ForumsWEPRAmerican Humanist Association Forces School To Shut Down Toy Drive!

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NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
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Earlier this month, the American Humanist Association threatened to sue a school for holding a toy drive through a Christian organization. Because of this, the toy drive was shut down.

http://www.wbtw.com/story/24004411/sc-school-forced-to-withdraw-from-christmas-toy-drive

Not only are Christians using this as ammunition against atheists, but many atheists seem appalled as well. But has this story been accurately presented by the media?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9961eBmtN6E

The principle of the school states, "There's no religious literature tied with it (the program). There's no speakers that come. There's no religious affiliation at all." I don't know if the principle is ignorant, or if she's lying. But one thing is certain, she's' wrong.

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/occ-book/

According to the charity's website, they're goal is to make children happy while spreading the word of God. This is even more apparent in their video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrBZAONeq3E

So what are your thoughts? Should the American Humanist Association have shut down the toy drive, or should they have allowed it?

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danielo
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danielo
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What is a toy drive?

MageGrayWolf
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I will get back to you once I've looked over the links.

What is a toy drive?


Generally a toy drive collects toys for kids who might otherwise not get any during the holidays. Think Toys for Tots as an example.
Kasic
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Kasic
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It seems petty for the AHA to shut down the entire program for the because of this. According to the articles, the school is simply associated with Samaritan's Purse, and the shoe boxes themselves contain no religious connotation or items. At the absolute worst, it seems to me like the AHA should have requested that the school work with Samaritan's Purse instead of them, if they were going to be doing something affiliated/originating from Samaritan's Purse.

nichodemus
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nichodemus
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AHA could have done better, and handled it more diplomatically. They could have suggested a different partner, or highlighted the religious agenda with more fervor.

NoNameC68
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NoNameC68
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I apologize for the incredibly sloppy links. I was just being lazy.

It seems petty for the AHA to shut down the entire program for the because of this. According to the articles, the school is simply associated with Samaritan's Purse, and the shoe boxes themselves contain no religious connotation or items. At the absolute worst, it seems to me like the AHA should have requested that the school work with Samaritan's Purse instead of them, if they were going to be doing something affiliated/originating from Samaritan's Purse.


Operation Christmas Child is the specific charity, and Samaritan's Purse is the Christian organization holding the charity. Their purpose is to add a touch of God to all their charities. You can't take God out of this specific toy drive without taking all of Samaritan's Purse out.

AHA could have done better, and handled it more diplomatically. They could have suggested a different partner, or highlighted the religious agenda with more fervor.


I agree.

In the end, students and faculty decided to hold the toy drive off of school property on their own time. The media attention boosted the number of donations to this specific charity. A lot of people are saying, "Haha, we beat the AHA!", but really they didn't. What they're doing now is appropriate.

The school could have used Toys for Tots instead of Operation Christmas Child. The fact they didn't use Toys for Tots makes me suspicious - that the heart of the matter has more to do with religion than some people are letting on. Of course, this is speculation.

Just to stir the conversation around, what's everyone's opinions on secular charities? Do you feel we're lacking such charities? How do they compare with religious charities?
09philj
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09philj
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Secular charities, as far as I'm aware, do good work. I do't support them only because the charities I want to support are multi-faith. (Amnesty international and the red cross/crescent)

Kasic
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Kasic
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Just to stir the conversation around, what's everyone's opinions on secular charities?


In my experience, they really aren't any different from other types of charities. The same type of people go into the whole volunteer area - the only thing differentiating them are the beliefs. Though secular charities are more efficient time wise/resource wise, since they aren't praying/investing resources into religious icons, like how some religious charities only "give" their religion away...

Do you feel we're lacking such charities?


I have no idea how many there are, or what that proportion is in relation to the amount of secular/nonreligious people.

How do they compare with religious charities?


See above. I know that when I go with my family to charity/volunteer events that are religious in nature, there's usually at least some time spent praying and the people who hand things out might say blessings or whatever.

On a philosophical level though, secular charities are certainly more honest and noble. They give and help because they think it's the right thing to do and for no other reason (except perhaps to feel good about themselves too, which is simply human nature). Religious charities, on the other hand, give because their god commands it/because they want to get into heaven. I've seen many times how people at church give when the preacher asks, just because they're following the pack.
MageGrayWolf
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Sorry still haven't had a chance to look over the links.

Just to stir the conversation around, what's everyone's opinions on secular charities? Do you feel we're lacking such charities? How do they compare with religious charities?


Secular charities I think tend to have a leg up in that the money donated goes towards the specified charity. Religiously driven charities will often take a percentage of the charity money to fund there religious message. There are actually calculations on this showing with some religious groups a very small amount of the donations actually go to the charity while most of it tends to go to the religious message.
gamer1111111
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gamer1111111
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Personally it seems to me the AHA was making a big fuss about nothing, but I can be hard to judge because you never know what peoples intentions are. If the Christian organization had intent to keep some of the profits and didn't really want to help children then they were in the wrong. However if all they wanted to do was help children by getting them toys then why would the AHA be so against that? Aren't Christians allowed to help people too?

MageGrayWolf
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Looked at the links. At first glance it does seem like an over reaction on part of the AHA and perhaps they went after the wrong end of this target as the school itself is not the one providing the religious material. The church organization does add religious material or will have those delivering the show boxes proselytize while handing them out.

Being that the main issue here is the organization's behavior and treatment with the gifts rather than the school's I have to wonder why the school wouldn't just switch to one of the many other toy drive organizations.

Links giving the other side of the story on Operation Christmas Child.
Is Operation Christmas Child's shoebox campaign just a propaganda tool for Christianity?
Reasons to NOT Support Operation Christmas Child

A point I found in this link would seem rather relevant.

Last year the Charities Commission slammed "Operation Christmas Child" for hiding their missionary aims from teachers and parents of school children asked to support the scheme, and from volunteers helping the project. They found that Operation Christmas Child "appeal leaflets sent to parents and teachers say nothing about any missionary aim, or religious affiliation."


So the principle may very well have been telling the truth when she thought there was no religious material involved.
nyscoutsanimeplace
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nyscoutsanimeplace
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that's F-ed up

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Last year the Charities Commission slammed "Operation Christmas Child" for hiding their missionary aims from teachers and parents of school children asked to support the scheme, and from volunteers helping the project.

That's exactly my problem with such charities; not that all are necessarily like that, but, just remember Haiti...
xXxDAPRO89xXx
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xXxDAPRO89xXx
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I'm an atheist and I see no problem with the drive whatsoever. Who cares whether it is run by a Christian organization, a charity is a charity and they should have no right to shut it down.

MageGrayWolf
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MageGrayWolf
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I'm an atheist and I see no problem with the drive whatsoever. Who cares whether it is run by a Christian organization, a charity is a charity and they should have no right to shut it down.


Even if they are just using it as a front to proselytize?
Jacen96
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Jacen96
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A charity is a charity, no matter what.

However, if they are using a charity to spread their beliefs (I have just as much trouble with Christians putting in leaflets (unless they are by Jack Chick, becuz those are hillarious) as Atheists doing the same) without announcing it first, that is a problem.

But if they actually say they are including the aforementioned booklets, then if the charity is accepted and used then I see no problem with it being carried out.

~~~Darth Caedus

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