Author Donald F. Fausel was raised in the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church, when prescribed beliefs were rarely questioned and blind obedience to authority trumped following one’s conscience. Through a process of developing an informed conscience and learning to think critically, his journey led him to a more responsible faith, while remaining in his Catholic tradition. This memoir recalls Fausel’s life experiences, his reflections on those events, and how they affected his spiritual journey-from his birth in 1929; his formative years; his life in the seminary and ordination in 1957; his nine years in the active ministry, ending with a dispensation from the Vatican in 1972; and his continued journey as a married Catholic. Dr. Fausel reflects on a range of faith-related issues: the differences between faith and beliefs; abortion and artificial birth control; the doctrine of infallibility; the danger of relying solely on the magisterium; the charism of celibacy and mandatory celibacy; the place of women in the church and the ordination of women; the effect of the new cosmology on our image of God and on our place in the Universe. Not only does his memoir frame the events that shaped his life, but it provides reflections to help others in their faith journey.
About the Author:
Donald F. Fausel is a professor emeritus at Arizona State University’s School of Public Program, where he taught and held administrative posts for thirty years. After his retirement in 1998 he was a faculty member at Walden University, where he taught in their Health and Human Services PhD program. He received his licentiate degree in sacred theology (STL) from St. Mary’s Seminary and Pontifical University in Baltimore, MD, and his doctoral degree from Columbia University in New York City. Fausel lives at the Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix with his wife Jane. He can be reached at email@example.com or on his website: www.ReponsibleFaith.com
Customer Reviews from amazon.com
5.0 out of 5 stars This review is from: From Blind Obedience to a Responsible Faith: The Memoir of a Cradle Catholic (Paperback)
This is a great book to be read by all, not only those who grew up in the era of BLIND OBEDIENCE. Those of us who did, never questioned what we were told, because we were afraid to. I agree totally with the author’s view on the “Primacy of Conscience”, something I have come to realize in my own life, as a practicing Catholic. I have recommended the book to many of my friends.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Recounting of Life in Catholicism
By Robert D. Brew –
This review is from: From Blind Obedience to a Responsible Faith: The Memoir of a Cradle Catholic (Paperback)
Dr. Donald F. Fausel has provided a crisp examination of his early Catholic upbringing, life as a priest, husband, stepfather, and professor. His efforts have produced an interesting, reflective, personal story of his trials with leading a celibate life and his adventures after leaving the clergy. He integrates in his memoir world events that shaped his views of the church and his hopes for change within the church. His topics include issues of faith and beliefs, the primacy of conscience and related sociological problems. This memoir is a must read for Catholics and others looking for a delightful read that is both thought provoking and an insider’s view of life within the Catholic Church and much more.
5.0 out of 5 stars From Blind Obedience to a Responsible Faith
By John Rusnak This review is from: From Blind Obedience to a Responsible Faith: The Memoir of a Cradle Catholic (Paperback)
The book is about one man’s spiritual journey. His beginning was initiated within a traditional, religious ethnic worldview of his time, in the author’s case: an Irish Catholic culture of the 1930s and enclosed from the larger American experience. In this restricted culture, Don Fausel received and accepted certain beliefs about all the important questions of life required to progress in his journey through life. The only requirement was blind obedience which was role-modeled by his family, at Catholic schools, and in his parish. There is no doubt that he thrived in those early formative years and then, after high school, chose to be its leader by entering the seminary. After being ordained, he was given the opportunity to pursue further education in Social Work in a New York City University where he was introduced to critical thinking and experienced a larger cultural environment of the 60s that was in dramatic change. The path of his journey began to take a turn from accepting beliefs about life blindly to searching for a responsible faith. This path led him out of the official church into the world of the university and involvement with social action organizations as well as to explore personal and family relationships. At eighty, he is still asking the questions which continue to provide vitality to his living faith.
As I read about Don Fausel’s journey, I was reminded of my own spiritual path, if you will. I would expect any person intent on living a more aware and responsible life would enjoy and benefit from reading this memoir. The path that is described is a path which many of us are on and this story can provide inspiration and motivation to continue walking.. The chapters are divided into two parts: a description of various periods, which include the facts of the author’s life and the second part is his reflections on each period listing the subjective changes that he experienced. The book is an easy read because Dr. Fausel is an accomplished writer.
