Monday, October 20, 2008

Just what we need, another ACORN style group...

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) as it currently stands is ineffective and in many instances, supports organizations which do not necessarily support Catholic teaching. It must be shut down and reorganized. Please boycott the CCHD. Read more here.


Periodically, I get a couple of emails from my vast readership on various things. (I keep telling Mom and Dad that they can call.)

However, this time a reader reminded me that we seem to have another Alinskey style group in Northern VA made up of Catholic and Protestant groups. Just what we need!

From the Catholic Herald:

This Sunday, Oct. 5, 1,800 leaders from 40 religious institutions in Northern Virginia will gather to launch the new ecumenical initiative V.O.I.C.E. (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) at First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries at 5 p.m.

Composed of lay and clergy leaders from Christian, Jewish, Unitarian and Muslim religious institutions in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William County, V.O.I.C.E. seeks to make changes in affordable housing, immigration, health care and other issues. On Sunday, these leaders will present an “action agenda” regarding the above issues to local public officials.

“The current economic crisis makes this unified action all the more imperative,” said Father Tuck Grinnell, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church and one of the initiative’s founders. “Now is the time for our faith communities to stand together and speak for all whose voice is not heard. Our faith values call us to raise our voice in solidarity with them.”


Anonymous said...

Coopoeration among and between leaders of all faith groups in support of social justice is EXACTLY what we need.


When all you are doing is to ask for more government services, which is what they are doing, you are not only hitting up the same people for higher taxes, but they are the same people you hit up for additional contributions in the pews. A double whammy.

If they are really interestd in social action, then ask your members to contribute to it and not raise government funds.

That is the type of social justice we EXACTLY need.

Anonymous said...

Not that simple... Look at it this way: tax revenue is generally booked in a general fund. With few exceptions (like property tax and education or gas tax and highway funding) the money is collected regardless of the budget allocations and not earmarked upfront. Essentially, you've already paid. So, lobbying for some of that funding to support social programs as opposed to other programs is a reasonable agenda. It's not programs for the homeless and hungry that drive tax increases.


Although you are correct up to a point, but it is not that simple.

Many of these groups advocate for increases in the amount spent for various programs for various types of public assistance, etc. Now, if government responds it means that either (1) something else in the budget gets cut or (2) taxes will get increased in the future because some other group will get upset that their priority is not met.

In addition, there are a number of "Cathlic" groups which do advocate for higher taxes...that the rich (and they never give a $$ amount as to what is "rich") and corportations and others do not pay their fair share.

Finally, these same groups which advocate increased spending and in some cases higher taxes, are the same groups asking for higher donations for these same causes.

At some point, like with anything else, people begin to ask where does it end. Either I pay the higher taxes or I give to my local church. When I pay higher taxes, then I have to decide where do I cut back. In some instances, it is the Church charity, since they are the ones advocating higher taxes.

I am advocating that if these groups believe that there is a particular problem, that they muster their members to begin to address it with their own funds. Not every problem can be tackled in this manner but many of them can.

Ponderant Scribe said...

It's not always about money. It's also about policy. Laws that protect unborn life, tenant's rights, access for persons with disabilities, etc... All have been advanced by the power of advocacy - not by one person, but by organized groups. Don't always assume social justice = welfare = handout.

I think you have to separate the groups with a special interest agenda (say, church reform) from those attempting to attack more universal problems (like inner-city poverty) when providing government funded support. Theoretically, 'social justice' should be lifting all of society and by definition be a primary concern of (secular) government.

I agree that funding channels through the church or direct contribution can be more appropriate. In most cases it's a more valuable dollar; first because it's often administered my unpaid volunteers and second, because it's tax deductible (defacto government funding, by the way). More of the money should make it to the cause.

The government IS US and social justice attempts to align the often fickle public agenda with the more reliable moral values taught by the Church and very often shared among many different faith groups. And, that's a good thing.