Ruth Speaks Out

This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.

Family Institute Dropped by Payment Processing Company After SPLC ‘Hate Group’ Designation

Morse: It's convenient for the SPLC to 'stand me up next to a guy with a swastika and a white hood'

by Joe Schoffstall

This article was first published

Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center / Getty Images



An institute that works to "end family breakdown" lost its payment processing company after the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based liberal 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, had labeled the organization as a "hate group."

The SPLC fought the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s but is now best known for its "hate map," which features mainstream conservative groups alongside hate groups like the KKK. The group has turned into a fundraising powerhouse in recent years, hoarding more than $300 million in assets, with millions of that being pushed to offshore entities.

The Ruth Institute, which describes itself as an organization dedicated to "creating a mass social movement to end family breakdown," recently lost its payment processing company for donations after being labeled as a "hate group" by the SPLC.

The institute received a message from Vanco, the group's payment processing provider, in late August saying they were "flagged" as promoting "hate, violence, harassment, and or/or abuse."

"Vanco has elected to discontinue our processing relationship with The Ruth Institute," the message from Vanco to the institute reads. "The organization has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse. Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies."

Dr. Jennifer Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, told the Washington Free Beacon in a phone interview that after she had received the message from Vanco, she immediately checked her website and found that the donations feature was already disabled.

"We received an email from them at two-o-clock in the afternoon on Thursday, the 31st of August. We went and checked our website and it was already shut down—our donation feature was already shut down. So they obviously shut it down then sent us a notice," said Morse. "It's just rude, you don't treat people like that."

"It's interesting that Vanco will not come out and say Wells Fargo kicked us in the shins and told us to do this, they won't say that, but that's kind of the inference you're led to draw based on our the first communication we got with them and the complete shut down after that," Morse continued.

Morse says the corporate left will continue its practices, but one positive that came from the ordeal is she can talk about the mission of her institute.

"The corporate left is out there doing what they do and I can't stop them—they're going to do what they do with their power," she said. "I'm grateful that this incident has given me an opportunity to talk about the mission of the Ruth Institute because nobody else is doing what we're doing. We believe that family breakdown is harmful to children. We believe it's unjust to children, and that children have a right to have a relationship with both of their parents and to know their identity."

Morse added that it's "convenient" for the SPLC to add conservative groups alongside the KKK because it allows people to dismiss her and others.

"I think it's convenient strategically and rhetorically for groups like the SPLC to stand me up next to a guy with a swastika and white hood, because then nobody has to listen to what I have to say," she said. "Rather than argue with me—or, you know, try to say ‘gee you're wrong'—rather than have that conversation about why kids need their parents, they just dismiss the whole thing by putting me and Tony Perkins (president of the Family Research Council) in a lineup with guys in white hoods and then they don't have to deal with it."

A gunman walked into the Washington, D.C., office of the conservative Family Research Council and opened fire in 2012 after seeing the group listed as a "hate group" on the SPLC's website.

"Honest journalism needs to stop taking these people seriously," said Morse.

The SPLC, which is often cited by mainstream media outlets, raised millions from the likes of Apple, J.P Morgan Chase, and George Clooney following the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va.

The Washington Free Beacon discovered the SPLC's foreign tax forms from 2014 last week showing the group transfers millions in cash to offshore entities in the Cayman Islands and also has "financial interests" in Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. The Weekly Standard's Jeryl Bier found this week that the SPLC has $69 million of "non-U.S. equity funds" from the group's 2016 annual report.

The SPLC has been hit with a number of "hate" defamation lawsuits in recent weeks. Dozens of conservative leaders have also pleaded with the media to stop citing the SPLC.

The group additionally released a map of every confederate monument in the U.S. that contains middle schools, PJ Media reported.

Vanco did not return a request for comment on its decision to drop the Ruth Institute by press time.

CHRISTINE FLOWERS: Southern Poverty Law Center has lost its way

By Christine Flowers

This article was first published September 19, 2017, at The Mercury and September
as "My problem with the SPLC," and Daily Local as "Once Champions, Now Demons" on September 12, 2017.

The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 by Morris Dees to combat the rise in violence perpetrated by the KKK. he organization won significant legal victories against the hate group, including civil judgments which virtually crippled the group. Their motives were noble, their methods effective, their morals unimpeachable.

That organization no longer exists. Today, the SPLC has become a weaponized arm of the progressive movement, seeking out groups and individuals who violate their standards of tolerance, virtue, justice and enlightenment. They need to be called out for what they truly are: Charlatans.

