According to data gathered by dontbankonthebomb.com (a project of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate ICAN and PAX), Thrivent Financial, as of early 2018, had a total of 297 million invested into the military industrial complex. These companies include BAE Systems (which builds fighter-bombers, combat drones, nuclear submarines and nuclear missiles), Huntington Ingalls (which builds aircraft carriers), Lockhead Martin (the world’s largest defense contractor who builds, among other things, the Trident II DF nuclear missile), and Orbital ATK (which produces missiles, large-caliber ammunition, grenade launchers, and warheads).
Furthermore, according to filings made to the SEC, Thrivent also invests in gun manufacturers, such as Vista Outdoors and Sturm Ruger, that sell guns to consumers and police departments. REI discontinued sales of Vista Outdoor products due to their ties to the NRA. And Sturm Ruger is the nation’s largest firearm manufacturer, providing guns to both consumers and police departments.
Our world is mired in violence.
Gun violence is an area of increasing concern as students march across the nation demanding safety in their schools.
Police continue to brutalize and murder unarmed people of color.
Are you, by investing with Thrivent Financial contributing to violence at home and abroad?
Thrivent started as a Christian mutual aid organization but is now a Fortune 500 company making profits from death. How does this square with Jesus’ call to love our enemies, welcome the stranger, and serve “the least of these.”
We are asking you to consider the following:
- Pressure Thrivent Financial to create stricter guidelines for ethical investment, insisting that they refuse to profit off of what Martin Luther King Jr. called the “Giant Triplets” that plague our society: racism, militarism and extreme materialism. Whether or not you decide to keep investing with Thrivent, they need to be challenged to divest.
- Take your money out of Thrivent and work with financial companies that refuse to profit off weapons sales. Though there is indeed a lot of truth to the statement “there is no ethical consumption (or investment) under capitalism,” we heartily recommend Just Money Advisors. Another option is Everence, a faith-based financial services organization with ties to the Mennonite Church. They have a strong aversion to profiting from violence. Shared Interest is an example of an investment organization which aims to alleviate poverty by helping people in remote and disadvantaged communities, to trade and earn a living. If you are looking for a more ethical alternative to Thrivent, these are just several among many options.
- Dig deeper still. Weapons dealers aren’t the only unethical companies in our world. Thrivent invests with companies like Monsanto, Facebook, and Equifax, which have all come under scrutiny in recent months. What does it mean to use our money to promote good things for this world while refusing to gain from companies that do evil. For example, the Investigate investment screening tool scans any list of holdings for corporations complicit in the private prison industry, Israeli occupation, and weapons suppliers. Engaged Tracking publicly ranks the world’s largest listed companies according to their greenhouse gas emissions each year. If you are going to invest your money, we challenge you to research your investments as a moral obligation.
- Have you considered not investing in the stock market at all? Alternatives include peer-to-peer lending, buying real estate, becoming a silent-partner in a local business, buying precious metals, collectibles, and more.
If you would like to help us organize a loving challenge to Thrivent Financial, or would simply like occassional updates, please contact us with the form below.