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

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

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.


1. Agnieszka - June 7, 2010

Can it get any worse?!…
Thanks for digging out all that stuff, and posting it.
We’ll be digesting that news with dinner tonight.

2. dallas - June 8, 2010

Thanks; keep lifting up all these rocks!
We’re not in one of these parishes listed – God bless our dear pastor!

Do you read dadwithnoisykids?

He put this up today:

I live in Dallas, Texas, and recently asked my friends’ little girl what she wants to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, ‘If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?’

She replied, ‘I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.’ Her parents beamed with pride.

‘Wow…what a worthy goal,’ I told her, ‘But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you $50. Then I’ll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.’

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, ‘Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?’

I said, ‘Welcome to the Republican Party.’ Her parents still aren’t speaking to me.

tantamergo - June 8, 2010

It’s not the most fun job. I’d really rather not have this sort of thing going on, but since it is, and I think it’s problematic with regard to the declared doctrine of the Faith (not to mention, something most people in the Diocese don’t support), I feel called to bring attention to these things.

One interesting tidbit – if you go to the Sojourners website, or the Dallas Justice Revival website, they will claim they had 4-6000 people attending each of the three nights of the conference. I saw a report from a left wing news site that indicated they might have had 4000 total over the three days – about 1500 per night at most. And I think of the cost to put something like this on – it’s not a small amount. They had to rent out Market Hall, rent video and sound equipment, pay technicians, etc. I haven’t found out how much the Diocese was in for, but I would imagine it would buy alot of support for pro-life activities.

3. Plano East Dad - June 8, 2010

Oh, Dallas, that is priceless!

4. FinishTheRace - June 10, 2010

About 10 years ago or so I was on the board at a local parish when Dallas Area Interfaith was being introduced there. It seemed harmless as introduced at least as presented. The pastor said that people can achieve much more when en masse and the idea as it was presented was that to get something done we need to show up in large numbers and voice our concerns. I was requested to attend a meeting with another member of the board at Dallas Area Interfaith. Amazingly, the thought went out of my mind and I never showed up nor did anyone ever question me about my absence. That was my close call to being a community organizer.

When I read the comment by Dallas above, I cracked up!

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