The SPLC was formed four years after my father went to Mississippi to register black voters during a long, hot summer. Daddy had his own run-in with the KKK, as I’ve mentioned many times in these pages because I cannot hide my pride in sharing his blood and his name, and he was a strong supporter of any organization that could bring the Klan to heel. But if he were alive today, and in this one narrow sense I’m glad he’s not, he would be repelled by the mutation of that avenging angel into a demon that preys upon the apostates to progressive ideals.

For example, if you are not on board with same-sex marriage, gender-neutral bathrooms, the Stalinist straight jacket of gender-sensitive pronouns and allowing toddlers to choose their sexual identities, you are a member of a hate group. If you are not aware that you belong to such a group, the SPLC will help you. They will put you on its “Hate Watch.”

If that sounds a bit Big Brotherish, it is. The SPLC publishes a list of organizations that deviate from its unique and unsurprisingly narrow view of what is virtuous in this evolved society. It is called the Hate Map, and it includes such organizations and individuals as the Family Research Council (because, among other things, it supported Bill Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy for the military); the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal advocacy group that has represented students, free of charge, who have argued that their right to free exercise has been threatened by government encroachment; Charles Murray, who believes that the welfare state is harmful and the Ruth Institute, a religious-based, ecumenical organization that actively combats the victimization of children and opposes the more strident advocacy of some LGBT groups. Last week, the Ruth Institutes online donation system was shut down by Vanco, the organization which handled that service because it learned of Ruth’s inclusion on the SPLC hate map.

I interviewed Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the institute, and she told me that she was given absolutely no warning before the service was discontinued. A review of Ruth’s website reveals numerous articles and podcasts discussing the importance of keeping the family intact, avoiding the problems created by divorce, nurturing children and promoting an environment of safety for them. Only the most radical pro-LGBT activist could find anything vaguely “hateful” about their philosophy. But the SPLC has decided that Christian organizations are, by definition, hateful, and there is in fact a whole separate section on their website devoted to groups that advance a “Christian Identity.” Other threatening groups are “Racist Skinheads,” “Neo Nazis,” “White Nationalist,” “Black Separatist” (well at least there’s that …) “Ku Klux Klan,” “Anti Muslim,” “Anti Immigrant” and when all else fails, “General Hate.”

It’s hard to quibble with most of the groups listed. But the idea that people who have a Christian identity that might lead them to oppose homosexuality, same-sex marriage, gender-reassignment surgery, same-sex adoptions or even baking cakes for people who commit sodomy (which is now legal, in case you were wondering) is more than a bit troubling. Sure, you can disagree with certain Christian principles that do not align well with those espoused by the LGBT advocates, and you have every right to lobby your legislators to make sure those Christian principles are not codified in the civil law, but to defame people of faith as members of a “hate group” simply because you find their beliefs abhorrent is, well, abhorrent.

And when that “hate” label causes a commercial enterprise to sever its ties with you, we have entered a whole new dimension of groupthink, Big Brother and the reordering of society a la Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

It is particularly troubling that the organization that is raising its ideological torches against those with whom it disagrees is the same group that stared down the Klan, and brought them to heel with the power of their moral coherence. Now, the SPLC has become a pale shadow of its former self, and has sold whatever is left of its soul to the nihilists of Antifa and Black Lives Matter (ironically not listed as a “hate group” by our Klan-hating friends) and Planned Parenthood and all the other progressive darlings who pull its strings.

The “Poverty” in the “Southern Poverty Law Center” must now refer to the content of its character.

Catholic Ruth Institute Targeted by SPLC, Suffers Losses

by David Nussman 

This article was first published at Church Militant on September 7, 2017.


Catholic Ruth Institute Targeted by SPLC, Suffers Losses

Group loses online donations processing thanks to 'hate group' label


LAKE CHARLES, La. ( - A Catholic organization lost its online donations processing on Thursday, thanks to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labeling it a hate group.

The Ruth Institute is a Catholic non-profit that seeks to help individuals and families wounded by the Sexual Revolution and its resulting chaos.





The "hate group" label is a result of the Ruth Institute's faithfully Catholic stance on homosexuality and transgenderism. The SPLC labeled it "anti-LGBT."

In a statement to the press about the loss of internet donations, Morse said, "The Ruth Institute's primary focus is family breakdown, and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a 'hate group,' so be it."

The Institute received a message Thursday afternoon from its donation processing company, Vanco. The letter reads, "Vanco has elected to discontinue our processing relationship with The Ruth Institute." It explains, "The organization has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse."

