Saturday, February 8, 2014

Values Neutral. . .

Thrivent Financial For Lutherans has again entered the news.  Some of you may recall when Thrivent's support of Planned Parenthood was exposed.  Then Thrivent decided to put everything on hold while it reviewed its policies.  This effectively shut down funding for pro-life and pan-Lutheran organizations who had received this funding for many years.  This is effectively a million dollar annual decision for Thrivent and it is NOT their money but the money of their members!
Now Thrivent has reviewed is policies and decided to be values neutral.  What this means is that Thrivent has no moral position, no moral position, with respect to the pro-life movement.  It is not supposed to support pro-choice OR pro-life organizations.  For some of us this is the revelation of what we always suspected -- Thrivent was always about money and is only about money.  It is a fraternal only to avoid paying taxes on its income and its requirement to return what it earns as its members determine.  Since it used to be Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Lutheran organizations and ministries had priority.  Now it is clear that jettisoning the For Lutherans in the name of the company also means abandoning its moral compass.  Nothing is more consistent with the original values laid down by its predecessor organizations than the cause for life -- for children, adults, aged, and, especially, the unborn.  That, my dear friends, is no more...
 The logo of Thrivent once prominently featured the phrase Where Values Thrive -- appropriately that motto is fading away along with the values themselves.
Thrivent makes changes to outreach programs; united by a common purpose
In December, you received a special news announcement that we took action on Thrivent Choice® issues and temporarily suspended all pro-choice and pro-life organizations from the program.
After a comprehensive, organization-wide review, changes are being made to our outreach programs, including Thrivent Choice, Care Abounds in Communities®, Thrivent Communities, Thrivent Action Teams, Thrivent Financial Foundation, in addition to employee giving programs. These changes are designed to better reflect our identity as a membership organization of Christians united in a common purpose to be wise with money and live generously.
At Thrivent, we believe all we have is a gift from God, and that generosity is an expression of faith. Thrivent’s outreach will support a variety of organizations, including Christian congregations and schools, that strengthen our communities and reflect the shared values of our members. The focus of this outreach may change from time-to-time to reflect the priorities of our dynamic organization and membership.
As a membership organization of Christians, we work with many different members who hold a variety of — and at times divergent — views and beliefs. To respect these differences, we are putting in place a new neutrality policy to guide decisions for outreach funding. This means, Thrivent’s outreach will not support a small number of organizations and issues that distract, or have the potential to distract, from the common purpose of Thrivent and its membership.
What does this mean for chapter leaders?
·       We encourage all chapter leaders to read the policy.
·       Be aware Thrivent will begin implementing the new neutrality policy effective immediately, and program changes will be implemented over time. This means you’ll be receiving more information, as it becomes available, on how to implement program changes to Care Abounds in Communities, Thrivent Action Teams and Thrivent Choice.
·       Start to incorporate the policy into your decision making process when approving recipient organizations for funding.
Thank you for all you do to help Thrivent members unite around our common purpose to be wise with money and live generously.
Please contact a representative from the Member Connection Center at 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836) and say "fraternal" or send an email to For faster service, have your member ID or contract number available.

Thrivent Financial Neutrality Policy

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. 

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.


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Anonymous said...

Yes, it is just about the money, ONLY about the money. It always has been, and the Lutheran connection has long been just a dodge, a means of appearing something quite different from what they actually are.

In a sense, I' glad to see all of this come to light. It is much more honest than what they have done in the past. It is just not very attractive, but at least it is more honest.

Shame on Thrivent!

Fr. D+
Anglican Priest

Carl Vehse said...

Rev. Michael Schuermann has posted on Daring Lutheran another article, "The Real Cost of Thrivent’s Decision: $878,569 per year," which states:

"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."

Rev. Schuermann also notes that according to the most recent year financial records are publicly available (2011):

"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."

The Rev. Schuermann then rebukes Thriven't and their leadership:

"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."

The CEO and BOD members of Thriven't should ponder the Faustian bargain they have made with Satan.

Carl Vehse said...

With their euphemistic "neutrality policy," the Thriven't Financial for Lutherans Unternehmensführers have issued their own Endlösung for pro-life organizations, like Lutherans for Life.