Do you have any advice for this atheist reader?
I’m an atheist living in Lynchburg, Virginia: Home to the Falwells, Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church. Last year, I went (as a huge, huge, huge favor) with my mother to the church’s Christmas Show. Towards the end they started their pitch about how the proceeds from ticket sales goes towards the Liberty Godparent Home. It was the first time I’d heard of the program, and it was hard to understand what exactly it was about through all of the marketing/Christ speak. Eventually I heard the words “women struggling with an unplanned pregnancy and a difficult choice” and a pit formed in my stomach and I tuned out everything else (being a staunch pro-choice advocate). I wanted to leave immediately, but I’m chicken and love my mother. I was just grateful we’d managed to get free tickets.
I assumed that the Godparent home was a place for unwed soon-to-be mothers struggling with a “difficult choice” to come and be indoctrinated and kept from having an abortion.
Fast forward to this year, and my girlfriend (an agnostic atheist with a pro-choice stance who went with me last year to the Christmas show) mentioned that she didn’t want to go again this year, even though it went to “a good cause.”
You can imagine my horror, hearing that coming from her… but it turns out she’s just a better listener than I am.In reality, it turns out the Godparent Home is actually a place for women to go and receive full support while they decide whether to keep the child OR give it up for ADOPTION. THAT was the choice they were referring to, not an abortion stance.
Now, to my dilemma: Although I support a woman’s right to choose, I also feel that more should be done to support single women with an unplanned pregnancy who cannot afford a child. But I also don’t want them pressured to marry the father (something I fear the Godparent Home may do, but I don’t know, the Web site isn’t very complete.) On the other hand, I like to think locally and try to aim charitable contributions to my immediate area.
Lastly, and on the biggest hand of all, I find the actions and belief systems of the Falwells to be reprehensible and hate the idea of contributing to an organization on the wrong side of nearly everything I stand for. Based on the actions of the church (TRBC) I don’t feel as though I can trust them to use any money I might donate as I would wish.
But I don’t know of any secular organizations locally that provide support for unexpected pregnancies with the option of adoption.
What should I do? I’m feeling charitable with the state of the economy the way it is, but I feel nauseous supporting an organization that is so closely tied to something that I hate.