Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts tagged Madison

What Do a Madison LGBT Leader and a Madison Catholic Blogger Have in Common?

or

My Conversation With the Blue Bird

 

God works in mysterious ways.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB’s) recent call to Fortnight for Freedom (prayer and fasting) engendered Madison’s Capitol Rosary Rally, which caught the attention of a Madison LGBT activist, who wrote a blog article critical of the Rosary Rally, which caused me to post on his blog in defense of my Church, which started a conversation between me and the blogger, Callen Harty.

In ensuing discussions, Callen and I both discovered that people who differ in their ideologies can be civilized, can discourse together, can make much progress toward mutual understanding, and can begin to like each other, despite their ideological disagreements.
A very hopeful and inspiring lesson in our bitterly divided nation today.
Who would think that we would find this source of hope in Madison?

Thanks, Callen, for fueling my hope, and for reminding me that we are truly all made in the image of God.  We discovered together that there is much to like about each other, if we can just get past the surface disagreements.  We who disagree DO have to inhabit the world together, so we might as well make some efforts to communicate, to understand, and to like each other better.  I admire Callen for having the courage to approve my arguments on his blog.  His blog is now one illustration of how reasonable people can discuss issues in a civilized manner, whether they agree with each other or not.  It also illustrates that both of us, despite our intelligence and good intentions, were still guilty of some presumptions and misconceptions regarding each other.  Conversation is a valuable tool for dispelling some of the presumptions and misconceptions that often divide us more than is necessary.

Callen’s article, followed by the exchange of seven communications between us, makes for a longer read.  But if you get comfortable and dig in, you are bound to be surprised, edified, and amused.

Related Posts:

Gay Marriage and Homosexuality

Heckling the Rosary

 

Callen’s Article- Betrayal of the Fathers (click here or on image for Callen’s original post)

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the original post, the sequence of discussion is out of chronological order.
Here is the discussion in chronological order:

Callens’ Article:

Betrayal of the Fathers

Posted on June 21, 2012

Bishop Morlino of the Madison diocese, Photo by Callen Harty

As a young boy I believed in Jesus.  I believed in Santa Claus.  I believed that my mother knew what was true and what was not.  I believed that priests, nuns, and bishops were holy people who had a special connection to God.

I wanted to be a priest.  I had dreams of becoming a martyr–there would be nothing more glorious than dying for one’s religion.  I wanted to be a witness to the truth of the Catholic Church.

And then somewhere along the line I grew up.  I read the Bible critically and found inconsistencies throughout.  I reasoned and questioned, something the Catholic Church of my youth never appreciated.  I listened to the condemnation of others by the Church and I noted the hypocrisy of the Church’s enormous wealth as contrasted with Jesus’ teachings to cast off one’s belongings and follow him, to give to the poor and feed the hungry.  I have no patience with hypocrisy from powerful men.  And so I left the Church.

My departure from the Catholic Church was not easy.  It was like part of an extended family.  There were brothers and sisters and the holy mother, Mary.  Priests were fathers, the Pope was the Holy Father, and God was the father of all.  For a boy whose own father had died of a heart attack when I was two years old I had many father figures in the Church.  Like a teenager realizing his father is not a perfect hero it was difficult to come to the realization that those father figures were no more holy than me, that their answers were dogmatic and inflexible, and that unlike Jesus who welcomed prostitutes and others without judgment the hierarchy of the Church judged everyone’s worthiness and did not welcome all.

I lost my faith in the Church even before I came out, but coming out made it impossible to go back.  I was not welcome.  At one point in my 30′s I tried.  I found a community of believers in Denver who were part of a nationwide LGBT Catholic group called Dignity that held onto their Catholic beliefs and who had mass said for them and received communion from sympathetic priests.  There was certainly more true faith in that small group of believers than I had ever seen in parishes elsewhere.  After all, they were believing in a faith that wouldn’t believe in them.  But I couldn’t help but notice that we didn’t meet in a Catholic Church, as we weren’t welcome, and that the priests who served us did so in secret.  The realization that while these people were filled with spirit and joy in their beliefs they were unwelcome in the arms of the Church caused me to give up trying to return to my religious upbringing.

It is said that “once a Catholic, always a Catholic” and there is truth to that in several ways.  Many fallen-away Catholics will return to the fold after some time and those of us who don’t are so inculcated with Church doctrine and religious training that our lives are lived as if we are still part of the Church in many ways.

Yet because it is so much a part of my history and shaped who I am in so many ways it feels like a greater betrayal when I hear representatives of the Church do their best to make me feel less than worthy of their acceptance.

Today I happened upon a gathering called Capitol Rosary Rally 2012.  It was called by Madison’s Bishop Morlino, a conservative man whose values contrast sharply with the historical Jesus.  Morlino has pushed the Madison diocese in a very right-wing direction, much to the dismay of many of the churchgoers in the area.  In Platteville there has been an incredible resistance to his placement of ultra-conservative priests there and he has more or less demanded that people stop complaining or they may face punishment, including the taking away of sacraments, the lifeblood of a true believer’s faith.  In parishes around southern Wisconsin congregants walked out of a mass at which he forced priests to play a tape condemning the idea of marriage equality, among other things.  There was a threat of punishment for any priest who did not follow his orders.  He has angered many with his intractable views.  This is also a man who was involved on a Board at the School of the Americas, a U. S. Army training ground for Latin American military leaders, many of whom have been involved in bloodthirsty actions and human rights abuses in their native countries.  Jesus would more likely have been among those arrested protesting the school.

The event today was ostensibly a rosary circle against abortion.  As it started the Bishop stood in front of the crowd at the State Capitol–not a cathedral–with dozens of people waving American flags, and stated that it was not a political rally, but a prayer rally.  One of his toadies then took the microphone and talked about how they would be praying to end abortion and birth control–yes, ending birth control–and praying for the traditional family structure.  Queers are not welcome in the Catholic Church.  So clearly it was not a political rally as these are clearly not political issues, right?

I couldn’t stay.  I wanted to take pictures and document it and any possible counter rally, but to hear representatives of the Church in which I was raised show again how unwelcome I really am in their midst was too much for me to bear.  I had to leave.

I know I will never again be a part of the Church.  I feel like a prodigal son who was not welcomed back home and who, in fact, was kicked out and told never to return.  I have respect for people like my mother who are true believers in the core messages of the Church.  I have respect for the teachings of the historical Jesus.  But I cannot respect leaders like Bishop Morlino and the Pope whose fealty is to their own power and not to the God of their own religion.  If there is any truth to the faith, then they are the moneylenders in the temple, they are the Pharisees, and they are the ones who worship the golden calf, the hypocrites who need to remove the beam from their own eyes before casting the mote out of the eyes of their followers.

