I said I never would write about this topic…but here I am. Since the outbreak of the HSS mandate Planned Parenthood has been in the news/media a lot. A lot of this talk involves people talking about who is and isn’t supporting them. While talking to a friend she asked me “How far is too far?” in terms of choosing who we do and do not support.
My friend mentioned to an aquaintance that she took her children to Olive Garden for a celebratory end of the school year lunch. The aquaintance then made my friend feel guilty for going to Olive Garden because they donate to Planned Parenthood.
As our discussion continued we were trying to decide how far is too far? Are we willing to live in an igloo at the North Pole in order to not support Planned Parenthood or any other organization we don’t agree with? I’m sorry but I’m not willing to make those kinds of sacrifices. I like eating out and I like going to Disney World.
One way I try and look at things is even though many of these companies like Disney World donate to organizations we may not agree with but they do so many things for others in need. Look at the Make A Wish Foundation. How many families are given free tickets to Disney World? Look at the Box Tops for Education Program? There is a lot of good going on in these corporations that is helping the world.
Here is another way to look at it. If you eat at Billy Joe’s Barbecue that is INDEPENDENTLY/PRIVATELY owned. Billie Joe doesn’t have to report where his money goes. You may go to Billie Joe’s BBQ to avoid xyz restaurant chain that donates to PP. However, no one knows what Billie Joe does with his profits. Billie Joe may send all his money to “Kill babies now!” or another organization you don’t like. The same thing can happen at any restaurant. If you go to a restaurant you leave a tip. What the waiter/waitress DOES with that tip you don’t know.
In the end we can only do so much to help others without going crazy. Instead try volunteering your time at a women’s shelter or a food bank. Or donate to your favorite charity. There are THOUSANDS of awesome charities out there. You can even donate to charities through Superpoints and earn points at the same time. It’s a win-win!
Sarah Dozier says
I won’t even try to sugar coat my thoughts on this post. Your argument is an intellectually and ethically lazy one. You don’t want to give up your first world luxuries like eating out, so you find any way you can to justify sending your money to questionable organizations? How sad for you and your children, who look to you as an example of how to navigate faith in the modern world! That, and your point is a slap in the face to the idea of responsible consumerism.
There is a BIG difference between KNOWING that XYZ corporation supports PP and supporting them anyway, or not knowing what organizations XYZ independently owned small business supports but patronizing that business in an effort to avoid your money going towards the multi MILLION dollar abortion industry. Because, guess what? You can always ask Billie Joe what his views are. (One of the beauties of small business is that they’re personal.) Or better yet, DO “make the sacrifice” and eat at home, support local farmers, plant your own garden, and do your best to create/support a community that thrives on LIFE, not death. In my mind, supporting the culture of life is worth any and every amount of sacrifice. It doesn’t involve perfectionism or putting yourself in an igloo, but it does involve some amount of effort, knowledge, responsibility, and care.
Excellent points, chica. It’s almost impossible to separate yourself from PP dollars unless you want to completely isolate yourself. I’d say the best way to combat PP is to financially support your local crisis pregnancy center. If you want to say you’re pro-life, put your money where your mouth is.
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Kendra @ The Nerdy Wife says
My approach to this is that I think it’s important to avoid charitable and non profit organizations or clubs that associate with Planned Parenthood (for example. Girl Scouts or Komen). When it comes to corporations though, if we boycotted every single one that gave money in any way to PP, we would be making our own clothes and never going out to eat (or to many grocery stores) ever again. It’s just not possible or practical. There are a couple of corporations who I believe make a bigger statement about their association with PP, and so I try to avoid those that I’m aware of. When I find out a company whose product or service I love gives some money to PP, I like to send them a message asking them to direct money elsewhere, which may be our best approach here. The biggest thing I do though is to make sure I direct all my donations, monetary or otherwise, to Catholic and/or pro-life ministries, like crisis pregnancy centers or our diocesan programs so that I know my money is fighting for the pro life cause.
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Ashley L says
I’m sorry you feel that way and I will pray for your heart to open up to some sacrifice in order to end abortion in this country. The issue with how you view this topic is actually, very sinful. From one Catholic to another, with a loving heart, I must encourage you to better understand the Church’s teachings on the cooperation with evil. There is a lot of explanation about this topic and I am lovingly going to point out to you that your view is not inline with Catholic teachings. Believe it or not but the Church does draw a line where it is too far. Supporting an organization that directly supports another organization that commits evil doings (example: eating at Olive Garden when Olive Garden donates to Planned Parenthood) is actually a sin when you are AWARE that Olive Garden donates to Planned Parenthood. Please educate yourself on the Church’s teachings about our moral cooperation with good and evil. Also, Life Decisions International keeps an updated list of the organizations that donate directly to Planned Parenthood and they often will offer alternative businesses that have no involvement with Planned Parenthood.
Also, your justification about Disney World was painful to read. Evil is evil no matter what their good deeds are. As Christians, we are not to justify anything evil because of the good they do. *It’s okay to give money to my best friend because she volunteers at a women’s shelter, who in turn is going to use that money to kill her baby.* There is no difference between that and you supporting Disney.
Before you encourage people to “…instead try volunteering…” perhaps you should educate yourself on what our Catholic church teaches on this topic BECAUSE you call yourself the “Catholic Couponer” and are informally to some, representing what it means to be Catholic. It is irresponsible, extremely irresponsible to say what you said on a public platform. An ancient word that comes to mind is heretic. I would strongly recommend you take more time and be more careful with sharing your personal beliefs ONLY because you are linking your beliefs to being Catholic because of the title on your blog. Quite a responsibility. Educate yourself and understand why you believe what you believe.
I love my faith and the people that make it up. But I am tired of fellow Catholics misrepresenting our faith on public platforms.
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Katie@NFP and Me says
I’m torn. I understand the mentality of “we can’t give up EVERYTHING!” because it does seem daunting and so few companies are transparent enough to actually see if they regularly donate to Planned Parenthood (or any other morally illicit organization.) Where I get lost is saying that we shouldn’t try. I would never say “there’s no way I can quit sinning, I mean I would have to lock myself in an igloo by myself to even attempt it and I’d still probably sin and because of that I’m just going to sin anyways.”
I think we should try our damnedest to make sure out money isn’t profiting a morally illicit company (and for me that’s not just PP, I won’t shop at Wal Mart or any stores owned by them.) Do I slip up sometimes? You bet. But that doesn’t mean I should quit trying.
No one expects perfection though and I’m not trying to make the good (avoiding some companies) the enemy of the perfect (avoiding EVERYTHING that could be bad.) But I do think it’s a bit disingenuous to not attempt it solely because we prefer a company.
I’m not trying to be judgy, I hope you know that about me by now. Instead just trying to contribute to the discussion. 😀
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I don’t do Walmart either. They have an abysmal human rights record and I can’t get around that.
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