On August 23, the Ruth Institute recognized that it was still on the SPLC's hate list, as it has been since 2013. This earlier statement lets loose a scathing indictment. It complains that the SPLC's methodology is secretive, such that "No one knows how to get off the list." It then fiercely argues, "The SPLC sets itself up as judge, jury and enforcer of the charge of 'hate.'"

As Church Militant reported, a Protestant non-profit filed a lawsuit last week against the SPLC for labeling it a hate group. D. James Kennedy Ministries was barred from participating in AmazonSmile fundraising because of the SPLC's hate label. Various big media outfits, including CNN and MSNBC, have posted SPLC's "hate" map on their websites, thus legitimizing the group's arbitrary, leftist labels.



Megan McArdle on the Southern Poverty Law Center Gets Creative

Megan McArdle presents a commentary arguing that you don’t need to manufacture ersatz accountability in order to discredit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate group tally. You just need to tell people what’s on the list.

(Megan McArdle is a Bloomberg View columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

The Ruth Institute is mentioned. Listen here.

Business shuts down donations to pro-family group for ‘promoting hate’

by Doug Mainwaring

This article was first published September 1, 2017, at Life Site News.

Featured Image
CNN and other media outlets used this map from the Southern Poverty Law Center that identifies the locations of so-called 'hate' groups.


The Ruth Institute was notified Thursday that an online donation processor discontinued providing services to the pro-family, pro-children’s rights organization for promoting “hate, violence, harassment or abuse.”

According to a statement released today, “The Ruth Institute learned at 2 PM Thursday that Vanco, our online donation processing service, was cancelling our service immediately. The letter stated:

"'Vanco has elected to discontinue our processing relationship with The Ruth Institute. The organization has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse. Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies.’”

The Ruth Institute is a global non-profit organization that seeks to create “a mass social movement to end family breakdown by energizing the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution,” paying special attention to the needs and rights of children.

Jennifer Roback Morse, the Institute’s founder and president, said, “[Our] primary focus is family breakdown and its impact on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it. If this makes us a ‘hate group,’ so be it.”

“The Ruth Institute is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s ‘Hate Map,’ which was recently in the news,” continued Morse. “We have been on this ‘Hate Map’ since 2013. To the best of our knowledge, no one has ever been inspired to riot or shoot anyone by our activities.” Moreover, “No one from Vanco, Card Brands or Wells Fargo ever contacted the Ruth Institute to inquire about how we ‘promote hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.’”

Morse noted that “the Vanco company markets itself to religious organizations. Many churches use their services for processing donations. We surmise that Vanco dropped us because we hold views about marriage, family, and human sexuality that are considered ‘Anti-LGBT.’ Our beliefs are the common heritage of all Christian groups. Christian organizations that utilize Vanco’s services may wish to reconsider.”

The Ruth Institute is one of a growing number of Christian pro-family, pro-marriage, pro-family organizations whose online operations and presence are being undermined by tech firms who rely on information provided the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to identify supposed “hate groups.”

Morse said, “Vanco, Card Brands, and Wells Fargo are private businesses. The Ruth Institute respects their right to conduct their businesses as they see fit. We just wish wedding photographers, bakers, and florists received the same respect.”

“We have compiled the items which some groups have found objectionable on a page called Where’s the Hate? Anyone interested can review that material and judge for themselves whether the Ruth Institute belongs on a list with the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.”

UK Speaker: Same-Sex Marriage Won’t Be ‘Proper’ Until Churches Can’t Opt Out

By Tyler O'Neil

This article was first posted September 10, 2017, at pjmedia.

Angry speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, speaks at Pink News reception.
John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons at a Pink News parliamentary reception to celebrate the 50th anniversary of decriminalisation on homosexuality, held at Speaker's House in the Palace of Westminster in London. 18 Jul 2017 (Rex Features via AP Images)


In a shocking attack on religious freedom and even property rights, the speaker of Britain's House of Commons argued that the country won't have "proper equal marriage" until churches are unable to turn away requests to host a same-sex marriage.

"I still feel we'll only have proper equal marriage when you can bloody well get married in a church if you want to do so, without having to fight the church for the equality that should be your right," John Bercow, the Commons speaker, declared at a Pink News reception in July.

Britain legalized same-sex marriage in 2013, but Bercow suggested that the LGBT issue will not be settled until churches are unable to refuse to host such weddings. "We don't want to behave like it's all over, everything's been done and nothing remains, because that isn't true," he added.

