South Carolina Soup Kitchen Director Bans Atheist Volunteers, Saying They Would Be a ‘Disservice to This Community’

You may recall that the Upstate Atheists from Spartanburg, South Carolina attempted to volunteer at the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen this past spring:

Unfortunately, their efforts were thwarted by the group’s director. She said the soup kitchen was a “place of God” and atheists weren’t welcome. The members still offered to volunteer without wearing their group-identifying shirts — it’s all about helping people, not about publicity, after all — but that idea was also rejected.

The atheists then decided they would help people in a different way. They would get a permit from the city, create care packages for the homeless, and give them away across the street from the soup kitchen.

Each care package costs about $15 to assemble. They have socks, gloves, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, snacks, mini flashlights, lip balm, ponchos, etc.

We are hoping to help the homeless prepare for the winter and give them thing they will be able to use.

They wanted to raise $2,000 and you all helped them surpass that goal. (Great job!)

Their big giveaway is taking place this weekend, and the Spartanburg Herald Journal published a piece on the events that led to this Volunteering Schism. Reporter Dustin Wyatt spoke with the soup kitchen’s director, Lou Landrum, and what she said was absolutely appalling:

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Amazon, I Think You Miscategorized This Book…

Yesterday, I revealed that the first selection in my new book club would be Candace R. M. Gorham‘s The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking out on Religion — and Others Should Too.

Perhaps because of that mention, it did pretty decently on Amazon yesterday. In fact, last night, it was ranked in the top 10!

Well, at least in one particular category…

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This is What Hypatia Alber Can Teach Us

Alber Saber is the Egyptian atheist who, last year, was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of blasphemy, and later violently attacked by his enemies while he awaited his verdict.

Even though his appeal was denied by the courts, Saber paid his bail and left the country.

His second chance at life resulted in the birth of Hypatia Saber earlier this month:

Blogger Jonathan Moremi beautifully explains what Hypatia can teach the country of Egypt:

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This Must Be the House Jesus Wanted Him to Have

I knew Pastor Steven Furtick was a typical evangelical megachurch pastor, but I had no idea how much he fit the stereotype until now.

Furtick runs Elevation Church in North Carolina, home to upwards of 14,000 on any given weekend. Here’s a clip of him talking to his “haters”:

Anyway, Furtick recently purchased a $1,700,000 home:

Maybe that’s unfair to write. And maybe it’s unfair for local reporters to make a big deal about it. It’s not like he’s using the church’s money to buy his house, right? Just like Pastor Joel Osteen, Furtick says he paid for the house through sales of his popular books.

I didn’t even build that house with money from the church. I built it with money from my books and I gave money to the church from the books and you start getting real defensive and being like this ain’t right. This ain’t right,” Furtick said.

He’s getting defensive because a local news channel’s coverage of his purchase isn’t very deferential (and you know Furtick is used to people who just comply with his every wish). It turns out, the report says, that there’s a blurred line between Furtick’s personal wealth and his church’s income.

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How Should We React When a ‘Militant Atheist’ Beats Up a Pastor?

Over the weekend, a man named James Maxie went to church with his girlfriend… and ended up severely beating the pastor, Rev. Norman Hayes, after Hayes asked the girlfriend if she felt safe with him:

“I questioned his girlfriend in his presence if she felt safe,” Hayes said. “He was very, very upset that I’d even suggest that he would hurt her. Then he turned around and hurt me very badly.”

Hayes said Maxie was argumentative and confrontational during the service.

“It looked like he was looking for an argument,” Hayes said.

Maxie and the girlfriend, who attends the church, approached Hayes after the service. She told police that Hayes asked her if Maxie was abusing her, and Maxie became furious, striking pastor several times in the face in the church hallway.

“He came from nowhere and hit me … and knocked me down, and then he got on top of me and just kept hitting me over and over,” Hayes said. He pleaded for the beating to stop, stating he thought Maxie would kill him.

“It was fortunate he did stop,” Hayes said. “I really believe my life was in danger if he hadn’t stopped hitting me in the face over and over.”

The reason I mention this story is because it turns out Maxie is a “militant atheist”:

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