jump to navigation

Diocese, Bishop have ties to social justice group June 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery, scandals.
comments closed

In October of this year, the bishop of the Dallas Diocese, Kevin Farrell, played a lead role in organizing and publicizing a social justice conference called ‘JusticeRevival.’  This conference was organized in association with Sojourners, a left wing religious group that seeks to massively increase government involvement in all aspects of American life, but especially in economic areas.   Sojourners is an organization started by the “Reverend” Jim Wallis – and he is quite an interesting individual. 

Aside from being perhaps President Obama’s closest ‘spiritual advisor,’ Jim Wallis bill himself as a ‘progressive evangelical,’ and he has been such since the early 1970’s, when he started a periodical called The Post American.   The Post American was a typical leftist rag of the time – virulently against the US war in Vietnam, and against anything ‘establishment.’  As Wallis, uh….progressed, he changed the name to Sojourners.  It’s a magazine few people actually read, although many churches of a certain political persuasion buy copies for their library. 

Even with the name change, Wallis continued to support every possible communist regime around the world.  He defended Pol Pot in Cambodia and the Vietnamese communists.  He formed protest groups to support the communists in El Salvador and Nicaragua.  All this is in the links above, but it is also relatively minor. 

What Jim Wallis preaches the most today is a vision of Christianity that is narrow and focused almost entirely on economic issues, which he and many others refer to as ‘social justice.’   While in some forums Wallis has toned down his rhetoric, as recently as January 2010 he stated that he was a “radical” in favor of “redistribution of wealth.”  He also states that he doesn’t think that private faith based efforts to alleviate poverty are effective, that they fail to go far enough.  See the video at this link.  Wallis makes no denial of being a very large supporter of the vision of social justice that is associated with socialism, growing the power of the government, and a wealth transfers through government coercion. 

I should remind readers that this is not Jim Wallis’ only association with the diocese.  His group JustFaith is an integral part of the diocesan ‘social ministry’ training being held at Seton, and JustFaith and Sojourners have a long history with Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services.  Problems with JustFaith were addressed in an earlier post

Jim Wallis has been leading efforts to try to convert what are termed as conservative evangelicals to the social justice gospel – to, in short, support “radical wealth transfers” and the expansion of the power of the state.  He has met with some successs, in this area and others.  I should add that while Wallis maintains he is personally opposed to abortion, he supports “common ground” between the pro-life and pro-abort sides.  These efforts have a very poor history – typically, they wind up with the pro-life side  caving and some small lip service being given to the idea of maybe reducing the chance that some women will someday perhaps contemplate having an abortion, at some later date.  I said it like that on purpose!  The Church unalterably opposes abortion in all its forms, and regardless of circumstances, and while efforts to reduce abortion sound good in theory, they can be used to help further establish abortion as something that will be with us for all time.   He’s rather slippery – while maintaining that he supports the traditional view of marriage personally, he thinks the state should sanction gay marriage and that churches should hold ceremonies marrying gays.  His magazine Sojourners contains ads for pro gay marriage groups. 

Perhaps Bishop Farrell was not aware of Wallis’ stance on abortion and gay marriage, carefully nuanced as it may be, but I don’t think it can be fairly said that he did not know what Wallis and his entire organization advocate in terms of social justice.  One of the main goals of JusticeRevival is to help homeless in the Dallas area – that is a laudable goal.  I should have preferred that Bishop Farrell work with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal to establish an aid facilty in Dallas as they have done in Ft. Worth, or any of the myriad other Catholic groups that could have done so, instead of embarking on this ecumenical effort organized by a character like Jim Wallis.  I’d prefer some sermons from the pulpit on Sunday exhorting the faithful to be more generous, rather than efforts aligned with groups that seek socialistic programs.

The reason why I would have favored these approaches is that the kind of socialist wealth transfer Jim Wallis supports is so very dangerous, in a practical sense.  Theologically, it is wrong headed, because socialism/social justice are predicated on the Marxist belief that human society can somehow be perfected.  This humanism is fundamentally against traditional Catholic doctrine.  We will never know perfection of any sort in this earthly life – we must wait until we reach God’s loving embrace to enjoy the perfection of the Divine Countenance.  There are other factors – confiscatory tax policy undercutting the ability to give privately to charity, the effects socialism has on a society (death of faith, refusal to procreate, etc), the negative effects of growth of government on free speech and religious liberty – all of these argue against supporting socialism.  And, the vision of ‘social justice’ espoused by Jim Wallis is just that – socialism.

UPDATE: Mit Sprinkles!  Regarding Jim Wallis and abortion – his preferred way to ‘reduce’ abortions is to expand access to contraception.  You see, because contraception is so darned hard to find these days.  Contraception feeds the abortion mentality.  Failed contraception leads to a majority of abortions.  In many people’s minds, apparently, once they’ve decided they don’t want children and use contraception to prove the point, if the contraception fails, they have their children aborted to really, really prove the point.  So even the means by which he claims to oppose abortion – making contraception free for all – won’t reduce abortions.  In fact, it will lead to the opposite.   Wallis may or may not be aware of this fact (likely, he is such an ideologue he cannot countenance it), but this is what I meant by those arguing that those who seek to “reduce demand for abortion” rather than eliminate it being very little use to the pro-life cause.  They are willing to compromise endlessly, and much of their “compromise” is counterproductive.

