Does taking money from Caesar violate the tenets of the Catholic Church?

Or is it only a kind of smorgasbord of tenets that Catholics involved in immigration can pick and choose from?  Today I came across a post at Friends of Refugees about Catholic Charities in Washington, DC requiring employees to agree to adhere to the tenets of the church in order to participate in whatever quasi-charitable* programs they are operating.  By the way, I am assuming it is this Catholic Charities office that received a cool half million of your tax dollars in FY09 and that requires the oath. 

While you are at USA, go here and see all of the Catholic Charities offices your tax dollars are funding!

Taking from Caesar (and you)!

This is the question I’m hung up on lately (see Bishops lying to Catholics here)—where in the teaching of the Catholic Church does it say that Catholics have the right to take money from governments (isn’t it a form of stealing when taking money for political causes or for any charity from unwilling taxpayers!) or from organizations and funding sources that promote policies that are clearly against Catholic teaching.

Back to that March on America this coming Sunday! 

Here we have US Conference of Catholic Bishops lobbyist telling a conference in New Mexico that they are behind the march.  (I’ve already told you that 95% of the USCCB money for refugees comes from you, the federal taxpayer). 

Last night just cruising around I came upon this website where the statement is made that the USCCB is not “sponsoring” the march, just providing Cardinal Mahony to say Mass before the march.   See Mahony to say Mass, here.

The march, whose formal name is “March for America: Change Takes Courage and Faith,” is sponsored by 35 Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim organizations. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its immigration reform campaign (Justice for Immigrants) are not among the sponsors, though Justice for Immigrants has organized Cardinal Mahony’s Mass and is clearly supportive of the march.  [Ha! Ha! someone probably told them its illegal to take all that federal money then sponsor demonstrations with it!]

The evil troika!

But, even more disgusting perhaps (if that is possible) then taking your money for their political causes, is that they, the USCCB, is working hand in glove with the George Soros/Drummond Pike/Wade Rathke atheists and one-worlders and uber-Leftists at the Tides Foundation.  (Search RRW for the Tides Foundation, I’ve written a lot about it).

Those Catholic sites send unsuspecting Catholics here, to find DC housing and bus transportation to the march.  Scroll down the page until you get to “Partners.”    Do you see the link for Reform Immigration for America, here.  This group is a front group for the Tides Advocacy FundTides launders money from secret sources and sets up phoney-baloney grassroots groups advocating far left (Marxist/socialist) causes.  From Reform Immigration for America’s “about” page:

The Campaign to Reform Immigration for America is a united national effort that brings together individuals and grassroots organizations with the mission to build support for workable comprehensive immigration reform. The Campaign to Reform Immigration for America is, in part, a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

It’s a very sad day for the Catholic Church (and for us Catholics).  What a joke!  They demand an oath to support the tenets of the church from some poor schlub who works in a DC Catholic Charities while the Bishops literally steal from taxpayers and work with international socialists to destroy America.

* I’m calling it quasi-charitable because they are taking other people’s money for their charity!  It is called the re-distribution of wealth!  Indeed, Christianity expects us to be charitable, but with our own money given freely!

Update:  I just heard that Glenn Beck said on his radio show today that everyone should look for the code words “social justice” or “economic justice” on their church’s website and if it’s there, they should run like hell from that church!


Center for Immigration Studies releases its investigation of the Southern Poverty Law Center

The critical report entitled, “Immigration and the SPLC: How the Southern Poverty Law Center Invented a Smear, Served La Raza, Manipulated the Press, and Duped its Donors” can be found here.   Read the whole fascinating expose.  I mentioned it here last week.

Readers in Frederick, MD, Ft. Wayne, IN, Boise, ID, and Manchester, NH should know that the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence scheduled to visit your cities to demonstrate what a bunch of haters you are is affiliated with the Southern Poverty Law Center and uses similar tactics to silence those who seek a discussion about curtailing immigration.   I had to laugh just now, I went back to the CPHV site and learned that since I wrote my post on their plans, that they had removed their site (and changed their name)!   Here they report they are working on a new one.  Betcha a buck that any connection to the SPLC will not appear on the new site!

Nuggets from the “celebration:” Practice what we preach

As I told you here, I attended the Washington, DC shindig at Georgetown Law in “celebration” of the 30th anniversary of the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980.  The morning keynote speaker was Eric Schwartz, Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, clearly a darling of Human Rights First.  (They have one of theirs in the job now!)

