Money has a lot of power. Every purchase we make has an impact on the world around us. As Catholics, it is our duty to be diligent about what our money does.
This can be hard, especially in the month of June, what the west has deemed as “Pride” month. A concept that often overshadows that this is the month of The Sacred Heart of Jesus. Few may also know that this is National Iced Tea month. And I drink a lot of tea.
Today while browsing social media, one company I have bought tea from and is known for the iced tea blends made a post to Instagram about how during the month of June they will be donating 10% of their proceeds to a “charity” called “Rainbow Railroad”. A non-profit that somehow makes LGBTQI+ persons “feel safe”. Not only is this very vague, but it openly supports mortal sin. Something I can’t put my money behind. I won’t be buying tea from David’s Tea again.
Companies sometimes aren’t as brazen when it comes to where their profits are going. You may see a lot of products that advertise a portion of their income going to charities, but those charities aren’t listed on their packaging or not surface level on their websites. This was the case when I was still drinking alcohol and I noticed one of my favorite beer brands started putting “1% of profits to charity” on their boxes. I decided to go on their website and see what these charities were. They seemed fine, except the last one listed all the way at the bottom of the page. It was a “charity” that “helped transgender children attain gender affirming care”. I promptly stopped buying their beer as I do not support the sexualization and mutilation of children.
One of the most egregious things I’ve seen a company who’s services I loved and used often do is something that may have just floated under the radar to a lot of people. I used to be disabled and not able to drive, so to get around I would use the ride-sharing app Lyft. It added a dimension of freedom to my life and I liked it more than it’s competition. One day I got an email from them. The email wasn’t directly addressing me, but their customer base as a whole. An anti-abortion law has been passed and Lyft decided to “stand against it” by donating TWO MILLION dollars to the abortion mill Planned Parenthood. $2,000,000 to help fuel the flames that end the most innocent lives on this planet. It devastated me. My money most likely was part of that two million dollars.
I don’t think I need to even mention what is going on with Target at the moment… Let alone the Dodgers baseball team.
One may ask if we are sinning when we give these companies money knowing that a portion of that money will be used in such ways. Some will say it’s “indirect sin”, others will say it’s a “near occasion of sin”, and another group will claim it is not sinning at all. I personally am on the fence. I believe that there will arise circumstances in this secular world where you have no other choice but to spend money somewhere that misuses their profits. For example if you need to feed your family but the only grocery store in town openly supports sex before marriage and also sells pornography. Of course most of our lives are not that simple, but you need to feed your family and preserve them. What if you need a specific medication to save your life but the company that manufactures that medication also produces birth control pills? We can’t control everything but I believe we need to do our best to steer away from companies and institutions that go against our Faith and morals.
Again this can be hard during the minefield that is “Pride month”. Companies often show their true colors (no pun intended) during this month. They’ll put up the alphabet soup flag on social media to try and attract more business in the west, yet on their middle eastern and Asian social media accounts they’ll not change a thing due to how the east sees homosexuality. This is the month where I sharpen my financial spear most. Removing which companies I give my money in the way you must remove burls and excess material to get a perfectly pointed spear. One that I can use to make an impact in the landscape around me for the glory of God. So what if I have to pay for shipping, or wait longer, or used a less common product? Did I even need what I was buying in first place? Could that money have gone towards alms or charities that actually do good on this Earth?
Christ has taught us that life is about sacrifice, and sacrifices can make a huge difference. I’ll sacrifice Amazon’s free 2 day shipping if it means helping preserve human life. I’ll sacrifice some good tasting tea if it means not stoking the flames of delusion that are consuming the world around us. Of course it’s not possible to get rid of all of it, unless you’re that dedicated and have the resources to do so, but we can at least put effort into it instead of being so passive with our spending.
What about you? What are some companies you refuse to give your hard earned money to? Can you recommend any alternatives? What’s a deal breaker for you? Would you still buy products from a company if all they do during June is post a pride flag on social media, or is that alone a deal breaker?