Thrivent Cuts Donations to Pro-Life Groups After Criticism Over Pro-Abortion Funding
by Pastor Michael Schuermann | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/10/14 7:36 PM
Thrivent has declared themselves to be “neutral” when it comes to abortion. Thrivent doesn’t want the distraction of an issue such as women who find themselves pregnant needing help. They don’t want the loving, kind, merciful people who seek to help them and their children to be a distraction, either.
In order to satisfy this misguided ideology of neutrality, Thrivent has made sweeping across the board changes to every one of their giving programs. They have ruled any organization that is in some way connected to abortion (both pro-abortion and pro-life) ineligible to receive any Thrivent money. To see the effect of this, let’s consider the year 2011, which is the most recent year where all of Thrivent’s financial records are public:
- Thrivent has defunded pro-abortion organizations (who are doing decidedly non-Christian work) to the tune of $1,373. This is good.
- Thrivent has defunded pro-life organizations, who have been doing the mercy work that is indisputably good and expected of every Christian, to the tune of $878,569.
That is for one year. Thrivent has robbed pro-life organizations – and the mothers, fathers, and children they support – of $878,569 per year. This amount does not include any Thrivent Choice dollars. (Pro-life organizations were not eligible to receive Thrivent Choice dollars until 2012.) This $878,569 was likely quite a bit higher in 2012 and 2013 due to the addition of Thrivent Choice as a giving option to pro-life organizations.
$878,569. Don’t forget that number.
The idea that Christians, or the organization that they run, can be neutral on abortion is utterly wrong.
The thought that organizations seeking to show Christ’s mercy to parents and their children are in some way a distraction is horrifying.
The ideological divide between the decision makers at Thrivent and their faithful, Christian, merciful Members (and I’d venture to say many of their employees)? As far as the east is from the west.
The value that Thrivent places on their idol of neutrality over against the mercy sought amongst His Christians by our Lord Jesus Christ? $878,569 per year.
Thrivent announced on Thursday changes to all of their charitable giving programs. In response to pro-abortion organizations being accepted into one program, and multiple pro-abortion organizations being funded via another, Thrivent made public a neutrality policy that applies to every one of their programs:
“Thrivent Financial is a membership organization of Christians and works with many different members who hold a variety of – and at times divergent – views and beliefs. It respects the differences of its members and does not independently or on behalf of its members, advisors or employees provide outreach funding or support to organizations and issues that distract, or have the potential to distract, from its common purpose, which is to guide its members and society to be wise with money and live generously.
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“Under this policy, certain organizations are not eligible to receive outreach support or funding. This includes, but is not limited to, organizations with a primary purpose of providing services for or advocating positions either supporting or opposing certain social, politically partisan, or health and human services causes and issues, such as abortion, sexual orientation, or guns. Decisions regarding the application of this policy and the eligibility of specific organizations to receive outreach funding or support are made at the sole discretion of Thrivent’s management team and are subject to change.”
Thrivent Financial 2011 990PF (this contains Thrivent Choice gifts that amount to more than $5000 per organization; under $5000 per year is not required to be reported)
Thrivent Financial Group 2011 990PF (this contains gifts given by local Thrivent Chapters)
Thrivent Financial Foundation 2011 990PF (this contains gifts given through the Thrivent Foundation, including employee gift matches via Gift Multiplier)
LifeNews: Michael Schuermann writes for Daring Lutheran, where this originally appeared and is reprinted with permission. He is the Pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Sherman, Illinois.