Discussion

Syte says
June 24, 2012

You jumped to conclusions, including misunderstanding the purpose of the rosary rally you “happened upon.” You also claim to know the mind of God (of Jesus).
You misrepresent the Catholic Church, as well as her teachings on the HHS Mandate, as well as on homosexuality. For those who are interested in a more accurate portrayal of the Capitol Rosary event, see http://sytereitz.com/2012/06/americans-pray-for-freedom-across-the-nation-or-fortnight-for-freedom-or-come-and-join-us/.
You may disagree with Catholic Church teaching, but don’t blame Bishop Morlino for doing his job well. Don’t single out one faithful Catholic with your attacks, when your disagreement is with the teachings of the entire Church, not with the leadership of one individual.
A number of common modern misrepresentations of Catholic teaching are discussed at my blog, http://SyteReitz.com; including discussion of homosexual issues.
Most Catholics would say that it is you, and not Bishop Morlino, who is the one who has departed from Christ’s teaching.
Do not attack the Church for your own change of heart and change of priorities. One day you may realize that the Church was a far wiser mother than you realized.
May you find the peace you are seeking.

Callen says
June 24, 2012

Thank you for your mostly thoughtful response. I encourage others to explore the links you posted. I would like to clarify a couple of your errors and assumptions, though.

First, I’m not sure why you put “happened upon” in quotes. It’s as if you are making an assumption that I intended to be there when in fact I was at a coffee shop on State Street and noticed people gathering and was curious. I had heard something about it beforehand, but did not realize that’s what it was until I got there. So if you are thinking that I was lying and didnt’ “happen upon” the gathering and that’s why you put it in quotes you are presuming dishonesty and mistrust from the beginning, which isn’t very fair.

Second, I have no clue why you presume I think I know the mind of God. Nobody can, though plenty do say things that make it seem that they do, particularly God’s representatives on earth in the form of Popes and other religious leaders. I have never in my life pretended to even understand God, let alone presume to know what he/she/it may be thinking or desire. There is absolutely nothing in my post that indicates I think I know the mind of God. I have no clue where you got that idea. If you can point it out to me I’d welcome that.

Third, I disagree with the teachings of the church, but I even more strongly disagree with Morlino’s and the Pope’s interpretations of Church doctrine. So I am not singling him out or blaming him for the Church’s teachings. I blame him for his right-wing interpretations of doctrine. I would never have said the same about Bishop Cletus O’Donnell or other previous bishops, Pope Paul VI, or any of the previous Popes.

Fourth, I am at peace. Ask anyone who knows me. Just because I don’t believe what you believe or what I used to believe does not mean I am not at peace.

Syte says
June 25, 2012

Callen-

Thank you for your invitation to dialogue.

You misinterpret. “Happened upon” was in quotes for the simple reason that I was quoting from your text. There was no judgment involved regarding your intention to be at the Rosary rally. Your presumption of my mistrust was incorrect.

You question my presumption that you claim to know the mind of God. I concluded that you claim to know the mind of God because statements in your text indicate that you know what Jesus would think or say. For example, your statement “Bishop Morlino, a conservative man whose values contrast sharply with the historical Jesus” implies that you know the mind of the historical Jesus. The converse presumption could also be made – that Bishop Morlino’s values do not contrast with those of the historical Jesus, but reflect Jesus’ values better than your values do. It could also be presumed that Bishop Morlino would never call you and your friends “toadies.” (Calling the Bishop of Madison’s assistant a “toadie” is something that could generate distrust in a faithful Catholic.)

Your accusations against the Church betray a double standard. You clearly own a computer and a camera, have a website, sit in coffee shops, and appear to have no problem with Madison’s Capitol building. Why, then, do you apply a different standard of judgment to the Catholic Church? How can you accuse the Church of hypocrisy for enormous wealth, when you don’t accuse Madison of hypocrisy for the Capitol building, the Overture Center and Monona Terrace? Would you have the Pope living in and celebrating Mass in a tent while you sit in a coffee shop in beautiful downtown Madison, possibly using a MacBook Pro and an iPhone?

Your accusations are also inconsistent; you say you have no problem with Pope Paul VI and all the previous Popes and Bishops, yet you have a problem with Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Morlino. Yet the teachings of the Catholic Church have not changed since Pope Paul VI, so how can you have no problem with him, but have a problem with Pope Benedict? What you call the “enormous wealth” of the Catholic Church has also not changed since Pope Paul VI.

In fact, the “wealth” of the Church consists of historically and religiously significant buildings and art treasures, which are an expense to maintain. As someone who is involved in the arts, and is the recipient of awards from the Wisconsin Historical Society, you should appreciate the historical and philosophical value of what the Catholic Church is preserving, and what every human institution and government strive to preserve for future generations.

You state that the Catholic Church does not welcome homosexuals. The Catholic Church does welcome people who are homosexual, under the same terms that she welcomes heterosexuals: she demands chaste behavior from both groups. The “sexual revolution” of the 1960’s has left both homosexuals and heterosexuals wounded and dysfunctional as a result of irresponsible sexual behavior. The rules of sexual behavior taught by the Catholic Church also have not changed since Pope Paul VI, of whom you approve.

Your text includes some very tender and beautiful descriptions of the Catholic Church, as well as some bitter statements about her present leadership. This is why I concluded that you are not at peace.

I would like to suggest that you are misinformed about the Catholic Church, which is routinely misrepresented by the media. As is Bishop Morlino by Madison’s media (understatement of the year)!
You should read your opposition’s arguments in greater depth before condemning them.

Many of these issues are addressed at my website, SyteReitz.com, which was actually established to clarify the logic and the reasoning behind my conservative reasoning. In Madison, with a few exceptions, there is a virtual media blackout on any form of conservative thought. I am not the best Catholic or conservative spokesman (Madison’s Cathedral Parish is a much better source – http://www.isthmuscatholic.org/ ), but many enjoy my casual, user-friendly approach to cultural issues.

Although I do not expect to win you over to a conservative philosophy, I do wish to invite you to presuming good will in the conservatives with whom you disagree. That would include not only me, but also Bishop Morlino and Pope Benedict.

Thank you for presuming good will in me, and inviting me to this dialogue.

 

Callen says
June 26, 2012

I want to say up front that I appreciate individuals with faith. I gather from your writing that you are a faithful Catholic who is doing your best to live life the way your religion teaches you and I admire that. I love how strong my mother is in her faith and I know what comfort it has brought her throughout her life and even now in her old age. It is not for me, but if it gives others fulfillment and meaning that is wonderful.

My blog was created for me to speak my beliefs and my truth to the world. Nobody else has to read it or agree with it. It consists of my opinions (not always facts), usually well-reasoned, but perhaps occasionally misinformed. I try to accept corrections with graciousness, though I don’t necessarily always do that with differences of opinion, particularly political opinion. I try, though, to behave in a respectful manner to all those with whom I interact, though I’ll admit I am not always respectful of those in positions of power with whom I disagree or that I perceive as being hypocritical. I tend to get a little angrier with them, like Jesus with the moneylenders in the temple. Throughout my years I have had countless Christians (mostly born-again, not Roman Catholic) proselytize me and try to convince me that they are the ones who hold truth. I choose not to listen to them most of the time because almost all of them end up repeating the same things and I am honestly tired of recycled theological debates at this point in my life. So I have no intention or desire to go that route with you, but feel I do need to respond to certain aspects of your most recent comment.

First, I apologize if I misinterpreted the quotation marks, but it felt like mistrust to me. I may have been wrong about that, but those are the feelings that were brought up. It seems like an odd thing to quote and emphasize, so I hope you can understand why it made me feel that way.

