Support whatever group you like, but I don’t have to help you do it.

This year we want to have professional photos taken of L for the holidays, like we did two years ago. We loved our photographer, who is extremely talented. She and her husband run the business.  I figured we would just use them again this year. (I can’t upload any of the photos – she has them protected, as any smart photographer would.)

I go on her website to get her phone number and begin looking around in the “Giving Back” section.  I first spend 10 minutes weeping while viewing photos from an “Operation: Smile” photo essay this woman did in Hondouras.  Incredible before and after photos. I was really moved.  Then I clicked on something called “DPRC” with a little “uh-oh” in my mind. Afterall, I do live in Texas. This could be anything.

DPRC isn’t just anything: it is an anti-abortion clinic that talks women into giving birth through what I consider misinformation. The website uses language like “post-abortion syndrome” and “sexual purity.” They claim to talk about birth control but I don’t know what or how.  They also have a statistic about STDs on the front page which was at first encouraging, since most abstinence only groups don’t like to even mention STDs, but if they are using it to further abstinence and not education, then that is bothersome for me. (I admit, I didn’t research it too closely. I picked up on the rhetoric quickly enough.) It goes against all my hard work this summer on those articles for The Democratic Blog of Collin County. It goes against my personal moral belief system.

Here’s the except from the photographer’s blog (I am purposely not giving her name or web address):

“We were honored to photograph some of the women who have sought the helpful guidance of the Dallas Pregnancy Resource Center during their time of need. It was a blessing to meet and photograph these strong ladies again after their precious babies arrived. Click here to visit the Dallas Pregnancy Resource Center website and see the great work they are doing. On March 29, 2007, Angie’s images of these women and babies were displayed during a “Concert for Life” at the Lakewood Theater starring Christian artist Nichole Nordeman and benefitting the DPRC.”

Clearly, this photographer is anti-abortion and strongly Christian.  I am about as Pro-Choice as anyone can get and feel that Evangelical Christianity is hurting our country.  I am not against this photographer choosing to support this group as a matter of Freedom of Speech. My issue is, I don’t want to give her my money. But I really want beautiful photos of my child.

I shared my conflict with my husband who, without much thought, said, “We aren’t doing business with them not matter how good she is.” (If you know my husband well, then you know that is a kid-friendly version.)

This is the issue, I guess.  The photos of L the first time around were the most incredible photos I have seen.  I want that again – for the cards but also for posterity.  But can I hand over a LOT of money to someone who is going to use her resources to benefit a group I think is doing harm? Can I let go of what I want in order to stand up for what I believe?

Of course I can. I might not like it, but I can. And I must. Because no matter how beautiful my child looks in our holiday cards, if I can’t look myself in the mirror because of it, then it isn’t the right thing to do.

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5 responses to “Support whatever group you like, but I don’t have to help you do it.

  1. I can totally appreciate your dilemma. I mean, you found something that is hard to find, namely someone that does their work well, but it turns out that they’re wackos (also the kid-friendly version).

    I think you are doing the right thing by choosing not to do business with her as she’s clearly invested in a cause that you (and me) find offensive and detrimental.

    I respect you for writing about this and speaking out about this issues.

    Sometimes I imagine it must be hard living in Texas with all that nonsense around you and then I think I’m glad you’re there to make a difference.

  2. Yup, don’t do it. I hope you find another great photogapher in the area. By the way, don’t you mean Fundamentalist Christians? Jimmy Carter is an Evangelical Christian.

  3. Ditto, ditch her. If she is going to plug her belief system on her website, she is taking the risk that she will lose business because of it. There are loads of great photographers around, you can find another one. In fact, if you visit California with L anytime before Christmas, I will take photos of her myself and I will do it for free 🙂

  4. I think this is one of your best posts yet! Keep them coming!

    I’ve seen pictures of L on your blog before. She will define holiday beauty no matter who takes her photos and, more importantly, will be proud of her Mommy for standing up for her beliefs…after her snack, of course.

  5. Great post! And I totally agree with you. You can find another great photographer!

    I’ve been wanting to practice taking photos of people. I’m getting good at taking photos of *things* … but people… I have moments, but I need more practice. What can I say? It’s on my list! My very, very long list…