From the Catholic Campaign of Human Development to ACORN

How The U.S. Bishops Helped Elect Barack Hussein Obama

R. Cort Kirkwood


The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.

…St. John Chrysostom

Much to their credit, more than a few brave American Catholic bishops clearly explained a Catholic’s responsibility when he entered the voting booth on Nov. 4. He must, the bishops said, vote against the pro-abortion candidate.

Bishop Rene Gracida of Corpus Christi, explained it thusly in a radio advertisement: “This is Bishop Rene H. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience. A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate.”

Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton, Pa., where vice president-elect Joe Biden lives, offered this admonition to Catholic voters: “Catholics may not turn away from the moral challenge that abortion poses for those who seek to obey God’s command. They are wrong when they assert that abortion does not concern them, or that it is only one of a multitude of issues of equal importance. No, the taking of innocent life is so heinous, so horribly evil, and so absolutely opposite to the law of the Almighty God that abortion must take precedence over every other issue. I repeat. It is the single most important issue confronting not only Catholics, but the entire electorate.”

Said Bishop Robert E. Finn of Kansas City, “Give consideration to your eternal salvation.” By voting for the pro-abortion candidate, he said, “you make yourself a participant in the act of abortion. That’s gravely wrong.”

Lower down the clerical food chain, Father John Corapi, the inspirational homilist, was also firm on the point in his video election alert: “No other issue takes precedence” over the right to life, he said. “Any Catholic who votes for a pro-abortion candidate is cooperating in gross, moral evil … regardless of your intention, you are perpetuating, you are securing, a gross evil, genocide. … Every one of us who votes for a pro-abortion candidate is voting for evil.”

Of course, the bishops and Father Corapi could not encourage anyone to vote against the pro-abortion candidate by name since that would likely endanger the tax-exempt status of the Church. That is why Gracida and Finn did not say: Don’t vote for Barack Obama or Vote for John McCain. Rather, they said: You cannot vote for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is pro-abortion. So they offered firm direction guided by Catholic moral and theological teaching, albeit with a wink.

Funding Obama

Everyone knew which candidate they were talking about: Barack Hussein Obama. Everyone knew which candidate represents the baby killers at Planned Parenthood: Barack Hussein Obama. And everyone knew which candidate thinks killing infants who survive abortion is a legitimate “choice”: Barack Hussein Obama. This isn’t to say John McCain is always pro-life. He isn’t. In 1999, he said he didn’t think the Supreme Court should rush to overturn Roe v. Wade, the unconstitutional death sentence for 50 million unborn since 1973. In 2008, he said it was bad law and flatly declared that life begins at conception. In January, he favored embryonic stem-cell research but his website seems to contradict that position.

So the ex-fighter pilot dropped ordnance all over the place, perhaps to protect his right flank. Mr. Obama didn’t. His ordinance hit his target: the unborn. The National Abortion Rights Action League gives him a 100 percent rating to McCain’s 0. Mr. Obama’s first act in office, he says, will be to sign the federal Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which would codify the mass murder of unborn children. As a state senator, he thrice voted against requiring hospitals to provide medical care to abortion survivors, now a federal law, because it would undermine the “right” to abortion. He believes that a baby “punishes a mother who is too young. Forget about his associations with communists, terrorists and racists, Mr. Obama is the High Priest of the Church of Abortion. If he’s not the anti-Christ he does a pretty good imitation.

And so the bishops were clear on the Catholic voter’s responsibility. A Catholic could not vote for Barack Hussein Obama in good conscience, and committed a mortal sin if he did so. While this implicit instruction from the bishops was welcome, it didn’t affect Mr. Obama’s support among a majority of Catholics. Of the 10 states with the largest Catholic populations, California Catholic Daily reported, all of them voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Obama. He won 54 percent of the Catholic vote overall.

What most anti-Obama Catholics likely don’t know, however, is this: The shepherds of the Church had already undermined their own admonition against voting for Mr. Obama by playing a significant, if indirect, role in electing him. Through the Catholic Campaign For Human Development (CCHD), the American Bishops had bankrolled the left-wing radical Association of Community Organizations For Reform Now (ACORN), which the federal government is currently investigating for voter registration fraud. Mr. Obama worked for ACORN in his legal and “community organizing” days, and it became an arm of his presidential campaign.

In the last decade, CCHD shoveled $7.3 million into ACORN by subsidizing its city affiliates across the country. From 2004 to 2007, CCHD gave the ACORN radicals $4 million. In 2007 alone, it gave ACORN $1.1 million. They were scheduled for another 1.13 million in 2008 until CCHD terminated its funding after ACORN’s president was charged with embezzling more than $1 million from the group in 1999 and 2000. Just after that, of course, ACORN’s voter registration fraud became front-page news. That crime inspired the bishops to hire forensic accountants to sift through the mess.

But the damage was done.


ACORN is a radical leftist group that wants to reorganize society along Marxist lines. ACORN is well known for its radical politics, and five minutes of Internet searching will reveal its plans for American society. Like many radical leftist groups, it follows the organizing principles of atheist Saul Alinsky — the left-wing revolutionary who wrote the book “Rules for Radicals” with the goal of overturning the American social order. 

Alinsky expressed his theology in a famous quote: “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), 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.”