I must state again with as much emphasis as I can that I have never claimed to act as if I know the mind of God (or Jesus, whom I don’t consider God even though you do). You drew conclusions about that, but once again there is nothing in my essay that makes that point or conveys that idea. The reason I specified the “historical Jesus” is that I was referring to the living historical person of Jesus the man. As I’m sure you know there are actually scant few quotes attributed to Jesus himself in the New Testament. Much of what is there is from the gospel writers. If you read Matthew 19:21 Jesus says that if people want to be perfect (or complete, depending on the Bible version) then they should sell all their possessions, give the money to the poor, and follow him. This is why I said that Bishop Morlino’s point-of-view does not match Jesus’, not because I was acting as if I had some special knowledge. So yes, I think the Pope living in a tent would be appropriate. It’s not realistic, but the point is that in my opinion the riches of the Church do not fit the teachings of the historical Jesus.

Comparing the Church’s wealth to the state owning the Capitol and the city owning the Overture Center is not the same. I was talking about the hypocrisy of a Church which purports to believe in Jesus’ teachings, such as Matthew 19:21 above, but accumulates massive wealth and property over a couple thousand years. First of all, the state does not ask its citizens to give up their wealth and become submissive to the state (though with the amount of taxation and the number of laws it sometimes feels like it, probably even more so from a conservative viewpoint). My problem is not with wealth or people owning computers or cameras or anything else, but hypocrisy. If I were running around lecturing people that they should give up all their belongings and donate the money to the poor but I lived in mansion, then you could make the comparison, but neither of those are true.

In addition the idea that I approve of the buildings you mentioned is another assumption that is wrong. I was against both the Overture Center and Monona Terrace when they were first considered because I saw them both as boondoggles and wastes of taxpayers’ money that could have been better spent in other ways. I love the Capitol building, but I have written about how much it pains me whenever I see the homeless in it or surrounding it and contemplate those people struggling to eat against the backdrop of the opulence of the Capitol. Expecting the state to give it up to feed, clothe, and house those people is as realistic as expecting the Pope to live in a tent. I’m not naïve enough to believe it could happen, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe it should.

As a person who is involved in the arts I absolutely appreciate the aesthetic value of the church’s holdings. I just don’t necessarily believe that it is the right repository for such things and I don’t believe—for the reasons mentioned above—that the Church should own so much when there are so many starving people in the world. Please note, I am very well aware of Catholic Charities, missionary work, and other great works being done by the Church and by individual Catholics and I think that is awesome, though Bishop Morlino choosing to close the Catholic Multicultural Center is one of the things that makes me believe he does live contrary to Jesus’ teachings.

You are absolutely correct about the inconsistency of me not having an issue with previous popes and bishops. Perhaps I should have been more critical of them. The reason I wasn’t is because I remember them as people being concerned about the poor and about making the Church more inclusive, particularly Pope Paul VI through Vatican II. The reality that you pointed out to me is that those are merely cosmetic surface changes and that in fact they were ultimately representatives of a hierarchy in which I don’t believe.

I will not get into a debate about the gay issue. Like the tiresome theological debates noted at the beginning I have heard every argument there is against who I am. I understand the Church’s official position on gays and lesbians and disagree with it. I have heard the old “hate the sin and love the sinner” routine way too many times. The reality is that in my initial essay I described a very specific experience of feeling unwelcome in the Catholic Church. You may say the Church is welcoming, but I say I felt unwelcome. The bishop in Denver prohibited the Dignity group from meeting in Catholic churches and forbade priests from saying Mass for the group, even though he could have no way of knowing whether any of the members were or were not sexually active. It would be like presuming that teenagers shouldn’t receive Communion because they are at their sexual peak and so they must be having sex outside of marriage. It so happens that I was in a period of abstinence when this happened.

Finally, again, presuming anything about my state of peace when you don’t know me is just not appropriate. Yes, I have some bitterness toward the Church because its teachings hurt my growth as a human being. I have mostly let it go, but there are some times when something triggers the old resentments. In this case it was the bishop’s assistant at the rosary gathering and the hypocrisy of pretending it was not a political gathering—yes, it may have been primarily religious, but to deny it was political is simply to try to fool others.

Syte says
June 27, 2012

Callen –

The dialogue that we are having is encouraging; two people with considerably different views have been able to talk respectfully, weighing issues together, and respecting each other’s right to disagree. Our nation is in dire need of such civilized and respectful dialogue today.

I have no intention of proselytizing you; your blog came to my attention because of your initial harsh attitude towards leaders of my Church whom I respect, and whom I wished to defend. My goal was to suggest that Catholic Church leaders are as well meaning and devoted to their philosophy as you are to yours. You were gracious enough to admit that your opinions or actions are not always consistent or well reasoned; that is true of all human beings, including me. We are all guilty of some degree of apparent hypocrisy, unintentional as it might be. So when you see something you perceive as an inconsistency in the Catholic Church, in Bishop Morlino or in Pope Benedict, I hope to suggest that you cut them some slack, too, and presume their good will, as you do for me and for others.

Since you seem to be fair-minded, I will correct a few more misconceptions you seem to have about the Capitol Rosary Rally and about Madison’s Catholics.

Your assumption the Fortnight for Freedom rally was anything other than prayer rally is incorrect and unfair. You do not seem to realize that serious Catholics not only believe in prayer, they also RELY on prayer. We are very disturbed by the idea that President Obama feels that he can mandate anything he wants, contrary to the Constitution of the United States, forcing Catholics to do something that is against their religious beliefs. I was as the rally, I was there for the sole purpose of prayer, and so were many of my friends, fellow parishioners, and fellow Diocese of Madison Catholics.

I realize that it is hard for someone who does not pray regularly to understand the value of prayer, particularly the value of the rosary, and the added value of praying the rosary in groups. Catholics believe that battles can and have been won by prayer, and that miracles happen through prayer. That includes highly educated Madisonian Catholics. I know many who attended the rally, and there were numerous doctors, lawyers, UW professors, and my humble self, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and who did my post-doc at Princeton University. My husband, a UW Wisconsin Distinguished Professor who is giving a series of power lectures in engineering at Princeton University this week, and whose research was described in the Wisconsin State Journal yesterday, although not a Catholic, was there at the rally in support. To correct one myth that seems to be popular in Madison, there is little correlation between education and faith and belief in prayer. Some very highly educated people were at the rally to pray very seriously.

If the Capitol Rosary Rally had been for political purposes, the press would have been invited and signs and placards would have been used. You may be unaware that Catholics DO pray and process publicly and regularly, and that just a few weeks ago on the feast of Corpus Christi the downtown Catholic parishes had a Corpus Christi procession (which has been occurring every year for years) during which the Blessed Sacrament was carried to the Capitol building for prayer and blessings for our government. The downtown parishes also hold regular rosary marches during which the rosary is prayed while processing through Madison. Many Madisonians are sleeping on Sunday morning and miss these Sunday morning events. Madison’s press never covers these events. This Capitol Rosary Rally is just one more example of Catholics turning to God for help when they are in a tight spot.

For people who are more secular, who pray less or do not pray publicly, it is easy to assume that you know the motives of others. But, as our discussions here on your blog have revealed, we do NOT know each other’s thoughts and motives, and that is why respectful discussion is so useful to defuse resentment and correct presumptions.

