Tag Archives: christianity

Nine Ways of Being an Accessory to same-sex marriage

Lay Catholic Logo

Nine Ways of Being an Accessory to same-sex marriage
  1. By counsel
  2. By command
  3. By consent
  4. By provocation
  5. By praise or flattery
  6. By concealment
  7. By partaking
  8. By silence
  9. By defense of the ill done

See trailer for movie of same-sex attracted Catholics who left the LGBT lifestyle here.  “Desire of the Everlasting Hills.”

See movie of same-sex attracted Catholics who left the LGBT lifestyle here.  “Desire of the Everlasting Hills.”

Derived from “Ways of being Accessory to Another’s Sin”
As published in BLESSED BE GOD A Complete Catholic Prayer Book © 1925 and THE MAN OF GOD Catholic Prayers and Devotions For Men © 1927 by Very Rev. Charles J. Callan, O.P., S.T.M. and Very Rev. John A. McHugh, O.P., S.T.M. and Roman Catholic Daily Missal 1962, © 2004

Catholics for America: A new organization to defend Catholic teaching in American society and politics

CFA logo for FBA new organization has been created to engage Catholic laity in the public and political spheres.  Their name is Catholics for America and they introduced themselves today in the social media world.  Be sure to follow Catholics for America on their Facebook page by clicking here and on their Twitter page by clicking here.  You can also Join them and receive emails by clicking here

Catholics for America will need the financial support of lay persons who want our Catholic teachings defended.  To contribute financially to Catholics for America, click here.

Please read and share Catholics for America’s post titled ‘Introducing, Catholics for America’ HERE and below that introduces their efforts to protect and defend Catholic social teaching in the United States:

Today, November 21st, on the Feast of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are pleased to introduce Catholics for America.

What is Catholics for America?

Catholics for America is a not for profit organization whose mission is, “To educate and encourage Catholics in the United States of America to actively support Catholic social teaching and to protect and defend those teachings in the public sphere.”

Why was Catholics for America founded?

Catholic teaching needs protection and defense by lay persons. The Church calls on the laity to be active in politics and society in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 899 and 2442.  Also, on January 19, 2012, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called for the Catholic Laity to become engaged through his address to the Bishops of the U.S.:

*Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) – section 899

899 The initiative of lay Christians is necessary especially when the matter involves discovering or inventing the means for permeating social, political, and economic realities with the demands of Christian doctrine and life. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:

Lay believers are in the front line of Church life; for them the Church is the animating principle of human society. Therefore, they in particular ought to have an ever-clearer consciousness not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church, that is to say, the community of the faithful on earth under the leadership of the Pope, the common Head, and of the bishops in communion with him. They are the Church.

*Catechism of the Catholic Church – section 2442

2442 It is not the role of the Pastors of the Church to intervene directly in the political structuring and organization of social life. This task is part of the vocation of the lay faithful, acting on their own initiative with their fellow citizens. Social action can assume various concrete forms. It should always have the common good in view and be in conformity with the message of the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. It is the role of the laity “to animate temporal realities with Christian commitment, by which they show that they are witnesses and agents of peace and justice.”

*Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ON THEIR “AD LIMINA” VISIT, January 19, 2012:

“… it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion… Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed CATHOLIC LAITY endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the FUTURE OF AMERICAN SOCIETY.”

Catholics for America will help the laity to engage in the public sphere on moral issues central to our faith like; Life, Marriage, Poverty, Labor and Religious Freedom to name a few.

How can you help Catholics for America?

  • Tell your friends about Catholics for America by using the social media sources you use like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
  • Donate $5 or an amount you can afford to the efforts of Catholics for America.
  • Join Catholics for America by signing up for our emails

Please include us in your prayers.

We pray that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bless our work.

87th anniversary of Pius XI’s first encyclical on the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico

Pope ius XIToday, November 18, 2013 is the 87th anniversary of Pope Pius XI’s first encyclical on the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico (by the Mexican Government.)  The encyclical was written in 1926 and was titled Iniquis AfflictisquePope Pius XI’s second encyclical about the persecution of the Church in Mexico was titled, Acerba Animi and was published on September 29, 1932 in response to the horrible effects of Mexican President Plutarco Calles’ (pictured below) anticlerical law.  PlutarcoSalute

Calles’ brutal and murderous actions against Catholics led to the Cristero War.  This war was depicted in the 2012 movie, For Greater Glory.

