What an odd flare-up! In Chickasha, Oklahoma, Tiffany Wait and her husband brought their 7-month-old baby to the Bible Baptist Church’s toy shop for Christmas presents that the church gives away for families in need. But things got weird and nasty.
According to the Chickasha News, the church volunteers insisted that Wait hand her baby over, but I can’t make out why. To receive the gift? To be blessed or something? Just to cuddle? I don’t know.
Wait said her baby doesn’t like strangers and she’d prefer to be with him. She said the volunteer said it has to be done this way, or the family wouldn’t be able to participate.
“I stood there, fighting back tears and asked, ‘You would turn a baby away on Christmas,'” said Wait.
The volunteers held their ground, according to Wait and one woman tried to forcibly take her child.
Crazy, right?? As a parent of wee ones, I’m quaking just thinking about this.
But it doesn’t end simply with the family leaving, which of course they did. Enter the Oklahoma Atheists, who, hearing about this ordeal, rounded up donations of all kinds, which bowled Wait over:
“The Christians turned my baby and I away, and a group of atheists showed us compassion, kindness, and charity,” she said. “They brought us toys, dinner, gift cards, donated money and really saved our holiday.”
Church officials have since tried to make amends with the Wait family, but so far it looks like no one’s made up. I went over to the church’s Facebook page, and the first post you see is from the children’s minister, Paul Countess, who writes:
As a staff member at Bible Baptist Church, I think everyone needs to know that we are certainly not a perfect church. That includes me. We certainly try to love the best we know how, but we, each fall short of that goal…daily.
Sometimes love is not perceived as being “loving” even in the best of circumstances. Whether it is a “Christian” organization or an “Atheist” organization, love is something we all fall short in at various levels as a human race.
Sometimes, mercy and grace is needed as the solution to make amends for a wrong. That goes for the offender as well as the offended. Without it, love will be hidden in the clasp of darkness and will never see the light of day. That will not only hurt us, but our children, who we are trying to leave a great legacy for.
And a little browsing shows you that the community is not happy about this incident. One fellow posts:
“Rules are rules!” said Jesus, never.
And there are many posts that echo this sentiment:
The people of this church should be ashamed of the way they have treated strangers at Christmas under the guise of charity. Those who are unable to give their children a simple toy humbly come before you for a tiny bit of assistance and in turn, they are shunned and humiliated. It’s one thing to proclaim you’re “good Christian people,” but it takes someone special to have compassion and a good heart. Luckily, the person you humiliated has been warmly cared for by truly good people and not just hypocrites.
Well put, I think. But remember, atheism is just for snooty killjoys.