“I told [the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen] we wouldn’t wear our T-shirts. We wouldn’t tell anyone who we are with. We just want to help out,” Upstate Atheist president Eve Brannon told the Spartanburg Herald-Jounal. “And they told us that we were not allowed.”
Lou Landrum, the Soup Kitchen’s executive director, told the same paper that allowing the atheists to work at the facility would be a “disservice to this community.”
“We stand on the principles of God,” she said. “Do [atheists] think that our guests are so ignorant that they don’t know what an atheist is? Why are they targeting us? They don’t give any money. I wouldn’t want their money.”
Landrum said that “they can set up across the street from the Soup Kitchen. They can have the devil there with them, but they better not come across the street.”
Brannon said the group frequently works with Christian non-profit organizations. “We’ve raised money for March of Dimes, worked with the Generous Garden Project, done community park clean ups, adopted a highway, and sponsored local foster children for Christmas.”
“They are the only group that denied us the opportunity to volunteer.”
[Correction: The article incorrectly identified the "Upstate Atheists" as the "Upstart Atheists." Also, the group volunteered to work in the soup kitchen, and came up with an alternative care package project after being rebuffed.]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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