Religion

Christian Fundraising For Charity That Rejected Atheist

| by Michael Allen

Tracy Hoos, a self-identified Christian, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Murrow Indian Children’s Home in Muskogee, Oklahoma, after the charity refused a donation from atheist Matt Wilbourn.

Wilbourn's $100 donation was rejected by the children's home, which is mostly funded by the American Baptist Churches Association, because he was donating in the name of the Muskogee Atheist Community, an organization that he (Wilbourn) co-founded with his wife.

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After the rejection, Wilbourn set up a GoFundMe page that, as of August 25, has raised over $28,000 to donate to the children's home, which has still not accepted the donation.

The Friendly Atheist notes that Hoos set up (and later took down) a GoFundMe page with the following statement:

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I am a Christian, citizen of Muscogee Creek Nation, that supports Murrow Indian Home. Murrow takes in tribal children in the foster system that are not able to be placed with other foster families. They are a faith based organization that has recently came under the scrutiny of many for standing firm in their faith and not accepting monies from the Muskogee Atheist Club to sponsor their powwow.

A powwow is a sacred event that in my opinion was selected by this organization not out of their goodwill but to only stir the pot. I am inspired by Murrow’s faithfulness. So we are starting another go fund me page to support their powwow. If you feel led to support then please do, if not do not. Second if the other group is so inclined to donate, just cut them a check. No strings attached, no need for recognition. But that is not your intention.

According to the Friendly Atheist, Hoos shut down the GoFundMe page, which reached at least $1,050, because atheists began donating to it (donors are allowed to write comments with their donations on GoFundMe).

A February policy statement by the children's home lists a "Dr. Tracy Hoos" as part of its health committee, but it's not confirmed if that is the same person who set up the now-defunct GoFundMe page.

Sources: Friendly Atheist, Murrow Indian Children's Home (PDF), Muskogee Atheist Community/GoFundMe / Photo credit: Murrow Indian Children's Home/Facebook