Since I just a few minutes ago told you about the growing controversy in Ft. Wayne, IN, I wanted to tell you what Schwartz told the audience on Tuesday in a speech which was focused on the idea of ‘practicing what we preach’ regarding human rights in order to send this message to the world—be good to your people.   So, I wondered how he could make this assertion when so much of the refugee program is NOT being good to the people—either refugees or American citizens.

Here are just a couple of paragraphs in his speech (which was predominantly your typical bureaucrats speech) that relate to Ft. Wayne.

Our admissions program must vindicate protection objectives that include the interests of those persons we are resettling, but our goals must be much broader. And, indeed, through or in coordination with our admissions program, we have enhanced the capacity of UNHCR to identify vulnerable communities in need of resettlement, to develop innovative interim protection measures – such as emergency transit centers in many parts of the world – and to use our resettlement programs as a tool to encourage host government policies of greater tolerance. We have also been able to encourage other governments to do more on refugee resettlement issues, and we’ve promoted burden sharing. But again, we can best accomplish these and other objectives when our actions at home are models of good behavior for others to emulate abroad. [LOL!-ed]

With that element in mind, and early in my tenure, I visited Chicago, Fort Wayne, Indiana and Minneapolis/St. Paul, to learn more about our efforts to meet the resettlement needs of newly arriving refugees – Bhutanese, Burmese, Burundians, Hmong, Iraqis and so many others. What I saw was both heartening and dismaying. It was so gratifying to witness the deep and abiding commitment to refugees among overworked and underpaid agency personnel in the field, the determination of new arrivals, and the welcoming spirit of local school, healthcare and government officials. On the other hand, it was very sad to meet with refugees who had severe problems that go well beyond the challenges that any new arrival should have to confront. I heard from refugees threatened with eviction after only months in the United States. I learned that refugees often had to choose between buying food or diapers for their children. And I spoke with agency field staff overburdened by the number of refugee families they serve and the complexity of the resettlement service needs of recent arrivals.  [Note he does not say a thing about overburdened cities!]

Meanwhile he is off to visit with other overburdened cities—Phoenix and Denver—but I can assure you the conclusion that will be drawn is not that the flow of refugees needs to slow, only that we taxpayers need to send more “resources!”

From the daily appointment schedule for the State Department yesterday:

Under Secretary Otero and Assistant Secretary Schwartz will travel March 16-18, 2010 to Denver and Phoenix to meet with resettled refugees, refugee resettlement agencies, and local and state government officials.

5:30 p.m. Under Secretary Otero and Assistant Secretary Schwartz hold a media roundtable after meeting with the refugee resettlement community in Denver, at the offices of the Colorado Refugee Resettlement Program.

No mention of course whether some local residents with problems with the refugee program will be in attendance.   Mr. Schwartz knows the program is ready to explode, cities are overburdened, there are no jobs, the resettlement agencies are doing less than stellar work and yet he continues to meet only with those who have a vested interest in painting a positive picture of the refugee resettlement program.  Solving the problem, other than redistributing (your) wealth to it, doesn’t seem to be the goal.

Is he (and Obama) purposefully creating a “crisis” by continuing to resettle tens of thousands of refugees who will need public assistance because there is no work for them.   That is what Schwartz’s old bosses, George Soros and the cabal at the Tides Foundation would do!

Comments worth noting: Turmoil growing in Ft. Wayne over laundromat sign incident

The Ft. Wayne, IN laundromat sign story continues to be our top story for the past week at RRW.   Below are two comments to the story that indicate how heated the issue has become.   A couple of years ago (January 2008) I advocated, as did a writer at the News-Sentinel,  that Ft. Wayne needed a PUBLIC meeting to discuss the future of the refugee resettlement program in Ft. Wayne.  Instead the mayor recently held a closed meeting and a few months back the Asst Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration traveled to Ft. Wayne to see for himself the problems that existed there with the huge refugee population.  I doubt any citizen of Ft. Wayne who has problems with refugee resettlement was in that meeting.  (more here on Schwartz visit).

By the way, the Maine Center for Prevention of Hate Violence plans to show up in Ft. Wayne one of these days and it too is planning CLOSED MEETINGS.

