The latest donation sensation if the Ice Bucket Challenge, an effort by the ALS Association to raise money for research to cure the disease. However, some Christian and prolife groups have raised a concern. The association supports embryonic stem cell research. For details, check out this article from Live Action News. Because of this, we are advised that we should not donate to this organization.
I agree. For similar reasons, I do not support the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the Foundation Fighting Blindness. In fact I found myself in an uncomfortable situation at work a couple of years ago because of it. There is a disability related group of employees that chooses a charitable organization each year to get behind. I had just become aware of the group and was excited to be a part of it. They were happy to tell me that The Foundation Fighting blindness was the focus that year. I went home and looked it up. I learned that they too support embryonic stem cell research. Neither to the murder of children in the womb by Planned Parenthood, supported by Komen, nor the murder of the embryo in a test tube perpetrated in the name of science, will I be an accomplice.
So then, if we are sympathetic to these causes, what should we do? How do we look to the world when we rail against these organizations that are seen as and in fact may be largely forces for good? I think we need to take it a step further. We should warn people against contributing to these organizations if they will not cease to fund these atrocities, but we should do a little leg work and provide alternative ways that people can help the cause. Charities like these are aggregators. They take donations and forward them, less varying degrees of administrative costs, to efforts they deem worthy of support. They can perform a useful service, having the knowledge and resources that we as individuals typically do not have. The cut they take may be seen as a reasonable cost to leverage that knowledge. However, when they fail in their mission, supporting death in the name of life, then the duty returns to us. We must either find similar organizations that do the same thing with integrity or seek out the people who actually do the work.
Regarding the Ice Bucket Challenge, I just ran across an article from the Baptist Press that lists some organizations that support only adult stem cell research, which is the only kind that has yielded any benefit. They are: the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center, the Adult Stem Cell Technology Center, LLC and Dr. Anthony Windebank’s team at the Mayo Clinic. I’m sure there are others. Let us not only be responsible in our own giving, but also when we stand against something, provide an alternative that gives people and avenue for doing the good they want to do. Otherwise, we are sending the wrong message.