Friday, February 3, 2012

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap

It's never been a habit of mine to quote from the Bible because so many others do it so much better than I, mostly to advance a particular point of view or agenda. The Bible has been translated and re-translated so many times in so many languages that most of the wording is pretty slippery and imprecise, and thus can be used to justify any number of opinions, some of them openly contradictory. But your kind attention is gently drawn to KJV Galatians 6:8 which states:

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

The language is somewhat clumsy and unwieldy, but basically it means "as you sow, so shall you reap," the title of this post. That is interpreted as actions done in bad faith will glean bad results, and those done in good faith will return rewards. I'm pretty sure the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure (SGK) is learning this lesson in a rather expensive fashion.

The Komen Foundation has been at the forefront of raising funds and awareness for breast cancer for years, and has been doing it very well. I heard something along the lines that they are the second most trusted non-profit organization in the country. That is a powerful asset, such lofty public trust and confidence, and I'm sure it pays great dividends in the fund-raising arena.

And raise funds they do. According to, a website that rates charities, for the year ending March 2010, SGK pulled in over $311,000,000. Fundraising expenses and administrative costs ate up $60,000,000 of that (remember that if you do contribute to them), but it still left a quarter of a billion dollars for their program expenses. You can see the report here.

Indeed, SGK has the love and admiration of the public, a lot of money rolling in, and a very high-profile system of races to publicize their work advancing women's health. So what do they do to make things run more smoothly? They hire a right-wing gargoyle named Karen Handel to be their VP of public policy, and one of the things she does is come up with a completely preposterous, blatantly biased, widely discredited and ideologically-driven way to cut funding to one of their long-time partners in providing health services to disadvantaged women, Planned Parenthood.

When they did that, a media and public relations firestorm of epic proportions erupted. Facebook, that instantaneous barometer of our culture, went completely batshit. People went to the SGK page and wrote hundreds of blistering, withering comments criticizing them in the harshest possible terms. You can be sure that I posted my largely unedited and uncensored comments. For a while they were deleting all the critical comments but there were so many of them coming in at such a frantic pace that they gave up on that. Facebook pages excoriating SGK for their stupidity popped up like mushrooms after a rainstorm. Numerous calls were made to boycott SGK and their races. People across the country from all walks of life were really, really steamed and they were making their feelings known with crystal clarity.

As you might predict, conservatives were gleefully cheering the axing of Planned Parenthood, because obviously they don't give a rat's ass about women's health as long as abortion is the only thing on their tiny little radar screens. Planned Parenthood is synonymous with abortion according to these cretins, a view that was voiced by the puffy, pasty-faced gas bag Senator Jon Kyl (R-Az) last year on the floor of the Senate when he opined that "over 90%" of Planned Parenthood's budget goes for abortion services. In reality, barely 3% of their budget is for abortions, but that tiny little discrepancy was not enough for all the pinheaded conservatives to get excited about. When Kyl's comments were universally ridiculed as idiotic bullshit, his office offered the now-classic explanation that what he said was not "meant to be a factual statement." So, according to them it's perfectly okay to knowingly spout insane, absurd lies on the floor of the Senate as long as you get one of your office stooges to follow up with a "he didn't really mean it" disclaimer. Once again Kyl does what he does best, embarrass himself and the entire state of Arizona with his moronic incompetence.

Anyway, back to our story. When SGK realized the black hole of crap they created for themselves, they started to have second thoughts about what they had done. Money was pouring in to Planned Parenthood from thousands of people who were taking their side. Likewise, money was pouring into SGK from all the conservative vultures who were happy Planned Parenthood would not be providing breast exams for uninsured women. Things spun so wildly out of control for SGK that today they backtracked on their funding decision and reinstated Planned Parenthood as their partner. Now, they have thousands and thousands of people on the left who despise and mistrust them for their blatant greediness and flip-flopping, and they have conservatives angry at them for changing their mind, and of course accepting all the money the conservatives gave them in the past couple of days.

SGK issued plenty of statements apologizing for this amazing public display of clumsy idiocy, but great damage has already been done to their integrity and the public trust of which they used to enjoy so much. It will take them a long, long time to dig themselves out of the hole they dug, and it is a shame, especially for the Komen family, to have the name of their loved one dragged through the political mud. As long as Karen Handel is on their payroll, they will never regain their status as a highly-respected national charity. It was because of her biased, rabidly anti-choice agenda that SGK is now seen as caring much more about money and politics than saving women's lives, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent and well written. I worked at PP from 91 to 92. We offered vasecotomy services, had STD counseling sessions, colposcopys, tubals, and a myriad of services. Not ONCE did we ever push abortion on a woman, not once and I dont lie. People really have no idea what PP does for women particulary poor women. We did not perform abortions at the PP where I worked but lots of peole were completely convinced we did in secret. The ignorance is astounding. I would have my yearly exams done there in a second. It is a bunch of nonsense and I was proud to see the outcry against the SK foundation.