The ‘Friendly Atheist’ Is Not Allowed to Donate Money to Local Park Program

In a story released on the Chicago Tribune websitePC_HemantMehta_bio, popular atheist blogger Hemant Mehta’s recent donation to the Morton Grove Park District has been refused and returned.  The donation collected from readers of his Friendly Atheist blog was sent as a replacement for the $2,600 of funding that was pulled back by the American Legion Post 134 in a political move.  According to the article, the American Legion donation was rescinded when a park board member refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Park District returned the funds from the atheist blogger, noting the denial was because they did not want to appear sympathetic to any particular religion.  Yeah, that seems fishy to me too.  My skeptic brain has to pose the question of whether or not the park board opens meetings with prayer or receives funding from any religious groups at all.  Is it that they just don’t want to be associated with atheists?  Are they afraid of losing funding from other groups as a result or accepting atheist funds?

You can read the full Tribune article here or Mehta’s take on it here.

About Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, and the author of Understanding an Atheist: A Practical Guide to Relating to Nonbelievers, a book aimed at improving relationships between the religious and their atheist loved ones. Kevin is also the Executive Director of Young Skeptics, an elementary-level after-school program for kids focused on critical thinking. Guest bloggers are welcome at SecularVoices. Please email submissions to contact@secularvoices.org.

  • http://blog.jonolan.net/ jonolan

    I can’t really blame any American or group of Americans for not wanting to be associated with the Godless.

  • https://www.facebook.com/bobeld Bob Eldridge

    I cannot agree with jonolan. We godless are humanitarians too who do good works and help others. Americans need to wake up and see that about 1 in 5 of us in the US are non-believers but are still good people.

  • http://blog.jonolan.net/ jonolan

    Americans have already awakened and realized that, in spite of any small good some of your individuals may do, supporting them by allowing them to help only strengthens them in their quest to eradicate religion from anywhere outside of churches.

    BTW: You number closer to 1 in 100. The 1 in 5 number is people who don’t belong to any church or specific faith, and includes agnostics.

  • Darren

    jonolan, “allowing them to help” is a bad thing? How very Christian of you, where in the bible or in Jesus’ life is there an example of not allowing people to help?

    Also, Bob is right, 21% don’t believe in God, up from 13% 10 years ago…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/23/evolution-god_n_3640658.html

    • http://blog.jonolan.net/ jonolan

      One – I’m not Christian, though I side with them against the Godless because I learned from WW2.

      Two – Creationism is not the same thing as faith.

    • Linda

      jonolan – He “learned from WW II”

      What’s that you learned? How the religious lobbyists used the FEAR of communism, Hitler and $$money$$ to get “under God” added to the Pledge of Allegiance?! We’ve learned a lot from “Christians” like Hitler too…….

      • http://blog.jonolan.net/ jonolan

        No. I learned that, if you stand beside those being attacked first, there’ll likely be nobody left to stand with you when your turn on the docket comes up.

  • https://www.facebook.com/bobeld Bob Eldridge

    jonolan – Religion should be, as you say, “eradicated” from anywhere outside of the churches. It has no business at public meetings (such as in Greece, NY) where members of the public, Christian or not, are made to hear a prayer to Jesus at every city council meeting. This is case against Greece NY is current being argued in the US Supreme Court. People should not be imposing their religion on others. Religion has been the bane of mankind in that it often forces people to accept its beliefs with a “my way or the highway” attitude. Witness the crusades or the current Islamic status of apostates or anyone who questions god.