As Stephanie Block reported at Catholic in September, ACORN is just one of the many Alinskyian organizations subsidized by CCHD. Yet, Bloch reported,

Relatively little from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection goes to “help the poor.” Alinskyian networks are political. They work closely with politicians — such as Obama — and other organizations that are fighting for abortion and homosexual “rights.” Acorn’s “People’s Platform” has nothing in common with Catholic social justice teaching and everything in common with socialism....

This has serious ramifications for Catholics. The Alinskyian networks operate ecumenically and include numerous Catholic parishes. The Catholics involved in the extensive training these networks offer are not catechized in Catholic principles of social activism or political analysis but in Marxist analysis and praxis. Their worldview is marred by visions of class struggle and perpetual revolution. They are systematically trained to renounce moral truth in favor of consensus-based “values.”

Catholics trained in Alinskyian thought become confused about the comparative moral weight of the issues they encounter in the public arena.

An example of Acorn’s “organizing,” which is often lobbying, is its role in the financial meltdown of the American economy in 2008. It was one of the groups behind the federal Community Reinvestment Act, which forced banks to make home loans to unqualified minorities and led to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown that flattened the stock market and economy in October.

Its agenda has never been secret, and banks, corporations, and, of course, the federal government subsidize it. And Mr. Obama? He was a lawyer for ACORN, taught its organizers Alinsky’s tactics and ran its Project Vote effort in 1992, which earned him ACORN’s backing for the Illinois Senate that would catapult him into fame.

With CCHD’s help, ACORN pushed Mr. Obama into the White House. Its blatant partisanship, which violated the same law that forbids our bishops to directly tell Catholic voters they may vote or not vote for a certain candidate, shined forth at its convention in Detroit in August. Jim Wallis, a minister and president of the leftist Sojourners magazine, had this to say about Mr. Obama at ACORN’s microphone: “The dominance of the religious right over our religion and politics in America is finally finished. We’ve got a choice to make … I know this young brother [Mr. Obama]. I’ve known him for ten years. He wants to change things.”

Proclaimed Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, a leftist congresswoman from Michigan, “I believe with ACORN’s help we will elect a new president. He’ll be a Democratic president. And his name will be Sen. Barack Obama. We need your help. We need your help. We need your help. We need all of you to mobilize so that Sen. Obama actually wins … to rebuild a new America.”

Claiming President Bush “stole” the 2000 and 2004 elections, Rep. Maxine Waters, the bitter leftist Nutocrat from California, was even more frank: “You’ve got to know and understand … that Bush has failed. … This has been the worst presidency that this country has ever known. But that’s all right. Because we’re gettin’ rid of his ass. We want a new America.”

Yes, American congresswomen speak like that these days!

President Obama will indeed pay them back. At the Heartland Institute presidential forum in December 2007, a “community activist” asked if Mr. Obama would commit to meeting with community organizers within his first 100 days. “Yes,” Mr. Obama promised, “but before I even get inaugurated, during the transition we’re gonna be calling all of you in … to help shape the agenda. We’re gonna be having meetings all across the country with community organizations. So you have input in the agenda of the next president of the United States of America.”

And what agenda would that be? ACORN’s agenda, the agenda our Catholic bishops have been subsidizing with more than $1 million annually, or about 5 percent of CCHD’s grants, Block reported.  And now, of course, Mr. Obama is preparing to pay back Planned Parenthood, as well.

Subsidizing Fraud, Promoting Abortion

So, thanks to their ignorance and the leftist subalterns who have the keys to their financial kingdom, American bishops funded an anti-Christian, anti-American leftist organization. Along with that, the bishops inadvertently helped subsidize embezzlement and nationwide voter registration fraud. ACORN is under investigation (or its officials are under indictment) in at least 10 states as of this writing.

In July 2007, prosecutors in Washington state filed felony charges against seven ACORN workers in connection with the largest case of voter registration fraud in the state’s history. ACORN agreed to pay $25,000 for the costs of the investigation.

In Milwaukee, ACORN volunteers also used felons to register voters.  It was likely connected, given its all-out push to register as many Obama voters as possible, to the illegal registration of felons to vote in Florida, as well. Across the country, voter registrars discovered fraud that reached its comic apogee when “Mickey Mouse” turned up on the rolls in Florida, where one voter was registered 21 times. Helping fund all this chicanery was The Anointed One himself, whose campaign gave ACORN $800,000.

Sad thing is, as Deal Hudson concluded in his article on CCHD, “99% of Catholics in the pews haven’t any idea of how much they have invested in building the political infrastructure that has now been activated to support Obama.”

It’s likely that neither do 99 percent of the bishops, whose chanceries over the past four decades have been occupied by homosexuals and ideological leftists who are enemies of the Church. But the bishops, not their subalterns, are responsible for subsidizing ACORN. And so are the Catholics who supported, ideologically and financially, their endeavors.

Catholics, as I have reported before, are largely to blame for legal abortion. Now this—a direct role in sending an anti-Christian, pro-abortion radical to the White House.

May God have mercy on us all.

R. Cort Kirkwood last wrote for The Remnant about the origins of the sub-prime mortgage collapse. He is the author of Real Men: Ten Courageous Americans To Know And Admire.