Though after World War II, a stress on government's responsibility to provide relief to the poor grows louder, and one hears lots more psychological and sociological jargon, talk of "virtue," "character," and "rooting out vice" still dominates the organization's annual proceedings. But the understanding of poverty as often inseparable from moral and cultural considerations disintegrated in the late s.
Swept up in the decade's tumult and encouraged by the modernizing spirit of the second Vatican Council, Catholic Charities rejected its long-standing emphasis on personal responsibility and self-reliance and began to blame capitalist society rather than individual behavior for poverty and crime. It now looked to the welfare state to solve all social problems. Today, through a continual whirlwind of policy statements and lobbying, and by fostering countless activist community organizations, Catholic Charities has become, as Richard John Neuhaus, a priest and editor of the esteemed religious journal First Things , puts it, "a chief apologist for a catastrophically destructive welfare system, and it stands in the way of developing alternatives to help people break out of dependency and take charge of their lives.
Catholic Charities first announced its politicization in a wild-eyed manifesto that invokes such radical sixties icons as Malcolm X, Gloria Steinem, Herbert Marcuse, and—above all—the Marxist-inspired Liberation Theology movement that to put it crudely equates Jesus with Che Guevara. Ratified at Catholic Charities' annual meeting in , the so-called Cadre Study totally abandoned any stress on personal responsibility in relation to poverty and other social ills.
Instead, it painted America as an unjust, "numb" country, whose oppressive society and closed economy cause people to turn to crime or drugs or prostitution. Moreover, the study asserts, individual acts of charity are useless. We must instead unearth "the root causes of poverty and oppression" and radically reconstruct—"humanize and transform"—the social order to avert social upheaval.
This radical shift in thinking had two practical consequences. First, Catholic Charities moved away from "just" charity toward a stress on government solutions to every social problem, making political advocacy a key mission. Second, Catholic Charities began to organize local communities to resist "unjust" social structures. As Corcoran delicately puts it, "We also increased our activities in the field of social action, over and above the traditional role of charity.
At the same time, as the War on Poverty got under way, the federal government increasingly contracted with Catholic Charities agencies to provide welfare services. Those agencies, imbued with their new faith in government's potential to solve social problems, eagerly accepted government money.
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Catholic Charities received nearly a quarter of its funding from government by the end of the sixties, over half by the late seventies, and more than 60 percent by the mid-eighties, where it has remained ever since. As they became government contractors, the agencies began to serve more non-Catholics and to hire non-Catholics too, usually professional social workers with ardent faith in the welfare state. U nder its pugnacious current president, Jesuit Fred Kammer, a lawyer who attended Yale Law with Bill Clinton and author of Doing Faithjustice , a widely used textbook that gives a leftist twist to Catholic social thought, the organization has expanded and professionalized its advocacy work.
The member central headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, assembles a legislative agenda, lobbies Congress and the White House, and, through weekly "Advofaxes," alerts member agencies and subscribers to impending federal and state legislation on social policy. But as Marvin Olasky, author of The Tragedy of American Compassion , an influential book on charity, remarks, "This isn't charity at all.
When you take away dollars that you could spend helping people and spend them on lobbying, you're robbing the poor to give to the lobbyist. Worse still, the policies that Catholic Charities advocates in its lobbying activities also hurt, rather than help, the poor. Take four examples. First, Catholic Charities was the nation's loudest opponent of the welfare-reform law, lobbying hard on Capitol Hill and meeting with the president to derail it.
Kammer prophesied that the new law would be "a national social catastrophe. No one will be spared the consequences. Most reputable economists point out, however, that such a hike would cost the nation hundreds of thousands of entry-level jobs, hurting just the people—immigrants, inner-city youths, or former welfare recipients rejoining the workforce—whom Catholic Charities says it cares most about.
