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.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Katherine

    The associations made by the USCCB have always left me baffled, as do calls at Mass for social justice. Since when does Justice need a marketing segment? Either it is Justice, or it’s not. What is the word social doing in there unless you mean something other than what you are saying?

  • Mandy P.

    I am a new-ish convert and I have to say that the more I become acquainted with our current crop of bishops, the more I like them as people. That doesn’t mean I always agree with them. In matters where we are free to decide for ourselves, I find myself in disagreement with one bishop or another frequently. Even so, I always read what they have to say because what they say, even if I don’t completely agree, is ordinarily very measured and there’s usually a nugget of gold to be found in there somewhere if you just look for it. I’ve really come to respect them. Especially my local bishop, Archbishop Chaput, and soon-to-be-Cardinal Dolan.

  • Romulus

    I’m quite pleased at last to see a few bishops getting up on their hind legs to resist this outrage — but I worry about how many laity will be there with them.

    For the last 10 years (especially) the ground has been carefully prepared to nurture a public perception that the faithful at best do not take the hierarchy seriously and at worst, view them as a criminal gang. Especially when it comes to contraception, there are far too many guilty lay consciences, who resent having been made to feel guilty. The March for Life every year produces impressive numbers, including many who publicly repent of their abortions, but that’s because the Church has been organized, outspoken, and unashamed on this issue. I am less confident that comparable numbers could be found to publicly repudiate contraception or to have their bishops’ backs as they march on the Hill and the courts to contest our rights.

  • Barry

    William Oddie is, of course, wrong and intentionally exaggerating when he writes that the President is “an enemy of your Church and everything it stands for.” Obama may indeed be an “enemy” of (if that’s the same as enacting policy that runs contrary to) certain important things the Church stands for. There’s almost no politician out there who is NOT the enemy of SOME important thing the Church stands for, and that includes Newt and Mitt and Ron. Obama deserves much public criticism for the HHS policy. Oddie’s hyperbole does not merit submission in a reasoned discussion.

  • http://www.patheos.com Amy

    The Catholic Church in Austria was also mesmorized by Hitler, believing his lies, supporting the joining of Austria with the Nazi Reich. Catholic Austria voted in 1938 in favor of this. What happened next? The Nazis quickly silenced Catholic opposition, closed schools, confiscated church land, etc…. the heirachy was duped by a mad man!
    Today is no different.
    Catholic bishops and the laity were also duped by Obama, believing his lies, mesmorized by his promises. They supported him by voting for him and look what happened. Yes, civil disobedience will be the rallying cry if we do not get our house in order; in short order, we as Catholics and Christians have a greater responsibilty to PRAY for Obama and for all who are against the Church. We must pray, too for those within the Church and for each other to grow in holiness, love and obedience in doing God’s will.

  • Brian English

    Could you identify for us the regulations proposed by Newt or Mitt that would force the Church to take actions directly in conflict with the teachings of the Church?

  • http://victor-undergo.blogspot.com/ Victor

    Dear Anchoress,

    With these two sentences, you say “IT” all! (((Let’s pray for the President that his heart will be turned. Pray with sincerity. But meanwhile, prepare.)))

    As a Canadian and not wanting to stur UP too many of my american cells who have sought refuge in my kingdom sort of speak, “I” didn’t want to take the chance and read too much into this material cause as a so called crazy man who’s bark is worst than his bite, long story short, there’s no telling what some of my heart cells are likely to say:

    Too late! “I” NOW find myself writing about “To hell with you…” and this sentence below hit home for some of our American, Canadian mustard seed cells who have not sprouted yet….

    (((In a Jan. 24 letter to Peoria Catholics, he directed that the prayer of St. Michael be recited “for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America” during Sunday Masses at every parish, school, hospital, Newman center and religious house in the diocese.)))

    So what do you think about “IT” sinner vic?

    Please Victor! Just tell them to only use self defence and whatever else you do, just keep praying that “The Saints come marching in” and many will be laughing and killing flies and yes just like “IT” was just be 4, your so called nervous brake down, an old lady is crying.

    There you go dramatizing everything again sinner vic! No wonder they locked me UP 4 times so can’t you give me straight answer as to weather GOD really does care or not and what can you tell U>S (usual sinners) about what He might do if we cry loud enough to HIM?

