Catholic Family News
A Monthly Journal Preserving our Catholic Faith and Heritage
Do The Bishops Know With Whom They are Dealing?

What Obama Learned from Alinsky

“Crush the Opposition”

by John Vennari

Catholic author Russell Shaw warned in November that the persecution of religion in the United States “will be a tight-lipped campaign of secularist inspiration in which the coercive power of the state is brought to bear on church-related institutions to act against conscience or go out of business.”[1]

Shaw’s prediction quickly came to pass with the Contraception Mandate now threatened by the Obama Administration.

In late January, Obama signed off on a Health and Human Services ruling that is a direct affront to Catholics. Under his new Health Care program, Catholic institutions – including charities, hospitals and schools – will be required by law to provide and pay for insurance coverage that includes contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization procedures.

These practices defy both natural and Divine law and are condemned by the Church.

If the Catholic institutions do not comply, they will face ruinous fines in the millions of dollars, or they will have to go out of business.

Congressman Chris Smith put his finger on the true nature of the new ruling. Echoing Russell Shaw’s warning, Smith told pro-life leaders that the Obama Administration’s attack on conscience protection is to being done to pave the way for a future where “abortion will be construed as preventive health care” and “religious hospitals will be squeezed out.”[2]

Obama decreed the Catholic Church has until August 2013 to conform to this mandate.

In response, the bishops are brandishing a Catholic militancy that many of us have never seen in our lifetime.

• New York’s Archbishop Dolan, head of the USCCB, called the decision “literally unconscionable”, and said Obama’s government is essentially “saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our conscience.”[3]

• Archbishop Timothy Broglio, head of the Roman Catholic Military Archdiocese, instructed all military chaplains to read a letter at Sunday Mass that denounced the Obamacare regulation as “a blow to a freedom … for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle.” The letter continued, “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.”[4]

• Pittsburgh’s Bishop Zubick declared, “The Obama Administration has just told Catholics of the United States, ‘To Hell with you!’ There is no other way to put it.”[5]

• In his February 2 statement, Tulsa’s Bishop Edward J. Slattery thundered, “As your bishop, I want to make it clear that I consider this mandate unconstitutional, unjust and evil… we will refuse to comply with it.”[6]

• One of the strongest denunciations came from Peoria’s Bishop Daniel Jenky. In a January 24 letter, he instructed parishes, schools, hospitals and religious houses in his diocese to reintroduce the Saint Michael the Archangel prayer after all Masses. “It is God’s invincible Archangel who commands the heavenly host, and it is the enemies of God who will be ultimately defeated,” he said.

“If these regulations are put into effect” he continued in the same letter, “they could close down every Catholic school, hospital and the other public ministries of the Church, which is perhaps their underlying intention.”

Jenky encouraged, “Have faith! Have courage! I strongly urge you not to be intimidated by extremists politicians and the malice of the cultural secularists arrayed against us.”[7]

• On Sunday January 29, America’s Catholic bishops sent an open letter to their parishioners and their government saying they would not comply.

• The US Bishops posted an “Urgent Action Alert” in early February calling on Catholics to write to their US lawmakers protesting the rule.[8]

• The Bishops also posted a superb point-by-point refutation of what they call “false and misleading” White House statements on the contraception mandate.

To date, at least 169 bishops, a good 90 percent of US dioceses, have spoken up against the Obamacare directive.

It seems the bishops finally feel the beast breathing down their backs. Yet this latest affront by Obama should surprise no one.

Obama was a student of the ruthless tactics of Saul Alinsky, the left-wing agitator whose landmark
Rules for Radicals was dedicated to the devil.[9] Mike Kruglik, Obama’s Chicago instructor in Alinsky methods, said Obama was the best student of Alinsky tactics he ever had.[10]

David Alinsky, Saul Alinsky’s son, applauded Obama’s successful implementation of Alinsky methods. Immediately after Obama’s acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, David Alinsky wrote a letter to the Boston Globe in full praise of Obama as one who learned well his father’s methods.[11]

Even Obama zealot Chris Matthews, in a December 2010 broadcast of “Hardball”, referred to Obama as “the guy who comes from Saul Alinsky”.[12]

As is stated in his
Rules for Radicals, Alinsky’s foundational principles are:

1) There is no such thing as dogma, all truth is relative: “For the organizer, everything is relative and changing,” said Alinsky. The organizer “does not have any fixed truth.” This places the organizer in a superior position, Alinsky insisted, because he is “free from the shackles of dogma.”[13]

2) There is no such thing as a fixed rule of ethics. For Alinksy, the end justifies the means, and all ethics are elastic according to the situation you are in or the strategy you need to employ. Alinsky taught, “Ethical standards must be elastic to stretch with the times.”[14] If you need to lie, you lie. If you need to make promises you know you won’t keep, you do it anyway.

3) Corruption in the leader is a kind of virtue: “To say that a corrupt means corrupts the ends is to believe in the Immaculate Conception of ends and principle”, Alinksy blasphemously asserted. “The real arena is corrupt and bloody. Life is a corrupting process. He who fears corruption, fears life.” Alinsky castigates the leader who places his personal conscience and personal salvation above the needs of the people, claiming that such a leader “does not care enough for the people to be corrupted for them”.[15]

This is the school in which Barack Obama was formed: no dogma; no objective truth; no fixed standards of ethics; the end justifies the means; and corruption in the leader is raised to the level of virtue.

How can anyone believe anything Obama says? There is no fixed standard of ethics preventing him from lying to achieve whatever aims he deems fit.

As a student of Alinksy (as is Hillary Clinton), [16] Obama will think nothing of stamping out those who stand in the way of his Party’s agenda. In his 1946
Reveille for Radicals: Alinsky wrote that if the radicals become stronger than the opposition, they must “crush the opposition”.[17]

Congressman Chris Smith and Tulsa’s Bishop Slattery appear aware of Obama’s aim to “crush the opposition”. As noted, Smith warned that Obama’s pro-abortion directives are designed so that “religious hospitals will be squeezed out.” Bishop Slattery observed the new mandate may end up “closing down every Catholic school, hospital and the other public ministries of the Church, which is perhaps their underlying intention.”

It is futile appealing the Constitution to Obama, since he publicly expresses support for its effective revision.

In a 2001 radio interview, Obama argued that the Warren Court, which started a long line of activist decisions in a number of areas, did not go far enough:

1) it failed to bring about “redistributive change” and a “redistribution of wealth”;

2) it failed to, in Obama’s words,
“break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution”[18]

In his book,
The Audacity of Hope, Obama had this to say:

“Ultimately, I have to side with Justice Breyer’s view of the Constitution –
that it is not a static but rather a living document, and must be read in the context of the ever-changing world.”[19]

Obama belongs to the clique of doctrinal liberals whose basic tenet is, “the only law of the land should be what we say it is at the moment,” which is a formula for State Absolutism.

We can only hope his latest betrayal of Catholics will help the bishops understand who Obama truly is, and that he regards promises as pie-crusts to be broken.

• At his controversial appearance at Notre Dame’s 2009 commencement, Obama promised a “sensible” approach to the conscience clause. A disappointed Father John Jenkins, President of Notre Dame, who invited Obama, now laments, “This is not the kind of ‘sensible’ approach the president had in mind when he spoke here.”

• Cardinal designate Timothy Dolan, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, had a face-to-face meeting with Obama in November, and was assured by the president that the Catholic conscience would be respected. On January 20, in what is described as a “less than cordial” phone conversation, Obama told Dolan that no conscience protection would be made to Catholics.[20]

As John Gerson rightly headlined his January 30 commentary, “Obama plays his Catholic allies for fools.”

Yet it is even more cynical than this.

Democratic strategists note that Obama was not concerned about offending those Catholics who reject birth control, since they “wouldn’t have voted for him anyway.”[21]

The birth control mandate was a hard-headed election year calculation where Obama’s concern for abortion groups outweighed his concern for Catholics. Obama is a fierce believer in birth control. And as Politico notes, “When confronted with a position close to his heart – and dear to his base – Obama is increasingly inclined to side with people who
will vote for him even if it means enraging those who might, but probably won’t vote for him.” [22]

Even if Obama relents on the contraception mandate, as he is now being pressured to do, his word cannot be believed, as his pattern of broken promises demonstrates. He can only be actively opposed, as the contraception mandate reflects his true contempt of Christianity and of Christians.

