Changing “Social Justice” Hearts to “Economic Justice” Minds
As the Media Director of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition, San Diego’s original Tea Party group, I will be the first to admit that citizen activists are doing a lot of soul searching during this holiday season.
After the electoral beating that conservatives took in November and as a result of seeing the leadership of both major parties in Washington refuse to address the fiscal cliff in any meaningful way, there was a broad-ranging discussion among California Tea Party organizers to figure out better approaches in vote-getting for the next statewide elections and which may work in other locales.
The answer is the church.
Not the way that is typically meant, which is a focus on “social issues”. The organizers, mindful of the importance of staying on a fiscal-responsibility/small government message, want to use the connections and outreach of the faith communities to build up a network of future voters.
The focus of this networking will be “economic justice”, to replace the feel good platitudes and redistributionist outcomes of “social justice” dogma.
Eric Eisenhammer, California political activist and Director of Operations of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, noted that the Democratic Party effectively utilizes to not only spread the party’s message but also physically organize voters to get them to the polls. He acknowledges it is a long-term process.
“Where the liberals side has out organized us totally is in the inner city communities,” said Eisenhammer. For example, 52% of that vote went for Proposition 8 [recognizing marriages only between a man and a woman], which means the majority can be persuaded to take support conservative cause or candidate view if we can connect with them. We want to encourage people to reach out to communities, using the programs supported by the area churches, to get acquainted and to build strong relationships. Getting to know and understand conservatives and their approaches by participating in drug programs, tutoring, and other similar activities would be a good place to start.”
Dawn Wildman, President of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition, agrees. “The black and Hispanic communities are enveloped by the church. By working with them, we get to highlight the fact that large, statist, bureacracy-bloated programs don’t work…but the churches, supported voluntarily by parishoners and members who aren’t coerced into funding them using the tax code.”
Mark Meckler, noted national Tea Party spokesperson and founder of Citizens for Self Governance, recently attended a dinner at the Acton Institute. The Acton Institute works to promote a free and civil society” characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles.” A great deal of their efforts are directed at highlighting the benefits of free market to clergy.
“It’s inspiring to know that the Acton Institute exists and is working to effect cultural change in the clergy surrounding the issue of free markets and free societies,” said Meckler. “The founder of Acton, Father Sirico has written the best book ever on the morality of a free market. His new book, Defending the Free Market; The Moral Case for a Free Economy, presents a clear and convincing case that a free economy promotes charity, selflessness, and kindness and is the surest route to a moral and socially–just society.”
If we can get Americans to appreciate the free markets more than free stuff, that would be the best gift we Tea Partiers can give to the country.
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The first lesson should be that “Thou Shalt Not Steal” also applies to hiring politicians to steal for you.
Since activist governments exist to steal from people and to bully them, the moral case against activist governments is very easy to communicate.
It is not just the church-going population that may be agreeable to this persuasion. Virtually every small business owner AND HIS/HER FAMILY has a reason to vote for a platform of true economic freedom or economic justice. This includes even those we expect to vote democrat. There is still truth the the notion that people vote with their wallets so long as they understand what is best for their wallets.
The Republican party must realize the difference between between economic freedom/justice and assisting large private companies through tax breaks, subsidies and propping up a highly regulated financial industry (regulated, in large part, to prevent new competition).
Not to mention that socialism also goes against the 10th commandment: Thou shalt not covet…anything that is thy neighbor’s.
It never ceases to amaze me how many who call themselves “Christian” fail to acknowledge this.
Here are some great resources for the church: Rev. Robert Sirico’s book Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy;
and the Acton Institute. http://www.acton.org/
I think this is a wonderful idea as the Left has been hijacking spirituality as their domain as well. In fact the records show that much of the separation of Church and State is intended to push out Judeo-Christianity with its emphasis on the universal and individuality and replace it with the State as the source of values and meaning making.
It is a huge part of what is actually going on in the schools and the Head, Heart, and Hands and Heart, Mind, and Soul initiatives of Education as Personal Transformation. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/producing-docile-instruments-and-captive-souls-putty-at-the-hands-of-the-predator-state/ details the level of intrusion we are dealing with.
Glad you are pushing this.
Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet. Bingo!
Problem: My Catholic bishops have been pushing the “social justice” nonsense for about 50 years, totally ignoring earlier papal condemnations of socialism, and defense of private property. You have a thoroughly brainwashed Catholic voting bloc that reelected Bronco Bama because he “cares,” and Democrats “care,” for the poor. It is a terrible curse and an embarrassment to have pinko sympathizers in charge of instructing Catholics at large. This has to change, but in the Church, change comes from the top, as is proper. Don’t hold your breath.
Jerry-I suggest you look at Henriot & Holland’s Pastoral Cycles linking Faith, Action, and Social Issues. It came out of the Catholic Church as Social Action book about 1980 and is now sweeping through Protestant faiths as well.
It dovetails into what John Dewey called the religious purpose of using schools and other institutions like churches to impel Social Transformation. He called it Social Reconstruction and a willingness to push this vbision goes to the essence of what gets an ed credential these days, especially doctorates. It is what gets the Superintendency of large or small school districts.
Don’t forget Paolo Freire worked for the World Council of Churches.
Thanks, Robin. Along with that mind-warping, the wolves in the chanceries looked the other way as Carl Rogers applied psychological mind-ripping experiments in religious orders, and as Planned Parenthood sexologists wrote catechetical programs for the kids. Don’t get me going or we’ll go way off topic!
The ultimate in “social justice,” however, is the “Seamless Garment” speech (ca 1982) by pervert Cardinal Bernardin, and written by Harvard prof, Fr. Hehir. That delivered Catholics to the Dems by drawing an equivalence between abortion and capitol punishment. All a Dem had to do was proclaim his opposition to the latter, and he was thereby absolved of his promotion of abortion. It was a diabolically brilliant tactic that yet holds sway.
This is how you win elections moving forward. Ron Paul did a horrible job of this is the South.
So how many people reading this send their children to government monopoly public schools?
Because of the amount of power the accreditors have and their unappreciated ties to UNESCO and the hostility to private schools as a way out, a great deal of the poison is hitting private schools as well. Especially Catholic private schools. Comes in as Character and Moral Education but it is very much about social justice and the Common Good.
In California there is essentially a consent decree between the accreditors WASC and the Association of Catholic schools binding them to use inquiry learning instead of traditional instruction and a great deal of affective orientation. It is treated as an obligation to provide equitable instruction that is equally accessible.
Because the other accreditors were also partners to that document even though it was not their jurisdiction, it appears to be a national template. The most recent Gates Foundation grants to various school districts included the Catholic private schools in Philadelphia.
The most recent Gates Foundation grants to various school districts included the Catholic private schools in Philadelphia.
Don’t you just love Bill and Melinda?
I’d be more inclined to send my kids to a government school than to most any Catholic school. My Catholic school doesn’t use the new junk.
The renewal that Leslie is promoting is already underway in home-schooling groups and small private schools.
Could the Tea Parties develop relationships in the minority communities beyond election year campaigning? Join minority groups pushing for school choice – more charters, vouchers to use at private schools. Volunteer to tutor in inner city charter schools or private schools that accept voucher students. Try to develop some person-to-person contact on something important in minority parents in the inner cities. Ask them how the Tea Parties can help; something within the scope and ability of the Tea Party volunteers, of course.
School choice efforts have been expanding in states where the R’s have taken control of the statehouse and the legislature. Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Pennsylvania have charters and vouchers to some extent. Big cities like Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey cities – Newark – have them. (Some are in battleground states; some not. But even in Detroit or Chicago, word gets around and spreads to other states if good things happen.)
Just an idea. Anything that relies on the MSM is a non-starter IMO.
Having been a Community Organizer fresh from Social Justice classes it is hard for me to admit my actions were wrong headed instead of an effort to more fully live a Christian life. Instead was a tool for other more politically aware people to use as a tool to create a tool for Democrats to use in all kind of National efforts such as Illegal Immigration, voter registration, on down the line. What happened this last election was these Organizations being funded by the Catholic Church to the tune of 6 million dollars per year were used by Obama for voter turnout. Politically naive people like me should not be turned out by the Church to do “good works”. We need to have much more education to really understand our beliefs and what the political world is about.