    Victor! Viktor! Victorrr! He’s all LOVE so what can He do but continue to LOVE ya but please don’t call any of His Angels to do your fighting for ya if ya know what’s good for ya cause trust me when “I” say that your four so called brake downs would be a blessing as to what might happen to “U” “MAN”, I mean human!

    “FORGET BOUT IT” sinner vic!

    I hear ya! The jury will please disregard what sinner vic and so called friends have said cause “IT” is not admissible in the real world! Right folks? :)

    Thank You Anchoress,

    SORRY NOW? :)

    Peace

    Shalom

  • kenneth

    Why would Obama feel the least bit compelled to appease the bishops? They’ve treated him as a war criminal, a living breathing abomination, since the day he took the oath of office. This was true long before he took these newly unpopular HHS moves. When Obama went to Notre Dame, they carried on like Satan himself was riding in. More than simply protesting his position on abortion, they raised such a stink that it was really a disrespect to the office, as well as the man, of the presidency. Many of the bishops have been so openly partisan in their alliance with the GOP that an off world alien visiting for the first time might reasonably conclude that the USCCB was an official extension of the Republican political machine.
    Moreover, whatever his many faults, Obama is smart enough to count and work percentages. He knows full well that all the smoke and noise are taken away, the bishops speak only for the bishops, and perhaps a fifth of the hard core of Catholicism, a subset of a subset and a group of people who would not vote for Obama even if he changed his mind tomorrow about the HHS rule or abortion altogether. Who is going to turn on Obama for mandating contraception coverage? The 98% of Catholic women who use or have used artificial birth control? Politically speaking, Obama has nothing to gain by appeasing the bishops and nothing to lose by giving them the boot.
    The Alinsky stuff is interesting. Living as I do in the Chicago area, I can tell you that Alinksy is textbook stuff for every community organizer in this region, and probably well beyond. Whether or not you agree with Alinksy’s politics, the man knew the realities of how political power ebbs and flows, and how to maximize the leverage of people who had passion and numbers but little money or establishment power. That said, I don’t think Obama’s rift with the bishops has to do with a handful of grants in his old neighborhood. It runs much deeper than that.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Frankly, the bishops deserve this. They’re the ones who have promoted their muddle-headed, sentimentalist concepts about “social justice,”which reflect the Vatican’s own academic sentimentality. They’re the ones who fail to use any discretionary wisdom when it comes to politics.

    The problem is that, throughout the world and for centuries, bishops have seen themselves more as political players than as true successors of the apostles. Just look at the Concordats with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and the support for authoritarian regimes in Spain and Latin America for decades. The only difference between then and now is that, in the past 30 to 40 years, the bishops have moved more to the Left, politically.

    Nevertheless, the bishops will *always* support a political posture that encourages centralized authority (rhetoric about “subsidiarity” to the contrary; just look at Benedict’s “Caritas in Veritae”). That posture reflects the Vatican’s own distrust of individual rights, and its desire for secular influence.

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    It’s about time Catholics realized how anti religious the left is. They finally have a politician in Obama who is following through in stripping religion of its place in our institutions. It’s been going on since the 1950′s at least. It’s a disgrace how the media has overlooked Obama’s radical past and associations.

  • Brian English

    “Who is going to turn on Obama for mandating contraception coverage?”

    Cardinal Mahoney, Michael Sean Winters, Sr. Carol Keehan, to name a few. Perhaps most of all, Fr. Jenkins, who invited Obama to Notre Dame, and who has now been humiliated by him.

    “Politically speaking, Obama has nothing to gain by appeasing the bishops and nothing to lose by giving them the boot.”

    Yes, that’s what you want in a president–a petulant child who attacks other people’s Constitutional rights to try to even an old score.

  • Brian English

    “Just look at the Concordats with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy,”

    Do you even know what the Concordats were? They weren’t pledges to be BFFs. They were agreements that attempted to protect the rights of Catholics when there were concerns about how they would be treated by a regime.

