A Joint Message to supporters of ReconcilingWorks and Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries:
Thrivent members recently received an appeal to designate Thrivent Choice Dollars in response to the mass shooting in Orlando. This came as a jolt for those who know that Thrivent executives decided in 2014 to ban funds to a handful of organizations, including Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and ReconcilingWorks, deeming our work in support of LGBTQ individuals as “divisive.”
It is hypocritical and futile for Thrivent to offer support for the effects of homophobia while banning funds to those working to remove the cause of it.
We give thanks for Thrivent staff who are LGBTQ or allies of our community, many who are working hard to end this discriminatory and dangerous policy of intolerance.
Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and ReconcilingWorks will continue to affirm and support the LGBTQ community, who are beloved, and to work against injustice, hatred, homophobia, and discrimination.
We encourage Thrivent members to contact Thrivent with a message that they must end this practice. You are welcome to use the language below as a boiler plate (shared with permission by Proclaim member Miriam Samuelson-Roberts).
Thank you for the opportunity to direct my Choice Dollars to help the victims of the horrific shooting in Orlando. This e-mail stings a bit, though, because of Thrivent’s policy to not allow Choice Dollars to be directed toward organizations that support the thriving and safety of LGBTQ people. In light of the shooting, I ask you to reconsider this stance, and to consider that the message Thrivent puts forth through that policy–that those in the LGBTQ community are to be “othered” and seen as a “divisive issue” instead of fully equal children of God–is the same underlying message at the core of the violence that we saw last weekend.”
Amalia Vagts, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries
Aubrey Thonvold, ReconcilingWorks