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:

[Read more...]

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…

[Read more...]

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:

[Read more...]

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.

[Read more...]

Gays Christians Shouldn’t Just Leave the Church; They Should Leave the Faith

Last week, Christianity Today‘s spinoff Leadership Journal published a joke of a piece called “Help, I’m Gay.” Unfortunately not satirical, it’s an imagined conversation between Pastor Stanton L. Jones and a fictional gay man (“Todd“) whose comments are “a composite drawn from many of Stan’s interactions” with LGBT people who are unhappy in the church.

The premise of the piece is pretty similar to lots of other “conversations” we see between conflicted LGBT Christians and their smiling-but-belittling church leaders. Lots of loving the sinner and hating the sin; lots of suggesting that being true to God should be prioritized over being true to oneself. And, as always, plenty of unanswered questions and/or vague responses:

Todd: I’m not inclined to think the Scriptures are just wrong. But why does God condemn homosexual conduct? Does he hate me? That’s what Romans 1 seems to imply.

Jones: I am not sure I have a great answer for that. The Scriptures relate the commands but do not give extensive justifications of those commands.

Oh, good. That’s helpful! Patheos’ Tony Jones (I assume there’s no relation, but I’ll refer to him as Tony for clarity’s sake) discussed the faux interview last week, taking serious issue with the pastor’s ultimate suggestion that gay people should shamefully confess their identities to a church official and ask to take on a desired leadership position, anyway. Tony writes:

I think we can all agree that this is some bad advice. If you’re gay, don’t tell your evangelical pastor, “I’m a man who feels sexual attraction to other men, but I’m staying chaste. Can I please serve as a leader in this church?”

No, don’t do that.

Instead, find another church.

There’s more bad advice at play here than simply the pastor’s suggestion to throw your livelihood away in the spirit of leading a bigoted church. In fact, pretty much every one of Pastor Jones’ responses reeks of anti-gay prejudice and homophobia — which is especially problematic when this article posits itself as the ultimate answer for struggling LGBT Christians.

[Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X