  • cathyf

    I gotta say that the whole wild Chicago conspiracy theory about Notre Dame — Cardinal Bernadin — the CHD — Saul Alinsky did crack me up. Notre Dame is actually not all that close to Chicago (common failing of Europeans to think that all “countries” are the same size, and if it’s a 6-hour drive from New York to San Francisco then Chicago and South Bend are practically across the street.) And Chicago certainly has had it’s rather colorful scoundrels in Church offices — after WWII when the Vatican, like the rest of Europe, was devastated by war, they were bailed out by Chicago money, which came from a generation of the Catholic dead over paying for burial plots in Catholic cemeteries. Hey, if dead people can vote, why can’t they bail out the Vatican? And every large Catholic institution in Chicago was built with some greater or larger share of Outfit money.

    But no, the CHD — which is the Campaign for Human Development — is not a particular Chicago or Notre Dame institution.

    Also, Notre Dame has a long history of POTUSes giving commencement addresses, starting with Eisenhower, and so the invitation to Obama was not just some out-of-the-blue scheme, but primarily about showing respect for the office of the president. To not invite him would have been a slight to the Office.

  • Mike

    Dolan was “fooled”? I don’t think so. Good faith? No.

    Every grown up man that there is knows what Obama is, and knows it almost instantly. To believe him for even a second is quite impossible.

    Therefore to say you tried, and then pretend you are betrayed….

    I don’t buy it for a second.

  • http://www.savkobabe.blogspot.com Gayle Miller

    The Cardinal Archibishop of Washington, D.C. has now issued a very public letter to the Obama Administration on the HHS ruling that the Catholic Church MUST fund health insurance for its employees that includes abortion and birth control coverage. The Cardinal has thrown down the gauntlet in a very public and firm way. Anyone who votes for the current occupant of the White House is a fool at best and criminally stupid at worst!

    Meanwhile, a so-called Catholic (I shouldn’t judge but her actions give me great pause) named Nancy Pelosi is waltzing around making all kinds of provocative statements about Newt Gingrich. IF in fact she violates her oath of office by revealing anything that may have transpired in the Ethics Committee behind closed doors, SHE will be the one who can and should be held criminally responsible!

    I’m 69 years old and wonder where my country went – the one I grew up in?!

  • kevin

    An excellent point by Dolan and one which probably needs to be made more often, i.e., the Church and Jesus are one. There used to be the saying, “we find Jesus in the Church,” and I can’t remember who said that, but Jesus’s words to Paul make the point much more dramatically. When Obama tries to outlaw the Church’s freedom to teach and act in accordance with her own teachings, he and his administration are attacking Christ. Sounds dramatic I realize that, and it’s obvious that he couldn’t care less, but true nonetheless.

  • Brian English

    “I gotta say that the whole wild Chicago conspiracy theory about Notre Dame — Cardinal Bernadin — the CHD — Saul Alinsky did crack me up. Notre Dame is actually not all that close to Chicago”

    You don’t think Notre Dame is heavily influenced by Chicago? Have you ever even been on the campus?

    “after WWII when the Vatican, like the rest of Europe, was devastated by war, they were bailed out by Chicago money,”

    American Catholics in general were very generous to the Church after WW II. I would bet more money came in from New York than Chicago.

    “And every large Catholic institution in Chicago was built with some greater or larger share of Outfit money.”

    Really? Chicago’s Catholic institutions were all built starting in the 1920s?

    “Also, Notre Dame has a long history of POTUSes giving commencement addresses, starting with Eisenhower, and so the invitation to Obama was not just some out-of-the-blue scheme, but primarily about showing respect for the office of the president. To not invite him would have been a slight to the Office.”

    Clinton never gave one. And beyond the commencement address, it was an outrage that Obama received an honorary law degree.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    “You cannot be a modern liberal AND be a faithful Roman Catholic.”

    Good thing I don’t listen to you.

    “It’s a disgrace how the media has overlooked Obama’s radical past and associations.”

    Or it could be that rabid Catholics are wrong, and that Mr Obama’s history is not so radical.

    “Pray with sincerity.”

    Easier said than done. I agree this is a necessity, but I’m a skeptic it can be accomplished in some quarters.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    The church will have to choose. It can’t serve both God and Saul Alinsky—or God and “Social Justice”. Or God and Obama. (We can respect the office of the president, but Obama is going beyond that, with what he’s demanding.)

