The first Catholic Parish Workshop that the OWLS and Tea Party members attended in the City of Hidalgo was a study in a narrow minded, controlling demagogue that also happens to be a Catholic priest.
We learned that Father Jerry Frank was not going to allow any negative discussion on the Healthcare District or non-parish members to speak. We were quietly listening but he began a tirade on OWLS, Tea Parties, and parish non-members. We hadn’t even opened our mouth to say anything.
Almost every Parish Workshop the Rev. Frank hosted was the same. He attacked the OWLS and Tea Party for showing up and being disruptive. The OWLS and Tea Party were never disruptive. Disruptions only occurred when other Catholics wanted to comment or ask a question or members of the parish actively balked at his imposed limitations on discussion.
One notable meeting was in McAllen at Sacred Heart. He asked all the members of the Parish to sit on one side of the sanctuary in the front pews. Parishioners resisted verbally. Father Jerry even charged up to one veteran and parish member and spoke loudly in his face that it was his meeting and he was going to run it the way he wanted. If the veteran had PTSD, the priest would never have gotten up off the floor. It was an in your face verbal attack.
The only time that a decent balanced discussion took place was at St. Paul’s in Mission. There, the Parish Priest insisted on a balance pro and con discussion. Father Jerry played el pollo and did not show up.
We learned the Father Jerry believes in the principles found in Saul Alinsky’s pamphlet, “Rules for Radicals.” You know, where the ends justify the means. He also likes the money going to clinics that include abortions and believes that Anglos are the problem in the Rio Grande Valley.
There are other interesting developments before the Healthcare District vote has even taken. We have learned that Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia is going to appoint Rev. Frank as chairman of the Healthcare Board. Also, that the local Hospitals have agreed to a split of the revenue from this new tax. What is the board going to do? They can’t elect their own Chairman and revenue spending is already determined?
It is time to go back to the drawing board, not the lobbyist board, and write a simple bill that doesn’t add a large undefined and perhaps uncontrollable bureaucracy and new tax rate to one of the poorest counties in the state with one of the highest tax rates. Comments in the workshops that the poor will have to make hard choices to pay the increased tax or buy food for the table are a cry for help.
Unfortunately, not all the poor understand the balancing act. They think they have been promised a panacea. It is a typical progressive trick that we can tax ourselves to prosperity.