220px-For_Greater_Glory_poster

Read the excerpted paragraphs from Pope Pius XI’s Iniquis Afflictisque below and click this link to read the entire encyclical:

2. We designedly use the words “the heavy burden of these great evils” for certain of Our children, deserters from the army of Jesus Christ and enemies of the Common Father of all, have ordered and are continuing up to the present hour a cruel persecution against their own brethren, Our most beloved children of Mexico…

8. In the first place, let us examine the law of 1917, known as the “Political Constitution” of the federated republic of Mexico. For our present purposes it is sufficient to point out that after declaring the separation of Church and State the Constitution refuses to recognize in the Church, as if she were an individual devoid of any civil status, all her existing rights and interdicts to her the acquisition of any rights whatsoever in the future. The civil authority is given the right to interfere in matters of divine worship and in the external discipline of the Church…

 

Cristeroscolgados

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

81st anniversary of Pius XI’s second encyclical on the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico

Pope ius XIToday, September 29, 2013 is the 81st anniversary of Pope Pius XI’s second encyclical on the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico (by the Mexican Government.)  The encyclical was written in 1932 and was titled Acerba Animi.  Pope Pius XI’s first encyclical about the persecution of the Church in Mexico was titled, Iniquis Afflictisque and was published on November 18, 1926 in response to the horrible effects of Mexican President Plutarco Calles’ (pictured below) anticlerical law.  PlutarcoSalute

Calles’ brutal and murderous actions against Catholics led to the Cristero War.  This war was depicted in the 2012 movie, For Greater Glory.

220px-For_Greater_Glory_poster

Read the excerpted paragraphs from Pope Pius XI’s Acerba Animi below and click this link to read the entire encyclical:

4. In view of these unjust and intolerant injunctions, which would have subjected the Church in Mexico to the despotism of the State and of the Government hostile to the Catholic religion, you determined, Venerable Brethren, to suspend public worship, and at the same time called on the faithful to make efficacious protest against the unjust procedure of the Government. For your apostolic firmness, you were nearly all exiled from the Republic, and from the land of your banishment you had to witness the struggles and martyrdom of your priests and of your flock; whilst those very few amongst you who almost by miracle were able to remain in hiding in their own dioceses succeeded in effectively encouraging the faithful with the splendid example of their own undaunted spirit. Of these events We took occasion to speak in solemn allocutions, in public discourses, and more at length in the above-mentioned Encyclical Iniquis afflictisque, and We were comforted by the world’s admiration for the courage displayed by the clergy in administering the Sacraments to the faithful, amid a thousand dangers and at the risk of their lives, and for the like heroism of many of the faithful, who at the cost of unheard-of sufferings and enormous sacrifices, gave valiant assistance to their priests.”

Cristeroscolgados

“10. An effort has been made to strike the Church in a still more vital spot; namely, in the existence of the clergy and the Catholic hierarchy, by trying to eliminate it gradually from the Republic. Thus the Mexican Constitution, as We have several times deplored, while proclaiming liberty of thought and conscience, prescribes with the most evident contradiction that each State of the Federal Republic must determine the number of priests to whom the exercise of the sacred ministry is allowed, not only in public churches, but even within private dwellings. This enormity is further aggravated by the way in which the law is applied. The Constitution lays down that the number of priests must be determined, but ordains that this determination must correspond to the religious needs of the faithful and of the locality. It does not prescribe that the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy is to be ignored in this matter, and this point was explicitly recognized in the declarations of the modus vivendi. Now in the State of Michoacan one priest was assigned for every 33,000 of the faithful, in the State of Chiapas one for every 60,000, while in the State of Vera Cruz only one priest was assigned to exercise the sacred ministry for every 100,000 of the inhabitants. Everyone can see whether it is possible with such restrictions to administer the Sacraments to so many people, scattered for the most part over a vast territory. Indeed, the persecutors, as though sorry for having been too liberal and indulgent, have imposed further limitations. Some Governors closed seminaries, confiscated canonries, and determined the sacred buildings and the territory to which the ministry of the approved priest would be restricted.”

“11. The clearest manifestation of the will to destroy the Catholic Church itself is, however, the explicit declaration, published in some States, that the civil Authority, in granting the licence for priestly ministry, recognizes no Hierarchy; on the contrary, it positively excludes from the possibility of exercising the sacred ministry all of hierarchic rank – namely, all Bishops and even those who have held the office of Apostolic Delegates.”