    Caesar, unfortunately, is a jealous “god”, who will suffer no gods before him; as is “social justice”; as are many of today’s ideologies, and political programs.

    We need to pray. We live in all too interesting times.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Kenneth, we know that Alinsky is “Textbook stuff” for community organizers, among many others.

    That doesn’t make him, or the communism he pushes, right. Many people supported the Nazis, and the Bolsheviks; popularity does not equal virtue.

    And we’re also beginning to see that the Left, does, indeed, hate religion, and wants to see it done away with altogether. Once they get going, I suspect even Church run “Social justice” programs, and Liberation Theology aren’t going to be safe from them; they’ll want to dismantle the whole thing. (Some Christian “Community Organizers” are going to be very surprised when those they saw as their friends and allies start going after them—Alinsky, the “god” who fails even his followers.)

  • Lawrence Cunningham

    Apropos of Saul Alinsky:
    The letters between Alinsky and his good friend, the eminent Thomist Jacques Maritain, have been published.
    One of the Trappist monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani (and former abbot) was an organizer for Alinsky in Chicago.
    The late William f. Buckley called Alinsky a genius which is why the late Governor Romney most likely recommended that his advisors read Alinsky’s book on organizing.
    If you want to see Alinsky’s 13 principles of organization in practice, look no further than the Tea Party.
    In fairness to those who believe in the Notre Dame-Chicago conspiracy, I must say, as a Notre Dame professor, that on occasion to do drive into Chicago.

  • DeepBeam

    Pray for 0bama? No thanks.
    I’ll pray for those who seek to dethrone 0bama and destroy his worldview.

  • Brian English

    “In fairness to those who believe in the Notre Dame-Chicago conspiracy, I must say, as a Notre Dame professor, that on occasion to do drive into Chicago.”

    What is your theory then, as to why the University did not invite Clinton to speak at commencement, yet chose to invite a guy who has views on life issues that make Clinton look like Fr. Pavone?

    And what could have possibly justified giving Obama an honorary law degree?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Lawrence, one can admire, and even imitate, Alinsky’s tactics, while not buying into the rotten philosophy he peddled.

    Tactics aren’t everything; the philosophy/belief system/ideology you’re pushing actually matters quite a bit, too.

    For some liberals, supporting the progressive agenda, and Obama, is actually their real religion.

    They will have to choose. Caesar is a jealous god.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Also, success in this world isn’t equivalent to virtue.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Do you even know what the Concordats were? They weren’t pledges to be BFFs. They were agreements that attempted to protect the rights of Catholics when there were concerns about how they would be treated by a regime.

    Actually, I delivered a paper to the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historcial Association in 1984 about the 1933 Reich Concordat.

    In exchange for protecting those rights in Germany, the Vatican withdrew its support for two political parties, the Center Party and the Bavarian People’s Party. The Center Party actually managed to have a Weimar chancellor, Heinrich Bruening. So Pacelli (the Vatican’s secretary of state who negotiated the pact) essentially put his trust in a centralized, dictatorial government.

    The Vatican accomplished much more in the 1929 Concordat with Mussolini. Il Duce not only granted Catholicism status as the state religion, but also provided seed money and bonds for the new Vatican City State (which that Concordat recognized for the first time).

    My point isn’t to paint all bishops as fascist sympathizers; Bishop Galen of Muenster, who spoke out against the Nazis’ euthanasia plan (and successfully derailed it), certainly wasn’t. My point is that when it comes to issues of “social justice,” the bishops have a tendency to favor centralized, state-operated, state-mandated solutions over individual intitiatives. That’s because the Vatican — and the Church as a whole — has effectively operated as an authoritarian state for centuries until the 1960s. As a result, bishops tend to treat their dioceses as personal fiefdoms. Just ask anybody who has had to confront a bishop about bad doctrine or even clerical sex-abuse.

  • http://whiterosebrian.deviantart.com Brian A. Cook

    Didn’t Alinsky try to give the poor and the minorities a voice? I am not saying that he was a saint. I am just trying to bring another item into the discussion. Kenneth also raised a point about Alinsky being first and foremost a tactician. Finally, I have not seen evidence that all liberals want to destroy religion altogether.