Catholic Charities seems not to grasp that minimum-wage positions are usually first jobs—most minimum-wage earners are teens, and only 2. Third, Catholic Charities vociferously opposes the privatization of Social Security. Asks Cato Institute tax specialist Stephen Moore, why would an organization dedicated to helping "the poorest among us," as Catholic Charities' motto goes, urge Congress to reject a proposal allowing the poor to opt out of a system that offers them a dismal return on their tax dollars?
Private retirement accounts, Moore argues, would give those few individuals making the minimum wage for their entire lives a retirement income 50 percent to percent higher than what Social Security promises. Given this evidence, Moore ruminates, the opposition to private accounts must be ideological: "Some people are simply predisposed to favor big government," he sighs.
Finally, Catholic Charities tirelessly argues that racism "is a root cause of the economic and social oppression in our society," as Vision , a key recent policy paper, asserts.
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Speaking to me in his cluttered Alexandria office, Kammer explains: "Race remains at the heart of the social question in America—and as a southerner, I really believe that. This unrealistic view of race distorts the whole organization's thinking about black crime. Catholic Charities lobbies hard in favor of requirements that force states to provide detailed explanations for why so many blacks are behind bars—the presumption being that racism is to blame.
Catholic Charities believes that if black ten- to year-olds are only 15 percent of the population but 26 percent of all juveniles arrested and 46 percent of all juveniles doing time, this is prima facie evidence of racism. But if black youths have, as they do, a far higher rate of criminal activity than white kids, why would anyone expect them not to be arrested and convicted at a higher rate?
At bottom, Catholic Charities appears to suspect that, for black kids, crime is somehow justified. Kammer, writing in , asserts, "If young men turn to crack and crime because there are no jobs and no hopes, then you and I become addicted with them. But doesn't this only justify thuggery and self-destruction, exactly the message inner-city kids don't need to hear?
Following the lead of the central office, some 90 percent of Catholic Charities' local agencies lobby in state legislatures. Patrick Johnson, director of Hartford, Connecticut's Catholic Charities agency, enthuses: "We have one of the largest social-justice advocacy programs in the country, with a lobbyist on staff, actively lobbying the state legislature in the area of welfare reform, against the death penalty, juvenile justice—the social-services agenda, if you will.
T he "other stuff" includes "parish social ministry," the second big thrust of today's Catholic Charities. In part, parish social ministry just means spurring the members of local parishes to do traditional, and effective, good works: to visit the elderly, say, or take care of neighborhood kids. But, troublingly, it also means politically oriented community organizing. As one disgruntled local Catholic Charities representative explains, this means encouraging low-income parishioners to form "agitation networks" to lobby politicians, stage protests, and pursue "social change" by demanding more entitlements from the welfare state or by intimidating a local utility into adopting a no shutoff policy when bills aren't paid.
These community organizing efforts use as their textbook one of the classics of extreme left-wing literature—Saul Alinsky's Reveille for Radicals. In Alinsky's far-left vision, promoted by his quasi-Marxist Industrial Areas Foundation, the organizer aims to get his followers to accumulate power for militant ends.
Explains Tom Ulrich, the Catholic Charities' national director of "Training and Convening," which instructs local personnel in parish social ministry, "To bring people together to create a power base so that they can influence their local communities—that's important in parish social ministry, and very much influenced by Alinsky and the IAF.
I f Catholic Charities' lobbying and community organizing don't help the poor, what about the third and largest area of its activities, the array of services that local agencies provide? Here, it's hard to be categorical: the agencies serve over 10 million people with a staggering number of individual problems, and some agencies and programs are atypical, like the robustly faith-filled Tulsa Catholic Charities, which accepts no government funds. Making judgment harder, Catholic Charities agencies don't focus on the outcomes of their activities, so nobody knows what they're accomplishing.
An otherwise no-nonsense nun running a Catholic Charities educational program for at-risk youth in Queens is typical. She struggles to impart self-esteem—despite the evidence that shows at-risk kids have self-esteem to spare—and she has no clue what happens as a result of her efforts. Kathleen McGowan, head of Catholic Charities' national board, notes that her organization has "started to address this problem, absolutely.
