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Christianity makes monsters of people, part two: atheists banned from helping the homeless.

WHEN a group of atheists volunteered to help down-and-outs in South Carolina, they were told in no uncertain terms by the Christian director of the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen to fuck off.

Questioned about her ban last spring on the secular volunteers, the soup kitchen’s Executive Director, Lou Landrum, said she’d rather resign before allowing non-believers to volunteer with the Christian group.

Lou Landrum throws a tantrum over atheist aid.

Lou Landrum throws a tantrum over atheist aid.

This is a ministry to serve God. We stand on the principles of God. Do they think that our guests are so ignorant that they don’t know what an atheist is?

And she moaned:

Why are they targeting us? They don’t give any money. I wouldn’t want their money.

Upstate Atheists said that they were just trying to help and that the ban truly surprised them. And activist Hemant Mehta, a well-known secular blogger, was so stunned that he quippe:

Jesus would be so pissed off.

The group had promised not to “proselytise” atheism while offering help. Upstate Atheists President Eve Brannon said:

I told them we wouldn’t wear our T-shirts. We wouldn’t tell anyone who we are with. We just want to help out. And they told us that we were not allowed.

Brannon and her group are planning to hit back by handing out care packages for the homeless right across the street from Spartanburg Soup Kitchen. These packs will include tooth brushes, antiseptic wipes, soap, snacks and other essentials.  She claims the soup kitchen is the first local group to deny them the opportunity to help out.

In this report, Brannon said the group has worked with Christian non-profits, such as Habitat for Humanity, in the past.

We can all work together to achieve something positive regardless of religion or lack thereof. We’ve raised money for March of Dimes, worked with the Generous Garden Project, done community park clean ups, adopted a highway, and sponsored local foster children for Christmas.

She said the group is used to its share of animosity within the community, but the exchange with the Soup Kitchen was unlike anything she had experienced.

They are the only group that denied us the opportunity to volunteer.

Landrum responded:

They can set up across the street from the Soup Kitchen. They can have the devil there with them, but they better not come across the street.

Mehta said here:

In case you’re curious, the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen is, in fact, a religious ministry. They have every right to pick and choose their volunteers. But, as with many of the people who say things in the name of Jesus, when you shine a spotlight on their words, they come off looking like narrow-minded bigots.

NOTE: Part 1 – How a Kansas City Christian couple set out to humiliate a young waiter – is here.

 

33 Responses to “Christianity makes monsters of people, part two: atheists banned from helping the homeless.”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    It isn’t aid that the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen is offering homeless people, it’s indoctrination. Just like the lovely old Salvation Army, they’re in it for the souls.

  2. Barfly says:

    This is the old missionary formula food in return for singing prayer then some of the helpers can go home and think they have helped the homeless.

  3. Barry Duke says:

    Ahhh.Souls! Got it, AC!

  4. Justin says:

    Class act. She’s no doubt the kind of person who complains how non-religious people aren’t as charitable and kind as Christians, but then turns around and denies non-religious/non-believers the right to participate in charitable events.

    I wonder if she would feed a homeless atheist or would she consider that a disservice to her community?

  5. Kim says:

    Their website says they are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, which is a category which may or may not be ‘religious’. I looked them up on IRS website. They are listed as a ‘public charity’ which means they receive donations and assistance from the general public.

  6. AgentCormac says:

    BD

    At the risk of turning this into derrière pun central – ‘Bum! Bum!’

  7. Broga says:

    The answer to this is that these atheists are really Christians but have yet to realise that. I’ve been told that by a Christian when I contributed to a charity. She said, “You must be a Christian but just haven’t allowed Jesus to come into your heart.” I would have thought that if Jesus, as ruler of the cosmos, wanted to come into my heart I wouldn’t be able to stop him.

    Christians do not like to see atheists performing a good act. This muddies the religious water where atheists are all wicked and Christians are all virtuous. The many paedophile priests are, of course, not true Christians. A paedophile atheist, on the other hand, would be a true atheist. Got it?

  8. Matt+Westwood says:

    Dearie me, these Christians *have* had their cheerios well and truly pissed in. Reading the comments left under the original piece indicates that they really do not want atheists to participate in *any* sort of social beneficence.

