IOCC Should Reconsider Senator Sarbanes as Honorary Chairman

IOCC Anniversary Gala Paul Sarbanes May 2012 by Ronda Wintheiser –

Dear Mr. Triantafilou, board of directors, and the staff at IOCC:

I did finally receive a response to the email and the letter I wrote recently asking you to reconsider your selection of Senator Sarbanes as an honorary chairman for the upcoming gala planned for May 8th. Thank you for it.

The letter read, in part, that: “Senator Sarbanes was selected as an honorary co-chairman for the event for his steadfast commitment and support for IOCC’s ongoing humanitarian mission. While we recognize that you do have concerns about his participation, we hope you will not allow it to overshadow a 20-year legacy of positively impacting the lives of so many people.”

I’m sure you hoped that such a carefully crafted letter would smooth this over and make me go away. But it’s Great Lent, and one of the Scripture readings selected by the Church for Clean Monday just happens to be a warning from God about coming to worship Him with blood on our hands (Isaiah 1) — and I take that very seriously.

Do you realize that the argument made in the letter written by Rada Tierney for why I should continue to support IOCC is the same argument used to defend Planned Parenthood? ‘So what if they are the largest abortion provider in the world? They do so much good! Why allow your concerns about abortion to overshadow their legacy of positively impacting the lives of so many people?’

IOCC Paul Sarbanes Honorary Gala Chairman

In Romans 16, St. Paul admonishes Christians to “associate with the lowly”. As far as I can tell, there are none so lowly as unborn children, nor as needy, isolated, and vulnerable, and as we are about to celebrate on March 25th, Christ deigned to become an unborn Child Himself.

It isn’t my choice to overshadow your “20-year-legacy” with the spectre of abortion — it’s yours. You have made it clear it doesn’t matter to you whether Senator Sarbanes supports killing unborn children as long as he keeps giving his money to you. That makes it painfully obvious that you prefer to associate with rich, powerful, politically correct figures than with lowly unborn children — or with nobody housewives like me, for that matter.

You have Senator Sarbanes’ support, so you surely don’t need mine; therefore, I am writing to request a refund of the $100 check I wrote to IOCC on February 5th during the Souper Bowl of Caring drive. It’s not very much; I’m sure you won’t miss it, and if you do, perhaps Senator Sarbanes will make up the difference.

Lord, have mercy on me, and on you all as well.

- Ronda Wintheiser

Printed at the request and with the express permission of the author.

IOCC Gala with Senator Paul Sarbanes Honorary Gala Chairman

Comments

  1. Nick Katich says:

    God Bless You, Ronda!

  2. Kevin Klein says:

    AMEN!!!!

  3. God bless you God pleasing nobody housewife, Ronda!

  4. Robert Mahoney says:

    Oh my, Frankie Schaeffer will NOT be pleased.

  5. Fr Gregory Jensen says:

    Reading this I can’t help but wonder whether or not the IOCC would appoint to its board someone who supported, for example, the continued persecution of the Ecumenical Throne. Probably not but who knows.

  6. Word needs to get out about this. I will spread the word. I called IOCC this evening stating my intention to withdraw support. I’ll switch and give to ROCOR fund assistance. Come Quickly, quickly LORD!!

  7. Nicole Troon says:

    Amen and thank you Mrs. Wintheiser. No support to the IOCC until they publicly repent and appoint someone publicly pro-life. Anyone else is simply not truly Orthodox.

  8. Nicole Troon says:

    PS: Is it possible to read Mrs. W’s original letter? Thanks for any leads…

  9. Ronda Wintheiser says:

    Hi, Nicole.

    Originally I sent an email to IOCC; I wrote it on February 5th, Souper Bowl Sunday. Here is the text of that email:

    Dear friends at IOCC,

    Several years ago, I volunteered to be a parish representative for IOCC in my home parish, Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Church, pastored by Fr. Nathan Kroll.

    Today, our parish is participating in the Annual Souper Bowl of Caring as we have every year, and I intend to donate food to a local food shelf and write a check to IOCC as I have in the past.

    This year, however, I feel almost sick about it because of what I read on the OCA website yesterday about the IOCC 20th Anniversary Gala slated to take place the evening of May 8, 2012 with Paul Sarbanes, former US Senator of Maryland invited to be an honorary chairman.

    The OCA article refers to Senator Sarbanes as “honorable”, but I take issue with that title because, as you surely know, when he was a senator he voted against a ban on partial birth abortions that then-President Bush had promised to sign.

    I won’t describe the details of what a partial birth abortion means for a child in the womb. However, I will say that in voting against the ban on partial birth abortion, Senator Sarbanes voted in favour of one of the most grisly and brutal forms of infanticide there could be.

    I cannot comprehend why an Orthodox entity such as the IOCC or any jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in North America would choose to hold someone like Senator Sarbanes up as an exemplar for the Orthodox faithful when he has so blatantly betrayed the moral heritage of the Orthodox Christian faith.

    I can’t imagine that Metropolitan JONAH would feel differently when he hears of it.

    Surely in this vast nation you can find someone else who will better represent the mission of the IOCC.

    I’d appreciate a response to this note. Thank you.

    Very truly yours in XC,
    Ronda Wintheiser

    Unfortunately, I did not receive a response, so on February 15th, I wrote a snail mail letter:

    Dear Mr. Triantafilou, and members of the board of directors of IOCC:

    I recently sent an email to IOCC using the email address provided on your website, and I asked for a response. I felt certain I would receive one since the mission statement of the IOCC states that “IOCC assumes the highest professional standards and renders itself fully accountable to the public and its donors.” Unfortunately, as far as I know, I have been enthusiastically ignored; I haven’t received even an acknowledgement that my note was received.

