Atheists Object To N.C. Public School Fundraising For Christian Ministry

Staff Report

Elkin, NC Apparently it’s ok to do good, as long as it’s without God. Attorneys at the American Humanist Association (AHA) sent a letter to Elkin City Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Myra Cox, warning the school district about what the attorneys are calling “unconstitutional fundraising efforts on behalf of a local Christian ministry.”

Elkin City Schools’ social media broadcast teachers’ and students’ fundraising for Stone’s Throw Christian Ministries, a self-proclaimed religious organization that “works to provide goods and services to other agencies and ministries allowing them to show the love of Jesus Christ.”

“A religious organization being funded by the activities of taxpayer-funded public schools is wholly inappropriate,” explains David Niose, legal director at the American Humanist Association. “Non-Christian families and taxpayers find it problematic that Elkin City Schools displayed such a blatant disregard for the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”

According to one social media post from Stone’s Throw Christian Ministries, which was subsequently shared on the Elkin City Schools’ Facebook page, a donation of $900 was paid to the ministry as a result of the fundraising activities. The post thanked three teachers “…And their wonderful kids, [who] made and sold Christmas Tree Ornaments. And made a donation of 900.00 dollars to STCM. This money will be used to help Hurricane Florence recovery for kids in the Lumberton and Chinquapin area schools.”

“It’s disappointing to see public schools favor a sectarian program like this,” says Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the AHA. “There are so many religiously neutral charities that these students could be working with to create positive change in their community.”

The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.



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