Faith

A Charity’s Donation Policy Prompts a Pointless Battle of Wills

Have you heard the story of the charity with a donation policy that stipulates it’ll only take donations from believers and not from non-believers?

A long time ago, it dawned on me that the popular phenomenon of Christians battling atheists and atheists battling Christians was a pointless one.

I have nothing against atheists. And as a Christian, I don’t feel called to poke fun or ridicule those whose beliefs don’t mirror mine.

I don’t see a point in doing so. It’s not likely to make them change their mind, is it?

I was reminded of this futility when I came across an article about an atheist who found a way to donate to a children’s charity that apparently does not accept donations from “Godless” people.

Yes, like many people, I wonder why they’d care.

As the story goes, a man whose business has been printing up flyers for the charity’s annual charity drive for free for some time decided to donate $100 to the cause.

The problem with this, apparently, is that he made the donation on behalf of an area atheists’ group he runs. The charity promptly called back to reject the donation because it came from a group of non-believers.

As the story goes, the charity’s representative told him he would have to change the name on the donation form before they’d be able to accept the donation.

Wait just a second: that makes it sound like the donation policy isn’t really about who the money comes from, but rather who it appears to come from on paper. A charity that would accept a $100 donation from a non-believer as long as the non-believer doesn’t identify himself as such is being a little petty.

Undaunted, the man tried to donate again and wound up doing so, in his name, for the amount of $6.66. That’s a little silly, too, since the initial donation was to have been $100.

The battle has clearly taken a turn toward the pointless here, but the war doesn’t appear to be over.

The atheist group has decided to take up the cause and has managed to raise more than $11,500. The charity, apparently, continues to reject the money “on principle.”

Seriously, where’s the logic here?

What kind of donation policy is this?

What’s the “principle” involved here? If the charity has a mission to help needy children, why does it even matter who donates to the cause as long as the cause is actually addressed?

When a donation balloons from $100 to more than ten times that amount, why would a charity reject it just because of the beliefs (or lack thereof) of the donors?

The Bible instructs churches to take care of the needy and the poor. Perhaps, if the church community were doing all it could do to solve those problems, this charity wouldn’t be necessary to begin with.

The fact that a group of atheists is willing to help ought to give the charity hope, not be a bone of contention.

By the way, what became of those flyers? Surely the charity immediately threw them out. Surely a charity that won’t accept $100 from a man because he doesn’t believe in God wouldn’t accept donated flyers for a fundraising drive, either, right?

If their “principle” is so important when it comes to money, it should be that important across the board.

It seems to me that the charity’s cause could be a common ground for the purpose of bridging a gap between believers or non-believers. The believers, I would think, would welcome such an opportunity.

There’s that popular phrase Christians love to throw around when there’s hardship: “God will provide.” Another popular phrase among Christians is, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.”

Maybe, just maybe, God is trying to provide in a most mysterious manner: He’s “providing” a donation that just happens to come from a group of non-believers.

Maybe that’s because He wants to see how the believers react.

Maybe it’s time to erase the line in the sand and work together to solve a common concern.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.