After coming under fire from traditional Catholics, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) recently began withdrawing its financial aid from organizations that advocate positions contrary to Catholic teaching.
In Portland, Oregon, one such organization is called Street Roots. This is a group that provides assistance for people living in poverty and who may be homeless or hungry. Its mission is obviously laudable and it has been receiving donations from CCHD for the past five years. The problem is, Street Roots has a well-established history of support for legalized abortion and, in some of its materials, it even refers people to Planned Parenthood.
When CCHD told the group that it would continue supporting them only if they would agree to remove Planned Parenthood from their list of resources, Street Roots refused and the funding was terminated. In response, outraged leaders of Street Roots started bleating that CCHD's actions are part of some Catholic witch-hunt that was created out of fear and intolerance. In an editorial publicized on the organization's website, they appeared to be suggesting that conservative Catholics were allowing politics and church doctrine to stand in the way of helping the needy. The more subtle implication was that Street Roots is indispensable when it comes to providing humanitarian aid and doing good works.
Well, this may surprise the good folks over at Street Roots, but Catholic organizations have a remarkable talent for addressing issues like poverty and hunger and homelessness without leaping into bed with groups that promote child sacrifice. In fact, they have been doing this for centuries and I feel confident that they will be able to do so in the future. Moreover, the Street Roots crowd can show as much indignation as they want, but when they decided to give up this funding rather than remove Planned Parenthood from their materials, the message was that Planned Parenthood is more important to them than the homeless and the hungry. And they can twist it or spin it or sugarcoat it all they want to, but that is exactly what they are saying.
The attitude shown by Street Roots in this situation may be a variation of something they picked up from Planned Parenthood. We know that whenever Planned Parenthood feels politically or financially threatened by people who don't support abortion, their strategy is to talk about all the other "wonderful" services they offer and point out how abortion is only a "tiny" part of what they do. Then they viciously attack their opposition and demonize them as semi-literate religious kooks who are willing to let poor women go without healthcare rather than compromise in this one inconsequential little area.
For the purposes of this discussion, I will ignore the fact that only in Planned Parenthood's perverted little corner of the world could the intentional butchering of innocent and defenseless children be so casually dismissed. I'll also ignore the fact that for Planned Parenthood to defend itself by saying that abortion is only a small part of what they do is no different than the Klan defending itself by saying that lynching is only a small part of what they do. Instead, I want to remind the reader of the many instances in which Planned Parenthood has been willing to close, or not open, one of their facilities if the alternative was for them to agree to not perform or refer for abortion.
Obviously, the leaders of this taxpayer funded organization are perfectly willing to stop providing healthcare to the indigent women they claim to care so much about before they will give up what they openly concede is nothing more than a "tiny" part of their business. To make matters worse, the procedure in question (abortion) does not prevent or treat any illness, injury or disease, and Planned Parenthood's own statistics prove that, in almost every case, it is done for non-medical reasons on healthy babies being carried by healthy moms whose pregnancies pose no immediate or future threat to their lives or health. In other words, it's not healthcare.
The point is, just as Planned Parenthood holds the healthcare of women hostage to their pro-abortion political agenda, Street Roots is holding the fate of Portland's poor hostage to their support for Planned Parenthood.
Now, to the leaders of Street Roots, let me offer a little fatherly advice. You guys need to recognize that you're ahead of the game and be satisfied with what you got. Given that you chose to align yourselves with this slimy gang of baby-killers, the reality is that no Christian organization should have been giving money to you in the first place. But CCHD was asleep at the switch and the result was that you people received five years worth of funding that you were not qualified to receive. Of course, in a perfect world you would return every dollar you were given under these fraudulent circumstances but we all know that's not going to happen. So just go on about your business and quit whining.