If I can insert some humor here, I will soon have you liking and admiring Bishop Morlino and Pope Benedict!

You have made it clear that you disapprove institutions amassing property and wealth; that is one of your criticisms of the Catholic Church. However, that is a personal standard of yours, and is not a commonly held value. As long as human beings build monuments, paint paintings, and wear formal attire to show respect and high regard to government/education/the arts, it would be hypocrisy of sorts to deny the right of Catholics to show equal respect and regard for our God. If Catholic holdings were to be criticized, then the Taj Mahal, the White House, the Statue of Liberty, the Mall of the Americas, and the Smithsonian Museums should all be under equal attack. Incidentally, the historical Jesus DID worship at the Temple of Jerusalem, the most imposing religious monument of His time. So we cannot be sure that He would favor the Pope celebrating Mass in a tent.

The treasures of the Church are not simply piles of marble adorned with gold; they are holy gathering places, precious historical places, and places which could not be bulldozed and replaced without extravagant expense.
Precious Church art works are not just baubles representing cash; they represent a record of precious history and of ancestors whom we love. If nobody suggests selling Mount Rushmore or my great-grandmother’s portrait to feed the poor, they should not suggest the Church selling her artwork.

Your resentment over the almost-closing of the Multicultural Center again reflects the misinformation supplied to you by Madison’s media, which reports on Catholic matters with a double standard. How can Madison, which does NOT provide the equivalent of a Multicultural Center from Madison’s $500 million annual budget, criticize the Diocese of Madison, which DID maintain the Multicultural Center on a $4 million annual budget to serve all of Madison for many years, but struggled to maintain it after the recession hit? How can Madison, which prioritizes the building of Monona Centers, Overture Centers and public swimming pools over Multicultural Centers, criticize the Diocese of Madison?

Your resentment of the Church over its reluctance to welcome the organization “Dignity” is unrealistic as well. “Dignity” tries to dictate the rules of sexual morality to the Catholic Church. That’s like students dictating some alternate rules of mathematics to the professor. The Catholic Church DOES welcome “Courage International,” an organization for homosexuals which is the Catholic-Church sanctioned counterpart of “Dignity.” The Catholic Church does not welcome anybody, heterosexual or homosexual, who does not respect Catholic teaching. That is true of any human educational organization, secular or spiritual. Try telling our profs at UW what they must teach in their fields!

Another clarification: the Catholic Church does not ask Catholics to be submissive any more than any other human organization with rules. Remember, too, that membership is optional.

Finally, I think you read more into my wishing you peace of mind than was intended. It was meant to signal my good intentions towards you, akin to “shalom.”

So, Callen-
Thanks for your time and for the space on your blog.
I welcome the opportunity to show Madisonians that Catholics are nice. Even their leaders are nice.
If you or anybody else wishes to discuss the faithful Catholic’s perspective on various issues, or to ask about other myths about Catholics, I welcome questions through the contact form on my blog at SyteReitz.com.

Shalom and God bless!
May we continue to strive towards not only respecting, but also liking those with whom we disagree.

Callen says
June 27, 2012

Here were are again. I’m enjoying our communication.

I also believe that those on opposing sides of issues need to be willing to listen and to talk, to accept differences, and to treat each other with respect. I do my best to do that and I appreciate your willingness to engage in a respectul way as well.

With that said, you have probably noticed that I seem to show less respect for power/authority figures. They are public figures and are open to more criticism because their public pronouncements affect so many more people. For a Catholic to disagree with a bishop or the Pope there could be a big moral dillemma. To read my blog post and disagree doesn’t bring the same kind of ethical quandry. This is part of why I hold officials, church or government, to a higher level on my moral compass (and I understand it is my moral compass, not theirs, but I have to live my life by my conscience). I expect that Bishop Morlino is genuine in his beliefs and committed to others believing the same or he wouldn’t be in the position he has been placed, and I would not be surprised to find that he is a genuinely nice and well-meaning person. But that doesn’t excuse him from public scrutiny and it doesn’t shield him from those with differing opinions.

I must admit that I have a difficult time with authority figures in general, and Bishop Morlino seems to me to be more authoritarian than any other bishop in my memory (I’m 55). Threatening to withhold sacraments from parishioners who disagree with his placement of conservative priests in their parish does not seem like the way to win over the opposition. One of the issues I had with the Catholic Church even as a child was the intolerance for differing opinions. Others may be fine with that, but it is one of the reasons I left.

I don’t mean to be disrectful about this, but I must disagree with your assessment of the Rosary Rally as being religious and not political. Whlie the saying of a rosary is, of course, incredibly religious, the event was political. Choosing to hold it on the Capitol steps was a poltiical choice. It makes a statement. Calling it a rally seems to indicate political motivations, though I understand rallies can be any gathering of people. There were buttons and political signs there. I believe you may have said there weren’t but I have photos that I took of at least two. I would be surprised if you didn’t see as many American flags as I did. To me that is a political act, not a religious one. So the rally may have been primarily for prayer (although even you said it was prayer about Obama’s mandates), but it was also political. You cannot convince me otherwise on that given the evidence. I appreciate that you and many of your friends were there for the sole purpose of prayer, but others were not. Bishop Morlino specifically stated that the rally was not political, so there would be no speeches, but speeches are not all that define political action.

Now, there is one comment you made that I have to take exception to, and that is when you said, “I realize that it is hard for someon who does not pray regularly to undestand the value of prayer . . . ” Maybe you meant this generally and not specifically about me, but it felt like it was about me. So I have to tell you that just because I am no longer a Catholic or a Christian does not mean that I don’t pray. In fact, I do, a lot. I am not a religous person but I am a spiritual person who comes from a deep place of spirituality and compassion. If you have read any of my other blog posts you may get a feel for that. I believe in the power of prayer, positive energy, whatever you want to call it, and I believe that we pray to the same God, though we may have different perceptions of what that means. And don’t forget that about half of my life was spent as a Catholic–I am not ignorant of the Church and its teachings. I was an altar boy and as noted in my original post wanted to be a priest, and even thought about it as an adult, not just as a child.

I have to agree with you again about wasteful spending on opulent buildings. As noted before I did not appreciate the building of the Overture Center or Monona Terrace. If the Taj Mahal were proposed here I would oppose it and fight for the government to build an apartment building for homeless people instead of another monument to Madison’s elite. I believe that there is a social compact for us as a community to take care of the least of our brethren, and I believe that it is the duty of both religious institutions (especially ones that preach it) and of government. I would like to see churches and government work together to maintain things like the Multicultural Center. It may be a personal standard of mine but it is one I do believe in strongly and will work toward wherever possible.

Finally, I realize it is unrealistic to expect the Church to welcome Dignity, just as it is unrealistic to expect me or others like me to accept an organization like Courage International which would have me deny the fullness of my being. I’m willing to bet you will not agree with this, but I believe that like all others I was created in God’s image and that includes my sexuality and my expression of it. As a side note, while I had my wild youth (as most young men do) I have been in a committed, monogamous relationship for 21 years now, longer than most sacred marriages last these days.

And I do know that membership is optional–that is why I am no longer a member, as there are too many things with which I disagree.

I look forward to your next missive (I think). It feels like we are coming closer and closer to a good understanding and based on our few exchanges so far I do like you. Peace be with you also.