    Wonder why that is? Is it because it means that they (xtians) are no longer the centre of attention? No longer Little Miss Special? Or is it that it’s challenging their preconceptions of non-religious people being evil? Perhaps they’re miffed by the fact that they can no longer point at atheists as the enemy? Worried about atheists out-do-gooding them?

  9. ken storrier says:

    looney of the month

  10. ZombieHunter says:

    I really have a severe problem with bible bashers and other religious types who prey on the vulnerable and offer “help” in return for prayer and a bible study, this is wrong, you either provide support for homeless people or you don’t.

    I myself volunteer for a charity but I don’t do it to score heaven points with the imaginary tyrant in charge I do it because I’ve benefited from the same charity in the past and I believe in the work they do and want to help others who were in my position.

  11. Matt+Westwood says:

    @ZH: Damn, where’s the “like” button?

  12. the Woggler says:

    It’s all about self. By allowing atheists to be as charitable as they are, these Christians lose out on a bit of heaven that they desperately crave. The more space between them and atheists, the more Christian they feel. In the end, they just show themselves to more selfish than anybody else.

  13. Caute says:

    What chance of world peace when the pious behave like this? Hitchens was right when he wrote that religions poisons E V E R Y T H I N G. He was absolutely convinced that organised religion was the source of most of the worlds conflicts hatred and division. So am I and things will never improve until the pious are taken out of the equation.

  14. barriejohn says:

    Remember this story?

    http://marchessecularists.wordpress.com/informationcampaigns/samaritans-purse/

    Samaritan’s Purse is run by…Franklin Graham!

  15. Trevor Blake says:

    Ms. Landrum is the true Christian, resisting every pressure to distort the words of her God. Her God states clearly that we are not to pray for some people…

    “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.” – Jeremiah 11:14

    Her God states clearly that she is not to have anything to do with some people…

    “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not.” – Matthew 10:5

    Her God, unfortunately for her, does not exist. She speaks of this invisible monster that lives in the sky as an excuse for her own meanness, but she alone is to be credited with denying service to those in need and turning away those who would serve.

    This atheist worked in homeless shelters for years, including a religious shelter, with no spiritual or other penalty to anyone.

  16. barriejohn says:

    Trevor Blake: How about this verse, then?

    “For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles.” (3 John 1:7)

    The Brethren use that quote as justufication for their absolute refusal to accept any support from “the ungodly”, so this woman’s attitude doesn’t surprise me one little bit.

  17. JohnMWhite says:

    Now, now, I’m sure she just was No True Christian™, regardless of the fact that her Christian holy book and particular Christian upbringing inform her belief that atheists are not to be allowed to help other people.

  18. Matt+Westwood says:

    But … but … even Jesus had something to say on this subject, if you allow the obvious translation of “atheist” into “Samaritan”.

    Forget not that “Samaritan” was a word akin to “nigger” or “faggot” in his milieu. Or even “atheist”.

    “Hey look, guys, some geezer got mugged on the way home from church. The vicar didn’t help him, nor did the bank manager. But, gosh, the atheist did. Who’s the good guy here?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rywVlfTtlMY

  19. jay says:

    “…Her God states clearly that she is not to have anything to do with some people…”

    Actually her god does not clearly state anything. He says one thing one place, and the opposite a few verses on..

  20. charlie says:

    This vile critter is why I work with our local food bank, they do not ask about your religion ever. And, they do all their work locally when there is any surplus, share with other communities. We sent a lot of food and other supplies to aid hurricane relief and will do so when there is that need.
    This vile woman and her group are beyond disgusting.
    Once again, she just makes me more certain that organized religion is the worst thing we humans have ever invented.

  21. devriesdaktechniek.nl says:

    Ola! Freethinker,
    Thanks for your thoughts, For example, the difference between Christianity and Pastafarianism, there is a Christian Bible that is sold at bookstores, there is a Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster sold at bookstores.

    What makes one persons faith the correct one, if both faiths have no empirical evidence to make it so absolutely that all human beings would believe?
    Cheerio

  22. Matt+Westwood says:

    The difference is that it is an undisputable truth that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the one true God.

