Kansas City Homeless Shelter Tells Atheist Group They Can’t Volunteer on Thanksgiving

What’s with religious charities turning away atheist volunteers lately? It happened in South Carolina a couple of weeks ago and it’s happening in Kansas now.

For a couple of years now, the Kansas City Atheist Coalition has volunteered with the Kansas City Rescue Mission to deliver meals to the hungry on Thanksgiving.

This year, the atheists have been told their services won’t be needed:

Josh Hyde explains:

Kansas City Rescue Mission has decided to use the meals they deliver as a chance to proselytize to its recipients by inserting religious literature into the meals. They informed us that we “would not be a good fit” (emphasis theirs) for volunteering with them, and declined to respond to any further inquiries.

In short, cleansing their building of atheists is more important to KCRM than receiving help from atheists to feed the poor.

JT Eberhard says it well:

It… highlights a difference between atheists and Christians: our primary goal is helping as many people as possible. Often, their primary goal is spreading their faith, with alleviating suffering coming in somewhere behind that.

I wonder if KCRM also bans gay people from volunteering? What about women who have had abortions? Divorced people? Jews? Do you have to adhere to a particular brand of Christian faith in order to help other people?

And what about the homeless people? Are they not served if they are Muslims? What about lesbians? Can they get food?

I’ve never heard of a soup kitchen or homeless shelter or food pantry that suffered from having too much help. To tell a group of people their services won’t be needed on account of ideological purity seems to me the least charitable thing they could be doing.

KCRM cites “Integrity” as one of its values. If only the Christians running the place cared enough to follow their own advice.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.