Here then are two comments we received about the growing controversy.  Note in the second comment the local refugee advocates are spreading the Ft. Wayne story far and wide.   Although I haven’t seen it published anywhere, the word on the street is that the man who posted the ‘offensive’ sign is a BLACK employee of the now vilified local business man.

From Native:

This situation in Fort Wayne is on going, and has gotten worse by the day.
The Mayors politically correct statement to the Burmese community that took a week to write before publishing has only fanned the flames of outrage from the majority of Fort Waynes citizens of long harbored, long ignored grievances, struggles, over the large refugee influx crisis of Karen, Mon, Chin, Muslim Karen tribes.

Some say the sign was discriminatory, of course, but it was taken down, a public apology was made. A commenter,’don’t tread on me’ said to wane news,’Rickers went to the Burmese Council and had a sign made about what was acceptable and what was not( in Burmese)…it was ignored. New immigrants[refugees] are guests to this country. When you are a guest you treat your host with respect. Urinating and spitting is not respectful behavior. The Burmese council now needs to apologize to the community. Was Ricker’s right in putting the sign up no, but catholic charities, the federal government, and the Burmese council have an obligation to educate these folks. We as community are insulted by the behavior of, hopefully a small group. Now the Burmese[refugees] need to step up to plate and acknowledge the lack communication with those in their community.’

Some are saying to the refugees, o.k.,have your Burmese leaders sue us, but we will in turn, arrest you for not only spitting in public places, urinating in public, but also smearing feces in public.

Why haven’t the same rules been applied to refugees as to Fort Wayne American citizens? Because they have been told to practice tolerance, compassion, patience for a beleaguered people, and are hit on all sides by Catholic Charities, World Relief, Lutheran Services, all the other hundreds of ECBOs in town , and now by their own mayor. Even the Allen Co. Health Dept. got in on the act and submitted a comment to ‘give help’ to all the TB, Hep A B C D infected refugees, even after it has been publicly acknowledged these refugees are peeing, spitting, smearing poop in public places.

Where is World Relief? They have a site here in Fort Wayne, the first in Indiana. They located here specifically for the Burmese refugees, and the on going influx crisis. There has not been one iota mentioned about this resettlement agency recently, by anyone. Come on, they are here to prevent issues such as this one from occurring. Or are they a ghost agency.  They opened a site here, hired Burmese to handle Burmese refugee problems with American citizens as well as between each other, as refugees, or as American Burmese.

By the way, just this past Tuesday I attended the “celebration” of the 30th anniversary of the Refugee Resettlement Act and a Burmese activist told the audience that enough is not being done to teach Burmese how to live in the US—to understand our culture and her criticism was clearly directed toward the federal contractors whose job it is to resettle refugees in your towns and cities.

From Ellen:

Christine Marshal, the current consultant of the Multicultural Council of Fort Wayne that is funded by the Knight Foundation, and supported by United Way, took it upon herself to post the controversial sign on Facebook, perhaps knowing, or maybe not knowing what a tsunami it would create.

This is what she said recently;
‘There are many organizations that are helping to educate the refugees – all of them, not just the Burmese. It’s a huge effort. We just don’t advertise what we’re doing because 1) doing the work is the right thing to do, and 2) we’re putting in so many hours that we don’t have time to sing our own praises. What we do need is for the community to be aware that our government brought these people here, we must help them assimilate, and we must be patient in the meantime. I challenge anyone to go to a Mon Day celebration, or a Karen wrist-tying ceremony, or a Burmese cultural day or any of the other cultures, and not realize what wonderful gifts they have brought to our community. Their culture, art, music, and customs are unique and add color to our world. Yes, more needs to be done. But obviously, right now, the community needs to address this unfortunate incident – learn from it, and make sure it never happens again – to anyone.’
March 9 at 5:06am

This blatant posting to the international community of a sign ignorantly put up by a fed-up employee, not the owner of the business, has only made a decisive fracture between the refugees, the American Burmese in the community whom are whooping up the rally cry to take off the head, literally, of a prominant, well known, philantropical business owner who employs hundreds; and the regular citizens of Fort Wayne.

The mayor invited a meet-up with the Burmese, the Burmese advocates of ECBOs, NGOs, CC, but the public was not invited.

Is this the way to resolve the long on-going issues between the Burmese, refugees, and the regular homegrown citizens of Fort Wayne? No!

