Atheist Group Goes Full Grinch, Steals Christmas From Hundreds Of Poor Kids Around The World

Students at a Kansas middle school will no longer be able to fill Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes with gifts for poor children overseas after the superintendent caved to an atheist activist group’s litigation threat.

Operation Christmas Child provides shoeboxes filled with gifts to children in 160 countries around the world (Screenshot from Samaritan’s Purse).

“While it is laudable for a public school to promote student involvement in the community by volunteering and donating to charitable organizations, the school cannot use that goal as an avenue to fund a religious organization with a religious mission,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) told Pratt Public Schools Superintendent Tony Helfrich in a Nov. 3 letter, according to Michael Foust, reporting for Christian Headlines.

A mere four days later, Helfrich caved, telling FFRF that he was immediately “discontinuing” the school’s participation in the shoebox campaign because “its mission is more sectarian in nature than we realized.”

Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian charitable group started by evangelist Franklin Graham that provides health, food, construction and other forms of aid to needy people around the world regardless of their religious faith or lack of it.

Millions of the shoeboxes, which are filled by volunteer participants from thousands of American churches, schools and other community groups with gifts for children such as toys, shoes and sox, dental aids, clothing and other needed items have been distributed for more than two decades. The Christmas shoe boxes are sent to children in 160 countries around the world.

HillFaith asked First Liberty Institute Special Counsel Jeremy Dys if a public school participating in Operation Christmas Child is protected by the First Amendment.

First Liberty Special Counsel Jeremy Dys.

“The reality is that Samaritan’s Purse is a social welfare organization. They exist to care for those in need — in the greatest of need across the world. Just because they are religious is no reason to exclude them from public,” Dys told HillFaith Tuesday.

“Excluding an organization just because it is religious is the the very type of religious intolerance the First Amendment abhors.

“FFRF and other Grinches would rather kids be denied the opportunity to care for kids who have nothing at Christmas than put up with the religious mission of Samaritan’s Purse,” he said.

First Liberty is a Plano, Texas-based law firm that specializes in defending religious freedom, and has won multiple significant federal court victories defending the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom and practice.


 

Author: Mark Tapscott

Follower of Christ, devoted husband of Claudia, doting father and grandfather, conservative lover of liberty, journalist and First Amendment fanatic, former Hill and Reagan aide, vintage Formula Ford racer, Okie by birth/Texan by blood/proud of both, resident of Maryland. Go here: https://hillfaith.blog/about-hillfaith-2/

36 thoughts on “Atheist Group Goes Full Grinch, Steals Christmas From Hundreds Of Poor Kids Around The World”

  1. so, rather than not make it about religion and just help kids, christians have to insist on forcing their particular version of a religion on others. The only people not helping kids are those Christians who have to make gift giving all about themselves. Alas, so many Christians have to ignore some of the few decent things in the bible when they insist on shouting how great they are in their charity:

    ” “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

    always good to see Christians ignoring their bible in order to try to indoctrinate children.

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      1. The issue is separation of church and state. Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization with a goal of winning the world for Christ. This “shoe-box” program is a conversion-focused Christian drive. The children sent these boxes…many of them Muslim…are also encouraged to join a Christian indoctrination program. The literature contained in the boxes is aimed at converting children to one specific religious belief. I would say, take out the literature and it would be more acceptable. Barring that, if the literature is THAT important, then this activity needs to take place in a private religious school, a Sunday School, or some other private setting…NOT in a public school environment.

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      2. Brent, if “the issue is separation of church and state,” as you contend, where is the state-enforced religious creed? When are the state-enforced worship services held? How much money does the state-enforced religion receive from taxpayers?

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      3. poor Mark, has to try to make up excuses why I should not think that one child has been converted aka indoctrinated. So are you admitting that this fails and that the Samaritan’s Purse mission statement isn’t “Samaritan’s Purse is a non-profit, Christian organisation providing emergency relief and development assistance to suffering people around the world. Samaritan’s Purse is meeting the physical needs of victims of war, famine, natural disaster, poverty and disease with the aim of demonstrating God’s love and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ’”

        Mark it seems either you are trying to claim that Christians and their god fail or trying to lie that conversion isn’t the mission of the program. Which is it?

