Archbishop Favalora Spills the Beans on the Alliance Defense Fund
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 07:53:59 PM EST
In these days of Bishops using Communion as a political weapon, one Catholic Archbishop, John C. Favalora of Miami, has demurred from using his pulpit as a vehicle for the religious right.

In a statement issued on September 12, 2008, His Eminence declared, "We are not party bosses." But perhaps, more astonishing was his revelation that the socially conservative Alliance Defense Fund is trying to provoke an Internal Revenue Service challenge that would go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Favalora stands out as a courageous leader by refusing to to let the religious right control the content of South Florida Sunday sermons and by disclosing that the Alliance Defense Fund is brazenly approaching Catholic bishops to join them in their mass law breaking scheme. The archbishop explains in no uncertain terms what ADF is trying to provoke:

A group called the Alliance Defense Fund is urging pastors across the country to join their Pulpit Freedom Initiative by preaching a sermon "that addresses the candidates for government office in light of the truth of Scripture."

The group's goal is to challenge the Internal Revenue Service's restriction on tax-exempt organizations "by specifically opposing candidates for office that do not align themselves and their positions with the scriptural truth."

Needless to say, none of our Catholic churches or priests will be participating in this initiative. For one thing, we can do a lot for our communities with the money we save by being tax-exempt. That is why we accept that status and agree to abide by IRS rules that ban religious organizations from becoming involved in partisan politics.

For those of you not familiar with the Alliance Defense Fund ("ADF"), it presents itself as the religious right's polar opposite of the ACLU. Its founders reads as a who's who of the religious right - Bill Bright of the Campus Crusade for Christ, James C, Dobson of Focus on the Family as well as the IRD-linked Rev. Don Wildmon.

On its web site the ADF explains what it does:

o     We help coordinate the work of dozens of allied attorneys and legal groups who are challenging unconstitutional policies that deny Christians equal access to public facilities.

o     ADF brought together attorneys and allied legal groups to develop a national strategy to protect marriage even before any significant court challenges were filed on behalf of those who want to receive special legal privileges for same-sex unions.

o     We work closely with allies to assist them in their efforts to pool their knowledge and experience for greater effectiveness, sharing legal briefs and expertise, information on the opposition, and co-litigating cases.

But back to Archbishop Favalora's September 12th statement, in which he elaborates on what he considers to be the proper role of the church during elections:

But the role of the church is not to be like the "party boss" who goes around telling people how to vote. Our responsibility is to remind people to vote wisely; to reveal to them the wisdom of Scripture, the wisdom of the church's moral tradition, so that they can base their votes on solid moral ground.

But in praising Archbishop Favalora we should not miss the part of his statement about ADF's desire to provoke an IRS complaint, obviously in hopes of going to a very friendly U.S. Supreme Court. And as I've reported previously there is now a strong Opus Dei presence on the bench in the persons of Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts (all of whom act as Opus Dei cooperators). Add to that mix the religiously Catholic Associate Justice Alito and you can see why ADF wants to instigate matters.

In any case, I suspect that Archbishop Favalora has ruffled some feathers by revealing the ADF's proposal to his diocese. Regardless of his views on the issues, he is to be commended for spilling the beans on the ADF.

But it is worth keeping in mind that Favorala may be the notable exception rather that the notably responsible leader.  It is certainly possible that some dioceses may be cooperating with the ADF, and this raises some important questions: Who within the ranks of the Catholic Right's ranks are facilitating this unholy alliance? Are these contacts being made with the approval of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops? And if so, are they then directly working for the defeat of Barack Obama and Joe Biden this November?  

It is a matter that requires further investigation.

Archbishop Favarola, who most likely, disagrees with many of us on abortion, stem cell research and several other issues, must be commended. He has stood up to the ADF which, through Rev. Wildmon, has links to the IRD. And unlike Archbishop Chaput of Denver and Bishop Martino of Scranton, Archbishop Favarola understands the difference between contributing to the national discourse and the heavy-handedness of using a religious sacrament as a political weapon.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 07:55:56 PM EST

I've also seen the Communion wars fought in various letters to the editor nationwide, in which Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are seen as insufficiently faithful Catholics. It amazes me that the hierarchy even has any moral credibility, given its craven, institution-protecting behavior when it came to safeguard the faithful against the wrongdoers in the clergy. Judging by what I've seen in the press, some bishops (Francis George of Chicago comes to mind) haven't learned the lesson they were supposed to have learned the last time.

From what I understand, my local archdiocese doesn't allow politicking on church property. The only political signs I see are bumper stickers on (some) parishioners' cars. I can only pray that the priests won't give the type of homily I heard of 4 years ago.

We know there is a politically and economically powerful contingent among the clergy and lay Catholics that would like to see just this sort of politicking and mixing religion and politics, namely Richard John Neuhaus, George Weigel, Tom Monaghan, Deal Hudson, Bill Donohue, and their allies. I haven't forgotten that Deal Hudson was responsible for getting Ono Ekeh fired from his job with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for starting the Catholics for Kerry website. The press is also letting the Weigels, Chaputs and Martinos define the terms of the debate (I am thinking in particular of today's New York Times article on this subject.

by khughes1963 on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 09:25:33 PM EST

"I can only pray that the priests won't give the type of homily I heard of 4 years ago."

Kathy, you know it's coming so be prepared.

If it happens in my parish (most likely from a visiting priest), at the end of the sermon I will calmly speak up and say, "I dissent; I loyally dissent."

Simple as that.

by Frank Cocozzelli on Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 09:05:45 AM EST

Interestingly enough, I read that Fr. Frank Pavone is giving up on trying to establish a priestly order in Amarillo affiliated with the Priests for Life. While giving him credit for his due concern, where is his concern for the lives ruined by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to say nothing of the lives ruined by sexual abuse by the clergy.

by khughes1963 on Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 08:56:50 PM EST

don't the organizers and participants open themselves to racketeering charges?

by Laurel on Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 04:37:15 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (324 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (165 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (96 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (90 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (95 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (121 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (100 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (72 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (222 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (53 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (145 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (173 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (49 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (52 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (204 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (214 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (83 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (158 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (140 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (137 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (129 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (139 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (120 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (171 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (133 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (70 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (185 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (73 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (103 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (99 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.