5.0 out of 5 stars Two books for the price of one!
By Robert S. Byars
This review is from: From Blind Obedience to a Responsible Faith: The Memoir of a Cradle Catholic (Paperback)
I am not a “cradle Catholic”, or even a latter-day Catholic, but I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir of a priest who left the priesthood, partly because of the requirement of mandatory celibacy, but mainly because of his disagreement with other beliefs of the Church. Dr. ausel shares his soul-searching memories of his life as a Catholic from birth throughout his entire life as he approached his 80th birthday. He describes in great detail (with photos) his intimate journey through his times of becoming a priest, his life as a priest (including his first sexual adventures), his growing disenchantment with Church teachings and structure, his separation from the priesthood, his life as a professor and associate dean of social work at Arizona State University, and his varied experiences as husband and step-father. Dr. Fausel shares with the reader his intellectual and emotional struggles with such difficult issues as contraception, abortion, celibacy, dogmatism, and authoritarianism in terms of Church structure.
While I believe this book will have special appeal to Catholic priests who have left the priesthood and for those who want to bring structural and doctrinal change to the Church, I think non-Catholics like me also will find much to like about the book. Only a tiny portion of the population become priests and the world of the priest is a bit mysterious to most non-Catholics. Dr. Fausel’s life as a priest, and later as a family man, reveals that he struggled deeply with the same issues and challenges that almost everyone faces. The chapters move back and forth between recollections and reflections. I found the movement back and forth disconcerting and, at times, jolting. In my opinion, this book could be two books. But think of it this way: the reader gets two books for the price of one!
I highly recommend the book to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
When one dreams alone, it is only a dream.
When many dream together,
it is the beginning of a new reality.
During my professional career as a social worker I was able to engage in a number of activities that focused on macro social change. As a priest in Schenectady, NY, I was on the board of several social agencies that provided an opportunity to put Jesus’ mission of making major changes in the civil and religious institutions of his time. For Jesus, his efforts to make changes on a macro level, eventually lead to his death. If he had lived during the sixties, I suspect that he would have been a Freedom Rider and marched with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to champion the cause of civil rights. My activities in macro social change were much tamer. In Schenectady, in addition to civil right movement, I was involved with the Community Action Programs of the Office of Economic Opportunity, (which was part of the so called War on Poverty), The Laity and Clergy Against the War in Vietnam, and through my professional organization I was an advocate in for the Medicaid program in the mid-sixties.
In Arizona I was elected president of Friends of Welfare Rights, (an advocacy group for welfare recipients); was appointed to the Forster Care Review Board, (an advocacy group for foster children), by Governor Bruce Babbitt; The Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners by Governor Fife Symington III (a board that was responsible for licensing health care professionals) elected as President of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and was president of the Arizona Chapter of Parents Anonymous (an agency to prevent child abuse). I’m presently the president of Dillon Southwest, an international adoption agency. I’m not giving you this information because I’m applying for a job or tenure, but as examples of the types of macro change agencies I was fortunate to be involved in. All these agencies were actively engaged with changing systems to protect different constituencies. Some, like Parents Anonymous also provided services to individual children and parents.
Macro social work practice encompasses a broad spectrum of practice, including planning, program development, community organizing, policy analysis, legislative advocacy, program evaluation, task-oriented group work, community education, and human services management. The macro program prepares students for careers in multiple arenas with a wide range of populations and social problems. It prepared me to follow on the path that Jesus made over 2000 years ago.
Suggested Readings for Macro Social Change
- The Journal for Faith, Spirituality and Social Change—This bi-annual academic journal invites discussion on the dynamic dimensions of inter-faith dialogue and multi-faith action across a range of social change issues. All articles, which are peer reviewed, are freely accessible on-line.
- Journeys into Justice: Religious Collaboratives Working for Social Change—This website provides descriptions of a number of “change” projects that individuals might be interested in joining. It also has inspiring profiles of change agents that include the famous and not so famous and their contributions to positive social change.