Given at Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the feast of the Dedication of Saint Michael the Archangel, the twenty-ninth day of September in the year 1932, the eleventh of Our Pontificate.”

st-michael-the-archangel.jpg

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Watch the first edition of “EWTN News Nightly” with Colleen Carroll Campbell from September 3, 2013

EWTN News Nightly set

On Tuesday September 3, 2013 EWTN launched its first weekly (and soon to be nightly) news program.  It is called “EWTN News Nightly.”  The news program is anchored by Colleen Carroll Campbell.

The top stories:

  • Christian persecution in Syria
  • Pope Francis’ new secretary of state
  • Women fight HHS mandate

You can watch the entire news program below:

Coptic Christian American: Our government naive toward Muslim Brotherhood, revolution in Egypt

Church burningIn an effort to help American Catholics understand what is going on in Egypt, the ‘National Association of American Lay Catholics’ (Lay Catholics) conducted an interview with a member of the Coptic Orthodox Church in America on August 20, 2013.

Previous to this interview, Coptic Catholic and Coptic Orthodox churches and institutions were burned by supporters of Egyptian President Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood while he was in office but, mostly after he was removed from office during the June 30, 2013 revolution.  The Egyptian military removed Morsi by popular support of the Christian and Muslim people alike.

Please read the Q&A interview between ‘Lay Catholics’ and the member of the Coptic Orthodox Church in America (the member is referred to as Coptic Orthodox Christian) below:

Lay Catholics

What is the most important thing you want people in the United States to know about the current situation in Egypt?”

Coptic Orthodox Christian:

It is two-fold.  Extreme brutality by the Muslim Brotherhood regime exercised on the Coptic minority both, while in power and after being ousted.  And the deafening silence and neglect of the free world (Europe and North America) to the plight of the Coptic Christians.”

Lay Catholics:

How many Coptic Christians have been killed in Egypt?”

Coptic Orthodox Christian

Since 1990, 5,000 Coptic Christians have been killed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates.”

Lay Catholics:

The Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assuit, Egypt said the West (Europe and North America) failed to acknowledge the scale of unprovoked attacks on Christians by ousted President Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters.  What would you like to say in this regard?”

Coptic Orthodox Christian:

The naïve perception in the West that the Muslim Brotherhood is a law abiding political group is gravely misplaced.  And as such, the revolt against the Muslim Brotherhood government and President Morsi expressed the sentiment of the majority of Egyptians.  Every call from the West to treat this revolt as a coup and every attempt meant to reconcile with the Muslim Brotherhood was used by the Muslim Brotherhood to escalate their brutality against the Coptic Christians, the peak of church burnings occurred after the visits and announcements of John McCain to Egypt.”

“The idea that the Muslim Brothers are peaceful law-abiding citizens and politicians is reminiscent of the calls in Europe to give Adolph Hitler yet few more chances to exercise his governance just because he was once freely elected.”

In a testament to the resolve of the persecuted Coptic Christians, the Coptic Orthodox Christian added:

The Orthodox Bishop of Minya (Egypt) said that he never saw the churches so packed as he saw them after they were burned.”

-end-

How can you help the Coptic Orthodox Christians?  CLICK HERE for information on the relief effort and CLICK HERE to go directly to donate to the relief effort.

coptic oppression relief fund

See important information and statements from the Coptic Orthodox Church regarding this persecution by the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates below:

CLICK HERE for the List of churches and Coptic establishments, that have been burned, destroyed or compromised (as published by the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt.)

Statement from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt

Official Statement from all the Coptic Orthodox Bishops in North America

“The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians,” says Egyptian Catholic Bishop Kyrillos

Aid to the Church in Need

Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity under the guidance of the Holy Father has today reported that the Coptic (Egyptian) Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Egypt, Bishop Kyrillos has stated, “The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians.”  Islamists, being the Muslim Brotherhood or other dangerous radical groups like them.

The following is the full article from Aid to the Church in Need:

Bishop Kyrillos“The Islamists are taking revenge on us Christians”: With these words the Coptic-Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Kyrillos William Samaan (pictured left,) commented on the latest Islamist attacks on Christians and Christian institutions in Egypt.

The bishop made his comments while talking to international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) on Monday, August 12th. 

The Bishop was referring among other things to events in the towns of Sohag, Fayum and Beni Suef and on the Sinai Peninsula, where churches have been attacked by Islamists and Christians have been threatened. There have also been fatalities.

