Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Magdalen, a Concerned Catholic from Wisconsin
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I started researching The Gamaliel Foundation several years ago in 2008, when our parish was asked to fund the membership fee of a local affiliate by our priest after a Sunday Mass.
Being the kind of parishioner who wants to know where my contributions go, and to ensure support of Catholic tenets, I immediately went to the internet and started research, starting with the name of the group (which is no longer in operation). I found it was a smaller organization affiliated with and under the direction of The Gamaliel Foundation.
On its website, I located The Gamaliel Foundation 'Vision Statement'.(1) In reading and studying the Vision Statement, I prayed for understanding to be able to interpret what I was reading through the lens of Catholic teaching. Here are some of my observations.
The Church also acts globally. However, the power The Gamaliel Foundation refers to is really power for the organization, as Stephanie Block points out in one of her many articles. She has been writing critical assessments of community organizations for years. “Understanding the work of the Alinskyian networks is particularly urgent while an Alinskyian organizer is president of the US.”
It is well known that Barack H. Obama got his start in politics via community organizing in Chicago, the epicenter of “Alinskyian” organizing. He even taught how to implement his methods. Chicago is the headquarters of The Gamaliel Foundation. The history of community organizing is activism, agitating, and sometimes bullying those who control something the organization wants (and the people it is purporting to help) into giving in to their demands, whether it really helps the people represented or not. Saul Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) wrote a handbook on how to accomplish this, titled Rules for Radicals. He dedicated the book to Lucifer, "the first radical".
A Jew by birth, he later became an atheist. Whether or not he intended this as a jest, to Christians this should be a warning bell.
Another quote from Rules for Radicals:
I recall hearing a paraphrase in the last sentence in a speech by Michele Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention:
This is the clarion call of political Progressives and Marxists; their goal is to create a Utopian society on earth and accomplish this by practically any means possible. I have noticed that name-dropping to gain acceptance of wary individuals is a frequently used tactic of community organizations. (See end notes for a definition of Marxism.)
I have never seen any mention of seeking justice for unwed teenage mothers or babies scheduled for abortion on any community organization sites. That fact should make any Catholic suspicious. Further investigation reveals alliances with groups who advocate Universal Health Care, which includes "reproductive rights" for women; this always includes contraceptives of all kinds and abortion. "Reproductive rights" is code for “abortion on demand for any reason for any female”. This is obviously directly contrary to God's will.
WISDOM is the parent group which sponsors and generates smaller groups in Wisconsin. Here is a statement from the WISDOM website(4) regarding health care:
This is antithetical to Catholic social teaching (at least in part) which regards the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death. Also, notice again the mention of "power".
Let us regard the validity of: "Religion has been used to foster the evils of racism, poverty, violence, and intolerance as a powerful force to divide people with fear and hatred of one another", anyone even somewhat knowledgeable of the greatest atrocities of the twentieth century knows it is atheistic regimes (Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao for example) which has perpetrated the greatest genocide in the past one hundred years, numbering in the hundreds of millions. Many Russians starved to death under Stalin, ignored purely for political and economic power, not for lack of food.
It seems to me that The Gamaliel Foundation would like to perpetuate the popular myth that adherence to a religion is the cause of so many problems in the world. If we just got rid of specific religion (such as Catholicism) and did things their way, all would be Just in the world. However, Jesus did not promise happiness in this world, but in the next. "The poor will always be with you" is another scripture which comes to mind, though, of course, we obligated to care for those in need of material things. We must also take care of their souls and spiritual needs.
There's that word again: power. To promote hope instead of fear is a good thing indeed; but what good does simply stating that do? We also must consider the variety of cultures and backgrounds (whether religious or not) the people we are wanting to help. The Gamaliel Foundation's principles align with those of the United Nations which often offers funding and programs in communities who do not want them and whether Christian or not, regard the family as something to be nurtured and not destroyed by those principles.
The Church and the greater society both hold immutable truths anchored in the Natural Law. And I have to wonder how atheists or Hindus would fit into Gamaliel's vision, seeing as they do not have a God-centered worldview in the first place?
Further, Christians do not strive to "realize their own...power and voice". We must seek God's will and submit to forming our lives to it; only then will we be able to truly help our fellow man in the best way.
Well, that's a big order! The phraseology, "haves" and "have-nots" reflects Marxist ideology, encouraging a class warfare mentality. This is antithetical to Catholicism in that "to those who are given much, much is also expected" Luke 12:49.
I have no idea what "spacial racism" means. The last sentence is a fact; we should all strive to be good steward of earth's resources, a gift from our Creator. But stating "the value of sustaining abundance for all" is a pipe dream! No one can always expect to have what they need or want at all times and all places. Again, this smacks of creating a utopian society.
