Saturday, June 16, 2012
Thrivent Financial for.... Anybody with Money
Thrivent Financial FOR LUTHERANS is now on the verge of becoming Thrivent Financial FOR ANYBODY WITH MONEY TO INVEST. The tail wags the dog and those running the show are now to envious of the money non-Lutherans might invest and so enamored of the goal of bigness that they are planning to knock down the fence so that the Lutherans become merely one among many groups served. How this will impact the fraternal side is waiting to be seen. Thrivent has reduced the money available for its Thrivent Choice program to allow the clients to direct the "profits" back into the Church and community. Thrivent has pretty much destroyed the old network of branches to replace it with groups crippled by fewer dollars to direct and more restrictions on how these chapters can make a difference locally.
Read it and weep, if you, like me, are a Thrivent client... A sad day, indeed. Shame on you!!
As a fraternal benefit society, Thrivent is required to donate to the community an amount that's at least equivalent to what it would pay in corporate income taxes. Last year it donated about $175 million to charities, schools, congregations and people in need.
It's also required by law to have a "common bond" or membership theme that necessarily excludes certain people. If it dropped the Lutheran connection, it would most likely replace it with a Christian common bond, Rasmussen said.
"There are other Christians out there that need our help," she said. "We've read statistics that 40 percent of Christians have a two-week savings horizon. We think with what we have to offer, that they could find that compelling."
Right now, to be eligible for Thrivent membership a person either needs to be Lutheran or married to a Lutheran. Membership is also open to people who attend a Lutheran school, such as St. Olaf, or who work for a Lutheran organization such as Lutheran Social Services.
"There's go to be a connection to Lutheranism in order to be eligible for membership," Rasmussen said. The talk of change has stirred deep feelings among some members, she said, particularly in more rural areas. "I think the people that are questioning it are worried that we're going to lose our Lutheran heritage or our identity," she said. "So it's very important that we honor that tradition."
In other words... honor the tradition by betraying it!!