NOT ONE RED CENT.
Why I Don’t Contribute to Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Thursday, October 22, 2009
In violation of the strict rule that any discussion using “Nazi” as a simile for anything is immediately ceded, let me ask what Nazism, American slavery, and abortion have in common.
The answer is that they all deny(ied) the personhood of one group of human beings with the consequence that the “right to life” of the depersonalized group lies (or lay) in the power of those with legal status.
Which is why I won’t be contributing to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development – not this year or any year that one penny goes toward the support of any Alinskyian organizing network, such as the Industrial Areas Foundation, PICO, Gamaliel, DART, and the now disgraced and defunded ACORN… not to mention smaller networks and the hundreds of affiliate groups they spawn.
The links between the Alinskyian organizing networks and abortion are indirect but serious. It isn’t that the local Alinskyian organization will say “we’re supporting abortion rights” but that they are promoting (for example) Obama’s universal, government health care, despite its abortion-supportive components or that they’ll support a pro-abortion politician because he supports a pet program. The politically progressive Alinskyian organizing networks don’t have to include abortion “rights” in their platform to be supportive them.
And there’s an additional Culture of Death problem in all this, namely the indeterminate political “relationship” created by this particular ecumenical fellowship. To take an example, consider the institutional members of the Alinskyian organization, VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement). VOICE is an Arlington, Virginia affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation network and has about 39 institutional members – only institutions can join, not individual people – as well as another 7 who are in an “exploratory commitment” with the group. All are religious bodies.
Of those religious bodies, 11 are Catholic and presumably adhere to Catholic teaching about the intrinsic evil of abortion. The rest are predominantly from denominational scions – progressive break-aways from mainline religious “traditions”– that support abortion.
For instance, since 1971, the United Church of Christ has affirmed a woman’s right to access to safe and legal abortion. There are three United Church of Christ congregations in VOICE.
In 1978, Unitarian Universalists declared a “right” to contracept and abort. There are 5 Unitarian Universalists congregations involved with VOICE.
The conservative and reform branches of Judaism support a woman’s “choice” to abort and have 3 congregations in VOICE. The 5 Presbyterian members of VOICE are Presbyterian Church USA congregations. The Presbyterian Church USA also affirms a woman’s “choice.” United Methodists support the legal option of abortion…and there are 5 United Methodist congregations in VOICE.
Baptists have no centralized institutional authority, meaning there’s a good bit of variation from congregation to congregation. Their larger groupings, called conventions, do tend to group themselves into “progressive” or “traditional” camps. One “progressive” camp, for example, would be the New Baptist Convention founded by Jimmy Carter in 2008, about which The Washington Post writes gives “moderate Baptists a stronger collective voice and could provide Democrats a greater entrance into the Baptist community.” [Alan Coopeman, “Carter, Clinton Seek to Bring Together Moderate Baptists,” Washington Post, 1-21-07] Of the 8 Baptist congregations of VOICE, most seem to belong to the National Baptist Convention, which is divided on the abortion issue.
The Episcopal Church USA Executive Council formally made the Episcopal Church a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in 1986. There are 2 Episcopalian congregations in VOICE.
The one African Methodist Episcopal congregation in VOICE, if it is consistent with other AME thought, laments abortion but argues it must be legally available for cases of rape, incest, and the “freedom to make reproductive choices.”
As for the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, VOICE’s single Muslim member, it may or may not be anti-abortion but its pro-life credentials are questionable. Paul Sperry, in his book Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington, writes: “Heading deeper into falls Church on Leesburg Pike for about another mile takes you to the next place of interest on the Wahhabi corridor: Dar Al Hijrah, the hard-line Wahhabi mosque where Hazmi and other hijackers from the Pentagon cell worshipped and received aid and comfort. He and other hijackers were ministered to there by an iman who encourages violent jihad and martyrdom.”
So the question is, why is the pro-life Catholic Church in a political coalition with pro-death denominations rather than other pro-life denominations? Before you answer too quickly, imagine that rather than openly supporting “woman’s right to choose,” they supported a white man’s “right” to lynch?
I suggest that if the latter situation seems clear-cut, that if pro-life churches would never consider entering into any open-ended coalition with pro-slavery organizations, they have no business in a coalition with pro-aborts either. Groups that, as a matter of institutional policy, depersonalize other human beings so that the literal life is at stake, are dangerous.
Which is why, I suspect, that one reads of Catholics around the United States organizing boycotts of the CCHD. Mary Ann Kreitzer, president of Les Femmes in Diocese of Arlington, where VOICE is active, writes, “The pretense that ending [CCHD] funding to ACORN has eliminated the scandal is ridiculous when you consider that many of the other community organizing groups receiving money operate exactly like ACORN does and are engaging in the same type of liberal lobbying. …Why are millions being funneled to secular groups that often have an agenda diametrically opposed to the Church?”
[See Kreitzer’s article http://lesfemmes- thetruth. blogspot. comsearch? q=tuck+grinnell]
What a good question. More Catholics ought to be asking it.
Stephanie Block is the editor of the New Mexico-based Los Pequenos newspaper and a founder of the Catholic Media Coalition.