Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a Catholic Sponsored Community Organizer Looks Like



“What? Community organizer? I don't even know what that is.”


---- Rudy Giuliani


Mr. Mayor, if you are so out of touch you do not know what a Catholic sponsored community organizer does, let me give you an example like Hal Gordon of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Catholic Church. Mr. Gordon and the Community Action Group of the Parish helped hundreds of poor, unemployed and homeless people. It has brought hundreds of people away from drug abuse. Mr. Gordon recently passed away after a life of service. It is a blessing he did not have to witness here on earth your denigration of his life's work.

26 comments:

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

Oh, believe me. Giuliani knows what a community organizer is. Without community organizers, Giuliani would have done more damage to the common New Yorker than he did.

Today, Manhattan is considered to be the playground of the exceedingly rich. Sad turn of events. But, under Giuliani, that turn of events would have happened much more quickly had it not been for community organizers.

Giuliani knows.

Another Catholic for Obama said...

Verō possumus!

Christy said...

I agree. Giuliani knows, but he also knows how well people react to nasty, character-debasing sound bites (which happened to be utilized when he had no other leg to stand on during the RNC - and he wasn't the only one).

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

christy,

"I agree. Giuliani knows, but he also knows how well people react to nasty, character-debasing sound bites...."

I agree with that too. It's very scary.

JOHN LENIN said...

catholics for demo said: "Today, Manhattan is considered to be the playground of the exceedingly rich. Sad turn of events."
--------
CFD, would you be happy if Manhatten were to be a slum? Would that be a happy turn of events? Maybe we could bus in all of the white-trash from the rest of the city. dewd.....you need to stop and listen to yourself......

sean2 said...

So I don't get it. Because Mr. Gordon lived the life of the Gospel very well does that mean he was qualified to be the President too?

Funny how a post exhalting the good work of a man's life as a community organizer turns into one bashing Rudy Giuliani. But as the first comment out the chute changes the topic I will restate a point I made here once before regarding Mr. Giulianis comments about not knowing what a community organizer does, and that is that Sen. Obama said the same thing before accepting the position in Chicago.

It is also intereting that as you praise Obama for taking the high road in the comment about community organizers you continue to follow the opposite path.

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"CFD, would you be happy if Manhatten were to be a slum? Would that be a happy turn of events? Maybe we could bus in all of the white-trash from the rest of the city."

No. A happy turn-of-events would have been if housing policy was in place that would have allowed Manhattan to be developed in a balanced manner so that hard-working New Yorkers could continue to afford to live in their neighborhoods, rather than pushing and pricing people out of their homes to make room for only the affluent.

I'm sorry you think hard-working New Yorkers are white trash. Maybe they're just miserable and clinging to community organizing.

John6:54 said...

"Catholics for Obama" should be called "Catholics who are okay with Abortion"

To call Jesus Christ a Community Organizer is a complete joke.

Katherine said...

Sean2,

I think the point you are missing can be found in the Lives of certain saints. Also in the writings of such people as Msgr. Daniel Cardijn, Fr. Horace McKenna SJ, Mother Theresa and Dorothy Day.

For these, in their youth, they had a period of searching and yearning that eventual drawed them close to the poor and socially marginalized.

For all of them, their social conscience developed not from philosophy or reading or statesmanship. It came from direct interaction with the poor and alienated.

For me, I think it is remarkable and laudable to have a public leader who started his adult life in this way. I find it so very Catholic. And I find it very unCatholic to cynically dismiss it.

I am sure young Barack Obama, fresh out of college, had no idea what he was getting into. Neither did my son when he entered religious life. But I think he learned. He learned exactly what life was like for poor people, for homeless people, for those laid off after years in a steel plant.

Anonymous said...

Hey Katie, notice anything similar between Barry Hussein Obama and Hal Gordon?

It is still all about using our taxes to support their welfare queens.

Sean2 said...

