Michael Gaynor
THE DEVIL was the tempter and Jesus was NOT a deceiver, Doug Giles
By Michael Gaynor
March 8, 2010

Ms. Giles may well bring down the heavenly house for good intentions and be excused for overzealousness as a result of being confused/used by her father and others in the pursuit of a noble end, but I doubt that Ms. Giles will receive a single clap, much less a heavenly ovation, for her B-roll work.

A "good deed" of Dawn Eden and William Doino — a thoughtful article titled "Tricks Are for Kids: O'Keefe arrest shows dangers of conservatives' love affair with Rules for Radicals" and dated February 9, 2010 (www.bustedhalo.com/features/tricks-are-for-kids") — elicited the wrath of an irate B-roll producer (Christian Hartsock) and then an irate father (Doug Giles) in rambling "rebuttal" articles long on ridicule and short on reason.

Giles, pastor father of "Pimp and Pro" ACORN sting "Pro" Hannah Giles, just weighed in wackily on a very important subject in "Should Christians Use Saul Alinsky's Tactics in Exposing Corruption?" (http://biggovernment.com/dgiles/2010/03/07/should-christians-use-saul-alinskys-tactics-in-exposing-corruption/).

Giles: "Here's my take on whether or not Jesus and the Bible are cool with deceit for righteous purposes. First off, when I'm talking about Jesus, I'm talking about the one in the Bible who methodically made a whip and beat the religious hucksters out of the temple (that's not very Christlike, eh Dawn?), purposely picked fights with sanctimonious toads and political pukes, and instructed his disciples to be 'shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves' (Mt. 10:16). Or, as my King Doug Contra Mundus Translation interprets the original Greek text, 'be as clever as the Devil.' Yep, good old Jesus said it's okay to imitate the serpent in regard to cleverness; just be righteous in spirit and desired goals."

Giles insisted that "Jesus wouldn't give a flip about [the] mad methods [of James O'Keefe, Hannah Giles and Lila Rose] but would instead applaud their efforts... because the Scripture doesn't condemn" (1) "Rahab, a real whore, for her sleight of hand with the Canaanites," (2) "Gideon's pretense with his small army," (3) "Abraham's lie regarding his wife" and (4) "King David's feigned madness before King Achish."

Giles to Ms. Eden: "Real life is war, sweetie pie, and I hate to burst your smug balloon, my dear Dawn, but sometimes playing dirty for noble reasons is the right thing to do."

"The devil can quote Scripture for his own ends," a proverb that alludes to the temptation of Christ by the Devil (Matthew iv) when the latter quotes a passage from Psalm xci, came to mind when I read Giles' diatribe (and Giles never explained why he did not mention Ms. Eden's co-author, William Doino).

Giles understandably tried to defend his daughter and her partner in the "Pimp and Pro" ACORN sting, but his insinuation that deceving ACORN employees at ACORN offices in the hope of having them display tolerance for crime and/or criminal tendencies was akin to Jesus driving the moneychangers from the Temple was senseless, if not sacrilegious.

Eamon, at http://irishpilgrim.blogspot.com/2010/03/inimitable-miss-dawn-eden.html, obviously was disgusted with both Giles' snide style and his asinine analogy:

"[Giles'] latest target is the one and only Dawn Eden. I have been an admirer of Dawn's writing for many years.... It seems that Dawn, as a student of moral theology and a journalist herself, questioned the tactics of a pair of undercover freelance investigators who were going after a corrupt left-wing organisation with links to Barack Obama, no less. Just as people of good will can disagree respectfully about serious issues, as Dawn herself showed in the controversy over Christopher West's comparison of Pope John Paul II with Hugh Hefner, so good people can disagree about where to draw the ethical line in investigative reporting. This is especially true when it comes to undercover work. 'Undercover' is in this case a euphemism for deceiving people about who and what you are, for the purpose of uncovering wrongdoing. The question whether this kind of work comports with the standard expected of Christians in light of Matthew 5:37 is pretty serious. Not for Mr Giles, however, who is, in addition to being a bully, not much of a scriptural scholar. He seems to think that the story of Our Lord openly driving the money changers out of the Temple is analogous to his 20 year old daughter masquerading as a prostitute. I'm not sure how he made that leap nor how any rational human being could, but that's a problem for Mr Giles rather than anyone else.... Doug..., try really taking Scripture to heart rather than mining it for insults or soundbites."

Ms. Giles not only played a prostitute looking for mortgage advice in order to investigate ACORN, but also gratutiously posed for B-roll of her scantily clad self walking on the National Mall with James O'Keefe dressed in his "pimp" costume, dancing with him on a boat, walking down a California street and holding her "hooker high heels" as her bare legs are panned from feet to thighs, presumably because "sex sells" and exposing more of herself would draw more attention to the expose of ACORN misconduct. (Giles did not explain why any of that B-roll was necessary.)

In Alinskyite fashion, Giles ridiculed Ms. Eden for disputing his belief that Christians should use Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals as a playbook.

