Remember the $3,000 We Raised That the Morton Grove Park District Rejected? Well, the Library Doesn’t Want It, Either

I have an unbelievable update about the money we raised for the people of Morton Grove, Illinois near the bottom of this post. Really, you won’t believe how this thing is shaking out.

In case you want the full story, though, I’m going to repost much of what I’ve written before:

Back in October, I posted about how the American Legion Post 134 was financially boycotting the Morton Grove Park District because its Commissioner Dan Ashta wouldn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at board meetings. Ashta’s sitting down for the Pledge cost the district $2,600 that the American Legion group had been giving them each year.

Commissioner Dan Ashta

This was never about anyone being unpatriotic; this was always about the right to exercise our freedoms, whether that means sitting or standing for the Pledge.

I asked all of you to donate money to the Park District so we could make up for the lost money, at least for this year, and you all responded brilliantly, raising more than $3,000 in just a couple of weeks.

That money was raised by a lot of atheists (and Christian allies) who applauded Ashta for his brave stance.

On November 12, I sent the park district a check for all the money that I had received at that time (minus any fees taken by the fundraising website). I included a brief message explaining where the money was coming from. After not hearing back from the park district and not seeing the check clear from my bank account, I emailed them inquiring about the donation.

This is what the district’s Executive Director Tracey Anderson told me:

Hello Hemant,
The check was received, thank you.

I just sent you a letter indicating that we received the check. Unfortunately, your donation as presented must be returned. The Park Board has no intention of becoming embroiled in a First Amendment dispute or allegations it is sympathetic to or supports/doesn’t support any particular political or religious cause.

Again, thank you for thinking of the district.

Had they told me that a month ago, maybe I would’ve been more sympathetic. But I explicitly told the district about the fundraiser when I asked where I should send the donations and they expressed no concerns back then.

Jonathan Bullington of the Chicago Tribune wrote about all of this:

[Anderson] said she believed Mehta’s donation was simply to make up for the loss of the veterans group’s funding. But she said that after discussing the donation with park board members, the Park District determined that Mehta’s donation was not for general programming purposes and thus should be returned.

Anderson said she discussed the donation with park board commissioners who came to her office separately and that a consensus was reached. She said Ashta was the only commissioner she did not talk to about the donation.

Ashta could not be reached for comment late Monday.

Mehta said he probably would search for a Morton Grove charity to receive the money.

“I know everyone who gave money wanted to help the Park District make up for that injustice that happened,” he said. “Unfortunately, the Park District would rather lose money than take the charity of atheists and their supporters.”

After giving it some thought, I decided to send the money ($3,088.03) to the Morton Grove Public Library. The money was meant to support the people in the community, after all, and if the park district didn’t want it, then the library seemed deserving of the donation.

Okay, that was more than two weeks ago.

Last night, the Morton Grove Public Library board of trustees held its monthly board meeting and the question of how to handle the donation was on the agenda. (Whether that occurs for every significant donation, I don’t know.)

After the meeting ended, I got a couple of phone calls from people who had knowledge of what took place and they told me that the board had rejected the money.

Seriously.

I asked the callers what reasons trustees offered and they said there were two main ones:

1) The board members were unhappy with things random commenters had written on this site’s Facebook page.

Between this site and Facebook, I easily get more than a thousand comments a day. I don’t sit around reading all of them. I rely on readers to flag things that are inappropriate, as do most large websites, and I focus on writing content.

To punish me (and the donors) for comments made by complete strangers makes as much sense as someone criticizing Pastor Mark Driscoll for things his Twitter followers write. It just makes no sense. Any journalist or blogger knows damn well that comment threads are not reflections of the writers. We may set the tone but we can’t turn off the trolls.

2) The board members felt there was something unsavory about taking money that donors were told would go to the Park District.

After the Park District rejected the money, I made very clear on this site that I would be giving the money to the library.

Not a single donor voiced any disappointment with that decision. The money was always supposed to benefit the people of Morton Grove. That’s why people donated. If the Park District didn’t want to be the conduit, then the library seemed to be a perfectly acceptable alternative for everyone.

So, those were the board’s excuses. I firmly believe that if the money came from the “Friendly Christian,” none of this would be an issue. The “A” word is just freaking everybody out.

The Chicago Tribune reported on this story late last night and filled in some more of the details — and it turns out the story gets even worse:

Following a fiery debate that pitted Morton Grove Library trustees against one another, the board voted 5-2 not to accept a donation of roughly $3,000 from an atheist blogger.

Library Board of Trustees Treasurer Catherine Peters said she stopped library staff from depositing the check earlier this month, calling it a matter that should be voted on by the board.

many board members were more alarmed by the nature of the Mehta’s blog and the ethical implications accepting money from him might pose.

Peters referred to the blog as a “hate group” and read aloud several comments made by readers of the blog.

Today I learned that every website that allows comments is a potential “hate group.”

I appreciated how one commenter put it on the Tribune‘s website:

A ‘hate group’ called the Friendly Atheist, that raises money for libraries.

By the way, the only “ethical implication” of accepting money from atheists is that you get money. It’s not like we make you bow at our feet and renounce Jesus before signing the check.

*Sigh*

I’ll keep searching for a deserving, uncontroversial recipient. There has to be a local organization benefitting the entire Morton Grove community that wants this money, right?

Don’t answer that. Commenting on this thread is the official initiation into the Friendly Atheist Hate Group.


"JJ, I accepted Jesus as my savior at 12 yr.s old. Always believed in God, ..."

After Complaint, Christian Preacher Joyce Meyer ..."
"I have little respect for this writer's "opinion". Everyone has one and Hemant Mehta's stinks ..."

After Complaint, Christian Preacher Joyce Meyer ..."
"If a Satanist comes to your school as an administrator and wants to force and ..."

A History of God in Public ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • $925105

    Fuck it, find a local tavern and give the bartender the $3,000 and tell him to serve free drinks until the $3k is spent. I doubt you’ll find folks in a bar who will turn down some godless booze.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    That’s where I’m at. Seriously, I had sympathy while the issue was hot with the board not wanting it. But money is money and it didn’t have to be a story after that point; the library could certainly have just quietly taken the money.

    So the good faith I was willing to assume is evaporated. It is clear that they are just bigots. Fuck them.

  • SeekerLancer

    Seriously, if this blog, of all the blogs out there is a “hate group” it’s clear to me that they stopped reading at the word “atheist.” (Well, except to farm for angry comments and I’d love to hear what comments they read. I hope I made the list!)

    I thought the money was going straight into the library without another word said about the issue and I don’t understand why that didn’t happen other than they wanted to make an issue of it when no issue existed.

    We weren’t trying to cause a scene or attract media attention, we were trying to right a wrong. But that makes us a “hate group.”

  • Fred

    Signed

  • paulalovescats

    Oh, so underwrite the drunks. He should keep looking for a charity. If they all refuse, he should spread it around the grocery store or something. Not throw it away on worthless shit like alcohol. No, I’m not an ex drunk.

  • $925105

    Just because someone drinks doesn’t make them a drunk.

  • Don Gwinn

    Yes, just because someone drinks doesn’t mean they’re bad or that they’re alcoholics.

    Yes, also, I think there are better ways to spend the money than buying free drinks down at the Dew Drop Inn.

    But I think everybody’s missing everybody else’s point here. The point was to express the frustration of holding out cash donated by good people for good people in a trashed economy and being told very-thinly-veiled versions of “we don’t take dirty money from dirty people.”

  • Lance Buckley

    I’ll drink to that!

  • Robert Jory

    She didn’t say they were drunks. She said alcohol is worthless and a waste of money which it is.

  • marilove

    Actually, studies show that having an alcoholic beverage once daily can be good for your heart, and your immune system, and it can help prevent kidney stones. No, really, beer is the best for helping to prevent kidney stones.

    In moderation, alcohol is anything BUT “worthless and a waste of money”; if you’re not an alcoholic, moderate drinking is actually quite healthy.

  • Nat Carr

    IIRC, those studies are a little exaggerated.

    Still, I dislike calling any pastime “useless”. Moderate drinking with friends in a social environment is no different from any other harmless social activity, and all harmless social activities are beneficial to people.

  • Dave T

    Right. Anything that is fun to do is useful just by dint of being fun to do.

  • Robert Jory

    There’s also thousands of other things that can keep you healthy. You don’t see people gorging themselves on supplements or vegetables and driving intoxicated. Exercise also does wonders for the body with no harmful side effects unless you’re doing it wrong.

    So many people do not drink in moderation and instead drink to get drunk, which is not healthy. You don’t have to be an alcoholic to get drunk now and then but it is still very damaging.

    Also you should read this. It suggests that moderate drinking is not what makes you healthy but healthy people just happen to drink in moderation.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/16/health/16alco.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • spookiewon

    Oh, well if some people do something to excess, it’s definitely a worthless thing. Oh wait, there actually ARE people who exercise and/or use supplements to excess, and it harms their health. Wow. Exercise and supplements are worthless!

    Guess what? Moderate alcohol use is not harmful and social activity, which is enhanced by alcohol, is not a “worthless” activity.

  • Robert Jory

    Please link me all the deaths caused by exercise. Millions have died from alcohol.

    http://www.worldometers.info/alcohol/

  • MadSat

    Apparently you’ve never heard of OCD disorder leading to over exercise and damage. Or of weightlifters tearing muscles or dropping a heavy weight and being hurt. Or damaging their backs. Or of extreme sports or read anything about the life of a footballer after their career ends. And for that matter, there are quite a few that link obsessive cleanliness to the increase in allergic reactions among the general population. Overdoing ANYTHING is bad for you.

  • Robert Jory

    Never heard of death from a torn ham string. Millions die from alcohol.

  • ansuz

    Overexercising in those with body issues. You may have heard of this? The deaths are generally listed as eating disorders.
    iirc, eating disorders (of the weight loss kind) that include compulsive exercise are a lot more dangerous than those that don’t include exercise.

