I always imagined the older sibling I never met as a brother. So, it turns out, did my mom. She went to a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat and named her aborted child as part of the grieving process. His name is Peter.
God works in mysterious ways. Peter is part of the reason I am Catholic. My mom came to the Church seeking healing when I was about ten years old, and I followed her.
For years as an adult and a practicing, orthodox Catholic, I lived out the Gospel of Life privately, but I never did anything about the epidemic of legalized, socially acceptable abortion in America. I tithed, but I never gave any money to specifically pro-life charities. I did not engage in sidewalk counseling, participate in public protests or prayer events, hound my politicians with letters and phone calls, or boycott Planned Parenthood’s donors.
In the fall and winter of 2017-18, God began calling me to a deeper faith. I should say not that he started calling, but that I started listening. I began looking for a way to use the experience I’d acquired as a nonprofit executive at Ballotpedia.org to do something with eternal significance. We did wonderful work at Ballotpedia, but it is small relative to the divine work of saving lives and souls. Remembering my lost brother Peter, I began to think of seeking work within the pro-life movement. I had spoken to my priest about this, my interest and my experience. He thinks BIG. I got an email from him that would define the vision for my new vocation. He challenged me to try to unite pro-lifers around the country into major, concerted action.
This is absurd, of course. Who am I? But I realized eventually that’s not the relevant question: I am myself. What will I choose to do with my time, talents, and faith? It became clear that, supremely unqualified as I am, and even though there are many better people for this task, the challenge had been placed before me and the only thing to do was try.
I began to think: why, with my background, my faith, my loss, my tithing, had I never gotten into pro-life activism or donated in support of life? I came up with a two-fold answer:
- No one ever asked me to.
- No one ever showed me how.
I had not been asked for too much; I had been asked for too little. No one wants to give $10 to a pro-life charity, because it’s obviously not an impactful amount of money. When asked for $10, you might think of it as giving up your beer money as a token gesture in support of life. It’s not worth the time to pull out your wallet. It’s not compelling. Further, who would you give it to? There are 2,700 crisis pregnancy centers in the country, dozens of national pro-life nonprofits, and hundreds of state-level or regional nonprofits. The net effect of this proliferation is that most ideological pro-lifers get discouraged about pro-life and just give all their tithe to other worthy causes: their parish, their diocese, education, media, social welfare, and the like. What I realized is that I don’t want to be “just another” pro-life nonprofit competing for your ten dollars. I believe millions of Americans already have a desire, a spiritual need, to give in support of life, and that it’s just been hard to do that because all the existing nonprofits are competing with each other for your ten dollars. I realized that which pro-life nonprofits one ought to give to is a secondary question that gets in the way of a big commitment; the key point is that millions of Americans can agree that, yes, I am pro-life and I’m willing to give a significant amount of money in support of my convictions. This is where the “no one ever showed me how” comes in: I wanted to collect useful information about all of the different, meaningful, pre-existing ways to engage in pro-life in one place, one website. This website does that as regards donating to pro-life charities.
Compare that one-time $10 gift to a $50 per month permanent commitment in support of life. Fifty dollars per month, or roughly 1% of America’s average household income, is totally accessible for 90 percent of Americans, but it’s also a meaningful amount of money, and it adds up quickly. There are millions of pro-life Christian households in America who are already tithing, and this number is growing. What if we made it easy for these people to give one percent of their income in support of the whole pro-life movement? If such a thing existed, I’d have been using it for years. So I set out to make it possible, on the hypothesis that I could quickly get tens of thousands of other Americans on-board.
This website is the first incarnation of that vision. This is where the “no one ever asked me” comes in: Please join us. You believe what we believe. You want to give to pro-life. I’ve dedicated my life to making that easy for you and others like us. I ask you to click here and commit today.