Atheist Group Seeks to Deny Poor Carolina Children of Christmas Gifts

operation christmas child

A South Carolina school cancelled its annual Christmas toy drive after receiving threats from the American Humanist Association.
Todd Starnes at FOX News reported:

A South Carolina charter school has canceled its annual Christmas toy drive after a group of self-described humanists complained that the project violated the U.S. Constitution and accused them of bribing children to convert to Christianity.

Renee Mathews, the principal of East Point Academy in West Columbia, S.C., said the annual Operation Christmas Child project was halted because the American Humanist Association threatened to sue the school.

“We received a letter saying we had to cease and desist immediately or they would take legal action against us,” Mathews told me.

Alliance Defending Freedom sent East Point Academy a letter this week agreeing to defend the school from the threat of lawsuit.

Alliance Defending Freedom sent East Point Academy a letter offering free legal assistance after an atheist group threatened to file a lawsuit against the school for including a community service project sponsored by a religious organization as one of the many programs its students may voluntarily participate in…

… East Point Academy offers a variety of humanitarian community service programs, including Operation Christmas Child, in which students can voluntarily participate throughout the year. OCC is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization that works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver gifts to needy children around the world. OCC has provided gifts to more than 100 million impoverished boys and girls in over 130 countries.

The Alliance Defending Freedom letter explains that “there is nothing illegal about a public school providing students an opportunity to put together a box of gifts for impoverished children throughout the world just because the toy drive is sponsored by a religious organization.” The academy “has taken no actions that promote any religious aspect of OCC. It simply offers OCC as an optional opportunity for students to engage in humanitarian aid to needy children.”

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