And if this is the disdain Obama displays to Catholics during an election year, how much more fierce will be that disdain throughout a second term unencumbered by re-election concerns.

Pope Benedict XVI’s January 19 warning to the US bishops against “militant secularism” is a directly aimed at Barack Obama and his cohorts of the new paganism.[23]

If the bishops ever again trust this man who believes there is no objective truth; no objective ethical standards; that the ends justifies the means; that corruption in the civic leader is a virtue; and that it is the duty of the radical to ‘crush the opposition’; they will only have themselves to blame for the destruction they visit upon themselves and their flock.

In the meantime, let us support the bishops in their battle against Obama’s anti-Christian legislation. May they encourage their flocks to pray; may they rally their flocks to fight; and may they show even more fang against this militant secularist whose contempt for them is manifest.


[1] “The Persecution of Religion Has Begun: How the Obama Administration is targeting Catholics and Conservative Lutherans.”, Russell Shaw,, November 16, 2011.
[2] “Birth Control Mandate Meant to Squeeze Churches Out of Healthcare, says Congressman”,
Lifesitenews, January 27, 2012.
[3] “Religious Leaders Blast HHS over Contraception Mandate”,
Catholic News Agency, January 20, 2012.
[4] From, February 6, 2012. The bishop was read at all Air Force and Navy chapels, but in the army chapels, the chaplains were blocked from reading the line: “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.”
[5] Full statement at Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh website.
[6] Statement of Bishop Edward J. Slattery, “To all the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Tulsa,” February 2, 2012.
[7] “Contraception Mandate Prompts Peoria Bishop to Instate St. Michael”,
EWTN News, Jan. 27, 2012.
[8] “Catholic Urged to Write Congress on Birth Control Mandate”, Reuters, February 5, 2012.
[9] Alinsky’s dedication page in
Rules for Radicals reads: “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical; from all our legends, mythology, and history… the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.” Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, Saul Alinsky [New York: Vintage, 1971].
[10] “The Agitator: Barack Obama’s Unlikely Political Education”, Ryan Lizza, The New Republic, March 19, 2007.
[11] David Alinsky wrote, “Barack Obama's training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness. It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board. When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen. Obama learned his lesson well… The Democratic National Convention had all the elements of the perfectly organized event, Saul Alinsky style... I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008.” “Son Sees Father’s Handiwork at Convention”, David Alinsky, Letters to the Editor,
Boston Globe, Aug. 31, 2008.
[12] Transcript: “Hardball with Chris Matthews,”
MSNBC, December 20, 2010.
Rules for Radicals, p. 11.
[14] Ibid., p. 32.
[15] Ibid., p. 25.
[16] “Alinsky has attracted other, more famous admirers, including Hillary Clinton, who wrote an undergraduate thesis about him…” Ryan Lizza, “The Agitator,”
The New Republic, March 19, 2007.
Reveille for Radicals, Saul Alinsky [New York: Random House, 1969 – Reissue of original 1946 book], p. 150 (emphasis added).
[18] “Obama’s ’New World Order’,”
Phyllis Schlafly Report, March, 2009. (emphasis added)
The Audacity of Hope, Barack Barack Obama [New York: Vintage Books, 2006 – paperback edition], p. 108 (emphasis added).
[20] “Obama plays his Catholic allies for fools,” John Gerson,
Washington Post, January 30, 2012.
[21] “Birth-control fight doesn’t worry Obama Camp”,
Belleview News Democrat, Feb. 6, 2012.
[22] “Obama’s Birth-Control Gamble,”
Politico, Feb. 2, 2012. Emphasis in the original.
[23] “Pope Warns of threat to Freedom of Religion, Conscience in US,”
Catholic News Service, January 19, 2012.

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Posted February 8, 2012
by Catholic Family News

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