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Busting FAST’s “Not Political” Myth.

FASTFlierapoliticalclaimclipThe Liberal Political Group FAST likes to tell parishioners that the group is not political.  This deception was clearly exposed this week as FAST continued to push its political agenda using strong arm political power tactics.  The latest chapter is the attempt by FAST to push a “local hiring preference” ordinance in St. Petersburg that would basically amount to the group supporting breaking the 7th commandment: “Thou Shall not Steal”.  That can be added to another common sin of FAST: Bearing False witness. The sins of FAST have been discussed here at Sun Beam Times on many occasions, but this particular deception is important to expose since the group uses the “apolitical” lie to recruit members and continued to grow its power base.

SykesandFASTatStpetecitycouncilonlocalhiringordinanceThe pictures of the large FAST crowds at a City council meeting standing as a FAST leader addresses city council demonstrates their political mission.  The group is pushing politicians to pass a “local hiring preference” law: a political act. The group has a well organized political machine modeled after Saul Alinsky’s community organizing groups such as those spawned by Industrial Areas Foundation, PICO, Gamaliel and DART (Fast’s parent). FAST is run by an elite group of leaders that are not elected and have an agenda handed to them from above by other elite groups affiliated with a more remote group called “the Organizer’s Forum” including Acorn leader Wade Rathke, SEIU leader Andy Stern and Tides Foundation’s Drummond Pike (a George Soros affiliate). The modus operandi of all these groups is political power to coerce a liberal agenda in governments.  FAST likes to cloak itself in religion, but the failure to speak the truth about the political nature of the group is immoral. Pushing for laws that amount to theft (e.g. the local hiring ordinance) is likewise immoral (the local hiring preference is exceptionally unjust and is the true opposite of the so called “Social Justice” sought by FAST).   

The myth that Fast is “not political” is defended vociferously by its advocates.  For instance, in a June 2012 bulletin from holy Family Catholic Church, a flier was included that insisted that “Fast is not a political organization” (excerpts pictured above).  Any conversation with Bishop Lynch of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg and Father Tapp, one of the Executive Committee members, will include denials that the group is political.  They will usually erect a straw man argument to deny that the group is either “Democrat” or “Republican” and assert that people of all political persuasions participate.  This is a diversionary tactic and misses the point about what a political organization is.  In this case, it is quite clear that FAST has one and only one mission, as they state: “To hold systems accountable”.  They do this by working in local governments to push their political agenda with the implied threat of thousands of parishioners being united to vote as a block on command.  That is part of the reason that 3000 people are pulled together in the annual “Nehemiah Action Assembly” to applaud on command.  The leaders of FAST want to demonstrate to elected officials that they can produce votes on command.  (That is a sad form of a “social injustice” since it disrespects the individual dignity of man and their right to make their own decisions based on their free will, not based on the demands of a political machine).Why would an organization like FAST claim to be “apolitical”?  In the Catholic Church at least it is necessary to create the illusion that the pastors, who are leading the effort in firm control, are not participating in political leadership. That is a violation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states that the Pastors should not lead on political matters, but only lay Catholics should (paragraph 2224).  It is also important since the church’s tax exempt status requires that they not participate in political activity or report the percentage of their activity that is political.  In the case of FAST, one needs to consider more than the 2% of the church budget mandated to pay FAST staff for each member congregation. One must consider the cost of printing endless fliers in bulletins and dedication of staff at the church to help organize FAST activities.  That is in addition to the countless volunteer hours from parishioners to engage in FAST activities.  In addition, parishioners are being deceived to believe that they are helping to promote social justice and are likely to shy away from supporting a group that is political.  Also, by claiming the group is not political, they hope to avoid critique from those in the church with a different political philosophy than that of FAST’s – at least until it is too late to stop the group from forming.

Parishioners need to rethink the role of FAST in their church.  If you are in a FAST congregation, demand that the Pastor hold a parish wide meeting with an open question and answer session about the group. Discuss the plusses and minuses. The Sun Beam Times can help you find a person to attend such a meeting to help ask the hard questions your Pastor will attempt to avoid to even discuss.  The fact that the Pastor does not even want an open discussion about FAST should tell you all you need to know about his decision to involve your parish and the group itself.  Most Pastors know that if FAST were held up to an honest process of scrutiny and discernment, it would be rejected by the Parish outright. They fear they will be exposed for providing what Jesus called the “Leaven of the Pharisees” – which is hypocrisy. The church leaders have misled their flock such that “those with eyes could not see and those with ears could not hear”.   Those that turn to God and follow his wish that men use their free will and respect their own individual dignity will see the truth.

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4 Replies:

  1. ron thompson

    Apolitical means they do not advocate FOR or AGAINST a candidate or party. The FAST method, regardless of source, is to bring citizens together to hold tepresentatives, once elected, to their job of spending public money wisely. FAST does not advocate raising taxes or fees, but applying existing money in smarter ways, to acheive citizen driven goals. How anyone could find fault with this is baffling.