Casey Foundation, succinctly observes, "There's little point in offering more services if their long-term effectiveness is unclear. The teeming array of Catholic Charities services fall into two broad categories. The first, emergency services, includes food-assistance programs, such as soup kitchens, feeding more than 4 million people, and temporary shelter, offering 2.
Disaster relief, clothing assistance, help in paying overdue utilities bills—you name the emergency, Catholic Charities helps out. The second category, social services, provides child care, legal and employment services, AIDS hospices, and so on to almost 1 million people, as well as such educational programs as English as a second language courses and Head Start programs. The organization's vast world of social services also includes counselling, neighborhood-based programs like Big Brothers and senior centers, refugee resettlement, health care, housing, and adoption.
G overnment pays for most of this activity, and with government funds come restrictions. Charities must follow time-wasting rules that reduce flexibility and require a one-size-fits-all approach to treating people with endlessly various problems. Worse, until recently the regulations have prohibited charities from including a strong religious dimension in their programs. For wayward kids, for welfare moms trying to break free of dependency, for heroin addicts or drunks trying to kick the habit, faith-based programs work best. Psychologist David Larson at the National Institute for Healthcare Research cites many studies that show a strong correlation between religious participation and rejecting crime and substance abuse; criminologist Byron Johnson of Lamar University has shown big drops in recidivism for prisoners who go through Charles Colson's faith-based Prison Fellowship Program.
Catholic Charities would have found none of this surprising 70 years ago, but many of today's Catholic Charities agencies pay little attention to the power of faith to transform lives. Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum sparked a fierce controversy in when he rebuked Catholic Charities for drifting away from the faith under the pressure of government funding. Santorum told of a priest he knows who began a psychology internship at a Catholic Charities clinic. The clinic supervisor tested him on three hypothetical counselling situations: a depressed pregnant woman who wants to abort her child, two homosexuals seeking advice on their relationship, and a divorcing couple asking for counselling.
In keeping with Catholic teachings, the priest advised against the abortion, refused to endorse homosexual unions, and encouraged the divorcing couple to save their marriage. He failed the test.
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His supervisor explained: "We get government funds, so we are not Catholic. Such cases abound. The silver disk plates above are made to protect the chakra they are placed over. Lahu belt of silver buttons to protect the base sexual chakra and the second, relationship chakra.
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Akha Hat with silver buttons to protect against energy connections into the head chakras Akha Hat with silver buttons to protect against energy connections into the head chakras and the silver chains around the neck to protect vishuddhi chakra. Usually, when there is a strong connection between a mother and her son s then the sexual connection chakra is shared and the son has no possibility of another sexual connection with another woman, therefore he only has the possibility of a male sexual connection.
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One reason for homosexuality. Also, when there is a strong connection between a father and his daughter s then the sexual connection chakra is shared and the daughter has no possibility of another sexual connection with another man, therefore she only has the possibility of a female sexual connection.
One reason for lesbianism. Energy Connections between people, between chakras were originally used as a means of energetic support. This energetic support is explained by the circle of energy between two people and their chakras which give and receive energy equally; the right side of the chakra giving and the left side of the chakra receiving, thus the energetic support. If one person is using a lot of energy, the connected pair of people and their chakras acts as a reservoir of energy to support the efforts of the active person in the couple.
Energy blockages on either of these connections stop the giving, making you into an energy vampire or stop the receiving, making you into a person permanently drained. In these circumstances the couple fails as the blockage cuts off the pairing and the lack of energy sharing will destroy the health of the relationship usually making it very unhappy or ending in failure and divorce. Energy Blockages stopping the flow of energy on energy connections are usually formed through pain, caused by abuse or loss.
Pain caused by that which should not happen changes, perverts the natural energy of a human being into a dense dark energy which stops the flow of natural energy through it, indeed it forms a major part in the formation of energy blockages.