Vanco Payment Solutions considers itself a “faith-based” payment processor. Its website boldly proclaims “unlock the power of generosity,” and “20,000 churches and growing.”
They love to take church money, and make money enabling congregations to give online, by credit card. But they apparently believe many Christians are part of hate groups.
The Ruth Institute is a non-profit organization “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.” This came from the institute’s website.
The institute, run by Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., relies on donations to operate. According to the website, Dr. Morse “was named one of the “Catholic Stars of 2013” on a list that included Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI.”
But you have to use PayPal to donate to the Ruth Institute right now, because Vanco, their payment processor, dumped them.
Morse tells what she knows in The Stream:
What reason did Vanco give?
“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.”
Did they talk to you first? Nope. Any other reason? Unknown.
Morse published a statement on the Ruth Institute’s website dated August 31, titled “the cost of being labeled a hate group.” Sure enough, in December 2013, the SPLC labeled “the Ruth Institute’s ‘circle of experts’ on homosexuality” as a hate group, when the institute broke from the National Organization for Marriage.
The RI claims that it is “Making Marriage [for heterosexuals] Cool.” The tagline on its website banner states “One Man One Woman For Life.” Thus, heterosexual marriage is the only “proper” context for sex and childrearing. The RI encourages “respect of contributions of men to the family” and using “lifelong spousal cooperation” as a “solution to women’s aspirations for career and family.”
Being pro-family, and Christian is enough to be labeled by the SPLC as a hate group. They get their information from GLAAD, the horrific school-age propaganda arm of the LGBT culture warriors, some of whom are just peachy with groups like NAMBLA that advocate child rape and pederasty.
So let’s trace this back. Atlanta-based Vanco markets its services to churches. They process approximately $13.1 billion in transactions annually, according to their website. They are a registered ISO (independent sales organization) of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. And they’re taking their cues on who is a hate group from GLAAD.
Just a few years ago, I used to run a payment processing company. We dealt with Wells Fargo. We didn’t market to churches. But regardless, if Wells Fargo told us they needed us to drop client x because GLAAD and SPLC labeled them a hate group simply for being Christian, I would have cheerfully given them directions to a very deep lake to jump in–or kindly provided them a map to Hell.
Vanco could have fought back a little here. They could have stood up for a client that essentially represents their primary customer base. Now every church using Vanco is on notice that they could be next.