    There are no VOTE ROMNEY signs, speeches, flyers, or VOTE OBAMA. For that matter, there is not even voter registration drives, GOTV, or poll travel. FAST IS APOLITICAL

    FAST is NOT driven top down, like ALEC, dccc, NRA, or national (non-local) tea party oorganizations. The annual “listening cycle” begins in homes, rolls up to parishes where issues are ranked and submitted. The top issues are redistributed for votes by parishoner
    s to choose county priorities for FAST for the year. This process is well known, and to accuse otherwise is to mislead. The same process is used by sister organizations working at the county level in Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, elsewhere in Florida, Virgina, Ohio and other states. DART helps local organizations understand HOW to work together, but could not care less what local issue they choose. If many localities choose the same issue, its because many cities suffer the same problems, and elected reps keep spending money on last years programs for next years problems.

    This is the same objective of the Tea Party, Unions, AntiWar protesters, abortion protestors, MinimumWage protesters, or almost every group you see on street crners waving signs.

    And as for the parable of the leavening, it shows arrogance to assume yourself an apostle and your opponent a Pharisee, when the exact opposite may just as likely be true.

  2. Sun Beam Times Post author

    Ron, you have proven my point that FAST is indeed political when you wrote this:

    “This is the same objective of the Tea Party, Unions, AntiWar protesters, abortion protestors, MinimumWage protesters, or almost every group you see on street crners waving signs.”

    The fact is that FAST uses political means to gain political objectives: community organizing, voting blocks, pressuring politicians to vote certain ways and messaging its members to mobilize them to pass or defeat certain laws. Your very narrow definition of not supporting a candidate does not negate the fact that this is a political organization.

    As for your comment on Apostles vs. Pharisees, the fact is that the Pastors are acting hypocritically by taking money from the offertory against the will of those who disagree with the FAST agenda, refusing to allow a full bottom up democratic process and suppressing dissent. The methods of DART are well known to be “top-down” and are described in other posts regarding FAST.

  3. Ron Thompson

    OK, we are using different definitions of the common word “political”. The better term for FAST is “non-partisan”. Otherwise all “social” interactions are “political”. If some people at my bowling league are starting a whisper campaign to get their favorite restaurant selected for the Christmas party, is that “political”? Actually, yes. Is it Partisan? No. If the same bowling league took my dues to buy a banner to say “abortion kills babies”, that would definitely be political / partisan, as it does not represent the opinion of people who joined a bowling league to go bowl.

    People who join a church go for many reasons, one is for community outreach and charity. FAST / DART (HOPE, etc) are BOTTOM UP groups that perform these church driven functions in their local communities (at the county level). Each member of each church brings issues forward, votes are taken within churches, and churches vote within the country structure. To say that there is some “mysterious” central organization with some central agenda is pure fiction.

    Whatever issue FAST addresses any given year is selected by church members from churches within Pinellas. The same for the other DART started organizations in Hillsbough, Ohio and Virginia. The local residents identify the most important local issue and that issue becomes the group focus for the year. If many counties happen to select similar issues, it is because those counties have similar problems identified by their own local churchgoers. Not because some big, scary leader his his hands on some secret lever.

    I will clarify my comments, around the confusing accusation of “political”, as I mean to say that FAST is not “Partisan” (ie, “Vote for Joe” or “Repeal Amendment X”), but it IS political, in the way Jesus throwing the money changers out of the temple, by that definition, was a “political” act. He tried to rally the social perception of a standing rule that had fallen into disrespect, to reinvigorate its enforcement as an identified problem. You might say FAST looks to use that very biblical model of the religiously active holding institutional leaders to task, a noble calling that seems impossible to discredit if you really work with them in a day to day manner.

  4. Sun Beam Times Post author

    Mr. Thompson,
    Finally you realize that the church Group FAST is political. Thus they are using the offertory from parishioners to support political activity that some of the parishioners oppose.

    As a person who attempted to work on FAST, and was denied access to its committees, denied ability to elect representatives or to any opportunity to change the agenda, I can promise you it is a “top Down” group. The Pastor openly and proudly advises me and all others that it is NOT a democratic organization. No “mysterious” connection of FAST to DART and the Organizers Forum is needed. Merely read the open facts they admit to as reported here on the Sun Beam Times.

    FAST’s Top Down techniques and leadership: http://www.sunbeamtimes.com/2012/03/15/fasts-community-organizing-and-progressive-pedigree-saul-alinsky-acorn-unions-george-soros-and-big-government-at-core/

    FAST”s top-down techniques. http://www.sunbeamtimes.com/2012/03/08/fast-an-anti-democratic-religious-oligarchy-unjustly-suppressing-dissent/

    All FAST articles:http://www.sunbeamtimes.com/category/activists/fast/

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