    Can you stop being an ass, now?

  • Robert Jory

    I’m sorry, go on and drink your poison. I didn’t mean to be an ass by pointing out the millions of people that die because of your enjoyment. Please, continue.

  • ansuz

    I was definitely commenting to say that I love alcohol — though I didn’t actually say a word about alcohol — and not because your thoughtless comment dismissing the dangers of exercising to excess upset me. It’s not like I have a close and personal relationship with eating disorders or anything.

    NB: I have an eating disorder.

  • Randay

    Don’t forget red wine. A glass a day keeps the doctor away.

  • invivoMark

    And what’s your hobby? Chess? Reading? A sport, perhaps? Maybe you enjoy going to the beach, or hiking in the mountains?

    Well, that’s worthless and a waste of money.

    Seriously, how far up your own ass do you have your head stuck? Drinking alcohol is an enjoyable activity for millions of people. For some people, it’s a hobby. For some, it’s a craft. And for most people, it’s a social activity that brings people together.

  • Robert Jory

    My hobbies don’t kill people.

    http://www.worldometers.info/alcohol/

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    What are your hobbies?

  • Greg

    Oh, I’m pretty sure self-righteousness has been responsible for at least a few deaths.

  • invivoMark

    Oh, are we going to compare activities by their overall impact on society, now? I’m not sure you want to go down that road.

    See, beer may have saved far more lives than you think. It’s been argued that alcoholic beverages have historically protected people from dysentery and other water-borne diseases. There is even evidence that beer was the foundation of human civilization, and the reason we took to agriculture. Barley was used to make beer long before we invented bread, the argument goes.

    Did your hobbies save countless lives and form the foundation of human civilization and agriculture? I don’t think so.

    Oh, do you think it isn’t fair to judge someone’s hobby for the impact that activity has had on totally unrelated people’s lives from different times and different places? Well, so do I.

  • Robert Jory

    Did you not click the link I posted? It also has killed that many people just this year. We now have other ways to prevent diseases. Getting wasted is not one of them.

  • invivoMark

    Wow dude. Reading comprehension ain’t your strong suit, is it?

  • Matt D

    Considering your posts, it’s a safe bet your hobbies annoy people, though.

    And incidentally, if you want to claim your hobbies don’t hurt others, then share them with us.

  • Robert Jory

    Yes, one of my hobbies happens to be debating on forums. Sure, it annoys people but no one dies from them. I also go biking, a few hikes each year and play online games. I think there has been a record of 10 deaths playing video games ever. Two and a half million have died this year from alcohol.
    All I’m saying is it’s something not needed for a happy, productive life. So many drunks raging at my comment.

  • Matt D

    Well, I don’t think calling people who have a different opinion “drunks”, is appropriate. Especially since I drink very little, if at all.

    In any case, I know the number of “hobbies” people die from is not limited to the consumption of alcohol, so the attitude that drinking *can* kill, is irrelevant, and is no argument against it. We should be focusing on educating others so they can draw the line themselves, not pretending that everyone would be better off without it. We can teach people to draw the line somewhere, and let them decide if that’s enough, rather then try to scare them, or tell them they aren’t as happy as they would be.

  • Robert Jory

    Sorry, I’ll call them excessively intoxicated. And it’s not that drinking *can* kill, it *DOES* kill. It kills millions each year. Worst part is people getting hit by drunk drivers can’t really prevent it.

  • spookiewon

    Never? What are these magical hobbies that no one ever does to excess?

  • Drew M.

    Worst case of high horse hypoxia I’ve ever seen.

  • Robert Jory

    You must be mistaking me for a Christian. Sorry I don’t believe in fairy tales.

  • Dave T

    It is neither of those things.

  • paulalovescats

    I really don’t think the money should go to ONLY people who drink. Screw that. I think they should distribute it to decent atheists in Chicago, and they should give it to people in need. Not in need of a drink.

  • $925105

    How about a happy hour during church service hours? Bar stools filled, church pews empty.

  • invivoMark

    Well fuck you! Your Disqus profile suggests that you like chocolate? Well, chocolate is worthless shit. Your picture suggests you like cats? Well, cats are worthless shit.

    You’re a judgmental prick. Alcohol happens to be my hobby. I’m a homebrewer. I enjoy tasting new beers. I enjoy making beer to share with friends and family. I enjoy going to beer festivals and tasting competitions. Alcohol is a core component of my social life, and I drink with my friends at the local bar every week.

    And millions of people would tell you something similar. Alcohol brings people together. So take your judgmental attitude and shove it.

  • Kai Alexis Price

    This is the best idea. However it might be the case that the only bar actually in Morton Grove is a Korean restaurant. Perhaps the bar would need to be outside the city limits.

  • Andy Anderson

    You really want to stick it to the people who were the problem to begin with? Make a condition of the donation that the only way to get a free drink is to show a DD-214 form.

  • Lee Miller

    If they accept the money, they might have to provide a community room for sacrificing babies, which everyone knows is what atheists do. That and wild sex orgies.

  • TychaBrahe

    Eating babies. Let’s keep the story straight.

  • sane37

    sacrifice THEN eat.
    Seriously.

  • Hypnox

    Could we get some smaller babies this time? I love kids, but I can never seem to finish a whole one, and they don’t keep well.

  • WallofSleep

    Brining, my friend. Brine the childe and it shall keep longer.

  • suzeb1964

    “Spare the brine, spoil the children.” Isn’t that a proverb?

  • WallofSleep

    Nice. And fast. Impressive.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    Haven’t you got a freezer?

  • WallofSleep

    Long pork veal does not freeze well.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Two words. Smoked baby.

  • Gabriel

    You are just so scary.

  • BoGardiner

    Aw, downvoters, how could you miss Gabriel’s facetiousness?

  • Brian K

    Call us bad people then actively oppose our efforts to proove them wrong….

  • BoGardiner

    Exactly. They want us to be bad, they need us to be bad. They are announcing they must do what it takes to make sure we stay bad.

  • sane37

    Atheists are their strawmen/people. Without strawmen to knock down, there’s nothing to do.

  • kashicat

    Which is pure fascism. It needs a constant enemy to justify its own rage and totalitarian attitude.

  • randomfactor

    They’re reluctant to accept the money because we’ll call them on the carpet for discriminating against us when they reject the money.

    If only there were some easy way the could avoid discriminating against us by rejecting the money.

  • Pseudonym

    Who is “they”, in this instance? Might the fact that you’re phrasing it as “us” and “them” be part of the problem?

  • BoGardiner

    Before we respond, do tell us if you’re Christian, atheist, or what, and link us to your post where you first registered your disgust with this bigotry before you blamed the targets.

  • Pseudonym

    To answer your second question: This was the first time I heard about this (I missed the previous stories). I don’t think this was bigotry. I think it was a well-meaning avoidance of a hot potato.

    To not-answer your first question: Why do you need to know whether I’m “us” or “them”?

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    They see only what they want to see. They hear only what they want to hear. And then they have the audacity to say the world confirms their beliefs.

  • Lobi

    There are tonnes of places that will accept the money, even if unfortunately these two places will not. Think of Red Cross, Oxfam, or frankly, anywhere that allows you to donate online.

  • martinrc

    So in the end all of these “Religious people are more likely to donate” reports really just stem from the fact that atheist donations end up being rejected so our donations don’t count….

  • duke_of_omnium

    Religious people donate to their local churches (and sometimes, their not-so-local churches). Since a large portion church donations actually end up buying Pastor McFlimflam a new Beamer and/or new carpeting in the vestibule, the actual good being done by the donations is blunted severely.

  • Jeremiah Traeger

    It seems like the religious would rather have the privilege of being the only people to make the world a better place than make the world a better place.

  • Sam Kay

    I doubt that’s a significant factor, but I am interested in following up on this and seeing how commonly donations from explicitly atheist organizations are rejected.

    Like Duke of Omnium said, the claim of religious people being more charitable has been debunked, a lot of the “charity” goes into the coffers of their church, not to benefit the community.

  • Pseudonym

    Uhm… no?

    Incidentally, in the case of Morton Grove, remember this was already a heated and divisive issue at the time that Hemant started raising money. I don’t blame public institutions such as the park district and the library for not wanting to be seen to take sides.

    If it helps, consider what would happen to the park district next year. Was Hemant planning to make this a yearly thing?

  • tubi11

    http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/cgi-bin/id/cityfoodbanks.cgi?city=Morton%20Grove&state=IL

    Doesn’t seem to be a food bank or shelter actually in MG, but there are a number of possibilities in the area.

  • tubi11

    Here’s one in Skokie:

    http://www.shoreservices.org/

  • Oranje

    Niles Township has a food pantry that serves MG.

  • $84687101

    This is truly shocking. I know we face some problems with public acceptance, and I get local agencies being wary of being seen as taking politically tinged money, but this just seems absurd. I wonder if things would have been different if someone had been in that meeting to defend you as vociferously as someone was obviously dedicated to attacking you. Obviously someone got their hate on and went out to research how to make you (us) look as bad as possible.

    Had someone at least stood there and pointed out that these things were just random public comments and read from the myriad posts you’ve done where you pointed out atheists being jerks, denounced vandalism, supported churches in need due to said vandalism, and pointed out when Pastors said and did the right things, I can’t help but thinking the decision might have been different.

    But that shouldn’t even be necessary and I’ve apparently been giving the people in power in Morton Grove too much credit, mainly due, I guess, to one smart guy in the Parks department.

    I say the money (though it’s not mine) should go to Americans United at this point.

    Also, I’ve never been part of a hate group before.

  • M. Elaine

    I’d like to know who the 2 trustees are who voted to accept the funds. Maybe they’d be open to a private discussion with “the Mehta” about where/how to spend the money.

  • Bob Jase

    I have. I was a Republican forty years ago.

  • NoMoreDivision

    Time to spend the money on a bunch of pamphlets promoting secularism and critical thinking of the bible. Then donate the pamphlets to atheist high school and college clubs, so they can get the message out easier to the younger generation.