Syte says
June 30, 2012

Yes, Callen. We’ve had a good chat and I’m beginning to like you too.
The ability to discuss important issues in a civilized and respectful manner is an essential tool for defusing resentments and towards finding fair solutions between those who disagree.

You explain that much of your disagreement with the Catholic Church stems from a dislike of authority figures, and a dislike for the lack of tolerance for differing opinions in the Catholic Church. That’s a common feeling towards authority. Particularly if one disagrees with the authority.

I feel that way towards President Obama and his recent exercise of authority. However, there are some differences between the Catholic Church and President Obama;
• the Church does not pretend to be a democracy
• membership in the Church is optional
• monetary contributions to the Church are voluntary; no incarceration for failure to pay
• the Church’s teachings are unchanging with each change of personnel

Our common frustrations with authority with which we disagree might help you appreciate our Catholic desperation over the “Contraception Mandate,” which is the subject of the Rosary Rally we have been discussing.

President Obama has just decreed (mandated) that Catholics must provide pills that kill unborn infants to their employees. For Catholics, this is a mortal sin. The President is demanding that they commit mortal sins. He is demanding that they do something new, which was never before required in our nation’s history.
• President Obama’s decree was not approved by American voters (in fact, most Americans oppose abortion, particularly federally funded abortion, which involves forcing all citizens to pay for the abortions of others).
• Congress did not vote on this decree; in fact, Stupak and his 11 Democrats practically killed the ObamaCare bill before President Obama promised them that ObamaCare would not include abortion.
• The ObamaCare bill was passed under false pretenses, and after passage, the President broke all of his promises.

Bottom line: Catholics are now ordered to perform what they believe to be murder.
The Amish and Muslims get an exemption from ObamaCare. Some Native Americans get other religious exemptions to federal laws on the killing of Eagles. Many people get religious exemptions – only, however, at President Obama’s discretion. And President Obama decides that Catholics get no exemption. No input from the American people, the legislature, from Catholic leaders, or from any religious leaders whatsoever, including the Jewish and Baptist leaders who jumped to testify before Congress on behalf of Catholics, defending their right to conscience, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

That is what we are praying about. We are asking God to intervene.
I would like to suggest that Madison’s liberal media focus an equal amount of energy on President Obama’s abuse of authority as they do on the Catholic Church’s abuse of authority, and abandon the double standard.

Regarding whether the Rosary Rally was political, we can agree to disagree, but I will float a few more points: American flags are not political. Presence at the Capitol is not political. Otherwise, farmer’s markets, marathons, bicycle events, Taste of Madison, Wisconsin Capitol Gay Pride, Art on the Square, and Concerts on the Square would be political. Catholic groups have the same rights as any other groups to gather in our public places. We gathered in the evening, after business had been concluded at the Capitol and its doors were closed. We made no speeches, invited no media, and brought no vuvuzelas. To me, that’s not political.

President Obama’s tactics in his Contraception Mandate are wickedly clever. Knowing that Americans oppose federally funded abortion, he has diverted the discussion to something Americans approve of, contraception. Contraception is the Trojan Horse in which President Obama is delivering not only federally funded abortion, but also the right of American Presidents to decree mandates without consulting the American people, the legislature, or moral and ethical experts. So far, few have seen through his tactics, and many support his Contraception Mandate, which is actually a Presidential Power Mandate and a Federally Funded Abortion Mandate.

If President Obama succeeds in getting this mandate through, his power will be established. He can then proceed to any mandate at all. The One-Child Policy Mandate. The Jewish Delis Must Serve Pork Mandate. The President who follows Obama, if a radical conservative, could continue with the Let’s Incarcerate All LGBT People Mandate, and the All Citizens Must Contribute To A Religious Fund Mandate, etc. etc.

It is in the interest of ALL Americans to stop the issuance of mandates by Presidents, because the next President might not be one of your choosing.

What mandates would Romney favor, I wonder?

Callen, any chance you will be joining me in prayer at the next Capitol Rosary Rally, the way Jews and Baptists have recently joined Catholics in Alabama in prayer during the Fortnight for Freedom?

(Sorry I implied you might not pray!)

 

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Videos of Liberal protesters during Sarah Palin’s appearance:

Man screaming repeatedly at Sarah Palin

Liberal crowd doing their best to drown out 14 year old speaker

Leftists booing Star Spangled Banner

Man cursing at 14 year old speaker

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Transcript of Sarah Palin’s Message to Madison:

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Hello, Madison, Wisconsin!

You look good.

I feel like I’m at home.

This is beautiful.

Madison, I am so proud to get to be with you today.

Madison, these are the front lines in the battle for the future of our country.

This is where the line has been drawn in the sand, and I am proud to stand with you today in solidarity.

I am here today as a patriot, as a tax payer, as a former union member, and as the wife of a union member.  What I have to say today, I say to our good patriotic brothers and sisters who are in unions.

I say this too, proudly, standing here as the daughter of a family full of school teachers–my parents, my grandparents, aunt, cousins, brother, sister, so many good folks, who are living on teacher’s pensions, having worked or working in education.

A pension is a promise that must be kept.  Now your Governor Scott Walker understands this.  He understands that states must be solvent in order to keep their promises.  And that’s what he’s trying to do.  He’s not trying to hurt union members.  Hey, folks, he’s trying to save your jobs and your pensions.

You know, but unfortunately some of your union bosses don’t understand this, and they don’t care if union members have to be laid off.  No, they want to protect their own power, and if that means forcing a Governor to lay off union workers, then so be it, they’ve proven that, it’s fine with them.

But that’s not real solidarity.  Real solidarity means coming together for the common good—this Tea Party is real solidarity.

Well, I’m in Madison today because this is where real integrity and real courage can be found.

Courage is your Governor and your legislators standing strong in the face of death threats and thug tactics.

Courage is you all standing there with them.

You saw the forces aligned against fiscal reform.

You saw the obstruction and the destruction.

You saw these violent rent-a-mobs trash your Capitol and vandalize business.

Madison, you held your ground.  Your Governor did the right thing.

And YOU WON!  Your beautiful State won!

And you know what?  People still have their jobs because of it.

That’s courage, and that’s integrity.

And you know, that’s something that’s sorely missing in the Beltway today.

Because let me tell you what ISN’T courageous.  Its politicians promising the American voters that, as we drown in 14 trillion dollars of debt, that they’re going to cut 100 billion dollars out of this year’s budget.  But, then, they cave on that and they reduce it down to 61 billion dollars after they get elected.  Then they get in there and they strike a deal and decide they’ll reduce that down to 38 billion dollars.  And then after some politics as usual, and accounting gimmicks, we find out that it’s not 38 billion dollars in cuts – you know that 38 billion dollars?  We don’t even HAVE it, we’re borrowing it.  We borrow from foreign countries to give to foreign countries, and that’s insanity.  We find out it’s not even 38 billion dollars, it’s less than 1 billion dollars in real cuts.  Folks, that 352 real dollars, the 352 million dollars in real cuts, that’s more than the Federal government’s going to spend in the time that it takes us to hold this rally today.

That is not courage, that’s capitulation.

