The American Humanist Association has threatened East Point Academy in West Columbia South Carolina with a law suit if they did not stop contributing to the charity.
The AHA claims that:
“The boxes of toys are essentially a bribe, expressly used to pressure desperately poor children living in developing countries to convert to Christianity, and are delivered with prayers, sermons, evangelical tracts and pressure to convert,”
The school states pretty clearly in their response to the AHA ”
“At our school only non-religious items have been collected for the boxes, no religious material is distributed to students or included with the boxes and the school has expended no money for the shipping of the boxes which each voluntary participant paid.No incentives or grades are given for any community service projects.”
I am currently participating in this program myself, through my church. We are a congregation of less than 100 if I had to make a guess, and we are providing nearly 200 boxes. My wife pain painstakingly made hats and scarfs for 3 boxes. My pastors father made hand made wooden race cars for probably 50 boxes, and miscellaneous toys and school supplies have been provided as well. In all the boxes I have personally seen put together, there has not been one piece of religious literature. It is possible, at the receiving end something may be added, I do not know because I am not involved in that, but nothing I have seen on the sending end indicates that.
For those who are unaware of the exact text of the first amendment, which includes the establishment clause, here it is. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
“The AHA said a public school cannot affiliate itself with a group like Operation Christmas Child without violating the Establishment Clause.” Once again a school is not congress, and sharing religion is not establishing religion. If anything since the school was not funding this, I dare say that the acts of the AHA violate the establishment clause by stopping the free exercise of religion.
Public funds are not being spent on this, the teachers were not ordered to participate, the students, were not given incentives to help, and Samaritans Purse was not the only way to help offered by the school. This does nothing but stop sharing and good will to the poorest in the world.
So, thanks to a bunch of godless, heartless “humanist” bullies, dozens of poor children will wake up on Christmas morning without a single toy.
How inhumane of the humanists.
I would like to provide you all a bit of information about this group that shut this charity down for this school.
From their own about page:
The American Humanist Association has stood as the voice of humanism in the United States for over 70 years.
We strive to bring about a progressive society where being good without a god is an accepted way to live life.
Now by the definition of progressivism “the political orientation of those who favor progress toward better conditions in government and society.” they should be in favor of charities that help people. How does stopping a charity that cost the government no money promote better conditions in society? Samaritans Purse, the organization that runs the charity is not wrought with fraud, and has been instrumental in helping so many people in the world with natural disasters poverty, and other issues.
They claim the issue with Operation Christmas Child is that it:
“Operation Christmas Child sends toys to impoverished children overseas expressly as a means to deliver proselytizing messages. The stated mission is to “demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
This is true, we are sharing love, but what are you doing AHA? Did you provide the school a secular way to help students give gifts to the poor? Did you start up a charity that would pay for the shipping of boxes that were already filed with presents? No is the answer, all you were concerned about was imposing your extremist views on American children, and protecting people in other countries who are not protected under the American Constitution.
I ask you all, as decent humans, as Americans will you stand by and let children suffer, simply because you desire the destruction of religious liberty?
I ask my religious readers, will you stand by and let this continue? Will you allow groups like this bully you out of every opportunity you have to give?
The world suffers, these boxes give a moments reprieve from suffering. Even if they come with a message that God is kind and loves you, that Jesus is the savior, children are not forced to accept that message. Is this really a reason to crush small impoverished children all over the world?
Here is the letter sent by the AHA to the school. http://americanhumanist.org/system/storage/2/23/7/4719/letter_re_Operation_Christmas_Child_Columbia_SC.pdf
Here is the letter sent out by the school to parents and students. http://www.americanhumanist.org/system/storage/2/30/3/4737/Operation+Christmas+Child.pdf