  • BoGardiner

    At this point Hemant should take out a modest administration fee for the ridiculous amount of time, effort and trouble this is costing him.

  • Ewan

    “not a soul here would object”

    I see what you did there.

  • BoGardiner

    Heh, you’re right, I shouldn’t speak for others. I took that phrase out.

  • Little_Magpie

    I think Ewan meant the concept of “souls” :)

  • BoGardiner

    LOL… He’s more clever than I, because the pun was unintended. Wish I’d thought of it.

  • Ewan

    Well I think we just talked right past each other :-)

    I just thought it was amusing to use the phrase ‘not a soul’ about a group of people who (probably) don’t believe in souls; there being indeed, not a soul here at all. That’s it – there was no deeper intended meaning.

  • BoGardiner

    double post

  • diogeneslamp0

    Spend $3,000 on a newspaper ad or billboard right in the face of the haters and bigots of Morton Grove, telling this story and how bigots would not accept your cash, no strings attached, because the gov’t needs to defend the myth that atheists are immoral.

    Plan B: Strip club. I calculate it could buy 150 lap dances.

  • Nat Carr

    This. Very much this.

  • quasibaka

    I concur.

  • Pseudonym

    In unrelated news, the atheist community does not have a misogyny problem.

  • M. Elaine

    I like how you’re “the Mehta” now, kinda like “the Picard.” All hail!

    By the way, for what it’s worth, I contributed to the fund and I like the idea of using it for a student group. Is there an SSA in the area? Or how about a billboard? http://www.outdooradvertisingcenter.com/billboard-advertising-morton-grove-il.php Because as a hate group, there apparently is nothing we enjoy more than tearing apart the design on secular billboards. :)

  • baal

    I wonder if they are considering his first name as a title… like imam or even sensei.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    Heretic! The Picard is real, and has all the powers of the Overseer! The Mehta is a false prophet of a false religion which must be stamped out. 😉

  • Glasofruix

    Beamed in space please, let’s remain civilized.

  • Stev84

    Christian fanatics having taken over all local positions of authority. Business as usual, because it’s so easy to do.

    If you can’t find something local, then Foundation Beyond Belief or another national charity is always a possibility.

  • BoGardiner

    I think at this point it should be donated to a local nontheist, or humanist, or church-state separation group in the area. People who actually want it.

  • Glasofruix

    whoopsie

  • Chuck Farley

    Based on the reasons given by Tracey Anderson for rejecting our donation, it could be argued they Morton Grove should not accept any future donations from the American Legion. That could certainly give the appearance of supporting a particular political/religious cause.

  • BoGardiner

    A very important point that I’ve been waiting to see made in the media about this. It can’t be overemphasized. There is absolutely no justification for accepting their donations and not ours.

  • http://127.0.0.1 3lemenope

    A very important point that I’ve been waiting to see made in the media about this.

    Don’t hold your breath.

  • Stev84

    Of course they fully agree with the American Legion, which supports any far right position and generally promotes a society based on Biblical law.

  • UWIR

    And, unlike FA, the AL actually is a hate group. And a terrorist group.

  • JeromeMac

    Sadly, the KKK might have an easier time donating money then an atheist group.

  • A3Kr0n

    Send it to the ACLU already, and be done with it.

  • Guest

    Do they have hungry or homeless people in Morton Grove? Perhaps you can donate the money to a food bank or homeless shelter.

  • WallofSleep

    That’s what I was about to suggest, either a local food bank or homeless shelter. Anything a person can do to help those struggling to eat or living on the streets is saint’s work as far as I’m concerned.

  • Tom

    Our domestic violence and crisis center is desperate for operating funds, especially at this time of year. We do not track politics, religion, etc. We take cash, check, in-kind.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Are you in Morton Grove? If not, who cares? You should get the money anyways.

  • Oranje

    The food bank that serves MG is in Skokie. Niles Township Food Pantry.

    /4 times is enough; I’ll stop now

  • WallofSleep

    I know of no other way to bring your post to the blog host’s attention aside from flagging it as inappropriate.

  • Oranje

    Well, I could say “fuck” a whole bunch if you think that would work.

    /fuck

  • WallofSleep

    Heh, I flagged it. I hope you don’t mind. I also hope it’s seen as intended, and not as a complaint of inappropriateness.

  • Oranje

    No worries. I appreciate what you’re trying to do, in fact. I want to see this money help how it was supposed to help. We’re so scattered geographically, it makes sense to keep it in that community.

    I live in an economically depressed area, and I’m involved in local government. I cannot fathom the decisions these boards have made.

  • WallofSleep

    Baal just pointed out that you could send an email via the contact link.

  • baal

    You can send Hemant emails, there is a contact link above.

  • WallofSleep

    :headdeask: Duh. Heh, thanks.

  • Oranje

    For some reason I had no clue of that option. Hooray for my being observant! Thanks much; email sent.

  • baal

    heh, I’m thinking Hemant might not be happy for the general reminder.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

    I’m not sure about this, but I think Hemant gets some kind of notification when his name is posted.

  • The Captain

    SHHHHHHHHHH that should probably be a secrete!

    Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant Hemant

  • Nat Carr

    Mushroom mushroom

  • Speedwell

    Snaaaaaaake! A Snaaaaaaaaaaaake!!!

  • Pepe

    Hey, your name!

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I did not know that Hemant was like Beetlejuice.

  • Stev84

    That’s “the Hemant” to you

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

    The alarm went off. What just happened…

  • UWIR

    I guess in the future, if you put in a clause granting you the power to enact contingency plans in your fundraising requests, that will take away one excuse.

    Also, the AL was giving their money in exchange for being listed as a sponsor of various events. What if instead of simply asking to give the money to the parks (which doesn’t give you much standing when you’re refused), you asked to sponsor the events, in which case you can show damages if you’re refused the publicity that comes with sponsorship?

  • Alycen Vance Treloar

    Local food banks here have refused atheist donations and volunteers. Good luck with that one.

  • Charlie Overton

    Great so another food bank can turn down the help of athiests..Why not donate it to thevFBB or to scientific research….

  • Creativerealms

    It is sad when your not allowed to help people due to your lack of religious belief. Also I really don’t see much hate on this site from the contributors. They should matter more then the commentators. Sure people who comment might be mean but that does not mean their opinions are shared by the people writing articles here.

  • Fallulah

    My jaw literally hit the floor when they refereed to this blog as a “hate group”, Atheist discrimination is at an all-time high I’d say!

  • Donatello

    The Friendly Atheist hate group. I like it. I think we should self-report ourselves to the SPLC.

  • UWIR

    And then sue ourselves for libel?

  • Sunday_Assembly_MKE

    Do they have hungry or homeless people in Morton Grove? Perhaps you can donate the money to a food bank or homeless shelter.

  • baal

    I agree with these suggestions.

  • Oranje

    (Sorry I keep saying it, but there are a lot of comments here and I don’t want it to get lost.)

    The Niles Township Food Pantry serves Morton Grove and surrounding communities.

    /used to live in Chicagoland but don’t now; not lobbying for one group, just know they exist and would probably appreciate the help, especially this time of year.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    … many board members were more alarmed by the nature of the bible and the ethical implications accepting money from a local church group might pose.

    Peters referred to the bible as a “hate book” and read aloud several passages in various books of the bible. And stated “For pete’s sake, this book commands that the followers burn down our town, put every one, including women and children, to the sword and even kill ever last pet, just because we have a copy of the Koran. Don’t even get me started on what this book says we should do to rape victims. And it’s not like it’s only on part of this book, or like this book isn’t central to their dogma. The very tenet of their religion is that every single human being that has ever lived deserves to be tortured forever and ever in the most sadistic way imaginable and then some. And their only solution to that problem was human sacrifice. No, we are not taking money from a death cult.”

    IFIFY

  • WallofSleep

    “It’s not like we make you bow at our feet and renounce Jesus before signing the check.”

    Well shit, I’ve been doing it wrong. Sorry everyone.

  • Guest

    Hitchens was right: Religion poisons everything.

  • Rhodent

    “To punish me (and the donors) for comments made by complete strangers makes as much sense as someone criticizing Pastor Mark Driscoll for things his Twitter followers write.”

    But they’re not punishing you for comments made by complete strangers, and what they are doing makes less sense still. They’re punishing their own patrons for comments made by complete strangers.

  • Melody

    You can feel free to donate to the “Melody needs to pay for college” Fund! $3,000 should cover about 1 credit 😉

  • Hypnox

    Friendly Atheist Hate Group. I’ve never been so delighted to be called a FAHG.

  • Black Leaf

    God hates FAHGs?

  • WallofSleep

    A sad day indeed, when atheist money is seen as “dirtier” than a Cosa Nostra donation.

  • Bob Jase

    Leave the Vatican out of this.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    If all else fails, perhaps you could see if there are any Morton Grove municipal bonds that could be bought, so that the money can be lent to the community until some worthy charity in community decides to accept it? I dunno, it seemed a good idea in my head….

  • Lando

    That’s a GREAT idea that will sadly probably get lost in this sea of comments. Maybe email to Hemant?
    Although, I can see the headline now; “Atheist ‘Hate Group’ starts campaign to buy Morton Grove, one municipal bond at a time”

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    The notion might be worth keeping in mind for the future, as I do not believe this will be the last time Hemant does fundraising, nor the last community that refuses to take money from godless hands.

    However, I think it’s likely enough they can find a local food bank willing to take the godless money this time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/prototypeatheist Prototype Atheist

    This entire fiasco is absurd. First, the Pledge of Allegiance was originally written TO SELL FLAGS on the 400th anniversary of Columbus “discovering” America, and didn’t contain the phrase “under God” until it was added in the 1950s by McCarthy-era conservatives. To not only require someone to recite this strange mantra when they aren’t running for public office or serving in the military is strange enough, but to require that they stand and respect it or lose funding is just petty.

