by Richard A. Viguerie
You probably think you've never given money to ACORN and its allies. But if you've contributed to the annual November 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 this money collected by the bishops' appeal was funneled directly to ACORN.
Are you going to again let the bishops use your contributions - money that's intended for charity - to promote extreme left-wing causes such as taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand?
Or are you going to take the ACTION STEPS listed below, to stop charity money from being diverted into causes you (and most Catholics) find abhorrent?
Scandals have forced the bishops to stop funding ACORN directly, but they still fund other groups closely tied 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.
In fact, it appears almost none of the money goes to the poor. Rather, it goes to organizations that engage in "community organizing" to promote a political agenda that many Catholics would find abhorrent, if only they knew. CCHD's stated goal is "breaking the cycle of poverty," but CCHD-funding organizations support policies that make it next to impossible for the poor to escape their circumstances.
It's time for America's Catholics to rise up, let their voices be heard, and take the ACTION STEPS listed below.
ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) received some $7.3 million from the CCHD in 1998-2008, and even more in earlier years. ACORN's direct funding from CCHD was cut off in 2008, but only because of an eight-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 the goals and tactics of a group that blurs the distinction between a radical political organization and a Mafia-style racket.
ACORN is currently under investigation or indictment in 20 states for voter fraud. Its New Orleans headquarters, in a former funeral home, served as the address of more than 270 organizations, real or imaginary, most of which have received taxpayer funds. (Recent legislation makes ACORN and allied organizations eligible for billions of dollars more from federal, state, and local governments in the years to come.)
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, admitted to the 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 ACORN.
According to Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center, CCHD money has funded the Industrial Areas Foundation (described by its founder as a "school for professional radicals"), the Midwest Academy (which trains in left-wing confrontation and intimidation), and other related organizations such as the Direct Action and Research Training Institute, People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO), and the Gamaliel Foundation.
The network of organizations funded by CCHD 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 and constitutional democracy. He dedicated his first book to Lucifer, "the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom."
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. As with other groups of radical activists, from the Ku Klux Klan to the Black Panthers to Al Qaeda, they provide services to the poor only for political purposes. They're not interested in soup kitchens except as recruiting and indoctrination centers.
This network of ACORN-type organizations, funded to a great degree by CCHD, provides money and organizational muscle for such causes as same-sex marriage, amnesty for illegal aliens, and abortion-on-demand up to, and shortly after, the moment of birth. And they provide critical backing for politicians who not only support such causes, but who are also among some of the biggest anti-Catholic bigots and opponents of values held by Catholics.
For example, ACORN, funded by CCHD, provided at least 40,000 voter registrations, both real and fraudulent, 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 they need to pass radical pro-abortion legislation.
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 had been created by local Catholic churches and funded by CCHD. 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 Father 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."
It's time to STOP THE BISHOPS FROM FUNDING ACORN-TYPE GROUPS.
Here are the ACTION STEPS you can take to stop them.
1. REFUSE to give a single cent to the bishops' November appeal.
2. FORWARD THIS E-MAIL to friends, family members, co-workers, and all Catholics you know. (Even friends who aren't Catholic can help by forwarding this message to their Catholic friends.)
3. SIGN OUR PETITION at http://conservativehq.com/petitions/ . This petition that will be sent to all American cardinals and all other members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
4. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PASTOR and/or BISHOP (through a letter, e-mail, phone call, or personal visit) and tell him that you will not contribute to any cause that's promoted in the names of the bishops until they STOP USING CONTRIBUTIONS TO FUND LEFT-WING POLITICS.
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 have broken faith with America's Catholics. As long as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops supports CCHD and raises money from parishioners based on the false pretense that CCHD fights poverty, Catholics and other Americans simply cannot trust the bishops.
The bishops must back off from their support of radical left-wing politics - and they must do it now!