Update (12/20): The LCMS has issued a statement in response to Thrivent’s statement. Of particular note is this sentence by President Matthew Harrison: “However, the LCMS and every one of its entities and congregations are both pro-life and nonprofit, so we certainly hope that Thrivent will continue to support such pro-life, nonprofit organizations.”
Update 2 (12/20): A longer news article from the LCMS Reporter about the LCMS statement in response to Thrivent’s statement.
Thrivent has “temporarily” thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Let’s hope it’s very “temporarily”, indeed.
The corporation has posted a statement, responding to the controversy surrounding the inclusion of a Planned Parenthood affiliate in their Thrivent Choice program.
First the very good news: the Planned Parenthood affiliate has been removed, effective immediately.
“After input, discussion and a review of the concerns from Thrivent members, the leadership of this local chapter voted Thursday to remove it from the Thrivent Choice program effective immediately.”
Next, the not-so-good news: They’ve temporarily suspended all pro-life and pro-choice organizations from their Thrivent Choice program.
However, given that this second move is being done in addition to placing a temporary hold on any new organizations being added to the program, and a comprehensive review of the program, it may just be a necessary, momentary evil. (I truly hope that it is.)
I’m glad to see the comprehensive review, as the inclusion of a Planned Parenthood affiliate indicated a massive failure of oversight and moral direction in the Thrivent Choice program. Thrivent is “a faith-based, not-for-profit membership organization nearly 2.5 million members strong.” They are a Christian organization. A pro-life facility is in no way controversial in regards to that which guides the actions and life of a Christian, namely the word of God. Pro-choice organizations are in fact opposed to the clear, indisputable word of God.
Thrivent, as soon as you are able, please restore eligibility for pro-life organizations in Thrivent Choice. Permanently exclude any organization which describes itself, or operates, in fitting with your “pro-choice” label. Abortion is murder – fifth commandment stuff. It’s not fitting for a Christian organization to have its cash drawer open to those who advocate or commit murder without remorse.
Thrivent, I hope that the pro-life organizations that have been helped with Thrivent members’ Thrivent Choice funds aren’t now casualties of a misguided effort to honor so-called “diversity.” “Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” (Rom. 12:9)
Until then, Thrivent, I imagine there will continue to be a massive outcry amongst the same Thrivent members who opposed your inclusion of Planned Parenthood at your exclusion now of faithful, helpful pro-life organizations.
In the meantime, I’ve asked Thrivent to provide some more information:
@thrivent Please provide a list of the pro-choice and pro-life organizations that you are temporarily suspending from Thrivent Choice.—
Michael Schuermann (@mschuermann) December 20, 2013