Help Support the Good the CCHD Does

Help Support the Good the CCHD Does February 18, 2010

As Michael Voris and “RealCatholicTV” continues their rhetoric against the USCCB and the USCCB’s charitable activity, Catholics United have countered the anti-CCHD campaign with their own pro-CCHD petition. As Catholics United says:

For decades, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has worked to end poverty by empowering people in low-income communities. Despite CCHD’s organizing successes, the Catholic Right is now working to discredit the program and take away its funding. Just last week, a coalition of anti-social justice groups launched a new petition campaign calling on the U.S. Catholic Bishops to suspend all national CCHD grants.

If the CCHD grants are removed, real people would be affected, suffer, and probably die. As we are told, life matters. We are talking about the real world, and not politics. We are talking about real life, where people die from lack of health care and lack of food and lack of shelter in the winter.  In the real world, charities help sinners. In the real world, saints walk beside sinners and work with sinners, if the sinners are working for some good. The Church does not follow dualistic heresies and think that some people are absolute evil and no good can be done by working with sinners. The Church has a history of cooperation with all kinds of rulers, some good, but many have been bad. The Church found ways it could work with people, of whatever spiritual and moral value, to do some good.

If one looked at the people who have been helped by the saints, one will find many of them became saints themselves, but most did not. Many, indeed, were sinners. The saints didn’t look to the sin, but to the person. The dignity of the human person remains even in sin, and that is something so many seem to forget today. How can people be promoting life when they work to eliminate that dignity from their opponents?

Would we condemn the charitable work of the saints when they helped sinners? Would we condemn St Thomas More for his association with Henry VIII and his affirmation that he served the king even after the king went against Rome (he was, after all, silent on the matter of the divorce)? Would we condemn Christ for helping the Roman Centurion, despite the evil the Roman occupation was doing in Israel? And what was Jesus up to by making Judas an Apostle? Isn’t that cooperation with, and working with, someone whose will was bent on evil? And yet that is what we would have to do if we follow the logic argued by Michael Voris and his friends.

How many of these people would question the role of priests in the US military and the kind of promotion of evil they have to support during unjust wars? Do they think through their criticism and see how it affects themselves and their associations? Not at all. All they can do is to press the same note over and over and over and over again:

Let us once again look at the rhetoric being used. First, Michael Voris puts it as a “war.” The ideology of many is that in war, you take no prisoners, and you are free to fight as dirty as you can. That, to me, seems to be the point of making this out into a “war.” It is trying to justify misrepresentation of the CCHD and the USCCB. And thus, the suggestion is that the CCHD and the USCCB are promoting groups whose primary interest are promoting abortion and same-sex marriage. The groups, however, are not about those in any primary sense. The presentation wants people to come out thinking that the CCHD and USCCB are themselves pro-abortion and pro-same sex marriage and this is what the whole issue is about. But that is false, and the implication which is being fostered with this half-truth is detraction. The CCHD and USCCB are not pro-abortion and pro-same sex marriage. However, they are pro-person (a life issue!) and will work with people who are doing good in the real world even if those same people have inconsistent ideologies.

Secondly, Michael Voris does not give an honest assessment of history. There is an anachronistic assumption that the GOP has always been against population control, abortion, etc. The fact of the matter is the reverse, and all one has to do is look into the legacy of Nixon and Ford on population control. Yes, the USCCB was working against GOP agendas then — but the GOP agenda was pro-abortion, pro-population control. That is included in its “decades” of criticism of the GOP. But of course, there is the reverse. Does anyone remember the responses to Nancy Pelosi in her grave errors on abortion? Clearly it is not only one side which gets this criticism. The USCCB is not silent to the errors of the Democrats. How does that fit in with the history we are given in this video? Once again, Michael Voris presents, at best, half truths, and many times, just reliance on that old ad hominem, “liberal.”

And what exactly is “not so very US” about US Catholic? Now are we to have degrees of being a part of the US? And if people really wanted to do the good of stopping funding groups which support abortion, they would begin with the groups they themselves directly fund, instead of the indirect, remote material cooperation being used here. But again, we know it is easier to look to the sins of others than oneself.

I am amused when Michael Voris wants to talk about fallacies. Though he continues with guilt by association, poisoning the well, and ad hominems, he creates a fallacy out of nowhere, found in no logical textbooks: “the sanctity of life is just one issue and not the most important issue.” What is the name of this fallacy in Latin, I wonder? But of course, Michael conflates abortion as the only sanctity of life issue. It isn’t. It is very important, but why? Just look to the reason why abortion is important, and you will find a more fundamental issue, and therefore, one which with its priority is indeed more important. And if he followed with this as being important, and recognized the dignity of the human person, he would show it with his treatment of others. Alas, it’s good rhetoric, but faith without works is dead.

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