Fellow Catholics, have you contributed to ACORN lately?
You probably think you’ve never given money to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and its allies. But if you’ve contributed to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) appeal of the Catholic bishops, you’ve done just that.
Each November, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asks Catholics across the United States to contribute to the CCHD. Until last year, much of the money collected was funneled directly to ACORN.
Scandals have forced the bishops to stop funding ACORN directly, but they still fund other groups that are similar to ACORN — groups that have the same aims and that use the same methods to promote a left-wing, extremist agenda.
Catholics are led to believe that their contributions to CCHD are used to help the poor – funding soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and other worthwhile projects that provide aid to the least fortunate among us.
But what the CCHD does not reveal is that it contributes to organizations that engage in “community organizing” to promote a political agenda that many Catholics would find abhorrent. CCHD’s stated goal is “breaking the cycle of poverty,” but CCHD-funded organizations support policies that make it next to impossible for the poor to escape their circumstances.
ACORN received about $7.3 million from the CCHD from 1998 to 2008, and even more in earlier years. ACORN’s direct funding from CCHD was cut off in 2008, but only because of an 8-year-old embezzlement scandal that made it impossible to get a proper accounting of the money. It appears that the bishops’ problem was with ACORN’s poor “accounting” practices, rather than with its goals and tactics.
ACORN, which is under investigation or indictment in 20 states for voter fraud, has a New Orleans headquarters that has served as the address of more than 270 organizations, real or imaginary, most of which have received taxpayer funds.
Recently, two fearless young people, carrying a hidden camera, showed that ACORN employees in a number of cities stood ready and eager to facilitate such criminal activities as tax fraud and the prostitution of underage illegal aliens.
Ralph McCloud, CCHD’s executive director, acknowledged to Catholic News Service that “some of the funds that the Catholic Campaign contributed to ACORN in the past undoubtedly were used for voter-registration drives.”
Most, perhaps all, of those drives were conducted in support of politicians who support abortion-on-demand and other policies that most Catholics oppose.
Don’t be fooled by the CCHD’s recent cut-off of direct aid to ACORN. CCHD continues to fund other organizations that are clones of ACORN or closely allied with it.
Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center says CCHD money has funded the Industrial Areas Foundation (described by its founder as a “school for professional radicals”), the Midwest Academy (another left-wing organization), and other related organizations such as the Direct Action and Research Training Institute, People Improving Communities through Organizing, and the Gamaliel Foundation.
The network of organizations that receive CCHD funding is rooted not in the principles of Jesus Christ, who eschewed politics, but in the teachings of a Marxist and atheist, Saul Alinsky.
Alinsky, author of "Rules for Radicals," taught his followers to use what’s now called “community organizing” to reshape American society and, ultimately, to destroy capitalism.
Alinsky followers, who dominate far left community groups, see the poor as potential soldiers in an army — as cannon fodder for fighting and winning the class struggle.
For example, ACORN provided at least 40,000 voter registrations in the U.S. Senate race that Al Franken won by 312 votes. In turn, Franken provided Senate Democrats with their 60th vote – and the filibuster-proof majority.
That wasn’t the first time that CCHD changed the course of history, shifting it dramatically to the left.
CCHD money was the foundation for President Obama’s political career, his role as a “community organizer” in Chicago. That job – the young Barack Obama’s first political job – was as the lead organizer for the Developing Communities Project in Chicago, a project of the Calumet Community Religious Conference, which local Catholic churches created and the CCHD funded.
According to The New Republic magazine, the Calumet project “aimed to convert the black churches of Chicago's South Side into agents of social change.” (Obama discussed Catholic Church support for Calumet in his book, "Dreams from My Father.")
The late Rev. Richard John Neuhaus wrote last year that the CCHD had “nothing to do with Catholicism, except that Catholics are asked to pay for it. Some bishops no longer allow the CCHD collection in their dioceses, and more should not allow it. In fact, CCHD, misbegotten in concept and corrupt in practice, should, at long last, be terminated.”
Even people who favor left-wing, CCHD-backed causes should be outraged at the diversion of contributions — money intended for the poor — into organizations that use that money to promote their political agendas.
The bishops must back off from their support of radical left-wing politics – and they must do it now!
Richard A. Viguerie, a founder of the modern conservative movement, is a longtime, active member of a Catholic parish in the Arlington, Va., diocese. (Dr. Steven J. Allen assisted in writing this message.)
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