In the town of Sohag, there were reports that Islamic extremists had raised the black Al-Qaida flag over a church.

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had accused Egypt’s Christians of being jointly responsible with the military and the forces of the Mubarak regime for toppling the Islamist head of state Mohamed Mursi on July 3 of this year.

“This is absurd, of course. 33 million Egyptians had demanded his resignation. We Christians (by the way, there are only 8 million Christians in Egypt) were not the only ones to demonstrate against Mursi,” Bishop Kyrillos said.

In view of the current security situation, the bishop said he was worried but that he did not wish to reproach the law enforcement forces. “The police and the other organs of the state are at present busy keeping the Islamists under control.”

The Bishop stressed, however, that the climate had changed considerably for Egypt’s Christians since the fall of Mursi. “We feel at home again in Egypt,” Kyrillos explained.

He went on to emphasize that non-Christian publicists would now speak up for the Christians by stressing that the Christians should not be expected to pay the price of democratization.

The Bishop also saw it as a positive sign that in Sohag or Assiut, for example, moderate Muslims had defended Christian churches against demonstrating Islamists.

“This is the true Egypt: Christians and Muslims are united,” Bishop Kyrillos continued.

According to him, this year’s message from Pope Francis at the end of the Islamic fast of Ramadan was received very positively.

For the first time the Pope had use the opportunity to address Muslims worldwide personally. In previous years, the letter had been published by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the Pope’s behalf.

The Bishop criticized the deposed Muslim brothers for refusing to accept the new government’s offers of reconciliation.

“The problem is that they (Muslim Brotherhood) still want to have an Islamic state. The majority of Egyptians are happy, however, that this has not come about. They want a liberal state,” Bishop Kyrillos claimed.

The bishop is optimistic with regard to the future constitution. A 50-strong committee would soon be revising the constitution drawn up under the Islamist Mursi and adopted by referendum.

Representatives of Egyptian Christians would also be collaborating in this effort.

“All social forces will work on it. I am confident that state and religion will be separated. After all, mixing them is the source of much evil.”

Orthodox Pope Tawadros IIThe Coptic-Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II (pictured left,) the head of the largest Church in Egypt, made a plea on Monday for the avoidance of further bloodshed in the face of denominational tensions.

According to media reports, the Patriarch has suspended the weekly audiences in his Cairo cathedral for fear of attacks (by the Muslim Brotherhood.)

Previously, 16 Egyptian human rights groups had accused the Islamists of stirring up feelings against Egypt’s Christians since June 30th, the day of the mass protects against Mursi.

The human rights groups also criticized the state for not doing enough to protect Christian institutions and individuals.

Click here to read this article at Aid to the Church in Need’s website.

Catholic Bishop: U.S. Ambassador sent erroneous analysis of support for Muslim Brotherhood

Minya EgyptIn an interview published August 1, 2013, Bishop Hanna of Minya, Egypt made many comments of great importance regarding the June 30, 2013 revolution in Egypt.  Included in his comments is one about the errors of analysis by the Obama Administration’s U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson and others.

Below are some excerpts from the interview by Agenzia Fides, an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies:

  • “Western chanceries (administrative offices in Catholic dioceses) “have overestimated the real roots of political Islam in the Egyptian people” and now “remain floored and ambiguous before the scenarios opened by the revolution of 30 June,” while the Islamists “emphasize the role of Christians in that uprising also to justify the terrorist attacks being prepared against (Christians) them.”
  • “In past days, blogs close to the Muslim Brotherhood have labeled the new structure found by the country after the overthrow of President Morsi as the “Military Republic of Tawadros”, indicating Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and his Church as the true architects of the popular uprising which led to the end of the Islamist government.”
  • “It is obvious” Bishop Hanna explains to Fides “that the Muslim Brotherhood wants to explain their political failure by resorting to the theory of ‘Christian conspiracy’.  To emphasize the role Christians had in the collapse of the Islamist regime will also serve to justify future terrorism against (Christians) them.”
  • “There is a plan of other attacks against churches, priests and religious that might be carried out when public controls in squares and neighborhoods – stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood finish.”
  • At the same time, even the Coptic Catholic Bishop (Hanna) confirms the wide participation of Christians in the anti-Morsi uprisings: “It is certainly out of place to speak of ‘Christian revolution’.  At least 30 million Egyptians took to the streets. But among the demonstrators there were always so many Christians (only 8 million Egyptians are Christian.)
  • In the West, however, the Egyptian facts have exposed the errors of analysis of North American and European diplomats: “The U.S. Ambassador” says Bishop Hanna, “continued to send reports in which it repeated that in Egypt the only force supported by the people were the Muslim Brotherhood.  They staked everything on political Islam, without seeing that the Islamists had won the election only because the people would not vote the leaders of the old regime.  But they (Muslim Brotherhood) took us into a tunnel where everything was getting worse by the day.  And at some point, the patience of the Egyptian people is over.”

