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Under the radar: Massive relief fund diversion underway
Commentary by Parker T. Williamson, The Layman
Presbyterian Church (USA) and disaster relief officials of other denominations have forged "Action by Churches Together (The ACT Alliance)," a common pot from which to disburse an anticipated $1.5 billion annual flow of parishioner compassion.
Those who read the fine print learn that two ladles may be dipped into that pot. One is publicly touted as "aid and development," while the less advertised dipper is called "advocacy," a.k.a politics.
With their advocacy tool, church bureaucrats can channel disaster windfalls into a wide range of community organizing projects, including "public campaigning and actions," "lobbying and policy engagement." "targeting international institutions." and working for "changes in structures and systems which impoverish and marginalize people." ACT defines its work with broad brush strokes: "For the ACT Alliance, the understanding of which activities are included as part of advocacy is a wide one."
According to a definition that appears in the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance's 2006 guideline, advocacy includes "action on political, economic, cultural and social issues by churches and their members, church-related agencies and other organizations which aims to influence policies and practices of those in position of power and influence in order to bring about a more just peaceful and sustainable world."
The fund will be facilitated by a select, 18-member staff group at the World Council of Churches (WCC) headquarters called "The Secretariat."
The ACT Alliance is authorized "to increase its effectiveness" by using contributions from Christians to fund non-Christian "civil society groupings," that in some places "will be a major driver in deterining the organization's advocacy agenda and the position taken."
The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is a theologically conservative evangelical Protestant Christian denomination, the second largest Presbyterian church body in the United States after the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The PCA professes a strong commitment to evangelism, missionary work, and Christian education. The church declares its goal to be "faithful to the Scriptures, true to the Reformed faith, and obedient to the Great Commission."
The early part of the twentieth century saw continued growth in both major sections of the church.
It also saw the growth of Fundamentalist Christianity (a movement of those who believed in the literal interpretation of the Bible as the fundamental source of the religion) as distinguished from Modernist Christianity (a movement holding the belief that Christianity needed to be re-interpreted in light of modern scientific theories such as evolution or the rise of degraded social conditions brought on by industrialization and urbanization).
Originally posted by sdcigarpig
This is the best reason for the separation of church and state.