- Justice, with Michael Sandel, Harvard University—This website is a course on Justice by Professor Sandel. His class is now open to the world on this website. You can join nearly 1000 students at Harvard’s Sanders Theater to view his interactive lectures about justice, equality, democracy and citizenship by clicking on “Watch Episodes” at the top of the home page; then click on “Visit Community” where he deals with issue of: affirmative action, is torture ever justified, the common good, and many more issues. This is a fantastic website and Michael Sandel is a great teacher. He has been compared to a “rock star” on a recent book/lecture tour of presentations in Asia and he inspired one university in Japan to offer a course based on his recent book, “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?”
- Religion and Social Justice in America by Austin Cline in “about.com,” [May 15, 2010]—The author of this article acknowledges the role that religion has played in social justice, which generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights and recognizes the dignity and worth of every human being, while contemporary fundamentalists’ “…focus on private sexual morality to the exclusion of almost all else.”
- Change.org offers opportunities to engage in a variety of social change projects or even start your own project as a change agent.
- Sojourners, faith, politics, culture—This website includes access to articles in the magazine Sojourners, blogs, and a wealth of information on putting faith into action. It’s “…mission is to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world”.
- The Oxford Center for Religion and Public Life—This article is a brief discussion that focuses on the role of religion in positive social change and through advocacy. After defining and describing advocacy, it looks at how faith traditions can motivate, use their social capital and community base to effect change by advocating for social issues.
- Fausel, D. (2006): Globalization: Opportunities for Positive Social Change. Journal of Social Change. Vol. 1. (3-30) [PDF]—This is the first edition of the Journal of Social Change. The journal includes five articles on social change at the macro level. My article is the first one beginning on page 3. At the end of the article on pages 26 through 30 there is a section on Electronic References for Global Social Change. It provides 25 websites with brief annotations of the content for each site. They are divided into three sections: Macro, Micro and Educational social change.
- Here are two presentations from the website Heaven on Earth Creations. The first one is a preview of a DVD, The Globalized Soul. It features commentary by visionary spiritual activists, such as Rev. James Trapp, Uncle Bob Randall, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Sister Joan Chittister, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, Roshi Joan Halifax, Mirabai Starr and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The preview showcases inspirational sacred music by Enya, Philip Glass, Ravi Shankar, and Harold Grandstaff Moses. It emphasizes the potential for the oneness of our planet. The possibility of the diversity of religions becoming a spiritual e pluribus unum.The second offering is an essay by Kell Kearns, The Consciousness of the Christ: Reclaiming Jesus for the New Humanity. “A humanity free of war, oppression, and fear, born to te realm of endless potential, eternal life, and co-creation of the universe, itself.”
- This religious blog in the Dallas News includes verses of Woody Guthrie’s song, This Land is Your Land, that is often left out from renditions by popular folk singers. The article itself is interesting and shows how songs of social action can contribute to social change, and the comments by respondents are equally interesting.
- The website of the Catholic Worker founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin is a model for how she and those who followed her put into action the teachings of Jesus, particularly as they related to the poor and disadvantaged and how we can make a change in their lives. The website includes an abundance of information about Dorothy and Peter and their work and legacy in the Catholic Worker movement.
Macro Change in the Church
There are a number of catholic organizations whose major focus is making changes in the church. These are loyal Catholics, who might dissent on some issues but have the best interest of their church at heart. One of their goals is for the institutional church to acknowledge and put in action the importance of the “sensus fidelium”, which literally means the “sense of the faithful.” The term originated with the early Church Fathers and has been championed by among others St. John Henry Newman. He wrote in an essay entitled, On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine:
Consulting the people is not to be regarded as just a friendly gesture on the part of the pope or bishops. Consultation is something the laity have a right to expect. Their view may serve at times as a needed witness of truth of a revealed doctrine.
Unfortunately the monarchical structure of the church has ignored the sensus fidelium more often than it has recognized it. I will provide examples in future blogs. Below are just a few of the lay movements working for change in the church.
