Michael Voris and Stephanie Block launch their assault on "Alinskyites" as self styled "Catholic Church Militants". Both claim to be "real" Catholics fighting against the faith-altering philosophy and methods of the "Alinskyites". Voris and Block perform extensive genealogies connecting the hundreds of broad based organizations around the United States to the Industrial Areas Foundation and its founder, Saul Alinsky. Voris takes particular aim at Cardinal Joseph Bernadin and Cardinal Bernadin's "tradition destroying" articulation of the "seamless garment of life" which Bernadin advanced from his throne in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The "seamless garment" approach is an abomination for Voris because it links the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church to a continuum that includes the death penalty, poverty, child welfare and other issues that diminish human dignity. Voris parts company with Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor John Paul II when he shrinks Catholic Social Teaching to the three issues he favors, namely, abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. He further parts company with both Popes when he decries Protestantism as "heresy" and judges Judaism "a man made religion".Continue reading, click HERE
A primary attack point used by both religious and secular critics focuses on a mistaken claim regarding Alinsky's view of the relationship between means and ends. Alinsky attended to both means and ends as parts of a process of democratic engagement. The "means" for Alinsky was participation in public life. The "ends" was a more just society achieved through inclusion and negotiation. In both regards he had high standards which he refused to sacrifice to the exigencies of the moment, financial or otherwise. During the course of his career the dual importance of means and ends is repeatedly evident.
Critics on the Left
From the beginning Alinsky had critics on the left. Although he worked first with John L Lewis, founder of the CIO, and later with Herb March and the Meatpackers in Chicago, Alinsky never bought into the radical expansion of governmental programs as a primary means of addressing inequality. His famous claims that the Great Society and Model Cities represented "political pornography" and "welfare colonialism" reflected Alinsky's deeply held viewpoint. Government programs seeking to address the divide between "haves" and "have nots" degenerated into a morass of bureaucracy without the engagement of robust citizens organizations powerful enough to demand accountability. Alinsky throughout his career refused the kind of ideological moorings that so many on the left (and right) required.
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