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      4. I’ve unapproved your comments in which you accuse those with whom you disagree of purposefully lying. You are, of course, free to think that but the purpose of comments on HillFaith is to encourage respectful and civil conversation. I appreciate your intelligence and wit, but I will not abide baseless attacks on others’ character.

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      5. Mark that is simply an excuse that you’ve invented for yourself. I’ve shown that the false claims by the Christians here are indeed that, false. You find yourself protecting lies. you might want to read Romans 3.

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      6. Club, you are proficient at launching criticism based on your assumption that Christianity is based on false claims, but in doing so you are not engaging in a genuine discussion. A lot of folks who are smarter than you and I both have examined the evidence and concluded that the Resurrection is the most reasonable explanation for the empty tomb, compared to all the other proposed explanation. A good many examined the same evidence and concluded otherwise. But at least they examined it. You tell us repeatedly that Christianity is false, so you must have previously examined the evidence and reached your conclusion. Tell us specifically why you concluded that the evidence does not support the resurrection.

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      1. again, it seems taht a Christian is quite desperate to ignore what JC says when it is inconvenient.

        This is what the Samaritan’s Purse mission statement is “‘Samaritan’s Purse is a non-profit, Christian organisation providing emergency relief and development assistance to suffering people around the world. Samaritan’s Purse is meeting the physical needs of victims of war, famine, natural disaster, poverty and disease with the aim of demonstrating God’s love and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ’”

        I love how they admit that they aren’t there to just help, but they are there to convert. and we can see them having to be preached too right here: https://youtu.be/wm2HP_Yy_54

        the pamphlet has where the child should “become God’s child”. If you google “Most Important Story pdf, you can see what it says yourself.

        So, since kids to have to listen to this nonsense and are given this pamphlet, you are agreeing with me that it is wrong… right? Or will you offer another excuse?

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      2. Which tomb, Mark? You have to assume a tomb existed. No reason to since Christians can’t agree on that, so why think that there was a tomb when there is no evidence for Jesus Christ, son of God at all? No evidence of a ridiculous census, no evidence of the massacre of the innocents, no evidence of miracles or a man wandering around Roman-occupied Palestine with a Roman legion’s worth of men following him around. No evidence of a day where there was a major earthquake, the sky darkening and the dead wandering around Roman-occupied Jerusalem.

        You have nothing. William Lane Craig’s argument fails since he depends on the presupposition that this nonsense is true.

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      3. You are evading my question and I think you know you are because even non-believing critics like Bart Earhman says virtually everybody from sides of the debate agree that there was a real Jesus who was crucified and buried and that His tomb was found empty on the third day. So how about telling us how you think the tomb got empty and we can continue a rational discussion.

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      4. I am not evading your question at all, Mark. We have at least two contenders for the supposed tomb.

        Bart Ehrman thinks that there is a possiblity of a human being who thought he was the messiah. Is that who you worship, Mark? If not, then your running to arguments for a deluded human being shows the dearth of evidence for your myths.

        Ehrman does not say “virtually everybody from (both) sides of the debate) agree”. They do not. Ehrman doesn’t believe in a magical Jesus. I’ve read his books. Have you?

        You again seem to think that using logical fallacies will work for you, e.g. the fallacy of appeal to popularity and the fallacy of appeal to authority.

        You assume that there was full tomb. However, you have no evidence for that at all, nor that Jesus Christ, son of God, not a regular human being, even existed. So you start with two presuppositions, that you must claim are true for your religion not to be false.

        How will you support those two claims even before we address how a tomb got empty?

        As it stands, we have no tomb and no death of the supernatural Jesus. We have no supernatural Jesus. So, we have no empty tomb to explain.

        But if one wants to claim that your savior isn’t what you think and was only a human being, who was killed, then it is not hard to think of how a tomb that he was supposed to be in would be considered empty. This has been covered much by both non-christians and Christians. We have the swoon hypothesis, the stealing the body hypothesis, the wrong tomb hypothesis, etc. All can work, but they don’t support a magical Jesus.