- American Catholic Council (ACC)—As described on their website: “American Catholic Council is a movement bringing together a network of individuals, organizations, and communities to consider the state and future of our Church. We believe our Church is at a turning point in its history. We recall the promise of the Second Vatican Council for a renaissance of the roles and responsibilities of all the Baptized through a radically inclusive and engaged relationship between the Church and the World. We respond to the Spirit of Vatican II by summoning the Baptized together to demonstrate our re-commitment. We seek personal conversion to renew our Church to conform to the authentic Gospel message, the teachings of our Church, and our lived context in the United States. Our reading of the ‘signs of the times’, as we experience them in the US, our plan and our agenda are set out in our Declaration.”ACC held an Assembly in Detroit in June of 2011, where they had close to two thousand participants from all over the country and as far away as Australia. It brought together some of the major organizations that have been working for social change for years. Their website above, has copies of the Their Mission, The Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibility, Goals, etc. as well as a complete report of the Assembly and opportunities for local groups to be involved in the future. The fact that this meeting was so well planned and it brought together a coalition of groups that had been working independently, I believe is very important sign of the old adage that there is in strength in numbers. If the Tea Party get over 500,000 together in such a short time, why can’t the “sensus fidelium” unite for change?
- Call to Action (CTA)—As they state on their website: “Call To Action draws its mission from the US Bishops’ 1976 Call To Action conference, and the ‘Call for Reform in the Catholic Church’ proclaimed by more than 20,000 signers articulates its goals for our Church. It began as a response to the challenge of the Second Vatican Council, held between 1962 and 1965, for all members to ‘scrutinize the signs of the times’ and respond in the light of the gospel. The council provided a wake-up call for lay Catholics who had tended to defer initiatives entirely to the clergy.”Unfortunately, the bishops who put that movement in motion gradually distanced themselves from CTA because of some church-justice issues. There is a full discussion of the dynamics between the hierarch and the laity under About Us/Our History banner on their website. Without the same backing of the bishops it had originally, the movement became a national movement, focusing on both societal issues and reform in the church.
Voice of the Faithful—As described on their website under the banner Who We Are: “Voice of the Faithful is a lay organization of faithful Catholics, who organized in 2002 as a response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. We started in the basement of a church in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and have since expanded worldwide with more than 30,000 members.
- Support survivors of clergy sexual abuse
- Support priests of integrity
- Shape structural change within the Catholic Church
Our Mission is to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the Spirit, through which the faithful can actively participate in the governance and guidance of the Catholic Church. We work towards achieving our mission by pursuing three goals:
Sadly, many of the bishops in the United States did not favorably respond to the last of the tree goals. My own experience in the diocese of Phoenix Arizona was that our local group in Phoenix was not allowed to hole meetings on any of the Catholic Church’s properties. We met in several libraries. The message I got from that decision by the local bishop was, “So much for the voice of the faithful, that property belongs to me, and your voice isn’t welcome. Just follow the old cliché of “pray, pay and obey”, this is my church.” Arizona wasn’t the only place where VOF wasn’t welcomed by the “high hats” it was widespread throughout the United States.
Future Church—As described in their website under the banner About Us:
Our Mission: Future Church seeks changes that will provide all Roman Catholics the opportunity to participate fully in Church life and leadership.
Our Vision: Future Church works for:
- Just, open and collaborative structures for Catholic worship, organization and governance.
- A return to the Church’s early tradition of both married and celibate priests.
- A return to the Church’s earliest tradition, modeled on the inclusive practice of Jesus, of recognizing both female and male leaders of faith communities.
- Regular access to the Eucharist, the center of Catholic life and worship, for all Catholics.
The website also contains a number of projects that they are working on. For example, A Call for National Dialogue on the Future of Priestly Ministry and has a list of articles on current issues both within the church and the broader community.
National Catholic Reporter (NCR)—Although not a membership organization like the other groups above, the NCR has a broad readership beyond diocesan newspapers. As described on their website under the banner, About Us:
“In 1964, National Catholic Reporter (NCR) began as a newspaper and is now a print and web news source that stands as one of the few, if not the only truly independent, journalistic outlet for Catholics and others who struggle with the complex moral and societal issues of the day. Approximately 23% of the U.S. population identifies itself as Catholic, the largest religious body in this country, and NCR is the only significant alternative Catholic voice that provides avenues for expression of diverse perspectives, promoting tolerance and respect for differing ideas.
