Hurricane Rita bears down on the Gulf, and looks certain to cause substantial damage and produce misery for many thousands of people. As was the case with Katrina, we'll be hearing a lot in the coming days about aid agencies rushing to provide help for those affected. Before you give money to the American Red Cross, you might want to consider this story, which comes to me courtesy of the excellent Minnesota website Catholic Newsnet. I reprint it here for your convenience, but be sure to check out their site to keep up-to-date with news on current events, meetings and conferences (some of the information in the Michael Schiavo post below came from their site), and other information useful not only to Minnesotans but to all Catholics.
The Red Cross fired Michael Hartman because he did not want to celebrate Gay and Lesbian Pride Month in June of 2005, which Red Cross Chief Diversity Officer, David Wilkins insisted. Mr. Hartman, who had been a donor and volunteer for over 30 years for the Red Cross, and eventually became an employee, said that this policy was against his religious beliefs and quoted a Bible passage in his e-mail to several company higher-ups, and was fired for this. Evidently the Red Cross does not see the Christian viewpoint as having any value they care to tolerate. As many of us send in our donations for the Hurricane Katrina victims, remember that Catholic Charities are among the many excellent relief services whose efforts serve to aid emergencies. Then send the Red Cross a letter stating why your donation was not sent to them.
Folks, this is a disgusting story, but that last line is what I want to focus on. We can draw a parallel to organizations that support embryonic stem-cell research, and companies that fund pro-abortion groups. It's not enough that you refuse your support and financial contributions to these people; you have to let them know why. It's part of Christian charity to point such things out in the hopes of correcting evil behavior. True, the chances of them changing their policy might be remote, but that's not for us to judge. We must make the effort and then pray for the miracle of conversion; if they choose to ignore the message, the consequences will rest with them.
In the meantime, the next time the Red Cross asks you for money, remember how they dealt with Michael Hartman and tell them you're finding another place for your money to go.