From a reader:
Why do these liberals and people like in the LCWR stay in the Church? Wouldn’t it make sense for them to go to the Anglicans? They could be wymynpriests there and do all the crazy stuff they like instead of forcing it on faithful Catholics.
Good points. And you may remember my facetious post about Romanorum coetibus.
I have often pondered this very thing. If they are so unhappy with the present state of things, why not just go?
But I think we have to change our lens when we look at them. They see themselves as righteous agents of change. They view many issues in the Church through the lens of politics and political agendas and strategies.
To understand them, it might be helpful to review Rules for Radicals by Saul D. Alinsky. Alinksy, who would have given Machiavelli doubts, wrote this book to give tactics to community organizers and others about how to defeat in people their nature inclinations to commonsense, conservatism and tradition, and drag them through emotion and disinformation over to a leftist agenda.
Alinsky dedicated his book to Satan. That dedication appeared in the first editions, but I understand that it was later removed.
Here is a quote from Rules:
There’s another reason for working inside the system. Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families – more than seventy million people – whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]. They cannot be dismissed by labeling them blue collar or hard hat. They will not continue to be relatively passive and slightly challenging. If we fail to communicate with them, if we don’t encourage them to form alliances with us, they will move to the right. Maybe they will anyway, but let’s not let it happen by default.
It might be helpful for some of you to read Rules. If you can get it used, that would be better. Otherwise, if you want to buy a copy, use my link and I will get a percentage of the sale. That might take the sting out of it a bit. I think we have to study the tactics of the enemy in order to recognize what they are up to.
I found a great summary of Alinsky’s pointers here. Here are the first set of summarized rules:
Rules for Power Tactics:
1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
2. Never go outside the experience of your people.
3. Whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.
4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.
12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Consider now what you read in liberal catholic web sites and publications. Do those points sound familiar? They may… they may not. You decide.
In my first look at St. Augustine’s commentary on the 1 John, we saw that Augustine has three levels of love, the most perfect of which is that charity which is love of enemy. We can reprove, correct, remonstrate, and even do so with great energy and harsh words. But we cannot stop trying to love them. For Augustine, we try to love our enemies in order that, some day, they might have fellowship with us.
We have to resist them and call them out when they harm the Church and the Faith. But when we do so, we should check ourselves and self-edit so that what we write and say is not done in hatred, and is not personal.
Let’s not become them in calling them out.