Obama, Alinksy and the Bishops?

Well, I must admit, given how CNN has gone out of its way to pretend there is no such thing as a connection between President Obama and the teachings/trainings of Saul Alinksy, I was surprised to see the Obama-Alinsky connection being made in a Catholic UK paper.

Discussing the HHS’s decision to compel church-related employers to cover sterilization, artificial contraception and abortifacients in their employee’s insurance plans, William Oddie writes:

So, American Catholics, you now know, if you didn’t know before: you cannot, if you are a faithful Catholic, vote for this man. He is an enemy of your Church and everything it stands for. But that prompts the question: how come so many Catholics voted for him last time? How come, while we are about it, that one of the first things that happened in his presidency was the conferring on him of an honorary degree by Notre Dame, that renowned “Catholic” University?

This is a long and murky story. It involves telling (which I don’t have time for here) all about the links between Notre Dame and certain clergy from the Archdiocese of Chicago (prop. the above-mentioned Cardinal Bernardin) and their connections with a legendary political radical, a Marxist atheist called Saul Alinsky, who despite his many attacks on the Church received vast funding from something called the Catholic Fund for Human Development (CHD), an agency of the USCCB which over the years has raised hundreds of millions from second collections taken up after Sunday Mass. The following are examples of some of the grants made by the CHD:

• 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!

As Oddie notes, the Bishops pulled funding for ACORN in 2008. Some are also calling for disassociating from Gamaliel, which, I can only assume, means the bishops may re reexamining all of these associations.

All of which makes one wonder whether Obama’s dirty move on the church is meant to coerce the bishops (who may be looking for an exit from all of these dubious Alinsky associations) to fall back in line.

Follow the money?

If that’s what’s going on,
I think Obama will discover he has over-reached. Archbishop Timothy Dolan met with Obama in good faith, and took him at his word when the president assured the bishop that “he considered the protection of conscience sacred”; I have a sense that Dolan won’t allow his good will to be abused twice.

Dolan recently preached: Jesus and His Church are One:

And what question does Jesus bellow out to the shocked Saul?

“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Parse that very carefully. Saul, of course, has been harassing the Church, killing the followers of Jesus.

Yet, note well: Jesus does not inquire, “Why are you persecuting my Church” or “my people” or “my followers.”

No! The Lord asks, “Why are you persecuting me?”

Get it? The Lord is saying, “You hurt my Church, you hurt me. The Church and I are one.”

Let’s pray for the President that his heart will be turned. Pray with sincerity. But meanwhile, prepare. As a friend of mine — one of the most gentle and non-combative people I’ve ever known — said to me recently, “I’ll engage in civil disobedience over our constitutional right to be who we are; I’ll go to jail.”

I’m hearing a lot of that.

“To hell with you…”. Hmmm, Cee-lo Green should write a song…

Related:
Another victory for Religious Freedom: Sixth Circuit Court Rules
that a counseling student cannot be expelled for her religious views.

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About Elizabeth Scalia