    Given this, I fully support the donations that were raised in order to replace the original funds. The fact that they refused to accept is ridiculous. The fact that the library now won’t even accept is beyond infuriating. You can visit just about any website and find anonymous hateful comments. To cite that as a reason for not accepting the donation is foolish. Nobody is asking them to promote or condone atheism. Just take the money and use it to better your community!

  • UWIR

    And for a group to recite the PoA, and then accuse someone else of hate speech is quite hypocritical.

  • https://soundcloud.com/eddieboydmusic flyb

    “Hate group?” Well, I always felt that there was something uncomfortable about me.

  • Don Gwinn

    Oh, great. Now I’m on another list . . . . I wanted to crack a little joke here about how I’ve always viewed this blog as more of a cult of personality than a mission-oriented “group” of any particular sort, but I’d hate to have that quoted in the headline when the Morton Grove Model Airplane and Ham Radio Club takes their vote on whether to accept the donation.

    How about you (well, “we,” if we’re a group now) just cash this money out as $100 bills and pass it out to homeless people in Chicago? I’m not even doing any of the work here and I’m ready to throw up my hands and let these people have their victory over the evils of atheism out of sheer vicarious frustration.

    I wonder what the “hate comments” were, but not enough to go read the thread again and try to guess. Hope these people never read the comment sections in the Tribune or Youtube, though, or there will be fainting.

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    Use $20s instead of $100s; spending them raises fewer eyebrows.

  • Don Gwinn

    That would make sense . . . you can tell I don’t actually pass out money to the homeless in Chicago, can’t you?

  • Lando

    But if we use thousand dollar bills, we’ll be done in a matter of minutes, and have $88 left over to buy some beer to celebrate.*
    *To those monitoring the comment section, I do not advocate spending money raised for charity on beer for myself, or promoting alcoholism. This post was sarcastic. Also, I am aware that United States Treasury does not circulate thousand dollar bills as legal currency.
    Damn, are we going to have to put these disclaimers on every post now?

  • LDavidH

    Bizarre… I’ll be happy to accept the money for my little church here in the UK; but as it’s quite far from Morton Grove, I guess we don’t qualify.

  • Oranje

    What’s refreshing is that we all seem to know plenty of organizations who would have no qualms about taking it and putting it to good use. I live in an economically depressed area, and I can’t think of a single group that would turn money down—or raise eyebrows about sources. Perhaps we somehow just picked the wrong two.

  • Matthew Baker

    They must be reading different comments than the rest of us. Most of the comments i have read on this blog have been well articulated,and reasonable even if they disagree with the OP on some issue. Any trolls or rude comments tend to get handled quickly by other commenters.

  • http://atheist-faq.com Jasper

    Of course, when the existence of atheists is seen as being offensive, or us not sitting down and shutting up automatically brands us as militant, that may not be what they’re talking about.

  • WallofSleep

    The fact that we have the audacity to even exist would classify us as a hate group among many fundie circles.

    And I damn near typed “hate grope”. What the fuck is wrong with me today.

  • Stev84

    It would be easy to find some comments here and there that could shed a negative light on the blog. But that can be said about almost all blogs and the entire internet for that matter.

  • kashicat

    As I once said to a fundamentalist friend who was advocating rejecting helpful donations from non-Christians, “In the Old Testament, the children of Israel made their most sacred tabernacle in the wildnerness OUT OF GOLD AND PAGAN ORNAMENTS THEY TOOK OUT OF EGYPT.” And somehow, their god didn’t feel slighted that his very temple was made this way.

    Weird that today’s Christians are so much more pure than God.

  • Don Gwinn

    That wasn’t charity. That was stuff they extorted/stole, fair and square.

  • kashicat

    How they acquired it wasn’t actually the point. It was that in biblical terms, at least, no matter how “impure” the original owners or intent was for the objects, their very dedication to something “pure” made them acceptable. And even God didn’t scruple to reject something whose source was contrary to beliefs about him.

  • Junie Girl

    Yeah, but the smelting of it burned off them there pagan impurities! *spits*

  • JenniferT

    What sort of library rejects donations from rationalists? Oh, the insanity.

  • quasibaka

    Here I was , thinking that libraries are centers of knowledge serving to dispel ignorance from the community . Seriously WTF ?

  • Diane

    I have a friend who is in the news department at Library Journal…I might put a bug in her ear about this and see if anyone considers it newsworthy. This is an unusual situation, but I think in spirit, if nothing else, it violates a core principle of the profession, that being recognizing the value of the free exchange of information, and not censoring content. Personally, as a library paraprofessional (libraries are my career, but I don’t have any relevant degrees), I’m distressed that a library got involved in discrimination of this sort.

  • Junie Girl

    How about Planned Parenthood?

  • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

    There are some “Secular Pro-life” folk out there; probably not the most uncontroversial of choices, given the potential for other options.

  • Trickster Goddess

    Some books available at the Morton Grove Public Library:

    The happy atheist
    Myers, PZ

    The bonobo and the atheist : in search of humanism among the primates
    Waal, F. B. M. de

    Every day is an atheist holiday! : more magical tales from the author of God, no!
    Jillette, Penn.

    Faitheist : how an atheist found common ground with the religious
    Stedman, Chris,

    God, no! : signs you may already be an atheist and other magical tales
    Jillette, Penn

    The portable atheist : essential readings for the non-believer
    Hitchens, Christopher

    The God delusion [sound recording]
    Dawkins, Richard

  • Alycen Vance Treloar

    not for long…

  • XopherVT

    How about laundering it through a Humanist Group? http://ethicalhuman.org

  • Don Gwinn

    Hemant has mentioned that he doesn’t want to give the money to anyone who would refuse it because it came from us, and I agree. It’s fine to make anonymous donations, and donation is not all about raising public opinion of atheism, but it’s not our responsibility to hide our role in helping the public because they despise us too much to accept our help otherwise.

  • Fentwin

    Reminds me of the sign “Hippies use back door”.

    i.e. your money is fine, the fact that it came from you? Eh, not so much.

  • Bob Jase

    Now I wonder, wouldd the members of these fine boards of trustees pass up on picking up a twenty dollar bill laying on the sidewalk because it might have been dropped by an atheist? Or would they only pick it up if no one was looking?

  • Whitney Currie

    If it’s this big an issue for an atheist group to donate money to the park, then they should never have accepted the donation from the American Legion in the first place.

  • peter garayt

    Women’s shelter please.
    p.

  • kalex

    A few things that don’t add up… (I work for a major nonprofit).

    1. Donations made to a nonprofit are not required to be declared publicly. The 990s that are submitted to the IRS do have a section for large donations, but only the IRS sees it – the public 990s do not include that section.
    2. Boards almost never vote on whether to accept a donation or not. It usually only happens if the gift is transformational (i.e. it is so large that the organization itself will change because of it).
    3. They excluded Ashta from voting… then this doesn’t sound like an official vote. This is probably a violation of their bylaws.

    They are starting a dangerous precedent for their organization. From now on folks can see who they have recognized as givers and see if there are any controversial people. You can find fault with almost anyone. Do they really want to limit their donations that much?

  • RowanVT

    If it means they don’t have to take money from an icky atheist, then yes.

  • kalex

    From their bylaws (http://www.mgpl.org/assets/1/7/Bylaws(rev)2012.pdf):

    “Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues, or the institution.”

    … to me it sounds like their personal interests (i.e. not liking atheists) are harming the institution.

  • Pseudonym

    Being seen to take sides in what was already a viral shitstorm before Hemant even came on the scene could, I suspect, be considered as an avoidable situation which may harm the library.

  • kalex

    This is very troublesome…

    “Anderson said she discussed the donation with park board commissioners who came to her office separately and that a consensus was reached. She said Ashta was the only commissioner she did not talk to about the donation.”
    This is not how a board takes a vote.

  • kalex

    Realize I am mixing the park board and the library… sorry about that. However, seems like there is a simple solution re: the park. They say they determined that the donation “was not for general programming purposes and thus should be returned.”
    Send the donation again and in the letter make it clear it is for genral programming purposes.

  • Jordan Sugarman

    Agreed: “Please use this money in any way you see fit. No strings attached.”

  • Jordan Sugarman

    There was no vote at all:

    “Anderson said she discussed the donation with park board commissioners who came to her office separately and that a consensus was reached.”

  • Pseudonym

    Donations made to a nonprofit are not required to be declared publicly.

    This one was already declared publicly before the money was sent. On this blog, in fact.

  • Lando

    “Peters referred to the blog as a “hate group” and read aloud several comments made by readers of the blog.”
    Time for me to finally start a blog called ‘The Friendliest Person Who Isn’t Quite Sure Any Deities Exist.’
    It will feature cute pictures of puppies, and mostly camera phone pics of my cat being lazy, and every post will just say, ‘Life is pretty good.’ I’ll turn off all the comments from anyone but myself, which will just parrot the posts.
    THEN, when I have a million followers, I’ll get them to donate money to charity.
    …and we’ll STILL get check mailed back to us.

  • Fentwin

    Hate group? In a sense I reckon;

    I hate bigotry, intolerance, ignorance, willful ignorance more so, lying, cheating, bullying, and tailgaters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/prototypeatheist Prototype Atheist

    What’s wrong with grilling in the parking lot before a game? 😉

  • Fentwin

    doh!

    Not much fun when its on I-85 doing 75 mph. :)

  • The Captain

    And I hate bigotry, intolerance, ignorance, willful ignorance more so, lying, cheating, bullying, and people who drive slow as shit in the left and middle lanes.

  • baal

    Willful ignorance is on the short list of items that can make me actually angry.

  • Fentwin

    Oh yeah, I call them “passholes”, especially when they speed up as you try to pass.

  • Rob P

    How about a billboard in Morton Grove that reads “Citizens of Morton Grove, we tried to help your community and because of narrow-minded board members all you got was a lousy sign.”

  • LoveTWD

    I hope it doesn’t come to that but your suggestion made me laugh…. quite witty – loved it!!!

