WLTX reports that East Point Academy in West Columbia, SC has canceled its holiday toy drive after atheists threatened to sue the charter school.
The atheists’ objection comes down to who ultimately operates the annual toy drive: Franklin Graham. He’s a Christian, and therefore must be driven from the public square. More on that later.
For the past three years, the school has participated in “Operation Christmas Child,” which is affiliated with Samaritan’s Purse.
Under the program, kids collect toys, pencils and other small items, pack them into shoe boxes, and donate to needy children.
That has now stopped after the school received a letter last Monday from the American Humanist Association, a national nonprofit organization with over 20,000 members and 125,000 supporters across the country, according to the letter.
The mission of American Humanist Association’s legal center, according to the letter, is “to protect one of the most fundamental principles of (American) democracy: the Constitutional mandate requiring separation of church and state.”
And they threatened to drag the school to court if their demands were not met. If that feels like blackmail, it’s because it is blackmail. The only thing it lacked was one of those threat notes made from letters cut out from magazines and newspapers.
It’s cute how they twist a phrase in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson into a “Constitutional mandate.” The Constitution says “Congress shall make no law establishing religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It doesn’t say kids can’t gather up toys for needy kids in connection with a religious holiday, or work with a known Christian in the process. The Constitution does allow us all the freedom to be jerks, and far too many avail themselves of the opportunity. The school should have stood its ground and taken this threat to court if the atheists made good on it. Someone has to take a stand. This would have been an excellent opportunity to teach what the Constitution actually says.
Back to the Franklin Graham angle. You may have thought I was making up the idea that the atheists objected because he is involved. Nope.
[The atheists’ blackmail letter] points to the fact that Operation Christmas Child is part of “Samaritan’s Purse,” an international Christian based organization led by Franklin Graham, son of Evangelist Billy Graham.
“There’s no religious literature tied with it,” Mathews said. “There’s no speakers who come. There’s no religious affiliation at all.”
The toy drive causes kids to think about other kids who are less fortunate, gather up toys for those kids, and then send those toys off to the less fortunate kids. The atheists with their intolerant lawfare blackmail have just taught those kids not to love, not to care, not to give a damn about anyone else but themselves at all.