Now there is a lesson here.  In the Beltway politico, something that they need to understand, the lesson comes from here in Madison.  So, our lesson is to the GOP establishment, first.  And, yeah, I’ll take on the GOP establishment.  What more can they say about us, you know?   So, to the GOP establishment, if you stand on the platform, if stand by your pledges, we will stand with you.  We will fight with you, GOP, we have your back.   Together we will win, because America will win.   We didn’t elect you just to rearrange the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic, we didn’t elect you just to stand back and watch Obama redistribute those deck chairs.  What we need, is for you to stand up, GOP, and fight.  Maybe I should ask some of the Badger women’s hockey team, those champions, maybe I should ask them if we should be suggesting to GOP leaders they need to learn to fight like a girl!

And speaking of President Obama, I think we ought to pay tribute to him today on this Tax Day Tea Party, because, really, he’s the inspiration for why it is that we’re here today.  That’s right, the Tea Party movement wouldn’t exist without Barack Obama.

You see, candidate Obama didn’t have a record; well, he was in office.  But President Obama certainly has a record, and that’s why we’re here.  And hey, media– it’s NOT inciting violence, and it’s not hateful rhetoric to call someone out on their record, so that’s what we’re gonna do!

We’re gonna do it to be clear.

That’s right, we’re here, we’re clear, get used to it.

Candidate Obama promised that he would be fiscally responsible.  He promised to cut the deficit in half, but PRESIDENT Obama tripled it.

Candidate Obama promised that fiscal responsibility, but President Obama flushed a trillion dollars down the drain on a useless stimulus package, and then he bragged about the jobs he created in congressional districts that don’t even exist.  That’s right – on this, White House, you lied.

The only thing that trillion dollar travesty stimulated was a debt crisis and a Tea Party.

Now the left’s irresponsible and radical policies awakened a sleeping America, that –we understood finally what it was that we were about to lose – we were about to lose the blessings of liberty, and prosperity.  They caused the working men and women of this country to get up off their sofas, to come down for the deer stand, get out of the duck blind, and hit the streets, come to the town halls, and finally, the ballot box.

And Tea Party Americans won an electoral victory of historic proportions last November.  We the people, we rose up, and we decisively rejected the left’s big government agenda.

We don’t want it, we can’t afford it, we are unwilling to pay for it.

But what was President’s, what was his reaction to this mandate for fiscal sanity?

Less than 90 days after the election, in his State of the Union address, President Obama told us– naw, the era of big government is here to stay, and we’re gonna pay for it whether we want to or not.

Instead of reducing spending, they’re going to “win the future” by investing more of YOUR hard earned money in some cockamamie hair-brained ideas like more solar shingles, more really fast trains, some things that venture capitalists will tell you are non-starters.  We’re flat broke, but he thinks these solar shingles and really fast trains will magically save us!  So now, he’s shouting “All aboard!” his bullet train to bankruptcy.

Win The Future?  WTF is about right.

And when Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan presented a plan for fiscal reform, presented that plan, what was Obama’s response?  He demonized the voices of responsibility with “class warfare” and with “fear mongering,”  and I say personally, to our President, “Hey, parent to parent, Barack Obama; for shame,  for you to suggest that the heart of the common sense conservative movement–  which wouldn’t do anything to harm our esteemed elders, to harm our children with Down’s Syndrome, to harm those who are most in need—no, see, in our book,  you prioritize appropriately, and those who need the help will get the help.  The only way we do that is to be wise and prudent and to budget according to the right priorities.  No, our President isn’t leading.  He’s punting on this debt crisis.

The only future that Barck Obama is trying to win is his own reelection.  He’s willing to mortgage your children’s future to ensure his own.  And that is NOT the audacity of hope, that’s cynicism.  Piling more debt onto our children and grandchildren?  That’s not courage; no, that’s cowardice.

But did you notice?  When he gave that polarizing speech last week, there was a little gem in the speech—maybe you missed it. But he spoke about the social contract and the social compact.  Well, Mr. President, the most basic tenet in that social compact is adhering to the consent of the governed.  That would be WE, the people.

President Obama, you do not have our consent.  You didn’t have it in November, and you certainly don’t have it now.  You willfully ignored the will of the American people.

  • You ignored it when you ran through ObamaCare.
  • You ignored it when  you drove up the debt, to 14 and a half trillion dollars.
  • You ignored it when you misrepresented your deficit spending.
  • You ignored it when you proposed massive tax increases on the middle class and on our job creators.  You ignored it when you went to bat for government-funded abortions, and yet you threw our brave women and men in uniform under the bus, Mr. Commander-in-Chief.
  • You ignored it when you got us into a third war for fuzzy and inconsistent reasons—a third war that we cannot afford.
  • You ignore it when you apologize for America, while you bow and kow-tow to our enemies and you snub our allies, like Israel.
  • And you ignore it when you manipulate the U.S. oil supply, you cut off oil development here, and then you hypocritically praise foreign countries for THEIR drilling.  And when hard-working families are hit with $4 and $5 a gallon gas, and your skyrocketing energy and food prices, as you set out to fundamentally transform America, you ignore our concerns and you tell us we just better get used to it.

Well, Mr. President, we’re not going to get used to it.  Not now, not never.

You ignored us in 2010, but you  cannot ignore us in 2012!

Mr. Obama, Mr. President, you and your cohorts threw all the hatred and all the violence that you could at these good folks here in Madison, Wisconsin, but you lost here.  And Madison, you defended the 2010 electoral mandate.  You are heroes.  You are patriots.  And when the history of this Tea Party movement is written, what you have accomplished here will not be forgotten.  Your historic stand brought down the curtain on the last election, and the 2012 election begins HERE.

We will take the courage and the integrity that you showed ALL of America—we will take it and we will win back our country.  God has shed His grace on thee, America—we will not squander what we have.  We will fight for America.  And it starts here, in Madison, Wisconsin.  It starts here, it starts now.  What better place than the state that houses the Super Bowl champs, to call out the liberal left, and let ‘em know – Mr. President, Game On!

God bless you, Wisconsin, and God bless America!

Clashes between Liberals and Conservatives – Washington, United Nations, Madison — Common denominator?

Dirty tactics in Washington

A group of Washington liberals apparently decided that the recent government stalemate on spending was entirely Republican Speaker Boehner’s fault, despite the fact that President Obama and his Democratic House and Senate failed to schedule and pass the budget in a timely manner last year before the November 2010 election.

Not one or two, but over 8,700 of these liberals recently committed to a Facebook campaign to dump their trash outside Speaker John Boehner’s residence today, because a government shutdown (from failure to pass the budget) would have halted trash collection in Washington.

When a compromise was reached late last night on Federal budget issues, preventing the looming government shutdown, the Facebook group claimed victory, cancelled the trash-dumping while ridiculing Speaker Boehner:

Liberal facebook campaign

“Moments ago, a very orange Speaker of the House just announced that he caved into some of our demands. This is Victory Accomplished.”

Trash dumping is illegal. Ridicule of elected officials is unprofessional. Speaker Boehner represents the majority of Americans who voted in an election.  The use of such bullying tactics in a democracy is unacceptable and uncivilized.