  • BoGardiner

    lol

  • Jordan Sugarman

    You might be onto something. That may be a little too pithy, though. Perhaps an ad in the local paper:

    “Dear citizens of Morton Grove: Recently, some of your community’s benefactors decided to withhold their money this year because one person in a position of authority refused to honor what he considered an unreasonable request. We wanted to replace that funding, with no strings attached. Unfortunately, city officials turned down our offer. Twice. Why? We aren’t sure. But it seems they would rather accept money from people who think that offering it should give them special rights. We’re sorry we couldn’t help, and hope your city can make up any losses some other way.

    SIncerely, The Friendly Atheist Blog”

  • fjpor

    I like that idea

  • Rob

    Jordan, that’s really good, BUT… you neglected to capitalize the ‘n’ to make it SINcerely. We cannot afford to miss even these tiny opportunities to niggle and nag and annoy the make-believers :) Bill O’Reilly or Rush Limbaugh would NEVER miss such a wonderful opportunity to bug us – neither should we. WE NEED TO BE MORE LIKE THEM:

    “SIN-cerely, The FIENDISHLY Atheist Blog.”

    On another topic thoroughly unworthy of its own post:
    Q. What do you call an Atheist Rally?
    A: A ‘Demon’-stration.

  • Randay

    Also use some of the money to pay for a full-page ad in the local paper.

  • Rob McClain

    Someone would try to use it for arson practice, at least based on events of the past week.

  • Tat Wadjet

    I love that 😛

  • Kingasaurus

    —-“Peters referred to the blog as a “hate group” and read aloud several comments made by readers of the blog.”—–

    This would make every YouTube video ever posted by anyone (and its associated comments thread) a “hate group.”

  • http://heartofbirch.blogspot.com/ CarysBirch

    And as the repositories of internet access for everyone that doesn’t have it at home, you’d think library staff would be familiar with how the internet works.

  • Pofarmer

    Yeah, I probably contribute to the “Hate Group” thing. What about a local hosptal or clinic?

  • mada

    This is what, from my humble perspective, that I experience. Christians often claim that religion is necessary because it provides a moral compass otherwise missing from society. So they do good works and point to these positives as an example of why religion is so necessary and atheism so wrong. Then, as in the case above, when an atheist group shows one needn’t have to tie good works to god or be motivated by church, the effort is refused, shunned and turned into an opportunity to once again vilify non-believers…nice…

  • LoveTWD

    Maybe the money could go to a special needs school or advocacy agency in Morton Grove? As the parent of a child with autism, I know how we struggled to pay for tuition when our son attended a private special needs school where we live on the East Coast. Also, many of these families struggle financially to pay for therapies that insurances do not cover. An example would be equine therapy. This is just a suggestion…. :) I hope you find a worthy donor for the funds.

  • PV2 Gustin

    hemant I think you are trying to make great strides for not only atheists but the whole countries viewpoints, I appreciate your fight and i’ll back you in any way possible.

  • Oranje

    How about the Niles Township Food Pantry?

  • BoGardiner

    Do atheists say no to generosity and community spirit? Or are Morton Grove officials Blue Meanies?

  • Little_Magpie

    I dunno if the rest of the commenters agree, but by me, you totally win a shiny new internets for reference Yellow Submarine, there, Bo.

    so much win. :)

  • BoGardiner

    It’s at times like this I want to be in Pepperland.

    Or in an octopus’ garden, beneath the waves, no one there to tell us what to do…

  • karlt6

    I’ve always seen atheists falling into one of two camps. Those who’ve looked at the origins, history, and scientific failings of the notions of deities and their related dogma, and those who seem to have a chip on their shoulder.

    It’s unfortunate those with a chip feel the need to make idiotic, childish jabs, jokes, comments, Photoshop pics, etc. Especially on public forums such as Facebook. It reflects poorly on those of us who see the two sides as simply a difference in people. It is no different then when their side does it.

    Some atheists need to get off this kick that all believers are up to no good. That they are out to ‘get us’. That they are out to control our brains and lives. The simple fact is most believers truly believe. People like my mother. Sorry, but when she took me to church on Sunday morning it was out of belief. It was out of love for me and my siblings. It was out of seeking a place of calm and hope from the often violent drunken step-father back at home. It wasn’t to brainwash me. It wasn’t to put limits on my life. It was to teach me right from wrong. Yes, we all know the ‘dark side’ to stories such as Lot, but we all know those dark sides are rarely, if ever, given on Sunday morning.

    As much as I do not believe any god exists, people need to keep in mind that just like they cannot prove there is a god, we cannot prove there are no gods. I admit I am amused by people who believe the fantastic tales. I admit I am annoyed and even borderline angered by those who refuse to accept the errors, inaccuracies, and flat-out lies of the dogma, but nothing of my position is strengthened by calling someone names… making fun of them… posting pics of their belief that I cannot disprove.

    If atheists want ourselves to be taken seriously and to be seen as truly above the teachings and history and actions of the subject at-hand, we need to act in a manner that earns that elevated position.

  • BoGardiner

    Well of course. There will always be trolls. But since nearly all of the commenters on this blog act as you recommend, this lecture doesn’t seem relevant to the problem we’re discussing here.

  • karlt6

    Actually, my comment IS in relevant to the TOPIC of the blog to which I responded, in case that failed to escape your grasp. I didn’t reply to an individual on this page, nor did I even address comments on this page as being those of which I was speaking.

  • $84687101

    I don’t think those two groups are mutually exclusive. I also think that the second group is very small indeed, at least as you’re characterizing it. Recognizing that some believers actually are out to get us doesn’t mean the same as assuming that all believers are.

    So as long as there is a concerted effort to inject religion into public school classrooms and the public square, whether they people involved in it think they are acting out of sincere belief and love or not doesn’t change the fact that they’re out to get me and my kids and control them.

    Just because some people are paranoid doesn’t mean no one is out to get us.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    Concern Troll is Concerned.

  • Leah

    Why is this person considered a troll?

  • baal

    I try not to post this too often but it’s relevant about every third day. Karl is comming off as ‘superiour’ to both atheists and xtians and telling atheists how to behave from that position of superiourity. The common trope (term?)(it’s about trope level these days) is that folks taking that argument are ‘concerned’. ‘Concerned’ folks often appear to be missing some level of empathy or understanding about whomever they are concerned. Unless they address that cluelessness, Karl’s common comment is labeled “concern troll.”

  • Leah

    alright

  • karlt6

    No, I’m just not an unhappy, bitter person/atheist who has to resort to name-calling in an effort to make myself feel better by putting-down others.

    As Jake says, ‘Life is Good’. If that makes me superior to you, so be it. I can recommend a few books of Eastern philosophy if you like.

  • poliltimmy

    And I suppose, ‘unhappy bitter person/atheist’ is a good way to describe someone?

  • baal

    Also the facts are not in evidence that I put people down to make myself feel better – nor are they in evidence that that motivation is the primary reason that the general “you = everyone” are snarky or mocking from time to time.

  • karlt6

    To describe people who have to resort to name-calling in the absence of having valid arguments to present? Certainly.

  • baal

    “we cannot prove there are no gods.”
    But, again, there isn’t any evidence of fairies, pink invisible unicorns and god. As such, there isn’t any reason to act like any of them do exist or even to take ‘the middle approach’ and pretend that it is an open question.

  • karlt6

    Who said you have to ‘act like any of them do exist’? Certainly wasn’t me……

    There is a member on an atheist board whose default, tired-out, meaningless statement/reply to people is “You cannot prove a negative”. Not only is that statement false (I can prove there is no 7 ft tall polar bear in my garage), but it fails to understand, accept and respect to very principles of science that atheists need to be embracing as we work to show others how little fact, or even trace of realism there is in much of what they believe. Like I said, I trust in the sciences to prove (our) side. Whether it be digging-up a Canaanite tablet showing El started as their god, or something as advanced as genome mapping and detailing where Haplogroups differ.

  • baal

    “”You cannot prove a negative”.

    oooookay.
    For someone complaining about me putting words in your mouth, you just did a paragraph of putting words into mine.

    I’m well aware that you can show that something doesn’t exist by starting with what its existence would look like and then showing the absence of those features. Most god(s), but especially the xtian one don’t exist by the normal usage of those words. Hence me quoting you and making that point.

    I’m well aware of science – I was in a phd biology program until I was no longer interested and left with a masters consolidation prize.

    It’s not fundamentally offensive or belittling to insist that there isn’t any evidence for god(s) nor that the xtian god is in the same class of literary (or cultural) being as vishnu or cthulhu. So far as xtians do take offense at that notion, it’s on them.

  • karlt6

    (Me): “…There is a member on an atheist board whose default, tired-out, meaningless statement/reply to people is “You cannot prove a negative”…”

    So, you’re saying you are that member? Because if not, I fail to see how I put any words into your mouth…. ??

  • baal

    … I’m going to take this opportunity to wish you a good rest of the day and a pleasant rest of the year.

  • tbc_6970

    Please state at what point we should no longer take the hate filled speech of the religious. Umm, I am confused. I guess their leaders publicly stating I should be executed just does not fit your criteria.

  • karlt6

    Hmmm… So every ‘religious’ person says that about you? I can promise you not. My mother hasn’t…. My siblings haven’t…. Believer friends haven’t….

    And guess what, there are people who will always hate other people for anything and everything they see as different. Even down to what make of car you may drive. If you need to get worked-up about that, so be it.

  • poliltimmy

    When did I mention you and yours? Do take everything and question asked as an attack?

    It is you that seems to be worked up. Not only are you worked up but you have the audacity to imply, I should not express my viewpoint, or ask you a simple question about yours.

  • karlt6

    You stated ‘THE religious’. The people I mentioned are religious.

    If you did not intend to speak of the entire group you should have made that clear. There are those who seem to be paranoid and believe all religious people are ‘up to something’ or out to get them. You could have easily been one of them and your statement could have reflected such.