  • SKay

    Or it could be that rabid Catholics are wrong, and that Mr Obama’s history is not so radical.

    If you agree with his idiology than you would not think it is radical.

  • SKay

    ” Finally, I have not seen evidence that all liberals want to destroy religion altogether.”

    No–not as long as the religion agrees with thier “idiology” or they can create a religion in their own image as was done with the Lutheran Church by the National Socialist Party in Germany leading up to WWII. There were, of course, many Lutherans who fought against this takeover of their religion. Many paid for it with their life before the war ended.

  • Brian English

    “In exchange for protecting those rights in Germany, the Vatican withdrew its support for two political parties, the Center Party and the Bavarian People’s Party. The Center Party actually managed to have a Weimar chancellor, Heinrich Bruening. So Pacelli (the Vatican’s secretary of state who negotiated the pact) essentially put his trust in a centralized, dictatorial government.”

    That is not what happened. I would suggest looking at some of the more recent scholarship, which is discussed in Michael Burleigh’s book Sacred Causes.

    “Il Duce not only granted Catholicism status as the state religion,”

    Finally agreeing to recognize the status of couples married in Church and reintroducing religious instructions to schools hardly constitutes establishing a state religion in the usual sense. The state religion of Italy was Fascism, as the state religion of Germany was Nazism.

    “My point is that when it comes to issues of “social justice,” the bishops have a tendency to favor centralized, state-operated, state-mandated solutions over individual intitiatives. That’s because the Vatican — and the Church as a whole — has effectively operated as an authoritarian state for centuries until the 1960s.”

    You are mixing up two different concepts. The Church is not a centralized state, which is why bishops have the ability to treat dioceses like their own personal fiefdoms.

    As far as centralized secular governments go, it has historically been better for the Church when government was not centralized. Powerful centralized governments will always end up viewing the Church as a rival and will seek to exclude it from the public realm, if not destroy it outright.

    The bishops’ support of the concentration of power in the federal government over the past 50 years was insane. How they thought we wouldn’t end up where we are now is beyond me. However, the bishops being wrong in the past does not justify what the Obama Adminstration is trying to do now.

  • Teresa

    I shall no longer pray for this President’s heart to be turned. Narcissistic sociopaths never change. He has an agenda and is carrying it out. Destroy religion by regulation.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Giving the poor, and minorities, a voice, is an excuse that’s been used by totalitarians throughout the past century, to excuse their crimes. The Marxists were trying to help the poor; the Nazis just wanted lebensraum for Germans. Castro just wanted a better life for the Cuban people. Pol Pot just wanted a new society, where everyone would be equal.

    And so on.

    The agendas of these well-meaning folk always sound great, but do these radicals ever end up actually helping the poor and minorities, they supposedly do?

    No, you’re not saying Alinsky was a saint; you’re trying to whitewash him, and distract attention from the agenda he pushed, by playing the “Poor and/or minorities” card. But that doesn’t work anymore. And, he was a tactician; so what? He was a tactician with a special agenda in mind. And it wasn’t just about the “Poor and/or minorities.”

  • doc

    Leftists are Grima Wormtongue. Their words are poison.

  • SKay

    “Giving the poor, and minorities, a voice, is an excuse that’s been used by totalitarians throughout the past century, to excuse their crimes.”
    Exactly Rhinstone.

    Then there was good ‘ol Mao-who some in thie Obama adminstration like to quote.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    “That’s exactly my point: liberals don’t listen to anyone but themselves.”
    Well, huh. I sure don’t swallow whole everything I read just ’cause it’s on the internet and the boob tube doesn’t mention it.

  • http://whiterosebrian.deviantart.com Brian A. Cook

    In regards to Dunn and Mao, please allow me to contribute this.

    http://mediamatters.org/research/200910190052

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    OR, regarding, “What if it’s in the Catechism of The Roman Catholic Church?”

    I know CCC 2478. Do you?

    Do you mind answering why you choose to remain anonymous? It’s easy enough to find me, my web site, and learn why many Catholics think I stick to the book too much. What about you? We’re all friends here, right?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    SKay, oh God, yes! Good ol’ Mao, the smiling chairman, who killed more people than Hitler!