NCR is a religious news source with worldly interests; and though a large amount of its reporting deals with issues of the Catholic Church, an equal amount of its coverage is a marriage of the religious, political and social forces shaping public policies and institutions. We are concerned for all people and we are committed to shaping a world that recognizes the dignity of every human being, regardless of religious belief, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other characteristic. Throughout our history, we have been a voice for the disadvantaged and the marginalized, and we have told the stories of injustice that others simply will not print.
Catholica—As described on their website is a cyber initiative that has grown organically from a small group of lay Catholics who first met about five years ago when the CathNews discussion forum was established. They were individuals characterized by a search for a deeper understanding of their faith but, in many cases, also struggling with significant challenges in their own lives.According to their editor, Brian Coyne, “they ended up forming a private cyber community and have organised retreats and meals together and continue to meet with one another both in cyberspace and in their own homes. The friendship extends across the oceans of the world and has led to myriad wonderful relationships and shared experiences. The Catholica initiative seeks to share the wonderful experiences we have had with others, particularly those who might be struggling with challenges in their lives who seek a compassionate ear.None of us pretend to have all the answers and, self-evidently, we don’t think the Church does either. We do believe God has a few answers though and as a Church community we can assist one another in hearing what God’s answers might be.”
The daily topics are interesting, stimulating, often provocative, and draws a very active interaction with a wide variety of opinions. It’s the first e-mail I open up in the morning and if I’m not careful, I could spend most of the rest of the morning, reading and often interacting with others
The National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC)—is a confederation of Catholics and community of men and women of goodwill and conscience who are linked to each other in the common pursuit to promote justice for survivors of sexual abuse especially by any clergy from any and all religious institutions.NSAC celebrates the lives of survivors indelibly marked by courageous suffering and struggle against the burdens of sexual violence and insidious denial. It stands in solidarity with survivors in their lifelong struggles for justice.The scandal of the pedophile priests and the bishops who covered up for them created shock waves throughout the Catholic and non-Catholic communities starting in 2002, when the Boston Globe brought this outrageous behavior to the public’s attention. New cases of child molestation by clergy continue to be reported on a weekly basis both throughout the United States and Europe. Despite the bishops agreement in their meeting in Dallas in 2002, to enforce “zero tolerance”, for pedophile priests, they have shown little leadership in punishing accessory bishops, who allowed this abomination to go on and on. This scandal continues to need more transparency and for bishops to take more responsibility for the actions and lack of actions.
In many cases bishops were, either accessories to the crime before it was committed (moving a known pedophile to a new parish without informing the parishioners) or an accessory after the fact.
Criminal Law Lawyer Source describes an accessory after the fact as “…an individual who knowingly shelters or aids a criminal after they commit a crime. The accessory does so in order to help the felon evade arrest or criminal prosecution.” Even though it might be difficult to legally prove this in court it would get the situation out in the open and expose the type of behavior that was going on among the “High Hats”.
You’ve probably have heard many sermons over the years that bemoan the fact that there are too many in the congregation that are “Sunday Christians”. They come to church regularly to worship, praise and adore Jesus and to give thanks to God for their many blessings, but as soon as the service is over and they rush to the parking lot, it’s every “man” for himself. What happened to their sense of community and resolve to follow Jesus’ example and his admonition to love thy neighbor? Not just at the Sunday service! Perhaps they just don’t know who their neighbor is.
They seem to have forgotten how Jesus replied when a lawyer asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus’ reply was that second to loving God, “To love your neighbor as yourself.” When asked who our neighbor is, He did not answer directly, He went on to tell the parable of the Good Samaritan. Remember, it was the Samaritan, who demonstrated compassion and love by caring for a man dying in the ditch, beaten, naked and abandoned from an assault by robbers? It was not the priest or the Levite who saw him their beaten, naked and abandoned. They passed on to the other side of the road, ignoring the victim. But along came a Samaritan, who instinctively showed his compassion. Hearing this parable at that time in history, must have had an impact on those who questioned Jesus, because they would have been very aware that there was no love lost between the Samaritans, who came from the north and Priest and Levite who came from the south.
When asked, Jesus refuses to define who our neighbor is. Instead he asked a question. “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers hands?” The lawyer who asked the original question sheepishly responded, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said, “Go and do the same.” Jesus’ message is clear; loving our neighbor is not limited to family or friends. It’s showing the love of God to all who are in need, whoever they may be, whatever faith they belong to. His message to us is the same, “Go and do the same.”
