Rachel Tabachnick, whose reporting led to my conversations with Rev. Samuel Rodriguez that I wrote about at Patheos and this blog, has written a very helpful response to the news of Samuel’s resignation from the Oak Initiative. Her research is strong and I think raises three important questions that Rev. Rodriguez is going to have to answer moving forward from here:
1) Was Rev. Rodriguez being truthful to me when he claimed to have had minimal involvement in the Oak Initiative? The picture he painted for me and others was of having been involved at the beginning of the Initiative not very involved since. Her reporting seems to indicate that he was hardly an innocent bystander to the Oak Initiative’s increasingly radical purpose.
2) Does Rev. Rodriguez support The Call Detroit as clearly as Tabachnik says? If so, does he still welcome the Oak Initiative’s participation in The Call Detroit?
3) Does Rev. Rodriguez stand by his descriptions of a “government take over of the auto industry, the banking industry, the health industry, soon the energy industry…big government on steroids”. If so, how does that square with this section in Tabachnik’s article:
In a CNN interview Rodriguez describes Hispanic voters as split in their partisan political support because they have a "very strong faith ethos" but support "justice in education and healthcare reform." The NHCLC over which Rodriguez presides, lobbied against "anti-immigrant sentiment in the healthcare reform debate." The chairman of the NHCLC, Gilbert Velez, was quoted in the Christian Post in September, 2009. "Health Care reform is a matter of Social Justice driven by a moral imperative that is undeniable. The fact that millions of Americans lack health care coverage is unacceptable."