Institute that Alinsky was running.  Its purpose was to:

    bring together a dozen or so priests to examine in some detail the practical process of group organisation to effect social change based on the goal of a free and open society. It seemed clear after several years of investigation that Mr. Alinsky and his staff had developed the best process and rationale for organising people.

    It didn’t take a political strategist to figure out that CHD funds would be earmarked for Alinsky’s projects.  Chicago’s Cardinal Cody had already picked up on the notion and wrote Bishop Bernardin warning him about it.  It seems, however, that Bernardin knew and empathised with Alinsky’s work.  Cardinal Cody was the only prelate in Chicago over the past 30+ years to object to Alinsky.  Therefore, Bernardin could safely ignore Cody on the matter.

    Finks, meanwhile, wrote an article entitled ‘Poverty Crusade: Getting It off the Ground’.  In it, he suggested that those involved with the bishops’ task forces read Alinsky’s 1947 book, Reveille for Radicals, and The Professional Radical: Conversations with Saul Alinsky by Marion Sanders.  In another article, he described a link-up between Alinsky’s Rochester, NY FIGHT Organisation and the Xerox Corporation.  Finks said:

    the organisation and selling to the bishops of the Campaign for Human Development–all were an attempt to make available and find support for Alinsky’s approach to community organisation.

    Wow.  Imagine being so enthralled by Marxist theory and practice that you completely disregard the words of Our Lord and the teachings of His Church!

    In November 1970, Egan wrote to Bernardin explaining that local clergy would need to be involved in achieving the objectives of the CHD, including the $50 million fundraising mandate.  As the General Secretary for the National Catholic Conference of Bishops, Bernardin realised that he would have to lend his name and his time to further the programme.  This he gladly did.  The first CHD parish collection a few weeks later raised $8.4 million nationwide, an astronomical sum in those days and the largest single collection in the history of the US Catholic Church at that time.    

    Since then, the numbers increased five-fold to a total of $225 million in donations by 1998.  It is unclear how well the funds have been used.  Yes, we read where the money has gone but see little evidence that the blight in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other urban centres has disappeared.  In fact, it appears that little has changed over the past 40 years, despite astronomical sums being thrown at these very real problems

    Yet, many American Catholics have swallowed the CHD line completely.  In an article dated September 4, 2008, Catholic Democrats criticised a remark from Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin in which she derided candidate Barack Obama’s community organiser history.  The article says in part:

    Community organising is at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching to end poverty and promote social justice … The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has operated the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, its domestic anti-poverty and social justice program, since 1969. In 1986, the Bishops issued Economic Justice for All: Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the US Economy, which said, ‘Human dignity can be realized and protected only in community’. Senator Obama worked in several Catholic parishes, supported by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, helping to address severe joblessness and housing needs in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of Chicago.

    See? Even the laity are bamboozled, to borrow an Obama word. That explains all the Obama bumperstickers seen in the car parks of Catholic parishes, which infuriates conservative pro-life Protestants no end. Gee, and all along I thought that obeying the Word and spreading the Gospel were at the heart of the Catholic Church’s teachings.  Like other Christians, Catholics are commanded to look after the less fortunate, but do they need sacerdotal community organisers to do that?

    But even the Catholic Democrats can’t come up with any evidence of material improvements from all the cash poured into disadvantaged neighbourhoods.  Community organising isn’t something you do for a while and then move on once you’ve improved things.  You never really want to improve things because then you’d have to look for another job.  And that might imply looking for real work.

    Nope, community organising funded by the CHD cash cow — and other religious institutions — is here to stay.  It’s an industry now, don’t you know.

    Please think twice before you feed the CHD any more money.  Unless you love your community organiser in the dog collar, that is.

    You can read more here: ‘The Influence of Saul Alinsky on the Campaign for Human Development’, Lawrence J Engel, December 1998

    Tomorrow: Conclusion – the CHD, ACORN and Obama

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