Dirty tactics at the United Nations

The United States State Department, headed by Secretary of State Hillary

Cllinton addresses Human Rights Coucil Feb 28, 2011

Clinton, has recently been misrepresenting the Catholic Church’s position on a sexual orientation declaration, in a effort to win votes for this resolution:

The officials (of the U.S. State Department) purposely misled Latin American delegations into believing the Holy See (Catholic Church) had changed its position on a sexual orientation declaration that called for “sexual orientation and gender identity” to be new categories of non-discrimination in international law… The Holy See, in fact, opposed the declaration…

– National Catholic Register

The US Department of State (headed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) is telling Latin American delegations to the United Nations that the Vatican has changed its position on a sexual orientation declaration that was just released at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

-Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute


The practice of such duplicity by United State officials at the United Nations is more than shocking.

Due to silence on these issues by the liberal media, few people know of United States efforts (headed by Hillary Clinton) toward the global spread of abortion rights and redefinition of marriage.

The fact that the U.S. State Department has been so emboldened now as to LIE about the Catholic Church’s position on these moral issues (in order to garner votes for this global liberal agenda), is very disturbing.

Latest dirty tactics in Madison

The latest development in Madison’s struggle between taxpayers and unions has involved the use of slander by liberals to influence Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice elections – an attempt to radicalize the composition of the Supreme Court, which will soon be making decisions on Governor Walker’s budget and collective bargaining law.

Toward this end, there was an outpouring of national union funds for defeating (and slandering ) Wisconsin’s conservative incumbent Supreme Court Justice Prosser.

Slanderous ad attempting to smear Jutsice Prosser

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Democrat ads falsely accused  Prosser of injustice in the handling of a 35 year old Catholic Church sex scandal case – a double punch to conservatives and to the Catholic Church( If You’re Looking for Child Abuse, the Catholic Church is the Last Place to Look).

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Joanne Kloppenburg

JoAnne Kloppenburg

Despite protests by the sex scandal victim and his demands that JoAnne Kloppenburg (the liberal candidate challenging Justice Prosser) pull the slanderous advertisements,  the untrue and malicious ads were not pulled. JoAnne Kloppenburg claimed that the ads were not run by her, but by a third party, and that she did not wish to deprive them of their “freedom of speech.”

Justice Prosser

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Clearly a display of unethical behavior and a poor choice by a candidate who might have served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the next 10 years!  Fortunately, as of this writing it appears that she is no longer a contender .

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I have survived a nuclear firestorm of criticism and attack and smear” –Justice Prosser

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History of dirty tactics in Madison

Being driven to political activism has been a real eye-opening experience for me—occurring, as it has, in Madison, WI, where I have been living for 22 years.

Reeling in disbelief at the recent below-the-belt political tactics exercised by the left, and mystified by the escalating frequency of illegal and quite frankly uncivilized behavior of previously respected elected officials and “teacher” demonstrators, I embarked on some research into liberal tactics.  The name of Saul Alinksy began to surface—the author of a new disgusting form of “activism” which is in direct conflict with Judeo-Christian values and which specializes in undermining democratic rule, for use by radicals who want to force change against the will of a majority.

It was easy for me, as well as for many Americans, to steer clear of political involvement previously, under the pressures of career, child-rearing and (for me) home-schooling, particularly while practicing the forbearance we were taught as a good Christians —assuming the best possible about others; treating them as you would be treated; assuming they are doing the same to you.

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Bad assumptions, as it turns out, in Madison, Wisconsin, USA in 2011.

SO bad, that I marvel at and have started blogging about the discontinuity between media reports and actual reality in the recently publicized budget struggles between Governor Walker and union leadership in Madison Wisconsin (A Word from the Silent Majority; What’s Really Happening in Wisconsin; What is REALLY going on in Wisconsin).  My blogging is the product of my frustration and indignation in watching the discontinuity between reality and left-leaning “progressive” media reports.

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Fred Risser, the senior Democrat member of the Wisconsin Legislature

While unions (which historically have done much good work), and the Democrats who represent them, now break laws, slander, malign, misrepresent, and conspire to stall the democratic process, and while the Madison police who support them fail to enforce the law, while the Mayor of the City of Madison assists liberals in stalling the progress of the State Legislature’s work, and while liberal judges overlook State law (also helping unions to stall impending budget legislation), the media, and much of liberal Madison, continue to applaud and idolize all these agents who are actually impeding the fair implementation of democracy (A Word from the Silent Majority; What’s Really Happening in Wisconsin; What is REALLY going on in Wisconsin).

Dirty tactics appear systematic, not isolated

The tactics being used in Madison today (unreported by most media) are shocking even to someone like me, hardly an “innocent,” who grew up in New York City, commuting to high school daily on New York City subways, and attending the State University of New York at Stony Brook in the 1960’s and 70’s, at the height of student unrest in the Vietnam protest era.

Research on these tactics led me to findings that would surprise most Americans who value Judeo-Christian ideals (that would be over 80% of us).

The apparent abandonment of political ethics and morality which we have been observing evidently is not a random, unplanned general degeneration of public standards that one might initially suspect.  There are actually methods and calculated political action being implemented (primarily by liberal radicals, although occasionally conservatives have been known to lash back with similar tactics).  These efforts are well organized, and have achieved much success in implementing radical agendas against the wishes of the majority in the United States.

Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals

As it turns out, these “new” radical methods stem from the radical philosophy of Saul Alinsky (author of Rules for Radicals ), and have been embraced and used quietly and surreptitiously by powerful individuals and organizations including Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, the National Education Association (NEA), and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) was an American “community organizer” and writer .  Born in Chicago to an orthodox Jewish family, his plans to become an archaeologist were disrupted by the depression.  Instead, he embarked on a career of political activism, organizing first for the labor movement, then in ghettos across the United States.

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Barack Obama, “community organizer”

Saul Alinksy’s radical methods for community reorganization (does this term sound familiar? Barak Obaman’s campaign credentials included being a “community organizer” in Chicago) were practiced by Alinsky since the Great Depression, were published in 1971, and have slowly been permeating the modus operandi of the unions, and of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) which represents them, since then.   Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, outlining his beliefs and methods, can be distilled down to an “anything goes” or “ends justify ANY means” philosophy—a philosophy unhampered by truth, fairness or lawful behavior. A philosophy that scorns communication, compromise and the democratic process, while extolling the intentional generation of conflict toward the purpose of manipulation through fear:

Alinsky was a bluff iconoclast who concluded that electoral politics offered few solutions to the have-nots marooned in working-class slums. His approach to social justice relied on generating conflict to mobilize the dispossessed. Power flowed up, he said, and neighborhood leaders who could generate outside pressure on the system were more likely to produce effective change than the lofty lever-pullers operating on the inside.—Peter Slevin, Washington Post

In his book Rules for Radicals, Alinsky himself writes:

“What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”

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Alinsky’s influence

Alinsky’s “community reorganization” methods have been a common ideological touchstone for Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama.  Hillary Clinton wrote her senior honors thesis at Wellesley College on Saul Alinksky, and was offered a job by Alinsky in 1968.  Following Alinsky’s death, Barak Obama was hired by Alinsky’s followers to organize black residents on the South Side of Chicago, while learning and applying Alinsky’s philosophy of street-level democracy.

