The Supreme Court just ruled on Monday, June 25, that the atheists and agnostics had “no standing” to bring a complaint against the government for creating a funding protocol for faith-based charities. I’ve been listening to them all morning as they complain that evil religious people will be taking over the world. They say we will use “charity” to preach our faith and that we will break down the wall between church and state. And, they say, if this happens who knows what will happen to our beloved democracy? Ah come on! The United States has a reputation for being a very religious country, yet our borders are continually open to people of all religions. We don’t forbid people of different faiths from becoming citizens. Nor do Christians prevent people of different faiths from enjoying the American way of life.
American atheists and agnostics like equating organized religion (especially Christianity) with evil, forgetting that Stalin and Mao Tse Tung performed their share of murderous atrocities, and that Hitler did not belong to any organized religion but was a lover of the occult and the just-plain-weird. Every time I hear some atheist or agnostic complaining about how “Christian faith-based charities” threaten to, I think of the YMCA, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, Save the Children and the Christian Children's Fund. These are just a few of the faith-based charities in the United States. I have yet to see these groups deny aid to anyone because of a difference in faith.
In fact, of all the food pantries and shelters in my little town, most are faith-based. The Salvation Army, for instance, has many food pantries and kitchens throughout the country. As do churches small and large. The only non-faith-based homeless shelter in my town couldn’t feed the amount of people who — at the end of the month — find themselves hungry and foodless. So why shouldn’t the faith-based pantries be helped out a bit by government funding?
The atheists and agnostics who brought the lawsuit against the White House don’t seem to want to acknowledge that many companies and organizations were created by people with faith and after a while proved so successful they became more secular. Again, the Salvation Army is an example of an organization that began as a religious charity or in the mind of a religious person — yet which is widely respected among secular organizations. The YMHA (Young Men Hebrew Association) and YMCA (Young Men Christian Association) began as religious organizations but now are more like cultural organizations now, rather than religious ones.
There are also organizations created by people of faith which were never ever religious at anytime during their history. Yes, people of faith can create community programs that don’t preach or advertise or proselytize. For instance, about thirty years ago four black women — one of them a minister — created the Peekskill Area Health Center. They were women of faith, and their purpose grew because of their faith that God wanted them to create a place which provided medical care for the poor. They have now created a multi-county secular organization, Hudson River Healthcare, that gives health care to countless of the underserved, migrant workers who work in the agricultural areas of upstate New York, immigrants, (legal or otherwise), in our urban area and in surrounding rural counties. And they even give out condoms. They aren’t out to preach to anyone about sexual abstinence, and they have no conservative agenda towards immigrants. Nor do they prevent people from getting services because of religious issues.
Even those faith-based charities which seem suspect provide charity to all people without preaching.
For instance: Although pro-life and originally created by a religious person, Birthright doesn’t get involved in politics at all. Unlike Planned Parenthood which was created from Margaret Sanger’s racist eugenicist heart and which is responsible for so many abortions that have decimated our minority populations. Birthright cares for poor women who have no money to take care of their children. Many Birthright agencies also provide counseling for the countless women who have been emotionally scarred because of abortions. Planned Parenthood doesn’t have any post-abortion counseling programs for the women whose lives are devastated by abortions.
Another examples of a faith-based charity that doesn’t preach and that keeps faith separated from charity is the Christian Children’s Fund. That organization takes care of poor children in the United States and all over the world without regard to the recipient’s religious faith. I, for example, have sponsored three children over the past two decades. They were primarily Moslems or Hindus but did I care? No! I just wanted the kids to be fed and housed.
The United States ranks among the top "charitable" countries. Three-quarters of charity donations are sent by individuals. Of the individuals who donate, the majority are religious Christians. Of the organizations receiving donations, most are Christian organizations. Certainly atheists aren't in the habit of giving a tenth of their income (and more) to the poor.
The atheists and agnostics who are so furious about God, religious people, and faith-based charities are simply bent on not seeing the obvious truth which is that, whatever they may think of those people who are “deluded” by religion, we “deluded” are generous, noble, hearted, fair, and above all…quite capable of helping people without preaching to them.
Perhaps they're afraid of acknowledging that religious people can be kind and organized because it comes too close to acknowledging that there is a kind and organized God in the universe.