        We also have the problem with the gospels themselves and their claims about the events around the passion story. As I listed in my other post, we have differences in what happened. I can also add that the Gospel of John just ignores the torment of Christ in the garden of Gesthemane, causing a bit of a problem since we have two theologically very different Jesuses when it comes to their sacrifice and humanity.

        Again, Mark, tell me why I should think that the tomb was ever occupied. I’ve told you why I think the entire story is a legend, with little to do with reality.

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      5. Thank you, Club, for offering what you see as a possible explanation for the empty tomb. And I certainly agree that it’s possible for someone to think, mistakenly, that they are the Messiah. Such nutcases are not unknown. But the problem is that it doesn’t explain the empty tomb, it only offers a possible explanation of Christ’s state of mind prior to His death (an explanation that I would reject). So I repeat my request, what is your explanation for the empty tomb?

        You mentioned the familiar alternative explanations for the empty tomb critics have offered and I suspect you already know the problems with each of them. The swoon theory, for example, claims Jesus didn’t die, he was unconscious when taken down from the cross, then revived after being placed in the tomb. Among the multiple problems with the swoon theory is, most notably, the medical effects of crucifixion make the chance of surviving remote at best. There’s also the problem of how did a revived Christ open from the inside a tomb sealed from the outside, then, despite massive loss of blood and thus strength, somehow overcome a dozen members of the Roman Legion to make His escape, and so on. The swoon theory is an explanation but why is it, in your judgement, a better explanation?

        In addition, what I said about Ehrman was that most of the major figures like him on both sides in this debate agree on the basic facts that “there was a real Jesus who was crucified and buried and that His tomb was found empty on the third day.” I am familiar with Ehrman, but, no, I have not read his books. So tell us, where does Ehrman say in a book or elsewhere that the tomb was not empty?

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      1. No, Peter, it is called pointing out Christian hypocrisy. Irony is “the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.”

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      1. So, it seems that “sin-eater” ignores what his supposedly savior said about not insisting on attribution for one’s charitable words.

        If you just wanted to help people, you would not feel the need to insist that they know where the help came from, like JC says.

        ““So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.””

        Is your bible wrong, SE? The nonsense in the tracts claims that they are helped by this god of yours; the tracts aren’t just a slip saying where the help comes from. But that isn’t true. This god does nothing at all, and humans do the work. If this god were loving and caring, it would have already helped these people, being omnipotent and omniscient.

        Why does your god evidently need prompting by humans to do the right thing? And why does it always end up with humans doing things, no god magic happening?

        The usual excuse is that this is to “teach” Christians, which means that you think you are special enough for a god to hurt people to teach you something. How pathetically selfish.

        As I’ve asked cath here, SE, why is it that my local christian mission has to ask the entire community for help when there are at least a hundred churches in our area? Why aren’t they rolling in money to help others? Why do christians send missionaries to christian countries to convert them to their particular version? So much for one happy christian family.

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    1. You are so wrong to attack Christians for sharing their faith. Furthermore, it is the joyful duty of Christians to share the love of God with others.
      Would you attack any other belief the way you attack Christians? Of course not.

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  2. So an organization that boasts “more than 33,000 members” is allowed to stop a different organization from distributing millions of gift boxes containing desperately needed items to needy parts of the world just because their world view does not allow for the possibility of a Creator. My disdain for them is boundless. Even most non-religious people can have the desire to help others, and don’t really worry about the religion of those giving help. Ironically, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is its own “Religion”.

    My wife was a schoolgirl in the post WWII time frame. She and her fellow classmates really looked forward to receiving such boxes, because of the lack of many basic needs during that terrible time. I salute anyone who is willing to support such current movements, regardless of what the organization is…

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  3. This is about the terrible fear of the power of the love of God.
    Even the least hint of the spiritual must be stamped out vigorously so no manifestation of love remains.
    Well, by their deeds they shall be known..

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