A clarification June 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery.
comments closed

In my post on the relationships between Catholic churches in the area, and a Saul Alinsky Industrial Areas affiliate called Dallas Area Interfaith, there was some question over one of the parishes listed as being a member of Dallas Area Interfaith.

It has now been resolved that St. Mark is no longer part of Dallas Area Interfaith.  The list on the DAI website is a little obsolete, but that is the only discrepancy I am aware of (and this was a question going in to my original post).  Can’t go into too many details, but I’ve received information that St. Mark and DAI parted company some time back.  That’s the best information I have now. 

And after our radio conversation on Saturday, I doubt I’ll be getting too many more updates from DAI 😉

Questions, questions, questions June 7, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, North Deanery, scandals.
comments closed

Since I put up several posts last week concerning the ‘social ministry’ training to be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Plano this weekend, and the widespread support for Industrial Areas Foundation left-wing lobbyist organizations among diocesan churches, I’ve received a number of questions.  Who the heck is this guy?  What does he know?  Isn’t this guy just a right wing RethugliKKKan shill, who opposes giving his fair share to the poor? 

To give some background on me, above and beyond what is on the about me page, I’m an on fire convert to the Faith (1999) who teaches classes on Catholic apologetics and faith formation.  I spend most of my time every day in Bible study, prayer, and study of the Church.  I have done so for the past several years.  I’m active in several parishes in the North Dallas area in various capacities.   In  my posts, I don’t posit too much on my own, most all of what I say is backed up by links to other sources which are generally from some sort of news organization.  If you see a paper printout of my posts, you may not get that – I’m not just sitting here making stuff up, I actually do research and come to conclusions based on from I read, albeit from an orthodox Roman Catholic perspective.  I also feel strongly about personal liberty, but liberty which expresses itself only in those areas that are in accord with the doctrine of the Faith.  Faith always comes first, very, very first, as much as I can make that a reality.  I do my utmost to put that Faith into practice – hence this blog, and the teaching, and the constant reading and prayer and study.  I do not feel that Catholicism and socialism mix, in any way, shape or form.  I’m a very big advocate of radically increased private giving, and for people putting their Faith first in all things – like many of our forefathers did.  But that’s a messy, uncertain process – some people prefer ‘forcing’ generosity from others through the aegis of the government – it’s alot more certain, once you get over the initial hump of law passing. 

Why am I so dedicated to personal liberty, guided by the Church, and so opposed to socialistic “social justice?”  Because everything I am tells me that the former is right and the latter horribly, miserably wrong.  My parents are from Kansas.  My great great grandfather Thomas W. Tantamergo lived in a cave in the side of a creek bed – literally, a freakin’ hole in the ground, for twenty two very long years so he could scrimp and save and build up the farm for later generations.  His scrimping and saving allowed my great grandfather to inherit a very well farmed bit of land, and a small house was built.  That generation built on that, and the next, and finally my dad was the first in his family ever to graduate from college.  My mother’s family’s story is similar, only without the hole in the ground.  My maternal grandmother likely shortened her life by continuing to work late in life so my mom and uncle could go to college.  My family didn’t “take” anything from anybody – they worked their asses off and suffered greatly in order to make things a bit better for the next generation.  They also didn’t complain, and they didn’t expect anyone else to do the work for them, or to make their way easier, or to provide them with luxuries they hadn’t earned.  Yes, there are poor that need to be helped, but not at the point of a government gun.  There is a mentality in the ‘social justice’ crowd that those who are somewhat well off in the United States haven’t earned their relative fortune – that is an outright lie in virtually every case.  The story of my family can be repeated millions of times in millions of ways, but the core issue is this – America was built by extremely hard working people who wanted most of all to be left alone to do the best they could for their families and their God.  They were also very generous – Americans, especially those often labeled as conservatives, are the most generous people on the planet when it comes to giving to charity.   So the idea that Americans are rich and greedy and lazy and pampered, people who must be coerced into helping those less fortunate, or perhaps less far down the path to relative comfort, is completely false.  Socialism will ruin all of that.  Look at Europe.  It is imploding.  The Church is almost dead, and they can’t even be bothered to reproduce themselves.  That is “soft” socialism.  “Hard” socialism, a ‘la Pol Pot’s Cambodia, or Ho Chi Minh’s Vietnam, or Castro’s Cuba, or Mao’s China, or Stalin’s Soviet Union, is far, far worse.  Stalin killed millions of Russian and Ukrainian Catholics – I don’t hear Jim Wallis talking about them. 

You’ll hear alot more about this in the coming days.  This Jim Wallis – he is not a good guy.  And yet, his organization is deeply involved in social justice efforts in the Dallas Diocese. 

I think it’s oddly hilarious that in one of the most politically conservative regions of the country, we live in one of the most liberal diocese.