This statement proved particularly revealing, in light of religious freedom struggles in the United States and the forthcoming vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia. Other events in Britain at the time also revealed the inherent struggle between the LGBT movement and the freedom of churches to host the weddings they choose to bless.

Bercow's statement came one month after Tim Farron resigned from leading the Liberal Democratic Party because the British press had launched a kind of inquisition into his Christian faith. Farron, who supported legalizing same-sex marriage, was nevertheless accorded suspicion, and reporters badgered him on whether he thought homosexual activity is a sin.

"The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader," Farron wrote at the time. "To be a political leader — especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 — and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible's teaching, has felt impossible for me."

Chillingly, he concluded: "I joined our party when I was 16, it is in my blood, I love our history, our people, I thoroughly love my part. Imagine how proud I am to lead this party. And then imagine what would lead me to voluntarily relinquish that honor. In the words of Isaac Watts it would have to be something 'so amazing, so divine, (it) demands my heart, my life, my all'" (emphasis added).

For a politician who supported same-sex marriage to write those words is nothing less than astounding. Did he know that the very right to hold a belief against homosexual activity — in the church itself — was under assault in Britain?

Yet another British politician, Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening, said that Christian churches need to "keep up with modern attitudes" on same-sex marriage.


"I think it's quite important that we recognise that for many churches, including the Church of England, [same-sex marriage] was something they were not yet willing to have in their own churches," Greening, who announced her own homosexual orientation last year, told Sky News.

While Greening insisted, "I wouldn't prescribe to them how they should deal with that," she nevertheless declared, "I think it is important that the church in a way keeps up and is part of a modern country."

"For me, I think people do want to see our major faiths keep up with modern attitudes in our country," she concluded.

This statement should chill anyone who believes in religious freedom and the ability to hold counter-cultural beliefs. Greening wasn't just saying churches should accept same-sex marriage, she was suggesting that religious organizations should be discouraged from having a counter-cultural witness. This from a secretary for education!

In Britain, the LGBT movement is vastly becoming an established religion. When churches are expected to follow cultural trends, rather than declaring their own truth from God, they are relegated to effective state censure. If religion is to have any freedom to actually mean something in people's lives, churches must be free to act according to their teachings, but the LGBT movement seems unwilling to brook any opposition.

Even in the United States, the movement has started pushing against the right to opt out of serving same-sex weddings.

Many wedding-related service providers — who gladly serve LGBT people in other contexts — have refused to serve same-sex weddings, fearing that doing such business would be seen as an endorsement of something that violates their religious beliefs about marriage.

Notable example include Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman, Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, Michigan farmers Steve and Bridget Tennes, and Colorado baker Jack Philips (whose case will come before the Supreme Court).

In fact, at least one LGBT group in Ohio announced its plans to target churches to force religious organizations to host same-sex weddings, regardless of their faith positions on marriage being between a man and a woman.

Furthermore, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has listed mainstream Christian organizations like the Family Research Council (FRC), the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and the Ruth Institute (RI) as "hate groups" — to be lumped in with the Ku Klux Klan — because of their religious beliefs on marriage. A sitting U.S. Senator actually compared ADF to the genocidal Cambodian dictator Pol Pot last week.

This "hate list" actually inspired a terrorist attack in 2012, and might have inspired another this year.

The LGBT movement is relentless, however. In discussing cases where bakers, florists, and farmers refuse to serve same-sex weddings, openly gay megadonor Tim Gill declared, "We're going to punish the wicked."

Polling suggests that those who identify as LGBTI in Australia are utterly opposed to allowing anyone to "opt out" of serving a same-sex wedding. In a survey early this year, a full 59 percent of LGBTI people said they would oppose a legal exemption allowing religious celebrants (priests, pastors, or other ministers) to refuse to marry two men or two women.

Nearly 60 percent of LGBTI Australians said it should be illegal for a pastor to refuse to marry a same-sex couple. But it got worse.

A full 94.3 percent said a church or a religious organization should not be allowed to deny the use of its property for a same-sex wedding. Australia has yet to legalize same-sex marriage. When LGBTI people were asked if they would allow churches to refuse to host same-sex weddings in exchange for making same-sex marriage legal in Australia, a full 90.6 percent still opposed it.

This is the kind of vitriol unleashed against Christians who are faithful to the Bible's teaching on homosexuality. Such people are forced out of politics, even if they supported same-sex marriage. They are "the wicked" to be punished. They are "hate groups" on the level of the KKK. They are compared to a dictator who mercilessly slaughtered a quarter of his own people.

