Coverage emerged yesterday of a recent conference held by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) in Washington, DC. Among the breakout sessions, one entitled “The Church: Becoming Spiritually Fed and Feeding the Hungry” appears to have been especially ineptly titled given the actual content conveyed:
The panel had little to do with feeding hungry people, as panelists focused instead on explaining how churches can be used as a more effective place to organize politically, specifically around voting and getting out the vote efforts, and electing people who will feed the hungry for them.
Panel moderator Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner, Co-Chair of the National African American Clergy Network, said, “What we want to do today is to talk about what it means not only how to be spiritually fed and then to feed the hungry, but how do we elect people that will feed the hungry? … What can we legally do and mobilize to elect the kind people we need to have elected without anybody worrying about their tax exemption.”
The father of Obama-esque community organizing, Saul Alinsky, didn’t hide his desire to take over American institutions and use them to accomplish political ends. In his Rules for Radicals, Alinsky cautions:
Many of the lower middle class are members of labor unions, churches, bowling clubs, fraternal, service, and nationality organizations. They are organizations and people that must be worked with as one would work with any other part of our populations — with respect, understanding, and sympathy. To reject them is to lose them by default. They will not shrivel and disappear. You can’t switch channels and get rid of them. This is what you have been doing in your radicalized dream world but they are here and will be.
The National Action Network’s conference is continuing the tradition of Saul Alinsky and President Obama’s approach to the political scene: power at all costs, even principle. What other institutions might be next?