Kathrine,

I am not missing any point. My father worked for the Teamsters for 25 years. I know from sitting through many interrupted dinners listening to my father on the phone talking with members in difficult situations. But I also know that social work and peace and justice are not ends to themselves as Pope Benedict has said. Further I would suggest reading more of the works of Fr. Vincent McNabb who warned us that as long as we continue to live in the "fleshpots" of the city we will ultimately fail to gain what we are trying to achieve. He lived amidst the worst slums of London and realized that the only way to ultimately help these people was for them to move away from the occasions of sin which exist there. No amount of social re-engineering, programs, re-distribution of wealth or so on will ever change that.

I also know that many unions and organizer/activists are simply acting in a self serving manner. One of the stories that Fr. McNabb tells is when he was at his regulars speaking spot in London one Sunday afternoon some union organizers came over and asked if he would hold a moment of silence for the starving Welsh coal miners in London protesting for their needs. He agreed but then went on to speak to the utter irony that men from what was once the breadbasket of the U.K. were coming to the city to beg for food. After the mines were shut down they had nothing left and much of their countryside lay barren and wasted while the owners went on to exploit another area. But while he would certainly condemn the owners for their actions he would not excuse the miners or their unions for theirs. They too bore responsibility for what happened for they had no problem with destroying their land as long as their was a steady paycheck in it. They were content to bargain for better wages and working conditions without regard to their future best interests.

I don't know if you are insinuating that I am being cynical but I am certainly not. I think it was great that Sen Obama wanted worked with the poor for a while. I continue to work with the poor in my own life and perform some of the functions but could be considered "community organizing" but whatever good it may have done for the people involved I don't equate it on par with being the mayor of a city, even a Demcratic mayor like mine.

Rustler45 said...

I checked out EMO. It's you Demo/EMO.

The Original EMO Kid

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"One of the stories that Fr. McNabb tells is when he was at his regular speaking spot in London one Sunday afternoon some union organizers came over and asked if he would hold a moment of silence for the starving Welsh coal miners in London protesting for their needs. He agreed but then went on to speak to the utter irony that men from what was once the breadbasket of the U.K. were coming to the city to beg for food. After the mines were shut down they had nothing left and much of their countryside lay barren and wasted while the owners went on to exploit another area. But while he would certainly condemn the owners for their actions he would not excuse the miners or their unions for theirs. They too bore responsibility for what happened for they had no problem with destroying their land as long as their was a steady paycheck in it."

How pastoral (meant in the literary sense, not the theological one). Probably, the workers contributed to their own demise by working the industry that destroyed their land. But the owners made a significant profit they were able to keep, even after the workers were begging for bread.

I'm sorry. But it seems the message you're implying, here, is that the laborers were selfish and uncaring about what happens to their environment. How about the laborers needed labor and took the labor that was provided to them. The union you seem to be disparaging did not choose the nature of the labor, it only played a role in whether folks were properly paid for the labor they provided.

Are you suggesting that the problems we're facing now due to corporate greed were somehow caused by those who labored for greedy corporations and that the laborers, somehow, are facing a consequence due to their labor as opposed to the decisions made by the corporations themselves? That is hardly the case.

Laborers do not decide what industries are created. Those behind the wheels of finance and capital decide what industries are created. While it is true that even laborers bear some responsibility for undesirable consequences of their labor, they do not bear that responsibility to anywhere near the degree as those who created, and profited from, the industry through which labor opportunity is provided.

Good spin, though.

In the case you cited, those who profited from the industry that destroyed the land the laborers had relied on should have been called upon to alleviate the poverty the laborers found themselves in after their labor was no longer needed. But they weren't, were they? The rest of British society had to pony up and absorb the fiscal burden that was not absorbed by the profiting company. Sad way to do social business.

In this election, we have a candidate who wants to reign in corporate greed, restore justice to the laborer, AND reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources and explore energy opportunities less exploitative of earth's resources.

Given that, the analogy of Fr. McNabb hardly applies. Whether laborers, whose labor contributed to the destruction of their own land, does not address the responsibilities of those who profited from that labor. Now we're about holding the profiteers, profiting against the welfare of the planet, and profiting against the welfare of our American society and global society, to account.

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"I checked out EMO. It's you Demo/EMO."

Oh, please. You hurt my feelings. *Wait, let me go have an existential meltdown.* Whew! I'm back.