On Tuesday, Australians will begin the process of voting whether or not to make same-sex marriage legal. Conservative groups have warned that doing so will unleash an LGBT movement which will destroy religious freedom and teach boys and girls in kindergarten that they can become the opposite sex if they want (sound familiar? at this school, parents won't even be notified).

Before the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision legalized same-sex marriage in 2015, conservatives were mocked for using the "slippery slope" argument that if same-sex marriage passed, religious freedom would be threatened. Two years later, the cat is out of the bag.

So many issues intersect when it comes to churches being able to "opt out" of hosting a same-sex wedding. In such cases, churches should have the religious freedom to operate according to their consciences. They should have the free speech to express their views to a hostile culture. They should have the freedom to do whatever they want on their own property.

Finally, this issue is not just about same-sex marriage. Churches should be able to refuse any couple for any reason — if the couple wishes to have an "open marriage," or if they do not have the right understanding of marriage, for example.

A state senator in Alabama has sponsored a bill to formally separate legal marriage from religious marriage. This bill would outlaw marriage licenses, which give an officiant the sense of blessing a marriage. Instead, a notary would merely record a marriage, and no minister or officiant would be required to sign the document.

"It is my belief that the state cannot make any kind of contract sacred," the bill's sponsor Greg Albritton (R., Baldwin County) told PJ Media. "That's not its place, that's not its purpose. It doesn't have that religious authority to make something sacred, but it can make it binding for the purpose of the parties."

Christians like Albritton are not trying to make same-sex marriage illegal — they are merely trying to separate the issues at hand.

Churches are independent organizations, and they should not be forced to celebrate or host ceremonies with which they disagree. Many churches are happy to marry same-sex couples, and everyone will suffer if independent organizations lose the right to operate according to the dictates of their own conscience.

Another ruthless attack on a pro-family group

Corporate America flexes its muscle to enforce conformity

Interview of Jennifer Roback Morse by on September 4, 2017.

A few days ago, Dr Jennifer Roback Morse, a frequent contributor to MercatorNet, learned that credit card donations to her organisation, the Ruth Institute, had been cut off. Vanco Payment Solutions – “unlock the power of generosity” -- sent her a curt note saying that it was a hate group.

The “hate group” label had been pasted on the Ruth Institute by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), probably because it has opposed same-sex marriage. But the job of the Ruth Institute is healing the effects of family breakdown, not denigrating homosexuals. This appears to be another sign of LGBT corporate tyranny: if you don’t agree with us, get lost...



Dr Roback Morse is philosophical about this insult to the integrity of her work. She says on her website, “Vanco, Card Brands, and Wells Fargo are private businesses. The Ruth Institute respects their right to conduct their businesses as they see fit. We just wish wedding photographers, bakers, and florists received the same respect.”

Below she answers a few questions about this incident.

* * * * * * * * * *

MercatorNet: Ruth Institute has been dumped by its online donations processing service. What reason did Vanco give?

Jennifer Roback Morse: We quoted them verbatim in our public statement:

Vanco has elected to discontinue our processing relationship with The Ruth Institute. The organization has been flagged by Card Brands as being affiliated with a product/service that promotes hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse. Merchants that display such attributes are against Vanco and Wells Fargo processing policies.”

This is the sum total of their communication to us.

Did they talk to you first?

JRM: Nope.

Did they say they had reviewed the content of your website?

JRM: Nope.

So what sources were they relying on to reach their decision?

JRM: Dunno. I have no idea. I would only be guessing, if I said otherwise.

How long has the Ruth Institute been going? What is your mission and focus?

JRM: We have been in existence since 2008. We have been independent of the National Organization for Marriage since November 2013.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre put you on the “hate map” in 2013 – was this date significant?

JRM: I do not really know.

What reasons did they give?

They never contacted us prior to putting us on their map, not have they contacted us since. You would have to look at the reasons they cite on their map.

What positions or language do your critics find objectionable? Do you think you have expressed yourselves unfairly or too strongly at all?

JRM: They have classified us as "Anti-LGBT." Their basic objection is that we uphold traditional Christian morality. They have gathered together a handful of statements, usually ripped out of context, to claim that we are defaming gay people. We have created a page called "Where's the Hate?" where we list, to the best of our ability, the articles and podcasts that people have found objectionable. We invite anyone to study those materials and form their own opinion about whether we belong on the same list as the Ku Klux Klan.

What is the mission of the Ruth Institute?

