I was offered the chance to pick up his financial sponsorship, like I did with Shallon a couple of years ago when her sponsors decided to quit, but much as I would like to, I just can't afford to add another child.
Then a situation developed with World Vision, through which I have just started sponsoring one child. It seems that World Vision recently made the decision to stop discriminating against people in same sex marriages. A good decision. A Christian decision. It's what Jesus would do. Kudos to them!
But within 48 hours, members of a radical right wing Christian group dropped sponsorship of over 2,000 children unless World Vision reverse its good, Christian decision.
They did. On March 26, World Vision President Richard Stearns reversed the decision, stating, “our board acknowledged that the policy change we made was a mistake.” Supporters helped the aid group “see that with more clarity,” Stearns added, “and we’re asking you to forgive us for that mistake.”
A bad decision. An UnChristian decision. Jesus would not approve. I take back my Kudos.
My immediate reaction was to drop my own sponsorship at World Vision, which would then allow me to pick up the financial sponsorship of Lovson. I've had some problems with the organization already anyway. But then I realized what a horrible thought that was. The people who callously dropped more than 2,000 children overnight just because World Vision had decided to do the right thing were saying that the importance of their religious ideology trumped the welfare of children in jeopardy all over the world.
And if I were to drop my World Vision child in protest of World Vision's reversal of their original decision, I would be using my sponsored child in the same way. So I have sadly told Compassion I cannot sponsor Lovson and asked if I could write him a letter of goodbye.
I have also asked what Compassion's policy is on same sex marriages. I suspect that I will be disappointed in their answer (if they answer at all), but again, I can't use my sponsored children callously and I will keep them, no matter what, and I hope I am not disappointed....and hope that people who generously take on the sponsorship of children, encourage them, and love them, will realize that as long as the money is going to the kids, the ideology of the founding organization, whether you agree with it or not, should not influence your decision about your relationship with your children.
I just got a new photo from Fred, in the Philippines. I have been writing to him for five years now and it is a thrill to see him grow from the little guy he was when I got his first picture. I love this kid and, as he is only a correspondence child, I keep a little in reserve in case his sponsors ever decide to give up on him. I will take over his sponsorship no matter what I have to do to keep it up.
And if I discover that Compassion has some policies with which I disagree, I would never in a million years dream of using Fred -- or any of my other children -- as a pawn in a power play to get them to change those policies. He's a child, not a weapon you can use or not depending on your whim.
Shame on those "good Christian" sponsors.
(On a slightly allied subject, another Radical Religious Right organization has announced that it will not open any letters sent to its office using the new Harvey Milk stamp, issued by the post office earlier this month. I really hope that they get donations in envelope with Harvey Milk stamps and just toss them out because they are being so incredibly silly!)