Teacher’s groups like the National Education Association (NEA) used Saul Alinsky as a consultant to train their own staff, and unions like the AFL-CIO acknowledge their roots in Saul

Alinsky–inspired community organization , and list Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” on their web page under training for shop stewards .

Radical liberals who embrace Alinsky’s philosophy and tactics are well aware of the unpopularity of such tactics with 80% of (Christian) Americans, and they are not in a big rush to acknowledge, name or publicize their techniques.

What ARE Alinksy’s rules?

Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals, is prefaced by an acknowledgement to Lucifer, the “very first” radical:

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Lucifer

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history ( and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins—or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.

– Saul Alinsky

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Alinsky’s rulesinclude:

  • “Wherever possible go outside the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear and retreat.”
  • “Make the enemy live up to his/her own book of rules. You can kill them with this. They can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
  • “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.”
  • “The threat is generally more terrifying than the thing itself.”
  • “In a fight almost anything goes. It almost reaches the point where you stop to apologize if a chance blow lands above the belt.”
  • “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.” (Use name-calling to damage your conservative opponents.  Demonize them.)
  • “One of the criteria for picking the target is the target’s vulnerability … the other important point in the choosing of a target is that it must be a personification, not something general and abstract.” (For example, choose a conservative to demonize aggressively for political incorrectness, while applying much more lax and forgiving standards to your own radical colleagues.)
  • “The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength.” For instance, Democrats imply conservatives are racists or that Republicans want to kill senior citizens by limiting the growth of the Medicare system, they imply Republicans want to deny kids lunch money without offering real proof. These red-herring tactics work.

The contrast between Radical rules and traditional Judeo-Christian rules

The Ten Commandments

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These Alinsky rules can be contrasted with the Judeo-Christian 10 Commandments, which are based on Exodus 20:2-17, and which form the springboard of the U.S. Constitution and of most conservative thinking:

 

Ten Commandments New radical liberal beliefs and tactics
1 I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me. God does not exist.  You shall enforce atheism publicly.  Money is the overriding value, not God.
2 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. You shall not mention the name of God in public.  The only exception to this is cursing, which is welcomed and admired.
3 Remember to keep holy the LORD’s Day. There is no Lord’s Day.  Do not honor God.  Honor only ourselves.
4 Honor your father and your mother. Honor the State, which will be your father and your mother and will determine what you must learn and what you must believe.
5 You shall not kill. You shall kill the pre-born, the old and the infirm, as well as anyone else who becomes inconvenient.
6 You shall not commit adultery. Sexual activity and promiscuity will be assumed, and public schools will teach primary school children a sex curriculum dictated by Planned Parenthood.
7 You shall not steal You are encouraged to steal from people, particularly if those people have more than you have.
8 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall bear false witness and lie shamelessly, as long it helps you to achieve your goals.  You will slander your opponents during elections.
9 You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You are free to covet your neighbor’s wife.  Marriage will also be redefined.
10 You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. Not only can you covet your neighbor’s goods, you should also pass laws to facilitate taking his goods away from him.

 

A new set of rules has been introduced by radicals

It is beginning to look like a new philosophy is becoming prevalent in the political arena – the strictly utilitarian Alinsky philosophy, which defies Judeo-Christian morality and despises the exercise of egalitarian democracy.  It reflects a culture of selfish entitlement, by whatever means necessary to advance oneself and one’s friends.  It strives to preserve the illusion that there is a community participating in the decision-making process, while in actual fact the citizens and their opinions are being squeezed out.  This Alinsky philosophy has been adopted widely by numerous liberal groups, including teachers unions,  the DNC, and President Obama’s community organizing friends, including ACORN.

Much evidence is accumulating that Planned Parenthood operates using these tactics too. For example, it has successfully propagandized gullible Americans into believing that killing an unborn human is a “choice” that improves a woman’s “health,” when in actual fact abortion is associated with an increased chance of death in comparison with childbirth.  Even President Barack Obama uses this “progressive” jargon in reference to abortion, contrary to the beliefs of the majority in America.

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Saul Alinsky

Practioners of the Alinsky method welcome conflict, and use conflict to their own advantage, to circumvent the will of the majority.  Their method often goes unidentified, or lurks under many titles, but is rarely identified as the Alinsky method.  The method often adopts or transforms other techniques such as the “Delphi Technique,” creating spin-offs under different names.

What do we do when they mock us?

ridicule

Until we responsible conservatives recognize this new breed of liberal, and develop our own plan of action for identifying and countering these opponents who despise and violate common sense rules of morality and the foundations of a healthy democracy, much ground will be lost.  While we spin our wheels, bewildered and incredulous, the Alinskiites are continuing to acquire power and to erode our freedoms.

What next?

Knowing the enemy is the principal step towards victory.

Ridicule is the radical liberal’s biggest tool.  Religion (Judeo-Christian values) is their biggest target.

This is a war of values, and we must guard ourselves carefully against the new barrage of lies with which responsible conservatives are being attacked.

Once we learn not to take their attacks personally, and once we realize that our opponents have no interest in honest negotiation, we can move forward with determination and with strength, which, incidentally, leaders like John Boehner and Scott Walker are doing for us.

We must support our conservative leaders with our votes, with our confidence, with our emails, with our words, and with our pocketbooks.

Related Article, 7/27/13:

The Missing Link – Redefining How We Approach Politics 

Anti-Catholicism is the last politically correct prejudice still unquestioned in America.

For fear of lawsuits and reprisals, Madisonians have stopped challenging most groups on exercising their freedom of choice – they do not challenge racial groups, non-Catholic religious groups, or ethnic groups for their choices and lifestyles.

Why do you expect Catholics to defend their choices and beliefs? We do not attack you demanding you to defend why you like to go to the Overture Center, the Chazen Museum, the Capitol Building, or to Taste of Madison.

Some of the criticisms of the Catholic Church in Wisconsin State Journal discussion are preposterous.

  • Madison’s Capitol building is very grand and imposing, as are numerous affluent banks around the Capitol Square and the Overture Center. Yet some suggest that Catholic Churches in Madison are too extravagant. Catholic Churches are very humble by comparison. Apparently you respect government, money and entertainment sufficiently to tolerate imposing accommodations for these activities, but you want to require people who hold God in high esteem to grovel in humble surroundings.
  • There is a similar double standard in the criticism of statues in Catholic Churches. The display of photos in one’s living room, of paintings in the Chazen Museum, and of portraits and statues in government buildings seems to be acceptable in Madison, yet when the Catholic Church honors the memory of important people with paintings and statues, suddenly you decide that this constitutes idolatry.
  • Finally, the portrayal of the Catholic Church as an institution laden with money is completely false. The Diocese does not receive one penny from Rome, nor is Rome wealthy (except for the value of her “Capitol building,” which requires maintenance, just as Madison’s does). Those who sue the Catholic Church are suing the Madison citizens in the pews today. When Diocesan coffers are depleted by lawsuits, the same critics attack the Church for insufficient charitable service to Madison (which still exceeds the charitable service provided by the City of Madison).

This double standard constitutes bigotry and generates false and vile urban myths about Catholicism.

“Not a hundred people in the United States hate the Roman Catholic Church, but millions hate what they mistakenly think the Roman Catholic Church is.”

-Bishop Fulton J Sheen

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