Marshal,the mayor, and others have obviously lost the will, interest, or initiative to embrace the rest of the regular struggling, homegrown community, and share of their frustrations of being ignored on refugee issues in extremely critical times. Maybe it is because the regular homegrown Americans costumes, art, music, culture, needs, are just not as exotic, colorful, novel or challenging, enough, as the refugees, according to Marshal.

The citizens of Ft. Wayne should be demanding a public meeting.  Bring all the so-called “stake-holders” into one auditorium and have them explain the whole program to the public and let the citizens of Ft. Wayne ask all the questions they wish.  This all needs a good airing!  Citizens of Ft. Wayne, do not be intimidated by those who will call you names for demanding you have a say in the future of your city.

No public meeting, then maybe it’s time for a new mayor?

Meanwhile Catholic Charities is going to now overload Indianapolis, here.  Maybe someone should alert citizens of Indianapolis about the issues on-going in Ft. Wayne!

Reporters have no idea how religion affects anything, but it affects everything

Refugee Resettlement Watch has been interested in diversity from the beginning — we have a long page devoted to it with articles and commentary copied out, and linked in most cases. We post on it from time to time because diversity is an ideology that governs a great deal of what goes on in the United States. That is, the idea that multiculturalism and diversity of race, nationality and gender are the rightful goals of public policy in areas such as education, the workplace, the military, residency, and . . . you can think of dozens more areas.

We’ve often commented on the difficulties some refugees have getting along in the United States because their culture is so different. Ann has recently posted on the Burmese in Fort Wayne and Iraqi refugees in general. I don’t know if the resettlement agencies — the volags — are oblivious to the problem or if they understand it and like the idea of fomenting discord and showing up Americans as “racists” for objecting to the destruction of their communities. I think it’s clearer in the case of the media reports on refugees, most of which are remarkably similar in their cheerfulness and their obliviousness to problems.  

Rod Dreher has a piece in USA Today that addresses this media phenomenon well, called Studying voodoo isn’t a judgment. The subtitle, “Journalists should deal with religion respectfully, of course. But that doesn’t mean dismissing the tough questions,” summarizes it well. He begins by talking about the way the media, in reporting on Haiti, either ignore voodoo or act as if criticizing it is taboo. Here’s his first paragraph:

Did you hear about the Protestant minister who said that Haiti “has been in bondage to the devil for four generations”? No, it wasn’t Pat Robertson but Chavannes Jeune, a popular Evangelical pastor in Haiti who has long crusaded to cleanse his nation of what he believes is an ancestral voodoo curse. It turns out that more than a few Haitians agree with Jeune and Robertson that their nation’s crushing problems are caused by, yes, voodoo.

How does voodoo cause these problems? It’s logical, when it’s explained:

[On a blog], there’s a fascinating piece by Wesleyan University religion professor Elizabeth McAlister touching on how the voodoo worldview affects Haiti’s cultural and political economy. She writes that the widespread belief that events happen because of secret pacts with gods and spirits perpetuates “the idea that real, causal power operates in a hidden realm, and that invisible powers explain material conditions and events.” Though McAlister is largely sympathetic to voodoo practitioners, she acknowledges that any effective attempt to relieve and rebuild Haiti will contend with that social reality.

So if your religion tells you that your actions have no effect, because everything is caused by forces beyond your knowledge or control, do you think that might have a real-world consequence? Like, maybe, not making much effort?

But this kind of analysis is out of line, according to the New York Times.

In a recent New York Times column, religion reporter Samuel G. Freedman rightly lamented the way the American news media have largely ignored voodoo in their Haiti earthquake reporting. But he also chided media commentators (including me) for speculating about voodoo as a harmful cultural force. Freedman quoted academics who praised the Haitian folk religion, and who complained about the ignorance and supposed racism of voodoo skeptics.

This, alas, is all too typical of American media’s religion coverage. We journalists ignore or downplay the role religion plays in the everyday life, or we take a naive viewpoint toward exotic religions practiced by people unlike us.

And Dreher makes the connection that jumps out at me, and would jump out at any sensible person who is not wearing PC blinders:

For years, I’ve watched this instinct show itself in the way most in the mainstream media cover Islam in America. Reporters are eager to find positive stories and often allergic to stories that might, in their minds, give aid and comfort to rednecks, right-wingers and other so-called undesirables. Once I attended a news meeting in which an editor angrily declined to look into substantive evidence that local Muslim institutions were teaching Islamic radicalism to youth by barking, “What about Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson?! We never write about their radicalism!”

