News stories blending the miraculous with Christmas aren’t difficult to find: families reunited, poor children receiving presents, the homeless fed. A common denominator, though, is usually a denomination, most likely a Christian one. After all, it’s the Christians who connected charity to the whole thing to begin with, right?
Well, things apparently are different in Chickasha, Oklahoma. While I fear to step onto the home turf of Sooner GetReligion duo Bobby and Tamie Ross, tread I must.
The Chickasha Express-News reported a”Christmas miracle” story, but this time, it was area atheists who saved the day, as opposed to reprising what others often view as their “Grinch” role:
CHICKASHA – A group of local atheists saved Christmas for a Chickasha woman after she and her baby were allegedly put through the ringer [sic] at a church’s toy give away.
Tiffany Wait said she, her husband and their 7-month-old baby went to Bible Baptist Church’s Toy Shop Christmas morning to get gifts for their child, but were met with animosity because Wait did not want to give her baby to the volunteers.
“I am poor and would not be able to celebrate Christmas this year without their charity,” she said. “I went last year and it was a life saver. This year however, I was treated shockingly bad.”
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.
Two initial questions: (1) Was it a look-alike of some sort (“ringer”) Wait had to somehow be “put through” or was it the metaphorical “wringer” (or clothes press or what the British call a “mangle“) to which the reporter was referring? Also, what’s up with the alleged demand for Wait to “give her baby to the volunteers” at the toy distribution? The church folks could only hand presents directly to the child? Say what?
Anyway, this being the Year of Our Lord 2013, Wait — whose Twitter account describes her as an Avon representative and one of whose Facebook photos show her with her husband and two children — did what anyone would do, these digital days.
She sought solace online: