Monday, September 22, 2008

On donations

Today I decided to cancel my financial support for my undergraduate evangelical church.

This has been a decision that I have considered making for the previous year. On the one hand, this church was a wonderful source of inspiration and spiritual growth for me while at college. If it weren't for that church, I would be a different person upon arriving at grad school, and in all likelihood would not have joined the church where I met my husband. The church has never been malevolent (in my opinion), not been hateful in their speech.

On the other hand, I have grown to disagree with many of the things the church the church advocates. We disagree on Biblical inerrancy, on the sinfulness of homosexuality, on gender roles, on creationism, and on a host of other issues. The last time I spoke with one of the pastors on the phone, I vividly remember that part of his answer to how the church was ministering to homosexuals was through the support/establishment of an ex-gay ministry. Anyone who knows the details of my husband's ex-gay experiences knows that this enough would be enough for me to turn away from supporting this church.

But it was not until today that I had the conviction that the negatives outweighed the benefits of my support for that body of Christians. I cannot explain how I reached the conviction, only that as I read through my email which listed another "support payment confirmation", I felt the right thing was to immediately stop any future payments.

I will now reroute that financial backing to the local Quaker meeting, which has been so helpful and supportive of me and Jonas through our progress.

As a donation-related side note, three ballot initiatives are up this fall for passing or failing anti-gay marriage ammendments. One is in Florida, one in California, and one in Arizona. Arizona's pro-gay marriage effort is suffering in financial backing, so I would encourage all of you to visit Vote No on Prop 102 and donate. My husband and I did so and found it easy to do (note: previously I mistakenly wrote Prop 8, which is the California proposition on banning gay marriage).

(Day 100)


Pomoprophet said...

I think you mean prop 102. Prop 8 is in CA and i'm doing my best to help defeat it.

I'm surpised you've supported your old undergrad church this long and not the current church you attend. But I'm glad its something you've given alot of thought.

With my BF contemplating PhD programs in various states, the reality of the protections we actually have in CA has become more and more real to me.

Topher said...

Thanks for the correction, I indeed meant to put down prop 102!

I agree with wanting those protections. Having jumped through some legal documentation hoops here in Illinois, we found it would have been much easier to sign a single piece of paper and not have had to worry about it!

Selly said...

Jonas? Really? You need to remind me to tell you a story about a Jonas sometime.

I hear you about supporting churches that you no longer agree entirely with. The first thing I did when I left my old church was to stop supporting it. I still do support one of the ministers though. At this point, it is mainly because this person is a friend and I know that they need the support to survive as opposed to still entirely believing in what they do.

I currently "tithe" to different charities and non profit groups. I know that some of these groups may not necessarily be using the funds the way I may want. One of these days, I will have to do some research to help decide some groups I really want to support for the long term.