How One Woman’s Union Dues Help Change Hearts and Save Lives on Standupgirl.com
By Terrilyn Kroeker
About one year ago, co-workers at my state job began pressuring me to get personally involved in our union. As a novice member, I initially agreed to help audit the union books, but eventually I was elected to the Executive Board. It was here that I became aware of how political and liberal our union is. Don’t get me wrong – unions have done good things for their members. But as a Christian, I could not support using my union dues to advocate for abortion and for candidates who support abortion. I knew that I had to take a stand.
My guilt about contributing to pro-abortion candidates through my monthly union dues continued to grow, and I went to the union website to check it out. Initially, the entire site appeared pretty clean and not offensive at all. Then I went to the search feature and put in key words like “abortion.” I was shocked that my union expresses a liberal opinion on virtually every social issue while insinuating that their membership agrees with those opinions.
In addition, the union money trail that supports political campaigns is not very transparent. This is because the Oregon Secretary of State’s office treats unions like corporations for political spending purposes. That means that they don’t have to set up a special political action committee that’s registered with the state in order to donate funds. Their treasurers can simply write checks to candidates or ballot measures.
And so with a few keyboard strokes, I began the process of applying for “religious exemption” status. After requesting information, I received a response that included five questions:
- Describe in complete detail the elements of what it is that you are specifically objecting to regarding union membership or the paying of fair share fees as a non-member;
- Is your objection based on a teaching of your church? If so, please provide a copy of any and all documentation you have that explains that teaching;
- How long have you held this belief?
- If possible, please provide a letter from your pastor or religious leader verifying your membership in your church;
- Provide us with any additional information and/or documentation which may serve to support your objection.
I submitted a letter answering these questions and outlining why I objected to being forced to contribute to political candidates who are actively contributing to the deaths of millions of unborn children. I included a copy of my church identity document which included the covenant, doctrine and philosophy of my faith. My pastor also graciously provided a letter.
I was pleasantly surprised when the union granted my “religious exemption” status!
All I had to do then was to identify a mutually agreed upon non-religious organization to receive my monthly union dues. I suggested Standupgirl.com which the union reviewed and approved.
My little story about standing up for Life has a very happy ending. Each month, my union sends my entire dues deduction to Standupgirl.com. The union still represents me even though I cannot vote in union matters. I am no longer supporting pro-abortion candidates, and Standupgirl.com uses that money to support young women in crisis pregnancies.
What about you? Does your union offer a religious objector status? Of the thousands of members in my union, currently only a handful use this exemption. If you would like more information on how I was successful, please contact me at Terri@standupgirl.com.