Religious Critics, cont.
Stephanie Block purports to have researched IAF for more than twenty years. Her objections boil down to four.
In her view "Alinskyites" are:
Block's claims on all fronts are false and misleading. Alinsky's ethics were shaped by his strict Jewish upbringing taking the side, as the Holy Texts demand, of Moses against Pharaoh, with "widows, orphans and strangers" against the dominant powers of his time, with the powerless against the powerful. In this sense he resides firmly inside the Prophetic Tradition. He was not a socialist. In fact, he denounced state bureaucratic solutions to poverty as "political pornography" and "welfare colonialism". He died before liberation theology blossomed in Central and South America. He regularly offended the "progressives" of his day by refusing to buy into the core ideology of the left (class struggle and Marxist analysis) and he invested heavily in teaching public skills at the grassroots level, first in the Back of the Yards, Chicago and then around the country. On the abortion question, Roe v. Wade happened after his death in 1972.
Both Block and Voris fail to grasp the Spirit source of community organizing, its ethical foundation and diverse outcroppings that defy simple conspiracy theories and fantastical projections. Neither account in any substantive way for the continuous growth and development of community organization since the death of Alinsky in 1972, the multi racial aspect of his legacy, the fruits of the organizational ventures he the ongoing changes implemented by practitioners, or the embrace of conservative as well as liberal religious leaders attracted in large numbers by Word and Deed.
Some religious critics find Alinsky's reference to "Lucifer" in the dedication of has last book, Rules for Radicals, disturbing. In fact, his Invocation of the mythological figure "Lucifer" was a classic Alinsky trope that both made a point and sold books in the great American commercial tradition. These same religious critics fail to take into account Alinsky's Jewish roots which did not embrace notions of heaven and hell much less the "Devil".