Read the full story here from Agenzia Fides.  Agenzia Fides is an information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies since 1927.

Organizing for Action: Barack Obama’s New Community Organization

Lay Catholic Logo

President Obama as Barack the Organizer exposes the purely partisan nature of Alinskyian political organizing.  It’s the Chicago Way.

By Stephanie Block

OFA logo 2One of the most frustrating experiences a congregant can face is watching his faith community join an Alinskyian community organization (also referred to as a socialist community organization by “Lay Catholics”.) Sooner or later, he will approach the pastor, complaining that the organization is “just another political” group. The pastor patronizingly retorts that it isn’t.

OFA logoPresident Barack Obama, however, is providing the chastened congregant with new ammunition. The Obama campaign for reelection has morphed into a non-profit entity called Organizing for Action.[i] Jon Carson, who directed Obama’s Office of Public Engagement during the president’s first term and is now executive director of Organizing for Action, has made a YouTube presentation[ii]…  See below:

…(as has the president’s wife, Michelle[iii]) for the initiative. Carson invites folks – yes, it’s very folksy – to join the group and form a lobbying machine for Obama’s agenda, which is currently working on passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation, gun control legislation, and a progressive budget. It links to BarackObama.com, so there’s no question who’s the lead organizer.

Are the Alinskyian community organizing networks involved in Organizing for Action? As it would have been awkward for non-profits to have been directly involved with the Obama reelection campaign, it is not surprising that Organizing for Action, rising from that campaign, is not immediately associated with them. However, there are hints that a marriage has been proposed and is forthcoming.

For instance, Ana Garcia-Ashley, Gamaliels executive director, writes:

“As we came upon Election Day, these relationships [that Gamaliel has forged with ‘electoral organizing allies’] may have saved our democracy. … We now have in place a powerful alliance of relationships that allowed us to navigate undeterred through these threats to our democracy. Now we can take next steps together. We seek to create a just world, built around our faith values. We will work together to repeal the laws that limit our democratic rights, and go even further, working to change the system that created the Great Recession and several concurrent wars. As leaders of the new progressive movement in America, we envision an economy that works for all, and with the fire of our faith we will work together to make that dream a reality.”[iv]

There has also been reportage about the convening of various religious left coalitions recently, specifically around the three issues that Organizing for Action has chosen for its opening salvos.

Gun Control:

Sojourners chief Jim Wallis blamed the National Rifle Association as a primary reason for violence in America, citing phenomenally high gun-murder rates in Chicago (but never mentioning Chicago’s strict gun control).[v] Along with the PICO National Network, it used the occasion of the Newtown shootings to lobby 100 senators with a letter, primarily signed by clergy, urging support for gun-control legislation.[vi]

Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, a New York City affiliate of (the Industrial Areas Foundation, founded by Saul Alinsky) the premier Alinskyian organizing network, joined with their Chicago affiliate, United Power for Action and Justice, in a campaign “to shut down the most irresponsible gun dealers in its metropolitan area.”[vii]

Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, which is promoted by Faith in Public Life, includes Sojourners, many of the prominent, dissident Catholic groups (NETWORK, Pax Christi, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, etc.), national denominational entities with strong Alinskyian organizing ties, the PICO National Network and Interfaith Worker Justice.

Of course, this is nothing new.

Throughout the years, Interfaith Worker Justice has coordinated vigils, rallies, and “pulpit swaps” for comprehensive immigration reform. The Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation has coordinated “clergy preaching for the pulpit” on the topic. Gamaliel has run National Prayer Vigil Campaigns and a Civil Rights of Immigrants Campaign. The White House has held gatherings of “faith leaders,” hoping to craft coordinated messages of “religious” support for its efforts. These groups have been working together for a long time.

Obama’s Budget (not Paul Ryan’s):

Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) proposal for a federal budget based on his understanding of Catholic social principles such as “subsidiarity” and fiscal discipline became a focal point against which the Alinskyian organizing networks and their allies enthusiastically rallied.