    Perhaps it wasn’t; since I have no way of knowing, I am directing my comments to you, Mr. Triantafilou, and to your board of directors hoping you will respond.

    Several years ago I volunteered to be a parish representative for IOCC in my home parish (Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Church, pastored by Fr. Nathan Kroll). At various times over the past ten years since our mission was established, I’ve made modest but heartfelt and prayerful financial contributions to IOCC. Just this month, our parish participated in the Annual Souper Bowl of Caring as we have every year; my two daughters and I purchased and doanted food to a local food shelf and I wrote a check to IOCC as I have in the past.

    This year, however, I felt almost sick about it because of what I had read on the OCA website about the IOCC 20th Anniversary Gala slated to take place the evening of May 8th, 2012 with Paul Sarbanes, former US Senator of Maryland invited to be an honorary chairman.

    On the IOCC website, there is also a verse from Matthew 25 noted as the inspiration for IOCC’s mission: “For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed Me; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to visit Me… As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me. ”

    With that inspiration in mind, I imagine that you must not be aware that as a senator, Mr. Sarbanes voted AGAINST a ban on partial birth abortions that then-President Bush had promised to sign.

    I won’t describe the details of what a partial birth abortion means for a child in the womb (who most certainly can be described as the very, very “least of these”). I will say, though, that in voting against the ban on partial birth abortion, Senator Sarbanes voted in favour of one of the most grisly and brutal forms of infanticide there could be. (www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles/JacobseSarbannesSnowe.php)

    I cannot comprehend why an Orthodox entity such as the IOCC or any jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in North America would choose to hold someone like Senator Sarbanes up as an exemplar for the Orthodox faithful when he has so blatantly betrayed the moral heritage of the Orthodox Christian faith. Surely in this vast nation you can find someone other than Mr. Sarbanes who will better represent the mission of the IOCC!

    I would appreciate and be grateful if you would make a change in your plan for that evening, or else at least an explanation for why not. Please?

    Thank you and very truly yours in XC,

    Ronda Wintheiser

    Mr. Triantafilou didn’t bother to answer me himself; he delegated the job to someone named Rada Tierney, who wrote me the following email:

    On 2/28/2012 3:47 PM, Tierney, Rada wrote:
    >
    > Dear Ronda:
    >
    > Thank you for taking the time to communicate your concerns regarding our upcoming 20th Anniversary Gala. We value your support for IOCC’s humanitarian work around the world and appreciate you sharing your position with us in this matter.
    >
    > Please know that since IOCC’s inception in 1992, our first and foremost mission has been in the spirit of Christ’s love, to offer emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthen the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond.
    >
    > Through the support of compassionate individuals like you, IOCC has been able to respond to the urgent needs of millions of vulnerable men, women and children, regardless of race, creed or color. From aiding flood victims in Pakistan and tsunami survivors in Japan, to helping rebuild schools in Haiti and homes in the Gulf Coast, IOCC has responded with equal care and compassion to help uplift the lives of those people it serves. Nothing can equal the joy in their eyes or the gratitude in their smiles as they accept the kindness of a stranger.
    >
    > Senator Sarbanes was selected as an honorary co-chairman for the event for his steadfast commitment and support for IOCC’s ongoing humanitarian mission. While we recognize that you do have concerns about his participation, we hope you will not allow it to overshadow a 20-year legacy of positively impacting the lives of so many people.
    >
    > On behalf of International Orthodox Christian Charities, I want to thank you once again for taking time to contact us and for your support these many years, and hope that you will, in Christ’s love, continue to share our mission to help those who need it most.
    >
    > In Christ,
    >
    > Rada K. Tierney
    >
    > Communications Manager
    > International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
    >
    > 110 West Road, Suite 360
    > Baltimore, Maryland USA
    > Office: +1(410) 243-9820
    > Fax: +1(410)243-9824
    > Cell: +1(443) 823-3489
    > rtierney@iocc.org
    > http://www.iocc.org
    >

    The text of my last response you have already read on this blog.

  10. Ronda Wintheiser says:

    Robert, what do you mean about Franky Schaeffer? Are you being somewhat tongue-in-cheek because he’s so apparently off the deep end lately (relatively lately)? :)

  11. Robert Mahoney says:

    Ronda,

    I assure you my tongue was firmly planted in cheek.

  12. With Harry Reid acting like one of the Cuban Government’s ssoekperpons describing Castro’s condition, I wonder if Johnson is in real peril.I wonder if any Democrats would decry keeping Johnson on life support if he slips into a permanent vegetative state a la Terry Schiavo just to keep the Senate a Democrat majority?

  13. Ellene S. Phufas-Jousma says:

    No one who supports abortion on demand such as Mr Sarbanes should be any part of a philanthropic association much less an honorary chairman. The word “honorary” becomes a term of dishonesty and hypocrisy.

  14. Ronda Wintheiser says:

    Hi, Ellene.

    Well, that was my thought; I put the word in quotes for that very reason.

    But as I said, as long as he keeps giving them money, they don’t care.

    Which reminds me. I got my $100 back yesterday. :) It came with MY letter to them — but with no response from Mr. Triantafilou or his “delegate” (Rada Tierney). Nothing at all.

    What a mistake. Mistake upon mistake.

    As much as I have felt proud of them in the past and sent them money every year, they’ve really lost my “heart”, if I can say it that way. I’ll give to OCMC and FOCUS instead, in fact, OCMC is getting the $100…

Trackbacks