    The Invisible Pink Unicorn is an evil impostor.

  23. ZombieHunter says:

    who would win in a fight between Cthullu and the flying spaghetti monster?? :P

  24. SteveH says:

    As a 501c3 I wonder how much she is paying herself from the donations given to feed the poor. A local soup kitchen in Greensboro closed and it was found out the individual who ran it paid themselves $100,000 a year. Just follow the money!

  25. Stuart H. says:

    ‘Follow the money’, indeed! Because there is nothing else to follow – certainly not any help to the homeless.
    Try this example…
    Me and one of the better local clergy spent 6 months quietly negotiating with local government to set up a charity for young homeless – ironically mostly necessary here when kids get thrown out by religious bigot parents.
    Two nights before the public launch & appeal for committee members etc. a civil servant (who we now know to be a member of that church) changed the launch venue to an evangelical church as it was available free, rather than the nominal sum a commercial venue wanted. The general public went with good intent to the advertised venue and found nothing, while a crowd of evangelicals we’d never seen before turned up in church and voted themselves in as the committee. Even the good vicar – a well known, selfless helper of lost causes for many years – couldn’t find a seconder to get elected.
    As a result (1) young homeless won’t approach a charity they know is run by those who made them homeless (2) locals won’t donate, as they also know where the money will go, leaving (3) a bogus charity with no clients, run by evangelicals whose sole income comes from government.
    Three years on, and only slightly tongue in cheek, my vicar mate and I often wonder if we now need a second charity to deal with all the misery caused by the first to young homeless people by greedy evangelicals and their friends in government.

  26. Robster says:

    Jay says above: “Actually her god does not clearly state anything”. As to whether god’s ever stated anything, there seems to be no evidence of it ever stating (or doing) anything. It’s a very quiet, very invisible, completely useless and is frankly a failed god/jesus/mary/mo deity. About as useful as a fart in a spacesuit, really.

  27. barriejohn says:

    Stuart H: We have a very active, evangelical Anglican church in the town here, and at my father’s funeral I heard the vicar telling the clergyman who was officiating that they were getting Christians voted onto all the local school governing bodies. I bet the general public are blissfully unaware of this sort of thing. There is also an Association of Muslim Governors, which is a charity, and appeals for donations on the net. Most people, being honest and straightforward in their dealings, simply don’t understand how these “wise as serpents, harmless as serpents” religiots operate, as they are led to think that they are all paragons of virtue!

    http://www.transforminggoverning.org.uk/article.php?article=1&page=4

    “The Transforming Governing challenge: To maintain good relationships, take opportunity to influence decisions Christianly whilst accepting that sometimes we will not agree with the majority view”

    Yes – you actually came across the word “christianly” there!

  28. barriejohn says:

    PS The aforementioned godbothering vicar objected to a Wetherspoons opening next to the church, and organized a petition and opposition at council meetings, and in the (very) compliant local press (run by a religious maniac in his nineties). Fortunately, canny locals gathered signatures on their own petition in support of the venture, and it now operates without problem, and is extremely busy – no doubt patronised by many of the old biddies who objected to its very existence!

    http://www.thisishampshire.net/news/9242812.___Posh____town___s_snub_for_cut_price_pub/

  29. Angela_K says:

    Barriejohn, our Village School, a CofE type which appears to be lurching more towards the evangelical, has Governors who are all Christians and if you are not, they find away of removing you from the selection process. They do not want me as a Governor because I publicly exposed the nefarious nature of “Samaritan’s Purse” [Shoebox appeal] and the School’s and Governor’s enthusiastic support for it. They are again supporting the “Samaritan’s Purse” so I’m trying to get the local Press involved this time. I’m seen as a trouble maker, which I find quite flattering.

  30. barriejohn says:

    More power to your elbow, Angela!

  31. […] Christianity makes monsters of people, part two: atheists banned from help the homeless. (freethinker.co.uk) […]

  32. […] a church made itself look bad by refusing help from local atheists who wanted to volunteer at its soup kitchen. The atheists responded by deciding instead to distribute packets of health and grooming aids from […]