But since we're all of a sudden having fun, let me share a link with you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7IxliAPjAk

Sean2 said...

CFD, I'm about holding all parties accountable. BTW, do you know who Fr. McNabb was?

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"do you know who Fr. McNabb was?"

no

sean2 said...

CFD,
Many corn farmers are trading their long term future for short term prosperity to produce the boondoggle called ethanol. Even the Vatican has decried the use of food crops for fuel and the resulting impact of food prices on the poor around the world.

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"Many corn farmers are trading their long term future for short term prosperity to produce the boondoggle called ethanol. Even the Vatican has decried the use of food crops for fuel and the resulting impact of food prices on the poor around the world."

Sean, that is a single issue you and I agree 100%!!!

I argued that same case at CatholicsForDemocracy.org. Unfortunately, catholicsfordemocracy.org no longer exists, or I would send you to where I posed that argument.

But, yes, I absolutely agree with you on that issue! Thank you for bringing it up!

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

Actually, Sean, I took the issue a step further. I argued that food is a human right, corn among that food. By turning corn into ethenol, we're making corn purely a commodity to be sold on the open market, and not necessarily something that should be available for people to live.

sean2 said...

CFD, here are a couple links to introduce you to Fr. McNabb O.P. http://catholicauthors.com/mcnabb.html

http://www.vincentmcnabb.org/

http://www.vincentmcnabb.org/contradiction.html

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

Sean,

Thank you for sharing about Fr. McNabb. I am finding him an intriguing figure, and am looking forward to researching him more.

I do want to do some self-revelation about myself; only because it may become an issue in that I so ardently promote urban issues without addressing rural issues.

I live in New York City, and have lived in New York City for quite awhile. But I was born and raised in Indiana. During my elementary school years, I lived on a farm. That farm transitioned, annually, between growing corn and growing soy beans. Real farmers would know why the farm I lived on made hat transition.

My life moved me away from farming, and so I cannot speak too much about farming today. Except that I know that, for the most part the family farm, like the one I lived on, has been replaced by the Corporate Agribusiness person-thingy.

But I still know what a farm is. And I know that food is meant for human persons to consume for their bodies. Food is not meant to be energy for the products we create. If there is a conflict between the two, the human person's natural right to have food takes priority over the human desire for energy to animate human-created products.

sean2 said...

CFD,

Thank you for sharing your personal history. I think you would find Fr. McNabb's writings on agribusiness to your liking. I look forward to hearing back on what you think of him. There are not too many of his book in print but I would strongly recommend The Church and The Land and any others.

Rustler45 said...

SEAN2 SAID: "I look forward to hearing back on what you think of him."

Sean2, don't be getting too cozy with the enemy. He will stab you when you're not looking.

Rustler45 said...

Another Catholic for Obama said...
Verō possumus!

Time for a repeat.

"VERO POSSUMUS!!!???"

How embarrassing!! And the people in Europe thought we quit eating true possums and other such road kill.

Or does that mean "see the possums?"

I guess that's what he plans to put on the Presidential Seal!!! We're going to be the laughing stock.

Even people in Mexico are going to think that's funny!!

His marketing department should be fired!!!

The Farside can do a cartoon that says, "OOOOooooo look at the possums!"

Mea possum mea possum mea maximus possumus!!

Man this has possibilities. We're gonna have a homeboy for pres.

I can't wait for an invite to the White House for Possum and Moon Pies!! Whoopee!!

CatholicsForDemocracy said...

"Another Catholic for Obama said...
Verō possumus!

"Time for a repeat.

'VERO POSSUMUS!!!???'"

Oh, I get it. Not only do you not have any respect for the "independent voter," you also have absolutely no respect for the "conservative Catholic."

Typically, it is the "conservative Catholic" who uses Latin phrases.

I admit, the Latin slogan for this blog and others supposedly based on the Obama slogan is not a good translation of the meaning of Obama's slogan. But who cares?

It's really all about substance and action, not slogans: in English or in Latin.

Susan said...

Substance??? Obama????
HAHAHAHA!!