Monday, October 13, 2014

"Think before you pink"

This photograph showed up in my Facebook newsfeed this morning.

[The stuff of which newsfeeds are made] 

I'd heard of this vaguely. I posted it on my timeline and lots of helpful comments followed. 

From parishioner (and amigo), Kevin, 
I found a breakdown for 2011. That year--according to their accounting figures at least--Komen spent 15% of their money on cancer research, which is only one category of "program expenses". Other categories include screening (12% in 2011...some of the money going to Planned Parenthood is here I believe) and treatment (5% in 2011). 
18% went to fund-raising and administration (including the legal department's efforts to sue anyone and everyone who has the audacity to use the color pink, the word "cure", et cetera). Again, that's officially, according to their own figures...there are many ways for charities to keep this percentage down via creative accounting. 
43% was spent on the ubiquitous "awareness" and education campaigns...and there's all sorts of room for fiscal mischief in this bloated part of the budget, which has long been Komen's biggest line item by far. Because the core purpose of Komen is to perpetuate itself and the pink crusade...of course. Whether there's any need in America to spend so much as one thin dime more towards breast cancer "awareness" is entirely beside the point. 
Finally, I always want to put in a word for a very small group of people: the estimated 2360 American men who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and the estimated 430 who will die from it. (A tiny number, yes...but the latter figure is still, by way of comparison, approximately ten times the number killed on average each year in school and university shootings.) They must be among the loneliest people in the world. 
[He provided a link for the numbers.]

Then an NBC story from 2013. 
Ken Berger, president and CEO of Charity Navigator, which evaluates and rates charities, called Brinker’s salary “extremely high.”
“This pay package is way outside the norm," he said. "It's about a quarter of a million dollars more than what we see for charities of this size. ... This is more than the head of the Red Cross is making for an organization that is one-tenth the size of the Red Cross.” 
Then this very illustrative infographic, which shows the disproportionate amount of money breast-cancer research gets. Ubiquitous publicity and a not-so-subtle pressure to donate in various social circles helps a lot, it seems (source unknown).

[Match the colors] 
All of this is apart from Komen's notorious support of Planned Parenthood, which was in the media spotlight in 2012 -- first for ending their support of PP, and then caving under pressure. My Archdiocese forbade parishes from supporting Komen then -- an order that has not, to my knowledge, been rescinded.

So, it's October. Please keep in prayer those who are suffering from breast-cancer. Do your bit to encourage regular check ups. Pray for those who have died, and their loved ones. 

If you wish to donate to a cause, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation gets high marks at Charity Navigator. They're not listed in the American Life League's questionable list, nor on this list from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City

So, think before you pink.

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