    But he’s now considered a great statesman, and they quote him all the time. There’s a coffee shop in Venice Beach called “Mao’s”; think they’d ever have a coffee shop called “Hitler’s”, or “Mussolini’s?” Is there a double-standard here, or what?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Occum’s Razor, yes, interesting how Todd immediately tries to divert the conversation from what the catechism says, to your anonymity. (And, no, I don’t think Todd is a friend.)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Occum’s Razor, of course you aren’t trying to be his enemy. Your words are not too harsh. No need to apologize.

    But I fear Todd is trying to be yours.

    The anonymity thing doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s dodging the question you asked him about what he believes in the catechism, and he’s trying to embarrass/harass you, by either bullying you into giving out your real name (not a good idea) or making you look like a fool (according to Todd’s standards) if you refuse, he can then say something like, “Ah ha, you’re a phony, unlike me!” Or something like that.

    He has no real argument to make, so now he’s basically doing what he’s described in the past as “Dropping stinkbombs.” Please, don’t feel bad about anything he says.

  • doc

    Leftists have a long history of attacking and intimidating those who don’t think like them. Examples are the bankers’ families who had mobs show up on their lawn and those who publicly opposed gay marriage in California who were subject to a great deal of intimidation. Of course concealed carry laws have been known to improve the manners of some of these thugs.

  • kevin

    I think it’s high time for Sebelius to be formally excommunicated. Publicly. I believe she has been told she can’t take communion, but she just keeps ratcheting up the arrogance and intransigence. Anyone else think this is a good idea? bad? I just think if the hierarchy takes this kind of lying down and just grumbling, we have lost already. Time to take the gloves off for the good of the Church as a whole.

  • Lawrence Cunningham

    Isn’t it Occam as in William of Occam or, more precisely, Ockham?

  • kevin

    Googling sebelius and excommunication yielded this blog article so the idea is obviously out there:

    http://veneremurcernui.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/when-will-archbishop-naumman-excommunicate-sebelius/

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    I think many Catholic conservatives have difficulty being challenged outside of their comfort zone. I think this is true of liberals, too. But it comes out just as strongly on sites like this where conservatives don’t expect to be challenged. They would like to level epithets at people who don’t think as they do, and do it without consequences.

    I take it as far more a serious matter when someone questions my faith in comparison to my questioning why someone is anonymous. Aware I’m drifting off-thread, I’m skeptical of the anonymous Catholic. Such a person is able to attack with impunity and scurry away as convenient. I don’t think they show the true courage of their convictions. If your opinions are correct, you shouldn’t be afraid of them. And if you’re willing to suffer persecution for your faith, I would expect a willingness to put a real name on your thoughts.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    And I’d like to add, if anyone is serious or sincere about a conversation off the thread topic (or even on it, really), even if you want or need to make it about me, it’s an easy matter to click the link, find my email address, and take the discussion from there. A recent commenter here asked what I thought were personal questions inappropriate for a public response, so I replied by email. When I politely asked questions in turn, I received a response that they would have to think about it. Three weeks later, I’m still waiting. Show stoutness in the faith, by all means. But mix in a good helping of sincerity, please.

  • http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/ Todd

    “Do you not agree Todd?”

    Not entirely.

    What you seem to suggest here is that conservatives come to the Church already a finished moral product, little or no need for metanoia. I would dispute that. All human beings fall short of perfection. Yet many conservatives on this very thread imply that liberals are somehow less moral, less Catholic, less faith-filled or faithful. That is ideological self-indulgence. It is also a grave moral error.

    If you are suggesting that every believer is obliged to continuing conversion, interior discernment, and a willingness to search one’s life and behavior to strive for greater closeness to perfection, then yes, I would agree with that.

    And if you and others have a problem with my defense of the Catholic faith, well, consider it my daily stinkbomb, and move along.

    Otherwise, feel free to reply as to why you choose to remain anonymous. And if you are more comfortable doing so in private correspondence, I have no problem with that. I am not a signatory to the Welborn protocol. Email correspondence is private and kept as such unless a person gives permission to share answers. And you are perfectly free to decline such a question. As you have asked me personal questions and expected a public answer but seem unwilling to reply in kind, I will simply accept it as evidence of bad faith in discussion and move along.


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