Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Revisitng Why Community Organizing Groups Are Not Effective

I updated a recent post and put down to browser, so to speak, my concerns and attitudes about the wasted and ineffective programs aimed at promoting "social justice" and why I don't feel their missions are effective.  It came for a challenged of a friend who said people need it spelled out.  The problem is that to spell it out means that one is put on the chopping block for lacking charity.  Yet, not saying it plainly leaves the field solely to the advocates.
Today's climate always brings the politically tolerated criticism of the Catholic world that is often agenda driven to bring down the Church as the prominent voice of morality by tearing it down with the bad acts of individuals who exercise some power and authority.  The secular media many times just loves a good scandal.  But for us in the pew, who love the Church and adhere to Her teachings, we don't have the opportunity to address our concerns with how some choose to use Her for agendas that step on our toes in the exercise of prudential decisions in the public policy arena.
Personally, I would love to see the local Church facilities provide the space for honest and vigorous exchanges about current issues with a purely Catholic genre that has rooms for all aspects of the controversies. The guiding Catholic principles can be presented as a backdrop to begin the discussion.  Such rhetoric used to be the backbone of Catholic education.  It needs to be brought back as does respect for truthful discussions in science, medicine and education.

1 comment:

  1. Charity is always and at every time subordinated to prudence, because an action isn't charitable if it isn't done well, and prudence is the virtue by which men and women discern the relative goodness of means; it may be that I have to inform someone that they are, in fact, a pernicious heretic, but it might not be best to do so in front of their entire family. Such announcements are usually made in print for a reason, though. Anyways, this applies also to things like charities, as you know; if one gives to a charity knowing full well that that charity uses part of the proceeds for abortion, that can actually make the act sinful, as condoning abortion. It most generally applies to the acts of charity itself (which is of course not one and the same thing with philanthropy), such that Thomas said one cannot have charity without prudence. One can have charity, prudence and bad information, which is why so many genuinely good people get thwarted in their actions because of innocent ignorance (as opposed to willful ignorance) but if one acts prudently one takes that into account in the action.

    What's the point? Prudence is concerned with every act, including fraternal correction, that charitable act by which one corrects the errors, both in theory and practice, into which the members of the Church fall and by which they tend towards a lack of charity.

    So when someone "puts you on the chopping block for lacking charity", you should posit to them that it is better to seem to lack charity than to actually lack prudence; because regarding the appearances of charity, people are often inclined to take them any number of uncharitable ways based on their own prejudice (hence people who wished to free the slaves were "nigger-lovers", for example...people can be very dumb.) But regarding the lack of prudence, without prudence, there can be no charity whatsoever. And if these people give to ACORN and such groups, not knowing (or not really caring) despite readily available information about the sins of these organizations, they evidently lack prudence.