For us to follow Jesus, we must reflect God’s love by loving one another. Not just in words, not just to those who share our same beliefs, but by our actions to friends and enemies alike. It’s often easier said than done. Jesus is more direct in Matthew, 25:35, when He reminded us who we needed to serve, “I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me something to drink… I was naked and you gave me clothes…” etc. Then He was even more explicit in the Beatitudes (The Sermon on the Mountain), Matthew 5-6, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” And “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be filled.” Etc. In our current vernacular, He was saying, If you want to follow me, you need to be a “change agent”.
I strongly recommend a website that deals with these issues in great depth, and has references for where to go to get involved in social action projects you might be interested in. The website is Following Jesus. It has examples of how we might follow Jesus almost two thousand years after his birth. For example, homelessness, visiting the sick and imprisoned, caring for the environment, or working for peace and justice, all have excellent references.
One of my good fortunes that I had on my life’s journey was to be sent by my bishop to study social work at Fordham University, so that I eventually could be director of Catholic Charities in Schenectady, NY. At that time I had no idea what social work as a profession was. I just obediently followed his orders. I soon was introduced and embraced social work, its values and it practice model for social change. It opened up a whole new world to me. It became my way of being a change agent and follow the social gospel.
I intend to use what I learned in my social work training as a model of change. It’s not the only model but it made sense to me. Social work is basically grounded in our Judaea/Christian heritage, which believes in the dignity and worth of every human being. It believes that we don’t have to become someone or belong to a certain religion, be of a certain gender or be heterosexual, or a member of a certain social cast or income level, rather just by being a human being we are already someone and we can thankfully accept our rights as outlined in the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just
powers from the consent of the governed…
For me, the social work practice model fits perfectly with my understanding of the type of action to affect change that Jesus might have had in mind for his followers in the 21st century. Social work doesn’t have the corner of the marked on the model I’m going to describe. Change theory is used by different organizational systems to achieve a higher degree of output or self-actualization. One of the differences with social work and other profession who are change orientated is that social work deals with both small and large systems, Micro and Macro. The underlying theory of social work practice for change is Person in Environment (PIE). As the title indicates, the focus for change is both on smaller system, e.g. individuals, families and small social networks (Micro); while the focal point of Macro practice is on changing larger systems, such as neighborhoods, communities, governments, and other organizations. That is, those systems that impinge on individuals and other smaller systems. Macro practice encompasses a broad spectrum of practice, including planning, program development, community organizing, policy analysis, legislative advocacy, program evaluation, task-oriented group work, community education, and human services management.
PIE is a holistic, since it is interested in effected change at different levels and takes into consideration cultural diversity. For example, a person who is homeless and hungry has an immediate need for shelter and food. Since a hungry person cannot eat retroactively, and has an immediate need for food, we follow Jesus’ example by providing food to the hungry person, but from a macro perspective we need to help change the other systems that might be causing the problem of hunger and homelessness. This could require advocating for jobs or job training, affordable housing, or programs to meet their needs until they can support themselves. We need to play both the role of enabler, by helping the person become capable of coping with situations or transitional stress by meeting their immediate needs and advocating for the resources they need to be able to pursue what Franklin D. Roosevelt – The Four Freedoms in his address to Congress on June 6, 1941. The third and fourth freedoms are particularly appropriate for macro change:
The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.
FDR goes on to articulate what I believe is a mandate for our engaging in social change. A mandate that I believe Jesus would have given if he lived in America in the 21st century.
Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change, in a perpetual peaceful revolution, a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions—without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society. From Congressional Record, 1941, Vol. 87, Pt. I.
For a powerpoint presentation on Social Change and Social Action that I developed when I was teaching at Walden University, click here. It provides:
- A Definition of Social Change
- Theories of Social Change
- Roles of Social Change Agents
- Ameliorator—Health and human service workers
- Social Reformer—Legislative Activists
- Social Actionists—Saul Alinski, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Rebel—Students for a Democratic Society
- Revolutionaries—Simbinese Liberation Army
- Strategies of Social Action