The PICO National Network, Interfaith Worker Justice, and others (including NETWORK, Catholics United, Sojourners, and Faith in Public Life) staged “Loaves and Fishes” actions “to highlight the need for moral and political courage in federal budget negotiations.”[viii] NETWORK specifically attacked Ryan’s proposed budget cuts, orchestrating a well-publicized “Nuns on the Bus” tour through nine states.[ix]

In Summary

Clearly, there isn’t a one-to-one correlation here but an observation that fellow travelers, well, travel together. They share the road and the destination, which is important to understand when the Alinskyian organizations protest that they’re “not political.” No, they’re “not political…” just like Obama’s Organizing for Action is “not political.”

Change Agents V1Stephanie Block is a Spero News columnist and author and also edits the New Mexico-based Los Pequenos newspaper. She recently published her four-volume work on Alinskyian political organizing, ‘Change Agents’, available at Amazon.  CLICK HERE to get ‘Change Agents.’

Keep another Obama from

[i] Ken Thomas, “New nonprofit to promote Obama agenda,” The Guardian, 1-18-13. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/10618562 : “In an unprecedented move, President Barack Obama’s vaunted political organization is being turned into a nonprofit group — funded in part by corporate money — to mobilize support behind the president’s second-term agenda.”
[ii] Jon Carson, “Executive Director of Organizing for Action, Outlines Next Steps:”
[iii] “The First Lady on the Launch of Organizing for Action:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYT68Uii1dk
[iv] Ana Garcia-Ashley, “Show Me What Democracy Looks Like,: Huffington Post, 11-7-12.
[v] Mark Tooley, “Religious Left Wants Control of More than Guns,” Front Page Magazine, 1-18-13.
[vi] Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), “Newtown rabbi joins Muslim, Christian clergy in urging gun controls,” 3-12-13. Letter and signatories: http://www.piconetwork.org/tools-resources/document/letter-from-Newtown-with-signers-2013-03-10.pdf
[vii] Alec Harris and The Rev. David Brawley, “Gun control without waiting for Congress Wield the buying power of police departments and the military,” New York Daily News, 2-7-13.
[viii] Faith in Public Life Press Release, “Faith Community to Congress: ‘It Doesn’t Take a Miracle to Make a Moral Budget’,” 3-18-13.
[ix] Allison Kilkenny, “The Resistance Continues as Citizens Fight Budget Cuts,” The Nation, 6-26-12.

Organizing for Action: the Democratic Party’s New Machine (Alinsky/Socialist Community Organization)

President Obama as Barack the Organizer exposes the purely partisan nature of Alinskyian political organizing.  It’s the Chicago Way.

By Stephanie Block

OFA logo 2One of the most frustrating experiences a congregant can face is watching his faith community join an Alinskyian community organization (also referred to as a socialist community organization by “Lay Catholics”.) Sooner or later, he will approach the pastor, complaining that the organization is “just another political” group. The pastor patronizingly retorts that it isn’t.

OFA logoPresident Barack Obama, however, is providing the chastened congregant with new ammunition. The Obama campaign for reelection has morphed into a non-profit entity called Organizing for Action.[i] Jon Carson, who directed Obama’s Office of Public Engagement during the president’s first term and is now executive director of Organizing for Action, has made a YouTube presentation[ii]…  See below:

…(as has the president’s wife, Michelle[iii]) for the initiative. Carson invites folks – yes, it’s very folksy – to join the group and form a lobbying machine for Obama’s agenda, which is currently working on passage of comprehensive immigration reform legislation, gun control legislation, and a progressive budget. It links to BarackObama.com, so there’s no question who’s the lead organizer.

Are the Alinskyian community organizing networks involved in Organizing for Action? As it would have been awkward for non-profits to have been directly involved with the Obama reelection campaign, it is not surprising that Organizing for Action, rising from that campaign, is not immediately associated with them. However, there are hints that a marriage has been proposed and is forthcoming.

For instance, Ana Garcia-Ashley, Gamaliels executive director, writes:

“As we came upon Election Day, these relationships [that Gamaliel has forged with ‘electoral organizing allies’] may have saved our democracy. … We now have in place a powerful alliance of relationships that allowed us to navigate undeterred through these threats to our democracy. Now we can take next steps together. We seek to create a just world, built around our faith values. We will work together to repeal the laws that limit our democratic rights, and go even further, working to change the system that created the Great Recession and several concurrent wars. As leaders of the new progressive movement in America, we envision an economy that works for all, and with the fire of our faith we will work together to make that dream a reality.”[iv]

There has also been reportage about the convening of various religious left coalitions recently, specifically around the three issues that Organizing for Action has chosen for its opening salvos.

