Oklahoma Children’s Home Refuses Donation from Atheist Group
The head of an Oklahoma Atheist group has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for charity after his donation to a local children's home was denied.
Matt and Keli Wilbourn are the founders of Muskogee Atheist Community, a connection that prevented their donation to Murrow Indian Children's Home from being accepted. When Matt was arranging a $100 donation on Monday, he was asked if there was a person or group he wanted the donation to be in the name of, and he listed the Muskogee Atheist Group. A few hours later he received a phone call from the person who took his donation saying that the director said they couldn't accept a donation advertising something that goes against their beliefs as they are funded by the American Baptist Churches association. Matt took issue with religion getting in the way of charity, saying,
Do things out of the goodness of you heart whether it's for religion or not, but don't let religion come between you and someone who needs help and that's what has happened here.
Matt was told his donation could be accepted if he removed Atheist group from it, which he refused. Matt then emailed that director of the children's home and said that instead of taking his money back, he wanted to increase his donation to $250, which was denied. Matt then started a GoFundMe page to raise $1,000 for the home, and at the time of this post the page has raised nearly $16,000. If the children's home continues to deny the donation, the money will be given to Camp Quest.
KJRH reached out to Murrow Indian Children's Home through calls, but received no reply. They followed up by sending a reporter to the home on Tuesday and the reporter was asked to leave. The home finally issued a statement to the news station today explaining their reasoning,
The Murrow Indian Children’s Home was founded on Biblical principles over 100 years ago by a Baptist Missionary.
Those Biblical principles include believing and trusting in the Trinity; God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
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.
Mr. Wilbourn asked that his donation be noted in the ad, “In Honor of the Muskogee Atheist Community”. Murrow cannot Honor the Atheist non-belief in God our father, and Honor God our Father under our Biblical principles. Those two positions are totally opposite of each other. Therefore, we must respectfully decline the donation and the request to Honor the Atheist Community with the donation in an advertisement for a Murrow fundraising event.
Once again, we thank the Wilbourns’ for their generosity to Murrow and we understand their rights to their beliefs. We also hope that in turn the Muskogee Atheist Community and the Wilbourns’ will respect the Biblical principles of the Murrow foundation for over 100 years and understand why our principles are different and that we must Honor our God.