Giles (addressing Ms. Eden): "...Dawn, at the end of the day, I believe Hannah, James and Lila will get mad applause in heaven as they are here on earth for exposing ACORN and Planned Parenthood's hellish practices. I know, as a Christian, I prefer their ways of doing things to your way of not doing them. Amen."

Ms. Giles may well bring down the heavenly house for good intentions and be excused for overzealousness as a result of being confused/used by her father and others in the pursuit of a noble end, but I doubt that Ms. Giles will receive a single clap, much less a heavenly ovation, for her B-roll work.

Commenters Klaire and Dave took Giles to task in thoughtful comments posted at BigGovernment.com.


"Part I

"I'm certainly no fan of Acorn, by ANY stretch, but I have to admit, I was a bit bothered by the deception tactics. Call me old fashioned, but I guess I've been along long enough to know that the reason God allows evil is always for a greater good; best example, Christ's own Deicide. The killing of Christ brought about salvation, and for any true Christians, there simply is no greater example of 'good from evil.'

"There is also a good chance we are simply getting what we deserve. In defense of Dawn, I'm not sure she isn't right. While I can go along with some 'equivocation' for the protection of human life, as in 'hiding someone from a murderer,' this simply wasn't 'life and death.'

"Part II

"For all who feel so enraged at Dawn, I ask you, how much did YOU do over the years to keep God in the public square BEFORE our once great nation started to become engulfed in the current cesspool? Things are always easy in hindsight, but the real time to 'jump in' IMO, and the real 'Christian' way was to speak out WHILE the corruption was happening, not after the fact.

"Part III

"If anyone is still not convinced, (although by the tone of all who posted, I'm certainly not expecting anyone to be converted), look at the condescending tone of Doug Giles? Christianity starts with the way we treat others, especially a 'fellow Christian' like Dawn Eden. For goodness sakes, she was defending Christ, not satan! While I abhor what Acorn does and stands for, I could think of many, other, and non deceptive ways to have exposed this. Remember, America voted Obama in, choosing to vote in a not only a baby killer, but a corrupt politician from which most turned a blind eye. I'm not sure that makes any who did any better than Acorn.

"Part IV

"Last but not least, I don't know the true intentions of these two 'undercover' agents, but a good possibility exists that in this world of real[i]ty TV, the greater motive was not the 'greater good' more than the next 'wanna be' news anchor(s), perhaps even fostered by a vicarious father. It certainly would be a justified reason for a professed Christian dad to take an un Christian-like attitude towards a good Christian women like Dawn Eden.

"While what they did wasn't the worst of crimes, being that it wasn't 'life and death,' and much a result of our own doings (or NOT doing) as a country, I'll take Dawn Eden's side on this one. Deception is deception. There were better ways to handle this, but unlikely to get one on Hannity.

"Beware of all who seek fame, especially under the guise of 'Christianity.'"

I disagree with Klaire insofar as I believe that Ms. Giles was motivated by the "greater good," having read the articles of both Giles father and Giles daughter at their Townhall archives, but I do believe that Giles' article dissing Ms. Eden for suggesting any fault of his daughter, O'Keefe and Ms. Rose produced the suspicion Klaire expressed.

Dave was blunter and blasted Big Government for Catholic bashing: "I didn't know how anti-catholic this website was! Dawn Eden is a fine woman, much wiser than 'Big government.' She is a Catholic. I was always a little uncomfortable with the methods of the two fil[m]makers, thanks to Dawn Eden, now I know why. Their method was devious, and unpious. Dawn will keep being Catholic."

I'm not worried about Ms. Eden, but I do wish that Ms. Giles had a better role model.

On the plus side, Ms. Giles did acknowledge that the law is to be followed, not disregarded.

Ms. Giles, regarding news coverage of O'Keefe's recent arrest in Louisiana: "I am shocked by the reports of this behavior. I am well aware that following the law is an integral part of being a good investigative journalist. I take that responsibility and accountability very seriously. I certainly hope these reports are untrue." (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YzE1ZjJhNzA1YjhiODk0YjIwMDA2NDE2NjQ0NDcyNGE=).

Similarly, O'Keefe conceded that his methods are not beyond any questioning in this statement issued several days after his arrest in Louisiana: "On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building" (http://biggovernment.com/jokeefe/2010/01/29/statement-from-james-okeefe/).

Giles and his readers should realize that Ms. Eden and co-author Doino never condemned legitimate investigative work or vibrant political activism, but only raised questions about whether the methods employed in particular circumstances were absolutely necessary, and the only means of exposing wrongdoing; and whether an activism that reserves unto itself the right to do anything, or virtually anything, provided the goal is reached, is Christian, and will always bear good fruit.

Ms. Eden and Doino answered no, and rightly so. The Catholic Catechism's teaching on "Offenses Against Truth" and "Respect for the Truth (2475-2492) is their (and my) guide, not Alinsky's "Rules," regardless whether those rules are championed by the Left or the Right.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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