Oklahoma Children’s Home Refuses Donation From Atheist Community

An Oklahoma children’s home has refused to accept a donation from a local group because they are part of an atheist community.

According to KJRH, Matt Wilbourn attempted to make a donation to the Murrow Indian Children’s Home, but his donation was refused after he put it in the name of the Muskogee Atheist Community. Matt said he filled out the paperwork and included his name along with the name of his wife.

“At the bottom, it asks if there is any person or organization you want to put it in memory of and I put the Muskogee Atheist Community,” he said of his $100 donation.

Wilbourn said he was later contacted by someone from Murrow and was told that they would not be accepting his donation because it would “go against everything they believe in,” as they are primarily funded by the American Baptist Churches Association and could not accept money from an atheist group. Matt was told that they would gladly accept the donation if he changed the name on the form, but he refused.

“Do things out of the goodness of you heart whether it’s for religion or not, but don’t let religion come between you and someone who needs help and that’s what has happened here,” he said, adding that the Muskogee Atheist Community offered to raise their donation to $250, but they have yet to hear from the director of the children’s home.

Wilbourn said he doesn’t understand why the home would refuse the donation because they identify as atheist when they are only trying to help the children. He said: “It’s taken food off their plate, clothes off their back and shelter over their heads.”

The donation tab on Murrow’s website reads:

“Your hard earned dollars go to a great cause at Murrow.
Even the smallest of donations can impact a life forever.
Every dollar you donate opens a door in a childs life.
There is no greater gift than putting a smile on a child’s face.”

Although the Murrow Indian Children’s Home still hasn’t accepted Wilbourn’s donation, he started a GoFundMe page to help raise even more money for the home. Matt originally set the goal at $1,000, and in only two days, has raised nearly $24,000.

On the fundraising page, Matt explained that the Muskogee Atheist Community would be donating $5,000 of the money to Camp Quest, a non-religious camp in Oklahoma, and would donate another $5,000 anonymously to the children’s home. He added that he would donate the money to a local church who will then donate it to them if they refuse his anonymous donation.

“We’ve had support from churches all over this nation today and I’m sure that one of them would be glad to donate the money to Murrow and I trust that they will,” he wrote. “Whether the Murrow Home likes it or not, they are getting $5,000 for those children from all of this.”

On Wednesday, Murrow issued a statement explaining why they would not take the money from the atheist group.

“To accept money for an advertisement which would indicate ‘In Honor of the Muskogee Atheist Community’ in the advertisement, would be contrary to those Biblical principles upon which we at Murrow stand. We are Christians, believing in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

We appreciate the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Matt Wilbourn for their thoughtful donation to the Murrow Children’s Home. This decision is not about money or personal matters. It is solely about our religious beliefs and Honoring God our Father.”

Do you think the Muskogee Atheist Community’s donation should have been refused? Leave your comments below.

[Photo via Shutterstock]

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