This instinct accounts for much of the reporting we criticize here at RRW. It has disastrous consequences in some cases — the example Dreher gives in the above paragraph, and the failure of most of the media to report honestly on problems with Somalis wherever they settle. It was probably such an unwillingness to criticize an “exotic” culture and religion that kept reporters from learning about the radicalization of Somali young men in Minneapolis, until they actually went off to join al-Shabab in Somalia and actively joined the jihad. And it has prevented local reporters, with a few honorable exceptions, from delving into the problems Somalis and other groups cause in the towns where they settle. As Rod Dreher says, of the example he gives above,

As if the Christian televangelists were comparable to Osama bin Laden. As if they were even relevant. The story — an important one — never was written. In that case, an editor who knew little about religion interpreted religious data through a partisan culture-war lens. He chose by omission not to give the newspaper’s readers a picture of the world as it is, but rather of the world as he wishes it were.

What a putdown of other cultures and religions this attitude is. They are used simply as weapons in the culture war, not taken seriously as systems of thought that form the worldview of actual people. As Dreher puts it:

… time and time again I’ve seen journalists who fail to get the dictum set down by the indispensable media criticism blog “It’s impossible for journalists to understand how things work in the real world if they do not take religion seriously.”

Here’s why. In his influential 1948 book Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver identified a person’s “metaphysical dream of the world” — that is, the way the world works at its most basic level — as the foundation of one’s thoughts and conduct. This is the realm of religion — or of no religion at all, because scientific materialism offers its own particular view of the structure of reality.

And his conclusion is exactly right:

A world in which most people believe that reality is governed by the occult caprice of the gods will be a very different place than a world in which people believe events can be explained according to either a Christian or a scientific materialist metaphysic. It’s as legitimate to ask what role voodoo plays in Haiti’s fathomless social troubles as it is to ask the same question about fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East, conservative Christianity in the Bible Belt, or militant atheism in the land of academia. And it’s as necessary.

But if we really paid attention to religious beliefs and how they affect worldview, and by extension, customs, actions and goals, we would have to consider things that are very difficult for those whose religion is multiculturalism — that every culture is as worthy as every other. These things are difficult even for those of us who are simply tolerant of differences and don’t mind having a multiplicity of cultures in our country. The biggest question is: Are there some systems of thought that make it impossible for adherents to live peacably and productively as Americans?

And if so, do people with  such a system of thought change when they get here, or do they present a danger to us? If not a danger, are they so disruptive that they should not be here? In the case of jihadists the answer to the second question is obvious: they should not be here, and if someone here adopts that system of thought — radical Islam, not necessarily Islam — he needs to be watched. In other cases, such as the Burmese, maybe the questions are: What must we do to assure assimilation to the extent that they can live here without cultural conflict? Do we need to limit numbers to avoid disruption? Should we go back to the system Ann often advocates: returning to the refugee model of individual or church sponsors for each family?

Many immigrants who come here with worldviews that are not compatible change over time. Being American is not a religion, but it it traditionally has meant a way of thinking that is strange to much of the world: Taking responsibility for one’s actions, relying on one’s efforts rather than on the government, and living by the rule of law, not raw power, for example. Many immigrants come here because of that way of thinking and the opportunity it brings, wanting to better themselves by their own efforts. Others might come here for other reasons, but adopt it as they live among Americans. I don’t have figures at hand, but I believe that Haitians have been fairly successful here, for example, once they’ve left their toxic environment. Now, with the welfare state, other immigrants come for other reasons. And refugees come here because they are, supposedly, seeking refuge, though many also welcome the opportunity America offers.

But we have a right to discriminate among those who want to come here, and looking at religion and how that forms worldview and actions is a legitimate thing to do. And we have the right to put our own ways above others’ and to insist that people follow a minimum level of behavior. Behavior, not thought; this isn’t about thought control. Yet we have found that some ways of thinking are not compatible with living here peaceably. Such as the belief that America is the Great Satan that needs to be destroyed. Or that the goal of life is to impose Sharia law on America. 

Thanks to Rod Dreher for helping me formulate these thoughts with his provocative article.