Yet the genocide of the millions of aborted unborn worldwide do not get a mention. We can further infer that The Gamaliel Foundation even promotes genocide of generations of people, since there is no clear objection to abortion and contraception.
Due to mobility - we can get food and services to more needy people than ever before in history! Due to advanced "gadgetry" (television, internet, cell phones for example) we are able to share the Gospel and find out who needs our prayers. We stay in touch with loved ones. These tools in themselves are not the cause of any kind of disparity. Again, the Church has always striven to help those immigrants in need. I think the USA has a right to demand immigrants learn English to a certain level and to abide by and respect our laws, possibly even an obligation. I think a country has a right to protect its borders in order to protect and respect those who have sought refuge here legally, as well as citizens who have resided here for generations.
This sounds like they are for the Church, but they are not. And just because you quote scripture and give your organization a biblical name does not make it sacred.
The meaning of this last statement is quite ambiguous. In Catholicism, our responsibilities are based on the Ten Commandments. These are not the same as "rights". This is mixing religious values with citizenship. We already have a "sacred community" -- all those who believe in the Gospel and receive Jesus in the Eucharist: the Catholic Church.
I have noticed that the word "democracy" gets used quite a lot in community organizing literature, yet the form of government we have is a Constitutional Representative Republic. One can choose to be involved in politics or not; it's a free country. However, Catholic laity are supposed to take this responsibility to be involved seriously, as part of living out our faith. We should strive to educate each other, talking about issues, disseminating and sharing voter's guides and what the Church teaches about important issues, especially those pertaining to the sanctity of life.
This sounds right in line with Catholic social teaching until the word "intolerance". It is also a favorite catch-word of Progressives, especially in the last fifteen years or so. One finds out quickly that tolerance means "acceptance of any and all lifestyles" including those with same-sex attraction or transgender people, and leads right into same-sex "marriage". To be against any of that is to be bigoted, in their eyes. We find out they are not tolerant of Catholics' views (such as abortion and euthanasia), thus making the word intolerant meaningless to their cause. It is blatantly hypocritical.
No, it is Gamaliel's members who need to realize that the Catholic Church has been doing just that for two thousand years! It is they who are trying to re-invent the wheel as far as "systemic change" goes. It is they who are apparently blind to all the great work the Church does and has done throughout the world to make people's lives better, encourage just wages, and further the cause of freedom throughout the world. In fact, the principles of freedom stem from Christianity (Paul)! I agree with Stephanie Block: "Gamaliel uses a minimalist interpretation of the Gospel; it's a 'horizontal' emphasis, neglecting the vertical."
Furthermore, Many members of Gamaliel are fallen-away Catholics, or dissent from Church teaching. Former Jesuit priest Gregory Galluzzo became the foundation's executive director in 1986 (replaced by Ana Garcia-Ashley in 2011).4 Another is a member of Call to Action (a former president of a smaller, now defunct, affiliate). What should alarm fellow Catholics who know their faith is that they seem to want to teach us about what social justice is. As if their true motives were not obvious when compared with authentic Catholic social teaching, they arrogantly try to impose their Progressive definition of social justice on unwary and unsuspecting faithful people. This is why we must continue to adamantly oppose this movement. It is Justice for the faithful to oust them from every parish and diocese, not only in the United States, but in the world.
We claim the right, as Catholics, to strongly oppose and fight what we see as "sheep in wolves clothing" -- not our pastors and bishops, but the leaders in Gamaliel, and their affiliates who want to fundamentally change America from The Founders vision. I oppose the use of any ecclesial community to further the goals of Progressivism. It may be that only the Catholic Church stands in the way of achieving their Marxist transformation of our society. Too many are apathetic and unaware, which will guarantee their goals. I hope and pray many more will join us in this cause.
2. Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky
Figures. Michelle Obama Quotes Lines From "Rules For Radicals" In Her DNC Convention Speech (Updated) Posted by Jim Hoft on Tuesday, August 26, 2008
4. Curiously, this link is not longer available. http://www.wisdomwi.org/
5. http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7004 The Gamaliel Foundation (GF)
Quote from a wise priest:
“Shared enthusiasm motivated by an obvious affinity with a notorious dissenting personality would lead any sincere Christian to deep introspection regarding motive and credibility.”
Smart-Assed Acronym Hover-Link Footnotes: For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links. (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" it over a link without clicking just to see the simple acronym interpretation.)SLIMC1 Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex
Culture=Religion+Politics; Who Are We? Vic Biorseth
The Brilliantly Conceived Organization of the USA; Vic Biorseth
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