Religion

Mom Says Atheist Group Saved Christmas After Church Charity Turned Her Away

| by Michael Allen

Atheists are usually attacked for supposedly waging a "War on Christmas," but a mom in Oklahoma says it was a group of non-believers that saved their Christmas while a local church ignored them.

Tiffany Wait claims that she and her husband went to the Bible Baptist Church’s toy shop in Chickasha, Okla. on Christmas morning to get gifts for their 7-month-old baby.

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However, the couple says they were turned away from the charity when they would not allow a church volunteer to hold their baby.

“I went last year and it was a life saver," Wait told The Express Star. "This year, however, I was treated shockingly bad. I stood there, fighting back tears and asked, ‘You would turn a baby away on Christmas?'"

An unidentified woman did pass a toy to Wait, in defiance of the church volunteers.

After Wait posted her story on some social media sites, members of the Oklahoma Atheists reached out to help her family.

“We had several people donate things and send her money through a PayPal,” said Oklahoma Atheists' director Red McCall. “Her Christmas was ruined. The big message here is Tiffany was discriminated against, and if someone needs help we are going to help them. It doesn’t matter what their beliefs are.”

Wait says the atheist group saved Christmas: “The Christians turned my baby and I away, and a group of atheists showed us compassion, kindness, and charity. They brought us toys, dinner, gift cards, donated money and really saved our holiday.”

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One member of the Bible Baptist Church, Shayla Clemmons, did come by Wait's home to say the church volunteers had acted wrongly.

“[Clemmons] brought us a bunch of Christmas stuff,” added Wait. “She said they shouldn’t have done that and that there are no ‘rules.’”

Bible Baptist Pastor Kim Hayes said he tried to go to Wait's house five times on Christmas night, but was unable to contact her.

"I'm sure she has a very legitimate reason for feeling the way she does," said Pastor Hayes. "I regret what happened. We are certainly not in the business of creating that type of atmosphere on Christmas for any individual."

The church's Facebook page has been taken down, but the "Friendly Atheist" writes on Patheos.com that the reaction to the church has been negative from the community with posts such as:

“Rules are rules!” said Jesus, never.

The people of this church should be ashamed of the way they have treated strangers at Christmas under the guise of charity. Those who are unable to give their children a simple toy humbly come before you for a tiny bit of assistance and in turn, they are shunned and humiliated. It’s one thing to proclaim you’re “good Christian people,” but it takes someone special to have compassion and a good heart. Luckily, the person you humiliated has been warmly cared for by truly good people and not just hypocrites.

Sources: The Express Star and Patheos.com