    Please feel free to show me where I state anything which implies I feel you should not express your viewpoint or ask a question…..

  • poliltimmy

    Are your religious people spewing out hatred? If not I was not talking about them. Pretty obvious, I think. Now can you answer the question ?

  • karlt6

    It’s not my place or obligation to interpret or determine what someone meant to write. I replied to the words that you wrote.

    So, anyway, do you believe lowering yourself to (their) level accomplishes anything? Do you believe ‘the religious’ who spew out hatred will pay attention to what you have to say?

    Do you think a believer/the religious are going to take you seriously if you call them names? Do you think they are going to see you or your position as intelligent? Reasonable? Rational?

    Do you think someone sitting on the fence about what they see as fact or
    fiction, myth or maybe will be swayed by name calling or adolescent
    pictures people post? I LOVE that I have friends and FB Friends who have told me that certain comments and clips I’ve shared have made them think. Even if just a little bit.

    I started my lack of belief because a group of believers/experts on the A&E series ‘The Bible’ in the mid-90’s had the guts to say ‘It didn’t really happen’ and ‘I don’t know’ and ‘We don’t think it’s true’ and words along those lines. Why not approach being an atheist and advancing atheism along those same lines?

    If you yourself are one of those who feel the need to call names or poke jokes or make pictures, so be it. But if so, inside I’d have to think you accept that you are not advancing the cause in any way.

  • poliltimmy

    I did not call anyone any name. Do you have me and another poster all wadded up? And why don’t you answer my question first?

  • karlt6

    “…If you yourself are one of those who feel the need to call names or poke jokes or make pictures, so be it. But if so….”

    Do you not understand the word ‘if’? What part of that sentence do you fail to understand means it is a question?

    And I’ve quite clearly answered your question. Lowering ones self to what you called ‘the religious’ hardly paints us in a better light.

  • poliltimmy

    Word!

  • $84687101

    Who said anything about “every ‘religious’ person” saying anything? You’re building strawmen.

  • karlt6

    Above, poliltimmy did: “…..the hate filled speech of the religious….” THE religious. The people I then mentioned are religious. They are part of ‘THE religious’.

  • $84687101

    I read the post. Your interpretation of it is an incredible stretch, particularly coming from someone claiming to be an atheist. Perhaps you have a reading comprehension problem. Or perhaps you’re arguing against strawmen on purpose.

  • karlt6

    Actually my reading comprehension is just fine. (They) state ‘THE religious’. Not religious extremists…. Not a certain group such as Mormons or Evangelicals…. Not the guy from Duck Dynasty…. But ‘THE’ religious. ‘Religious’ are people who follow religion, and of the people I mention follow (the Christian) religion.

    Considering you are not the person who wrote the original post, I’m not seeing how it is your place to state it was intended differently from how it was written. If they come on and state that it was, great.

  • $84687101

    I’m just someone who can read and comprehend English. I’m sorry you can’t, and that you have such a dim view of your fellow atheists that you don’t grant them a generous interpretation of their words, as I initially did for you, though I now see you didn’t deserve it.

  • karlt6

    If someone doesn’t mean something as it is written, it shouldn’t be posted. We’re not talking about actual speech where once the words have left your mouth you have no means to change them beyond saying additional words. The written word has no presence in the world until you hit (enter).

  • poliltimmy

    I have a brother just like this person. :(

  • karlt6

    Ooopps….. I shouldn’t exclude a few Jewish friends from those who haven’t recited any hate in my direction over my being an atheist.

    And I love the implication from ‘…claiming to be an atheist…’. As-if that is something a person would freely choose to do. Especially in the context of the (article) above.

  • baal

    Karl, take a break man. You’re deeply stuck on the trees and could use a little forest.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    It’s unfortunate those with a chip feel the need to make idiotic,
    childish jabs, jokes, comments, Photoshop pics, etc. Especially on
    public forums such as Facebook.

    Concern Troll does not understand the purpose of facebook.

  • Oranje

    Facebook has a purpose?

    (besides collecting user content and selling it to marketers, that is)

  • Nick Johnson

    Aerosmith is awful!
    Welcome to the Friendly Atheist Aerosmith Hate Group!

  • $84687101

    I cannot join that group. Aerosmith’s not that bad. But I will gladly join your Nickelback hate group if you’ve got one and the dues are low enough ($0.00).

  • Oranje

    There was a golden $.05 joke waiting for you there, but I respect your taking the high road.

  • DoctorDJ

    The scariest part is that Ms. Peters is trustee of a library.
    Does she take the same attitude and ban those books of which she is not fond?

  • BoGardiner

    It has to make one wonder.

  • johnnybgood

    Hmm they’re worried about the ethics of accepting a donation? We didn’t ask for any kind of “hand out” in exchange, just “here’s the money, use it as you wish”…..totally using logic.

  • The Captain

    Well Hemant, seems you’ve found yourself a side project for this spring, finding the non-bigotted organization in Morton Grove. Don’t go for an easy acceptance though, one by one expose each group. You’re next book?

  • BoGardiner

    Hmmm, maybe you’re right, maybe that would be the more intriguing and ultimately productive strategy, however painful…

  • Leslie Lynn Redman

    Give the money to animal shelters. They are more deserving than most humans.

  • Rich

    If nobody in Morton Grove wants it, I’ll take it.

  • M. Elaine

    Is this your secret to becoming Rich?

  • primenumbers

    They’re bigots the lot of them.

  • Jorge Pérez de Lara

    This community could only be called a hate group in that we share a hatred of stupidity, especially the bigot variant.

  • LesterBallard

    These people must not have noses, considering how spiteful they are.

  • Tina

    Ethics Statement for Public Library Trustees
    Trustees in the capacity of trust upon them, shall observe ethical standards with absolute truth, integrity, and honor.

    Trustees must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of library users, colleagues or the institution.

    It is incumbent on any trustee to disqualify himself or herself immediately whenever the appearance of a conflict of interest exists.

    Trustees must distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between their personal philosophy and attitudes and those of the institution, acknowledging the formal position of the board even if they personally disagree.

    A trustee must respect the confidential nature of library business while being aware of and in compliance with applicable laws governing freedom of information.

    Trustees must be prepared to support to the fullest the efforts of librarians in resisting censorship of library materials by groups or individuals.

    Trustees who accept library board responsibilities are expected to perform all of the functions of library trustees.

    Approved by the PLA Board of Directors and the ALTA Board of Directors (both divisions of the American Library Association) on July 8, 1985; approved by the Morton Grove Public Library Board of Trustees, September 14, 2006.

  • Tina

    Looks like they violate their own Ethics. Yet, they are worried about our kindness! Wow!

  • Ms. Mitten

    Is there a high school or college secular group in Morton Grove? I’m sure they’d be glad to get the donation!

  • Croquet_Player

    Maybe contact someone at the Illinois Student Secular Alliance? https://www.secularstudents.org/region/ilinky

  • tinker

    Wow, I scroll down and see 157 ‘hateful’ comments within the last 3 hours! I wonder how many hateful comments there are on the Xtian websites about this?

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Hello Hemant,

    Sincerely,
    Tracey Anderson

    What is with this American practice of faux familiarity of calling persons by their first name? Especially when the content of your letter indicates you are definitely not a friend?

  • http://thephyseter.wordpress.com The_Physeter

    But he is a friend! He’s friendly. That’s even in his name!

  • http://thephyseter.wordpress.com The_Physeter

    Here’s my idea. Go stand in the town square in Morton Grove with a bag of 600 $50 bills and just fling them wildly about. It could be fun.
    Also, I think A ‘hate group’ called the Friendly Atheist, that raises money for libraries would be a perfect tagline for this blog.

  • cag

    So where does the extra $27,000 come from? Did you just make a huge contribution? / pedantic snark

  • http://thephyseter.wordpress.com The_Physeter

    Ffffffing maths, how do they work?

  • GubbaBumpkin

    Some investigative journalist needs to look into what other donations the library has turned down, and what other donations they have accepted. There could be a story in this.

  • Jen Kuhn

    Do they have an ASPCA or animals shelter? I can promise they will not care where the money comes from, and it will benefit the 4 legged citizens of the community.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    If only real hate groups were as helpful as those on this site.

  • paulalovescats

    My local library:
    Ken Ham, 1
    Joel Osteen, 11
    Ken Hovind, 0 thank fsm
    evolution, 24 and about 3 of those are against
    Daniel Dennet, 0
    Richard Dawkins, 0
    Sam Harris, 0
    books about god and Christianity in particular, maybe 200?
    books on Christian families, Christian jobs, Christian child-raising, Christian cooking, Christian psychology, Christian horseshoeing (just kidding)
    Ann Coulter, probably 25
    So there’s accepted science in there, and a lot of talk about a god still existing on top of evolution, but atheism? Not much of a chance.

  • BoGardiner

    That’s criminal.

  • Nichelle Wrenn

    No Dawkins? That is weird. At least they have a decent selection of evolution books. Why so many Osteen books though, that guy ids the worst huckster of prosperity gospel I have ever seen. I wonder if they accept donations. It sounds like they could use a good Sagan book or maybe The Selfish Gene or some other atheist book.

  • $84687101

    Your library sucks. Sorry about that.

  • $84687101

    I hate to rub it in, but my library has:
    Author: Richard Dawkins: 27
    Daniel Dennet: 13
    Sam Harris: 35 (a bunch of those are not the right Sam Harris, but a bunch are)
    Christopher Hitchens: 42
    Evolution: 6441.

    Of course, that includes multiple versions, audiobooks, digital downloads, etc.

    But still, your library sucks. You should move.

  • MichaelO

    I’ve written an Atheist Requiem which combines the traditional Christian Liturgical Settings in Latin and a juxtaposed setting in English. It promotes the appreciation, and respect of both aspects of life while presenting a new structure for a Requiem. Here is my composition page for a sample of my work. http://www.mebaritone.com/compositions.html Let me know if you’re interested in promoting Secularism in music. :-)

  • pianoman

    I agree the money should go to an animal rescue, since animals would never be such utter douchebags over this. I didn’t find anything in Morton Grove, though, so you may have to go a few miles out.

