Radical Activist Saul Alinsky Recruited Wolves in Shepherds’ Clothing
The civil war inside Christian churches has long attracted hungry outsiders eager to meddle.
There is a civil war raging within Christian churches, which outside forces are ready and eager to exploit. Last month, The Stream highlighted an open letter from evangelical Christian leaders that warned of pro-choice, anti-marriage billionaire globalist George Soros, and his attempts to co-opt and corrupt Christian churches in service of leftist causes. This month, we learned how the Hillary Clinton campaign is involved in supporting sock-puppet pro-choice Catholic front groups to undermine the “middle ages dictatorship” of the Catholic bishops. This week I warned at CatholicVote of a new scheme to recruit disgruntled Catholic Millennials for globalism and socialism.
This war is nothing new. Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing is a chilling new documentary aimed at faithful Catholics now available in streaming format. The film shows how this effort to corrupt Christian churches goes back decades, to the organizing work of Machiavellian leftist Saul Alinsky.
You remember him, don’t you? Alinsky was the subject of Hillary Clinton’s college thesis, and mentored her by mail. Ben Carson made headlines during the GOP convention by pointing out that Alinsky dedicated his last book, Rules for Radicals, to Lucifer — as the world’s first successful radical. The Stream seconded Carson’s concerns, explaining in detail how Alinsky’s tactics are divisive, destructive and utterly amoral.
It was a Saul Alinsky training school that taught Barack Obama how to use “community organizing” as a tool of racial division and political power-grabbing. In 2012, Phyllis Schlafly and George Neumayr dropped the bombshell that the person who paid to send Obama to Saul Alinsky school was none other than Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. The cardinal used money given by hard-working Catholic parishioners to further the “Catholic Campaign for Human Development” (CCHD). Bernardin also crafted the “Seamless Garment” argument, which served pro-choice politicians as a bulletproof vest, allowing them to smoosh together Medicaid funding, gun control, and the murder of a million babies each year, as interchangeable “life issues.”
As Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing reveals, the CCHD was created by Alinsky supporters within the Church, who’d been drawn to his socialist goals and sharp-elbowed tactics as early as the 1940s. Catholics who donate to the annual CCHD collection on Sunday are rarely told that the money goes not to feeding the poor, but rather to organizing them into fierce political grievance groups, led by men like Barack Obama. As The Stream noted last year and this film reveals via personal accounts from priests who got caught up in Alinsky’s movement, he taught Christians to see political conflicts as ruthless struggles for power between the “haves” and “have nots,” and to use dehumanizing rhetoric and confrontational stunts to destroy their “enemies.”
The film does not present Alinsky as an evil genius who swindled naive clergymen into backing his schemes unwittingly. Alarmingly, it reveals the fact that one of the most brilliant Catholic philosophers of the twentieth century, Jacques Maritain, read Alinsky’s books and sought him out; then the two became lifelong friends. Likewise, a circle of socialist-leaning priests and Catholic laymen in the 1950s, 60s and 70s at the Archdiocese of Chicago and later at Notre Dame University, read Alinsky’s books and contacted him asking for help. In return, they gave him essential support and millions of dollars to further his Industrial Areas Foundation, which aimed at stoking the conflict between poor people and the middle class, to further the march of socialism — which these priests thought better served the poor, just as George Soros’s evangelical allies seem to believe.
As Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing makes clear, this socialist Catholic camp was a minority movement, openly opposed by then-influential Catholics such as Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York, and ex-Communist Party members such as Bella Dodd — who revealed that the Party had sent thousands of young men to infiltrate seminaries in the 1940s, and get ordained as priests. As I noted at CatholicVote: “Five popes have warned us that socialism is completely incompatible with Christianity; Leo XIII called socialism “a scheme of horrible wickedness.”
Because the leftist Catholics were in a distinct minority, in a church that was fiercely persecuted by socialist regimes in Eastern Europe and China, they turned to a brilliant outsider in Alinsky. A master of misdirection and verbal trickery, Alinsky taught leftist Catholics how to seize the high ground in intra-church debates, organize astroturf groups to give the appearance of mass popular support, and intimidate their opponents.
The high tide of Alinsky’s direct influence in the church came in 1978, when his clerical allies seized control of a national meeting of Catholic lay leaders, the Call to Action Conference. Using Alinskyite tactics to make sure that leftist dissenters from key Catholic doctrines were appointed to key positions, these radicals tried to transform the Call to Action into a kind of American Catholic parliament. Pretending to speak on behalf of all American Catholics, they demanded that the church change its age-old teachings on contraception, ordain women priests and embrace “gay liberation.”
Faithful Catholics across America were horrified, and Rome ignored the meeting, but Call to Action remained in existence as a leftist pressure group that pretends to speak for Catholics to this day, just like Podesta’s front groups. In fact, such groups represent instead the likes of Tim Kaine and Joseph Biden, merely “tribal Catholics” who treat the religion of their birth the way Woody Allen treats Judaism — as a cultural quirk, with no claim to guide people’s consciences, except when it can be pressed into service to help their leftist politics.
Every Catholic who cares about the future of his church and his country should watch Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, and read No Higher Power — and the next time they pass the basket for the Campaign for Human Development, drop in some Monopoly money. Then write a check to our embattled bishops in Iraq.