Gun Control:

Sojourners chief Jim Wallis blamed the National Rifle Association as a primary reason for violence in America, citing phenomenally high gun-murder rates in Chicago (but never mentioning Chicago’s strict gun control).[v] Along with the PICO National Network, it used the occasion of the Newtown shootings to lobby 100 senators with a letter, primarily signed by clergy, urging support for gun-control legislation.[vi]

Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, a New York City affiliate of (the Industrial Areas Foundation, founded by Saul Alinsky) the premier Alinskyian organizing network, joined with their Chicago affiliate, United Power for Action and Justice, in a campaign “to shut down the most irresponsible gun dealers in its metropolitan area.”[vii]

Comprehensive Immigration Reform:

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, which is promoted by Faith in Public Life, includes Sojourners, many of the prominent, dissident Catholic groups (NETWORK, Pax Christi, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, etc.), national denominational entities with strong Alinskyian organizing ties, the PICO National Network and Interfaith Worker Justice.

Of course, this is nothing new.

Throughout the years, Interfaith Worker Justice has coordinated vigils, rallies, and “pulpit swaps” for comprehensive immigration reform. The Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation has coordinated “clergy preaching for the pulpit” on the topic. Gamaliel has run National Prayer Vigil Campaigns and a Civil Rights of Immigrants Campaign. The White House has held gatherings of “faith leaders,” hoping to craft coordinated messages of “religious” support for its efforts. These groups have been working together for a long time.

Obama’s Budget (not Paul Ryan’s):

Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) proposal for a federal budget based on his understanding of Catholic social principles such as “subsidiarity” and fiscal discipline became a focal point against which the Alinskyian organizing networks and their allies enthusiastically rallied.

The PICO National Network, Interfaith Worker Justice, and others (including NETWORK, Catholics United, Sojourners, and Faith in Public Life) staged “Loaves and Fishes” actions “to highlight the need for moral and political courage in federal budget negotiations.”[viii] NETWORK specifically attacked Ryan’s proposed budget cuts, orchestrating a well-publicized “Nuns on the Bus” tour through nine states.[ix]

In Summary

Clearly, there isn’t a one-to-one correlation here but an observation that fellow travelers, well, travel together. They share the road and the destination, which is important to understand when the Alinskyian organizations protest that they’re “not political.” No, they’re “not political…” just like Obama’s Organizing for Action is “not political.”

Change Agents V1Stephanie Block is a Spero News columnist and author and also edits the New Mexico-based Los Pequenos newspaper. She recently published her four-volume work on Alinskyian political organizing, ‘Change Agents’, available at Amazon.  CLICK HERE to get ‘Change Agents.’

[i] Ken Thomas, “New nonprofit to promote Obama agenda,” The Guardian, 1-18-13. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/10618562 : “In an unprecedented move, President Barack Obama’s vaunted political organization is being turned into a nonprofit group — funded in part by corporate money — to mobilize support behind the president’s second-term agenda.”
[ii] Jon Carson, “Executive Director of Organizing for Action, Outlines Next Steps:”
[iii] “The First Lady on the Launch of Organizing for Action:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYT68Uii1dk
[iv] Ana Garcia-Ashley, “Show Me What Democracy Looks Like,: Huffington Post, 11-7-12.
[v] Mark Tooley, “Religious Left Wants Control of More than Guns,” Front Page Magazine, 1-18-13.
[vi] Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), “Newtown rabbi joins Muslim, Christian clergy in urging gun controls,” 3-12-13. Letter and signatories: http://www.piconetwork.org/tools-resources/document/letter-from-Newtown-with-signers-2013-03-10.pdf
[vii] Alec Harris and The Rev. David Brawley, “Gun control without waiting for Congress Wield the buying power of police departments and the military,” New York Daily News, 2-7-13.
[viii] Faith in Public Life Press Release, “Faith Community to Congress: ‘It Doesn’t Take a Miracle to Make a Moral Budget’,” 3-18-13.
[ix] Allison Kilkenny, “The Resistance Continues as Citizens Fight Budget Cuts,” The Nation, 6-26-12.