Below is an article I received in an e-mail from the Center For Prophetic Imagination that provides facts about the U.S. imperial war machine–the idol this nation worships–and how much is spent on the destruction of human lives and God’s creation in its quest for U.S. global hegemony. The article also names the war profiteers who most benefit from our worship of the god of violence, death and destruction.
Unfortunately, and sadly, a group of Christians formed a nonprofit organization that is a beneficiary of war, a war profiteer, and where other members of the Body of Christ have invested their money to also profit from the abomination of war. This is unacceptable and poses a major challenge to those who believe themselves Christian yet invest in this evil, immoral, and corrupt system.
|by Mark Van Steenwyk – Last week, USA Today published an article listing the 20 companies most profiting from war. They write: |
Total arms sales among the world’s 100 largest defense contractors topped $398 billion in 2017 after climbing for the third consecutive year. Notably, Russia, one of the countries with the fastest growing militaries over the last decade, became the second largest arms-producing country, overtaking the United Kingdom for the first time since 2002. The United States’ position as the top arms-producing nation in the world remains unchanged, and for now unchallenged.
The article goes on to list the top 20 defense contractors, a list topped by Lockheed Martin:
Maryland-based Lockheed Martin, the largest defense contractor in the world, is estimated to have had $44.9 billion in arms sales in 2017 through deals with governments all over the world. The company drew public scrutiny after a bomb it sold to Saudi Arabia was dropped on a school bus in Yemen, killing 40 boys and 11 adults. Lockheed’s revenue from the U.S. government alone is well more than the total annual budgets of the IRS and the Environmental Protection Agency, combined.
Their list of twenty top war profiteers is limited to defense contractors. They don’t factor in companies like Halliburton, which (as of 2013) has made nearly $40 Billion in profits from the Iraq war.
You know who else is profiting from war? You. If you invest your money through organizations like Thrivent Financial.
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).
Thrivent Financial is a Fortune 500 not-for-profit financial services organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Appleton, Wisconsin and founded by Lutherans. Of course, the major financial service organizations (Berkshire Hathaway, Allianz, JP Morgan Chase, etc) are awash in war profiteering as well. Call me old-fashioned, but I expect more from organizations who link their mission exist to help Christians “be good stewards of the gifts God has given them“.
Our world is mired in violence. The United States has 800+ military bases around the world. We are currently engaged in conflict zones in Niger, Uganda, Cameroon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and more.
Are you, by investing with Thrivent Financial unwittingly participating in war profiteering?
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.”
To take a step towards challenging Thrivent Financial, add your name to these petitions on Change.org or CodePink.
And, while you’re at it, if you invest elsewhere, search them on dontbankonthebomb.com.
For deeper steps, visit ThriventDivest.com
Mark Van Steenwyk is the Executive Director of the Center for Prophetic Imagination.
He is the author of A Wolf at the Gate, The unKingdom of God and That Holy Anarchist, the editor of the Missio Dei Breviary, and has contributed to several books (such as Viral Hope, Banned Questions about Jesus, Forming Christian Habits in Post-Christendom, and Widening the Circle). He’s been published at Sojourners, Geez Magazine, JesusRadicals.com, Leadership Magazine, the Mennonite, and Mennonite World Review. His work has been featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribute, the Boston Globe, and on CNN.com.
You can find out more about Mark at Markvans.info.
NOTE: This is the actual LINK to this article, however, some browsers will not link to it because it is not a secure website.