JRM: We are creating a mass social movement to end family breakdown, by energizing the Survivors of the Sexual Revolution. We especially focus on the impact of family breakdown on children: understanding it, healing it, ending it.

That doesn't seem to have anything to do with racism or hate.

JRM: Why do you think the Southern Poverty Law Center has created a whole category called "Anti-LGBT?" Sexual revolutionaries gain a strategic advantage by labelling people like me. Guilt by association is irrational, but powerful. The fear of being labelled a racist provides a potent disincentive for people to voice the view that children need their own parents. Silencing people relieves the identity politicians and sexual revolutionaries from the effort of having to defend their ideas.

This is convenient for these Identity politicians and sexual revolutionaries, because their ideas are indefensible. Children actually do need their own parents. Sexual orientation is not the equivalent of race. Two mothers do not equal two fathers and two fathers do not equal a mother and a father, and certainly not one’s own mother and father. Placing us next to the guys with white hoods and swastikas avoids engaging any arguments.

There are multiple ironies here. Many, many people in the African American community are devout Christians who deeply resent what they consider the hijacking of the civil rights movement and rhetoric by LGBT activists. Since we oppose aspects of the LGBT movement, we are considered the equivalent of the KKK or Nazis.

Vanco markets itself to religious organisations, which makes their attitude to you puzzling.

JRM: Many groups and individuals are concerned about this sort of targeting. Yes: the fact that Vanco markets itself to churches and religious organizations does make this puzzling. I would suggest that churches consider switching providers.

Will you try to talk to Vanco or Card Brands?

JRM: Probably not. We are looking for another service provider.


To Vanco, from Fr. Thomas Loya


I was shocked and deeply disappointed that Vanco chose to render a verdict on the integrity of the Ruth Institute and cut them off from Vanco without Vanco even attempting to first familiarize itself with the actual mission and work of the Ruth Institute. The work of the Ruth Institute is dedicated to strengthening marriage and family. Not only is this a work of caring and love but in turn it helps to support and stabilize society including the economy. Vanco’s actions toward the Ruth Institute makes Vanco culpable of the very thing of which it accuses the Ruth Institute: being judgmental, discriminatory, insensitive, prejudicial, mean-spirited and hateful.

Please know that as a priest who speaks to audiences every week in church, as well as on two international radio programs and at conferences nationally and internationally that I will be sure to tell the story over and over again of Vanco’s hateful, discriminatory, boorish and judgmental actions toward the Ruth Institute and how such actions in turn harm our society.

Fr. Thomas J. Loya, STB, MA.
Tabor Life Institute

More support for Ruth!

Here's another letter of support for Ruth sent to Vanco:

Dear Sir or Madam,

It has come to my attention that you have cut off services from a Louisiana-based Christian ministry, the Ruth Institute, because you mistakenly follow the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Hate Map," which accuses the Ruth Institute of promoting "hate, violence, harassment and/or abuse.” In doing so, you are actually trafficking in hate yourselves, although perhaps inadvertently so, since the SPLC is a notorious purveyor of hate against conservative and Christian groups especially by labelling them “hate groups” for no other reason than for espousing philosophies congruent with American values and Christian ideals. SPLC claims hate so as to engender hate against those with which it disagrees. The Ruth Institute's primary focus is family breakdown and its impact on children. This has absolutely nothing to do with hate. To the contrary, the institute deals in love—love of children and of families.

At any rate, I understand the Ruth Institute received a message this last Thursday that your company had opted to discontinue your relationship with it because of this fabricated “hate” issue erroneously claimed by the SPLC. I want to inform you that this is a mistake and I for one will be quite vocal in opposition to this move and any similar pressures on the Ruth Institute by your company and any other, and I implore you to rethink your stance here. Being influenced by the SPLC is not a good business practice, nor is it a good idea in terms of ethics, good citizenship and general humanity.

A letter to Vanco from a supporter

Please consider writing one of your own using Vanco's contact page.

I was surprised to read today online that Vanco had canceled its arrangement with the Ruth Institute, calling it a group that promotes hate and violence.

I have heard many hours of podcasts with their founder, Jennifer Roback Morse, and read several of her books and have never heard anything that I thought would be considered hateful or violent.

In fact, I've never heard anything from her or her organization that our own or many other churches could agree with.

If Vanco is suspending its business relationship with "hateful" groups, what would keep them from suspending its arrangement with many of the churches I know that use their services?

What is the definition of "hate groups" that Vanco uses to deny its services?

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