  • Brandon

    I know these guys could use the money to get their movie “A Scarlet Letter – An Atheist Documentary” released… http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-scarlet-letter-an-atheist-documentary. They only have 6 days left to raise $1400

  • http://heartofbirch.blogspot.com/ CarysBirch

    “The Mehta.” You appear to have a new title. :) It amuses me.

  • onamission5

    He’s so Mehta. This is all so Mehta. Not to go all Mehta about this…
    I don’t know what Hemant thinks, but I like it.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

    My students only call me by my last name already. Not the blog readers, too!

  • peggin

    I think we should give the money to the Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago

    http://ethicalhuman.org/

    It’s located in Skokie, IL and, according to Google Maps, it’s about 2 1/2 miles from the Morton Grove Library.

  • Nelson

    That’s christians for you.
    Never a dull moment.

  • Matt D

    If they are going to use the behavior of “blog” posters to judge others, then I already know who’s going to win that battle.

    Commentwise, the majority of Theists react BADLY to criticism (real or not), typically with abuse (verbal and physical) or worse, and they do this on television, blogs, tweets, newspapers, magazines, etc. Sometimes it is subtle (smiling while telling you that you’re “goin’ to hell” for example) and sometimes not (“Burn all gays alive in ovens”).

  • BoGardiner

    Since we’re judging people by random comments on their blog posts, here are some on the American Legion blog post on this kerfuffle (http://burnpit.legion.org/2013/12/friendly-atheist-and-legion-post-battle-over-contributions-park-district ). Remind me again… who is it that’s “militant?” Who is the hate group?
    —————
    This guy is an ultra liberal idiot who should leave our great country. If you do not respect our flag or our freedom then get the hell out of America [16 likes]

    God Bless you American Legion. If they want atheists can go to hell!!! [14 likes]

    B S-B S-B S-B S-B S….in america ther are now so many un- americans – united states citizens not americans only citizens.WE NEED A CIVALWAR MORE THEN EVER. LOCK AND LOAD. [10 likes and reply:] Unfortunately Jim, that is what it is going to take to turn this Great Country around.

    I will pray for Dan Ashta… Dan Ashta will probably burn in hell.

    The little atheist jerk who thinks Mr. Ashton should NOT show respect to the people who SERVED our country is way off base. In fact, this country was FOUNDED on Judeo-Christian values

    Anyone living in the US who will not show respect for the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America should be required to leave the country.

    If you do not respect our flag or our freedom then get the hell out of America.

    If people don’t wake the F up soon a 2nd civil war will be the least of there problems.

    In this Country we stand, respect our flag, elders, God and Country…The sad thing is we the people are tired of being told by a few what to do. A civil war is most likely down the road for us, especially if they don’t leave the Constitution, and our guns alone

    Ten to one he is a muslin .

    We are loosing the right to defend our core beliefs to atheists who appose those beliefs…We are being asked to set aside the things all Americans and history has taught us…As long as Veterans live and breath you will have a fight on your hands…God Bless America and those that believe…The rest can kiss my politically correct a-s-s

    I fought so this person could have the choice, but that choice doesn’t include changing the rules just for an individual to infringe on the whole.

    We fight for the right of free speech, but not for the right to disrespect it or those who fought for it. There is no such thing as a “friendly atheist”. They all want to take away everyone else’s right to praise their God, their Flag and their country.

    I do not believe we in the American Legion should contribute to anything that has people unwilling to adhere to our Government, and as our government was founded on faith I agree with the American Legion.

    Thank you for standing up to those who want to destroy what our country was built on… Keep up the fight!!

    Stand or leave, pay respect to our flag or take a hike.

    if you look up the term atheist you’ll find that in the very definition of the word it refers to or gives credence to the fact that it is a hostile position.

    I …truly believe we have a war with Atheist, and Socialist in this country right now… They have stymied our rights to practice our Christian Faith in Public through the use of the Anti American organizations … put these people back in the background where they belong.

    If you don’t believe in anything, you won’t be able to stand for something when it counts.

    Without faith you are weak and unstable. Perhaps unfit to carry a firearm.

    If you refuse to stand for allegiance to our country you probably shouldn’t be employed by American tax payers first of all.

    Canada is just a three hour drive from here if you don’t like the USA.

    Our country was founded on One Nation Under God…. if I was in another country and I did not respect their way of life, don’t you think they would let me know and I would be ask to leave… United State of American should not bow to another countries religion believe.

    That so called man should be removed from the Parks Board and placed elsewhere that removes him from public interaction, problem solved.

    Where I come from he would go behind the wood shed for futher education on what The United States of America is!!!!

    Why does the minority have any say over the majority.

    Let’s shoot his dumb ass

    sounds like our non – believing friend didnt get enough attention as a child and is looking for it thru arguing .

    in the years 100-235, if you didn’t show proper respect to the Empire, then a Legionnaire had the perfect right by his oath of allegiance to justifiably put you to the sword. So, ‘You don’t like this country’s Constitution and can’t respect its traditional ways?’ we’re not so cruel as more civilized individuals to waste you, but we should politely invite you to get the Hell out (or wire you up by the ankles and invite like minded patriotic persons to feel free to slap the lower hanging portion of your ass silly.)

    All we can do is pray for their eyes to be opened before its too late…for them

    This country was built on Judao Christian beliefs …We as a Veterans organization need to stand up to these group’s and fight

    you blogger creep …we do need people like these turds to make us laugh

    The friendly atheist doesn’t appear to have completely assimilated into the American culture. I wonder if he could be so outspoken in his ethnic country of origin…he’s a pathetic little sniveler

    Jesus made it simple when he said, “Either you are for me or you are against me.”

    I do NOT respect his “right” not to recite the pledge… for this atheist person. If he is an American, he should STAND and RECITE the pledge…if he can’t … then he should pack his bags and go somewhere else.

    the “Friendly Atheist” should be banned from any Legion functions until he shows respect for our flag and country

    Friendly atheist, while you have your head up your fourth point of contact, please fart and blow your brains out

    80% of Americans are Christian. This is a “Christian Nation”. If this offends the Frendly Atheist he is free to move to North Korea where he will be with his own kind.

    Why doesn’t our hyper-narcissictic athiest start his own Parks & Rec Dept… I guess it’s just part of today’s growing sense that it’s okay to be a DEVIANT. Futhermore it’s also your right and ‘responsibility’ to let everyone know that you’re a DEVIANT and that you are proud of being a DEVIANT. All I can say to the DEVIANT is sit down & shut up.

    there is a GOD and there will be a day of reckoning.

    It would please me very much if all the non believers left this Great country.

    OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED UNDER GOD! …IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT OR HONOR IT, GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY!

  • Stev84

    Really not surprising from an organization that supported the Nazis and Mussolini in their blind hatred against anything vaguely communist, including labor activists. They have always been fascists and will always be fascists.

  • baal

    Well, that was violent, loud and unpleasant. Wait, we’re the bad guys?!!! For trying to economically help out a local government? I see proportionality has left the building.

  • http://heartofbirch.blogspot.com/ CarysBirch

    More than a little racism in there. Yuck.

  • Madison Blane

    As an often-called ‘research nerd’…I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one! Thanks for looking this up, you just saved me from an evening of wormholing 😉

  • onamission5

    Donate to the science or art department at the local public middle school? Those departments are almost always short of funding.

    edit: Or a hospice center, or animal shelter, or a coats for kids or toys for tots campaign, or a food bank… I know you said you wanted to donate someplace that would benefit all the residents, but barring that, what helps the neediest amongst them does help the community as a whole.

  • Rick

    > Don’t answer that. Commenting on this thread is the official initiation into the Friendly Atheist Hate Group.

    The reason I don’t comment on this site is that there are ~20 domains running XSS scripts (Cross site javascript) So it just generally is not safe. I have dicqus on.

    I temporarily allowed the scripts to run to say this.

    I would LIKE to comment on this site, but it’s a fucking mess code wise.

  • George Hanson

    Donate the money to the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They are fighting this kind of nonsense all over the country every single day.

  • Matt D

    That’s fine, if they have a problem with “The Mehta”, he just holds up his powercube and shouts “It’s Mehta-morphin time” to become the White Ranger. While they clap with glee and bask in his new whiteness, perhaps they’ll be less rejectishy…not that I’m implying anything while also making up entirely new words.

  • Richard Thomas

    “Mehta World Peace”

  • Artor

    No, I like your Mehtaphor.

  • heresanidea

    Find a friendly Christian organization and send them the check. Then have them donate the same amount of money to the Park District, effectively ‘laundering’ the cooties-infested atheist money. If the Park District accepts the money, great! You’ve accomplished your goal. If they don’t accept the money from the Christian organization accuse them of persecuting Christians and grab some popcorn.

  • SeekerLancer

    So basically: Sorry, we don’t want people to know we support the first amendment.

    At this point I’m wondering if we left the money in a bag labeled “atheist money, take for free” if nobody would take it in fear of cooties.

    This has nothing to do with getting embroiled in a “first amendment dispute.” A Christian group refused to donate money to the town, and atheists picked up the slack. There’s no dispute.

  • Abram Larson

    I’m envisioning a hidden camera show, here. Probably good for a few laughs.

  • Richard Thomas

    Cool. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be part of a hate group but that whole “not being an asshole” thing always got in the way. That being said, might as well just donate the money to the satanist monument. Looks like they’re the only ones who’d be willing to take it.

  • Darrell Ross

    Instead of giving up, I think it would be good to continue offering the money to local groups. Great publicity every time they turn it down. And with two groups already turning it down, it will lend that much more energy to the next one.

    On a side note, perhaps we should offer to give the Library some free books? Perhaps some on ethics?

