• “Real” Social Justice. Yesterday’s posting on the true meaning of social justice as not being a form of socialism got rave reviews from most of the people who actually read it. The only negative came from an “anarcho-socialist” who insisted that only anarcho-socialism leads to social justice. We couldn’t figure out how anarchy (which is individualistic) and socialism (which is collectivistic) fitted together, but the commentator claimed that’s because we’re stupid and don’t understand socialism or anarchism. We called to mind George Bernard Shaw’s accusation against G.K. Chesterton that Chesterton didn’t understand socialism when he was a socialist and then when he wasn’t . . . which Shaw then undermined by claiming that everything is socialism . . . which meant that Chesterton didn’t understand anything. . . .
• Justice University. The first session of Justice University’s next certification series will begin tomorrow and continue for ten weeks. While the “live” course is limited to ten participants (and has already been filled), the sessions will be recorded for use by others later, free of charge. Listening to the sessions will not, of course, meet the requirements for certification (there are “class participation” requirements), but they will be very useful for deepening understanding of the Just Third Way. Tomorrow’s session will be on justice, and the main presenter will be Michael D. Greaney, CESJ’s Director of Research. Norman G. Kurland, president of CESJ, and Dawn K. Brohawn, CESJ’s Director of Communication, will also be on the panel to offer additional comments and clarifications, as well as answer questions from the participants.
|"I NEED $2,000,000 per year retirement."|
• Wuerling Finance. While not the main point of an article in Catholic World Report, a mention that in 2020 retired Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, DC, received over $2 million for “ministerial activities” ostensibly “restricted” by the donors that does not actually appear to have been “restricted” by the donors highlights how easy it is for people to confuse an issue when the public is unaware of, or misunderstands a few basic principles or technical details. Auditors say they have been unable to surface records of how the money was spent and who contributed/restricted it, but that’s just a matter of time. While the form is not open to public inspection (because you don’t want people pirating your donors away from you, and the IRS respects that), the 990 Schedule B lists any individual or organization that contributed $5,000 or more to a non-profit. Auditors should demand to see Schedule B. Further, an un-itemized line item of over $2 million is “material,” and auditors have the responsibility both ethically and legally to demand an accounting from management, which must satisfy the auditors or risk an adverse opinion . . . which in accounting is a lot worse than just saying mean things about someone.
|How non-profit accounting looks to some people.|
• How the Restricted Donation Game Works. Even if donations or grants are “restricted” — meaning they can ONLY be used for a specified purpose — there are ways around it, as organizations such as Planned Parenthood have known for decades, especially with the “United Way/Combined Federal Campaign” program. It works like this. People who, for example, object to their tax money or charitable giving going for something they find morally repugnant are told that they can restrict their donation so that none of it goes to Planned Parenthood, or it cannot be used to fund abortion. Problem solved? No, problem made worse. Suppose PP is budgeted to receive half of what is collected in a campaign, and $100,000 is collected in unrestricted donations. If it stops there, PP will receive $50,000. Organizers of the campaign discover, however, that a lot of people didn’t contribute because they didn’t want PP to get their money. The organizers go to the holdouts and reassure them that if they restrict their donations, PP will not get one cent of their money . . . which is absolutely true, but completely misleading. If the former holdouts contribute $100,000, the total received increases to $200,000, of which $100,000 is restricted. Assuming that the restricted donations do not decrease the amounts budgeted for organizations besides PP, does that mean that PP receives less money? No, it receives more money! Because PP was slated to receive half of everything collected, its share doubles to $100,000 simply because the amount of money collected was doubled. The only way to reduce PP’s take is to restrict enough donations to reduce the unrestricted donations to less than PP’s budgeted amount. Thus, to keep PP at $50,000, $150,000 would have to be restricted, not $100,000. The only way to reduce PP’s take would be to restrict more than $150,000.
|The same money, just a different place.|
• How the Government Funding Game Works. The process is similar for government grants or funding that is restricted. If PP budgets $50,000 for abortion out of a budget of $100,000, and the government gives PP funds that cannot be used for abortion, PP simply moves unrestricted money out of non-abortion purposes and into abortion, replacing it with the government money. Government funds in the amount of $50,000 for non-abortion services ends up increasing funding for abortion by $50,000!
• Economic Personalism Landing Page. A landing page for CESJ’s latest publication, Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, has been created and can be accessed by clicking on this link. Everyone is encouraged to visit the page and send the link out to their networks.
• Economic Personalism. When you purchase a copy of Economic Personalism: Property, Power and Justice for Every Person, be sure you post a review after you’ve read it. It is available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble at the cover price of $10 per copy. You can also download the free copy in .pdf available from the CESJ website. If you’d like to order in bulk (i.e., ten or more copies) at the wholesale price, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for details. CESJ members get a $2 rebate per copy on submission of proof of purchase. Wholesale case lots of 52 copies are available at $350, plus shipping (whole case lots ONLY). Prices are in U.S. dollars.
• Sensus Fidelium Videos, Update. CESJ’s series of videos for Sensus Fidelium are doing very well, with nearly 150,000 views in total. The latest Sensus Fidelium video is “A Theory of Human Dignity,” part of the series on the book, Economic Personalism. The latest completed series on “the Great Reset” can be found on the “Playlist” for the series. The previous series of sixteen videos on socialism is available by clicking on the link: “Socialism, Modernism, and the New Age,” along with some book reviews and other selected topics. For “interfaith” presentations to a Catholic audience they’ve proved to be popular, edging up to 150,000 views to date. They aren’t really “Just Third Way videos,” but they do incorporate a Just Third Way perspective. You can access the playlist for the entire series The point of the videos is to explain how socialism and socialist assumptions got such a stranglehold on the understanding of the role of the State and thus the interpretation of Catholic social teaching, and even the way non-Catholics and even non-Christians understand the roles of Church, State, and Family, and the human person’s place in society.
|"For CESJ? Excellent!"|
• Shop online and support CESJ’s work! Did you know that by making your purchases through the Amazon Smile program, Amazon will make a contribution to CESJ? Here’s how: First, go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Next, sign in to your Amazon account. (If you don’t have an account with Amazon, you can create one by clicking on the tiny little link below the “Sign in using our secure server” button.) Once you have signed into your account, you need to select CESJ as your charity — and you have to be careful to do it exactly this way: in the space provided for “Or select your own charitable organization” type “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington.” If you type anything else, you will either get no results or more than you want to sift through. Once you’ve typed (or copied and pasted) “Center for Economic and Social Justice Arlington” into the space provided, hit “Select” — and you will be taken to the Amazon shopping site, all ready to go.
• Blog Readership. We have had visitors from 35 different countries and 38 states and provinces in the United States and Canada to this blog over the past week. Most visitors are from the United States, Portugal, India, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. The most popular postings this past week in descending order were “‘All Products Will Have Become Services’,” “1. Five Roadblocks to Social Justice: Social Justice!,” “Two Modern Problems,” “JTW Podcast: Economic Personalism, Introduction,” and “Social Justice IV: The Characteristics of Social Justice.”
Those are the happenings for this week, at least those that we know about. If you have an accomplishment that you think should be listed, send us a note about it at mgreaney [at] cesj [dot] org, and we’ll see that it gets into the next “issue.” Due to imprudent language on the part of some commentators, we removed temptation and disabled comments.