An Oklahoma children’s home has shown that it places religious dogma over the welfare of its young charges. The Murrow Indian Children’s Home provides American Indian children who are abused or neglected with a home and care. It can house up to 36 children at a time. But it apparently cannot house free thought.
Matt Wilbourn, the founder of the Muskogee Atheist Community tried to donate to the Murrow home last week. He liked what they do so wanted to give them $100 towards their work, regardless of their Baptist affiliation. He filled out a form which the charity requires of all donations. On the form, Wilbourn wrote that he wanted the donation to appear as on behalf of the Muskogee Atheist Community. That was that, he thought.
But no. He received a call from the Murrow home, advising him that they could not accept his donation because it went against their beliefs. You guessed it: because the $100 came from an atheist organization, the Murrow Home refused it.
This didn’t sit well with Wilbourn and his wife, Keli. So they decided to start a GoFundMe page to collect donations for the Murrow home. They did it to prove the point that charity should cross all lines. That love should always win over dogma, ideology or bigotry. Their plea resonated with good people of all religious persuasions and the GoFundMe page ended up with $28,280 at the end of the campaign. Many of the people who donated to the campaign were Christian.
Imagine how far that $28K could go to care for 36 children. Children who, as the home’s literature states, are “in crisis.” Children who need “a safe nurturing environment, spiritual foundation, and cultural experiences.” The Murrow home, however has firmly refused to be swayed. They actually turned away $28,000 because of their stubborn position:
“To accept money for an advertisement which would indicate ‘In Honor of the Muskogee Atheist Community’ in the advertisement, would be contrary to those Biblical principles upon which we at Murrow stand. We are Christians, believing in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We appreciate the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Matt Wilbourn for their thoughtful donation to the Murrow Children’s Home. This decision is not about money or personal matters. It is solely about our religious beliefs and Honoring God our Father.”
This is just ridiculous. I am dismayed that any charity which claims to want to help children would turn away funds that would help do that. All because it doesn’t come from the “right people?” Money doesn’t have a religion. $28K from atheists will buy just as much as $28K from Baptists. This insistence upon dogmatic purity is asinine.
The money the Wilbourns raised will go to good use, however. And some of it will even find its way to the Murrow home clandestinely. Most of the money raised — about $23,000 — will go to Camp Quest Oklahoma, a summer camp for children of atheists, secular humanists and other free thinkers.
Wilbourn says that he will get that $5,000 to the Murrow home through one of the many churches who gave to the GoFundMe campaign:
“The remaining $5,000 will be anonymously donated to the Murrow Indian Children’s Home. If they find out that I’ve said this and they know that it’s me anonymously donating it and they still won’t accept it, we will donate it to a local church who will then donate it to them… Whether the Murrow Home likes it or not, they are getting $5,000 for those children from all of this.”
The Murrow Children’s home ought to be ashamed of itself. Putting their narrow religious dogma over the needs of children is, well, blasphemous. It never occurred to them that their God actually does “work in mysterious ways?” That this money, no matter who it came from, was meant to help those Indian children? The scales on their eyes are pretty damn thick and their hearts are hard, indeed. I suggest a re-read of Galatians Chapter six, verses 2-4. The Wilbourns were only trying to help carry your burden.
Love is more important than any religion. Too bad these self-righteous prigs can’t see that.
Featured Image via GoFundMe