  • Cat’s Staff

    Try the United Way…you can usually earmark donations with them. http://uw-mc.org And tell them if they can’t find any use for it in Morton Grove, maybe it could be put to good use next-door in Skokie…

  • ansuz

    …normally I’m not even a little bit vindictive, but part of my brain wants to go, “Fine. You don’t want to accept atheist money because you don’t want to upset/are conservative Christians? Then we’ll give our atheist money to an abortion fund, and upset the conservative Christians anyway. So there. *sticks out tongue*”

    I mean, I think abortion funds are very worthwhile things to donate to, but I’m not actually five years old.

    EDIT: Oh, damn. This probably counts as hate speech.

  • Glasofruix

    I like kittens.

    Am i doing it right in the hate speech departement?

  • SeekerLancer

    Why are you such an anti-puppy bigot?

  • William Hays

    This is just sad, and not in the good way.

  • Sarah Herring

    Wow, that is a pretty sad comment on who those folks are.
    Wonder how the average citizen of Walnut Grove feels about this?

  • Carolina

    But atheists are not discriminated against… right?
    Agreed, if it was the friendly christian you probably would get some kind of acknowledgement 😛

  • Marie Alexander

    Try not to let these people discourage you. There’s got to be somewhere in that community that needs the money more than they feel the need to have the right label on it.

  • benjdm

    Set it aside in an interest bearing account. Tell the library and the town council that first one to apologize and ask, pretty please, for the money can have it. Then wait.

  • Amy Marie

    Is there a homeless group or women’s shelter that will take it??????

  • Artor

    Sasta, over at Dispatches, had the perfect idea. Hold a contest in the local paper’s editorial pages. Whatever non-profit writes the best essay gets the cash.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2013/12/20/morton-grove-really-really-doesnt-want-dirty-atheist-money/#comment-289559

  • Peetah

    Lifted from the Morton Grove city website:

    Elder Abuse/Neglect Program:
    Any individual (60+) who is physically abused, financially exploited,
    or neglected can receive our help. The State of Illinois designated
    North Shore Senior Center as the local agency to investigates reports of
    elder abuse. Strict confidentiality is maintained in all reports.

  • mcsey

    Uhm… this has probably been covered, but why not give it to a community that actually needs it instead of a well off suburb?

  • Fred

    Use the money to take an ad out in their local paper. Letting the locals know what kind of asshats they have on the city council throwing away money.

  • G Wiz

    How about buying $3,000 worth of science & atheist books and having them shipped anonymously to the library?

  • GraceAlexander

    Wow. Just… wow.

  • RedShasta

    I commented on the https://www.facebook.com/MortonGrovePublicLibrary page and was happy to see other comments that criticized the library’s choice, but weren’t rude or profanity-laden. Good show!

  • Madison Blane

    For those who would like to directly let the board know exactly what you think, the Morton Grove Library page on facebook is forwarding comments to the board. It also lists the board’s direct address. From their page:
    “We appreciate you expressing your concerns. The decision was made by the Library Board, and we will forward your comment to the Board. If you would like to write to the Board directly please use the form on this page. http://www.mgpl.org/about/board-of-trustees/

  • jonhanson

    I for one would be glad to be initiated into your fine hate group.

  • Jennifer Linarez Doolittle

    Is there a local atheist group you can donate to? I’m sure they will out the money to good use!

  • I’m a PBS kid

    Am I the only one who would buy a “Friendly Atheist Hate Group Member” tee-shirt right now if they existed?

  • nonprophetadam

    I’ll take the money and spend it at the casino.

  • Donna Lafferty

    You can give the money to my darling little orchestra! We’re not in Morton Grove, but we don’t discriminate against any donor (I know – I’m the Executive Director, and have donated over $10,000 to the group over the past five years). :)

  • fjpor

    How about donating it to a shelter which feeds homeless people or a shelter for domestic abuse. Maybe they would not turn it down. Or find a family in need.Just no Red Cross or Salvation Army or Boy Scouts. if that fails donate to Camp Quest.

  • Kim Willette

    Well, I guess this comment puts me squarely in with all you haters :)

    Why not send the money to a good charity, like Doctors Without Borders or Amnesty, and do it in the name of Morton Grove?

  • SeeknSanity

    Unbelievable!

  • Garph

    Hey, long time reader, first time poster. I don’t know if anyone’s seen it or not, but the Morton Grove Public Library has all of their board meetings up on youtube. You can find it on the library website. It starts getting good around 35 minutes in or so. I would post a link but I’m technologically inept. It’s easy enough to find from their website though.

  • ※ Benny Cemoli ✔Gold Verified

    Here’s the link to the trustees meeting. Unfortunately, it’s one of those auto playlists but the one you want to listen to is dated December 19, 2013.

    It’s actually all pretty good. There is a “public” comment at the beginning by someone off camera and the comments take off around the 15 minute mark.

    BC

    Sorry, didn’t realize the link would embed a YouTube video in the comment section. :-(

  • ※ Benny Cemoli ✔Gold Verified

    Nobody else by Catherine Peters, the Treasurer, seemed to have a real problem with accepting the donation.

    And did anyone here the “Amen” that the Chairman of the Trustees intoned at the end of the vote and he declared the case closed?

    Amazing, just amazing.

    BC

  • BoGardiner

    Those voting with Peters obviously shared her problem with the check, though they maintained a cowardly silence.

    Kudos to those on the board with the ethical backbone to vote to accept the check.

    It’s quite shocking to see such blatant religious bigotry expressed openly. Since she said she’d been reading the Patheos website regularly for a week, she knowingly lied when she claimed Hemant had not informed donors of the needed change in plans, and knowingly lied in claiming he uses a “666” avatar.

    A wishlist is laid on the table and the board is told the check would cover items on it.

    Those library board members who openly harmed the children of Morton Grove to make a statement of bigotry should be removed immediately.

  • Lysistrata

    As a librarian, I am ashamed of how the library board reacted. One of librarians core value is freedom of speech. I can’t believe the library board turned down the money. I know of a library in Colorado that would love to have $3000 donation with no strings attached

  • ※ Benny Cemoli ✔Gold Verified

    Well why wouldn’t they have done that. According to Catherine Peters, Hemant is part of a neo-nazi skinhead hate group with ties to the KKK.

    LOL

    BC

  • Ebordky

    3 words … Feed The Hungry

  • Pete Winslow

    Just had to comment in solidarity. I suggest a religion neutral group that helps hungry, homeless, or abused individuals. Thank you, Hemant, for providing this informative blog! You rock! PS: Let’s stay classy, friends.

  • Not American

    I think you should donate all of the money to the local Planned Parenthood. They are a deserving organization that lives in continuous battle mode, because of the very people that have rejected you.

  • Sam Kay

    Can they be sued for this shit? This is ridiculous. There is no controversy behind our donation and there’s no way any half-way reasonable individual can call Friendly Atheist a hate group. I think Morton Grove has lost the privilege of receiving money from us…

  • lorimakesquilts

    Their budget for this year is over $50k in the hole and they’re rejecting a $3,000 donation!!! The ones that voted to reject the donation should be removed for financial mismanagement.

    I think it’s time to move on to a charity that has a track history of not being asshats — clearly Morton Grove doesn’t need money.

  • Christine Pierson

    How about donating it to the local women’s shelter or soup kitchen. There is always someone in need.

  • Peter Naus

    Cool! I’m a FAHG!

    Where’s the FAHG swag? I want a coffee cup, a beach towel, a t-shirt, and some FAHG bumper stickers, please!

  • http://www.landoverbaptist.org/ Team Red vs. Team Blue

    Your complimentary baby should arrive in a few weeks with a sample of barbeque sauces.

  • Peter Naus

    Mmmmmm…..BBQ baby sauce!

  • http://www.landoverbaptist.org/ Team Red vs. Team Blue

    I know. The best, right? FAHG on!

  • Mankoi

    I have little to say that hasn’t already been said. But I REALLY wanna be a member of the Friendly Atheist Hate Group, so I need to post a comment. Proud to be a FAHG!

  • Jeff

    Send it to an animal shelter instead; they are much more deserving of your help than the religio-fascists at the library!

  • midnight rambler

    As a donor, I would object to that. The MFing dogs I have to live next door to are bad enough, we don’t need any more.

  • Jeff

    Obnoxious dogs are often that way because their owners mistreat them in one way or another, so don’t blame the dogs – they should be taken from their owners and put in shelters instead, something I think you would be in favor of.
    We wouldn’t need shelters if so many people weren’t so irresponsible, abandoning pets when they become “inconvenient” or not having them spayed or neutered. To me the lowest form of life is a person who abandons an animal because they can’t be bothered to take them to a shelter, never mind the emotional trauma to the animal.

  • http://www.landoverbaptist.org/ Team Red vs. Team Blue

    Spay & neuter idiot pet owners.

  • Tervuren

    I hate…………….well no one I can think of right now. I will keep you posted.

  • MadSat

    Just weird. But typically American.

  • https://www.facebook.com/stacy.turner Stacy Turner

    I like my Pledge of Allegiance baby Jesus in a tuxedo shirt.

  • Shawn Phillips

    Hemant, I sent a message to you on the donation site, but I’m putting it here too. I live right next to Morton Grove and am friends with the people who run the Farmer’s Market. They have kids activities, music, etc. and I think it would be a great place for the money.

    Let me know if that works, and if so, I can contact them and see if they are receptive.

  • Deb Beasley

    How utterly pathetic. Libraries everywhere try to do more with less, you offer a generous donation, and are labeled a “hate group” and worse. This is not a reflection on professional library staff but the pathetic prejudice of an untrained trustee.

  • http://www.landoverbaptist.org/ Team Red vs. Team Blue

    Buy a billboard in the town. Tell them how much the Flying Spaghetti Monster loves them. For weeks.

  • Janet Potts

    How about contributing it to Wright Way Animal Rescue? They are the group who’s facility was hit by a bus and became untenable. They are moving to a new facility in Morton Grove: http://wrightwayanimalrescue.com/