Paul Greenberg

Those who run the Komen foundation, and make a mighty good thing of it, too, sound confused in the worst way: morally confused.

Formally dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure (R) has also been funding -- of all unrelated things -- the nation's largest provider, merchandiser and defender of abortions: Planned Parenthood.

The pink-ribbon people finally decided to cut off Planned Parenthood when that well-financed outfit came under congressional scrutiny for the way it handles its money.

The result was an outcry from Planned Parenthood and well-heeled company. A rhetorical donnybrook ensued. The social media went into a tizzy, as they regularly do. Pro-lifers upped their contributions to the Race for the Cure, while anti-lifers (excuse me, pro-choicers) threatened to stop theirs and finance Planned Parenthood instead. Money changed hands, or at least pledges to one nonprofit or the other did.

Then came the course correction. The Komen foundation announced it wouldn't be cutting off Planned Parenthood's water after all. Although just what it would be doing in the future wasn't entirely clear.

What a mess. And it's still unresolved. It's not easy trying to stay neutral between right and wrong. No wonder Dante gave those who manage to bring it off their own special circle in hell or vicinity thereof.

Come to think, the execs at the Komen foundation aren't confused at all. They know what they're after: the money. And whichever side of this raucous debate can provide more of it, or withhold more of it, can be assured of the Komen foundation's undying support. For the moment. Until a higher bid is made.

The succession of awkwardnesses in the Komen foundation's changing public stances and shifting explanations for them was only to be expected. It happens with organizations that have never really thought through first questions, like whether to cooperate with evil, to what extent, and at what cost, at least in dollars and cents. (The value of an organization's soul, if it has one, has yet to be calculated.)

The same phenomenon can be observed in the kind of people who wind up either ignoring moral questions or trying to minimize them. Hey, abortion is only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood's total activities, even if it represents a lot of the organization's income. And only a small percentage of the Komen foundation's funds goes to Planned Parenthood, even if it's a lot of money.

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Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.