Posted by: Genny Colby | February 1, 2012

Another Organization that Won’t Get My Money…

It is sometimes hard for me to remember that our nation was founded on the principal of the separation of Church and State.  Each of us are entitled to our beliefs.  After all, that is one of the reasons so many came to the United States-Freedom of Religion.  But religious beliefs do not belong in politics.  Of course, everyone has some sort of belief system, whether it is religious in nature or not.  And each of our beliefs influence our lives in their own ways.  But when you are elected to represent the people of your neighborhood, city, county, district, state, or the nation as a whole, it is your job to try to make decisions that are fair, impartial, and in the best interest of everyone, not just those that share your religious convictions.  I am sure that this is a very difficult thing to do at times, but you were not elected because it was an easy job, but in fact because it is a difficult job and your constituents felt you were up to the task. Yet, it seems that many of our elected officials have forgotten this founding principal.  The conservative right has been having greater and greater influences on our politics, further taking away that right to practice (or not practice) our own beliefs.

We now have one more example, with the Susan G Komen Charity, always such a strong supporter of and for woman, latest decision to stop providing funds to Planned Parenthood.  The official explanation is that there have been changes in the guidelines used for providing groups funding, including not funding any of those under investigation by a government agency.  (You can read more about this investigation here).

But is this really the case?  Or is the Komen Foundation bending to pressures from pro-life groups as so many in the blogger/twitter worlds suggest?  I honestly don’t know.  What I do know is that for an organization that has been so supportive of woman and organizations to help women, this announcement now puts so many women at risks that could have been prevented with proper medical treatment and screenings.

Planned Parenthood does so much for the women in the communities.  Yes, the provide reproductive service to women, but they also do so much more.  They provided general woman’s health care including cancer screenings.  Sometimes such services are ONLY available to women locally through a Planned Parenthood, if they are living in smaller rural communities that don’t have those services except by referral to a larger hospital which could be hours away.  They are also a resource for women with little or no insurance, since they provide services on a sliding fee scale, allowing clients to get the care they need, regardless of their insurance or lack there of.  Which we all know can influence the kind of care one gets a hospital or clinic.  Without funding, Planned Parenthood may not be able to continue to serve as many communities, may  not be able to serve women who most need their assistance with anything from general health such as bladder or yeast infection to more serious issues such as the early detection and referral for cancer treatment.  We are talking about the potential to save lives instead of just putting a band-aid on the problem and hoping for the best.

Yes, some clinics provide abortion services, but that is such a small part of what they do, compared to everything else they do for the women and families in their communities.  I know that abortion is a hot topic, it evokes such strong emotions on both sides of the argument and that is a post for another day.  But it does seem that the Susan B Komen Foundation is bending the peer pressure from the pro-life groups/conservative right.

So, while I believe in the good work that the Susan B Komen Foundation stands for, it is sadly, for now, one organization that I will have to cross off my list of places to share my dollars.  I can not support an organization that can not or will not stand up and do what is right for the health of women instead of for political advantage.

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Responses

  1. Religious principles were the vanguard and foundation of the founding documents of the United States of America. There is no statement ANYWHERE therein of “seperation of church and state” with subscribed meaning to strip any and ALL religious principled thought from government in totale.
    Read Madisons writings, read Washingtons inaugeral addresses…they ALL mention God, and a divine power.

    The very lack of politicians with commitment to a higher power and a character that exhibits morality associated with a divine relationship is exactly what has led us to the social morass and economic dysfunction of our day.

    • You are right, there is no where in the Constitution that states a “separation of Church and State”. It is a common assumption that many make, but it is does not make it so. The Constitution does state that there should be no religious test in order to hold office, meaning that a political office at any level can not have a requirement of a certain religious affiliation, or any affiliation. Since our country was founded, for one of many reasons, religious freedom, it is important to remember that we are country of many different beliefs. To assume that one belief is superior to another does not allow for each of those personal freedoms. By bringing religion into the political debates or even public policy, we risk not being able to represent all the people of our country or to respect the rights that all of us hold by being not only citizens of this country, but simply by being human.

      After doing a little more research, I found that the “separation of Church and State” is actually derived from the 1st Amendment. Thomas Jefferson wrote that this amendment erected a wall of separation between church and state. This is where the term seems to be derived from and why many associate it with the Constitution.

      Thank you for your comments and for helping me learn something new about our Constitution.

      • You are absolutely right in stating the Founders did NOT advocate ANY religion being subscribed as a “state” religion or one religious theory being held superior to another as applied to government. Given that, there is no reason either succinctly stated or otherwise implied in any of the founding documents that any politician or person in a government position should not or could not voice a religious perspective in their appointed roles.

        It is the lack of this perspective, in my opinion, that has corrupted most of the individuals in government now. When man doesn’t regularly look up and marvel at the stars, or stand on the shore and realize the power of the oceans, he begins to elevate his own importance and the zest for greed and power for its own sake become his only desire. A religious perspective and glory and gratitude to a higher power make man humble and treat others with greater respect and dignity. We desperately need more of that in this day and age, I’m sure you would agree!


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