Thursday, January 01, 2015

Archbishop Chaput Comments On Saul Alinsky

Quoting from Archbishop Chaput's 2014 Erasmus Lecture:

The late Saul Alinsky called himself a radical, and he was clearly good at what he did. But I’ve always felt that his book, Rules for Radicals, was a kind of “Machiavelli for people with short attention spans.” His rules, pressure tactics, deceits, manipulations, and organizing skills are finally based on a fraud. They’re not “progressive” at all. They’re the same tired grasping for power that made the world what it is. The truth is, Alinsky wasn’t nearly radical enough. Radical means this:

Blessed are the peacemakers.
Blessed are the merciful.
Blessed are the pure in heart.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for ­righteousness.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven; for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.

We don’t need to succeed in living the Beatitudes. But we do need to try—every day, consciously, with all our hearts. If we do that, the Beatitudes irresistibly transform the world by transforming us.