The Devil is in the Soup

Lou Landrum is the executive director of Spartanburg Soup Kitchen and I fear she has doesn’t realise what the word “charity” means.

You see charity, “real” charity isn’t done under the narrow band of faith but it is open to all to both partake and participate. Charity if discriminatory is not charity but a farce. It means that the purpose of charity is lost.

Charity doesn’t exist for you to feel good about yourself. To feel holier than thou. It exists to do a job. The job comes first. In this case? Feeding the homeless of Spartanburg. 

Upstate Atheists, a local group of atheists (it’s in the name!) tried to volunteer for the soup kitchen and were turned down and banned. This was despite Upstate Atheists offering to not wear any gear identifying them as atheists or to market atheism.

At no point in my day does the subject of my belief or that of my patients comes up. Should a condition related to the religion of a patient come my way I still treat it and move on. It doesn’t matter what I believe in, what matters is their health.

What matters in a Soup Kitchen is feeding those who cannot feed themselves.

Lou unfortunately has forgotten the meaning of charity here. If religion is more important than charity which it clearly is if you are turning down able bodied capable workers. This isn’t like me saying to some Philosophy Student in the UK that they may not be cut out for rural work in a medical setting and that their skill set can be done by someone here already and that someone would be better at that job. This is denial of someone capable offering to help solely for their lack of belief. I assume such discrimination is extended to non-atheists too. After all I am sure a Hindu or a Muslim is just as bad at making and serving food.

Well Lou thinks otherwise. After all she’s claimed that she would rather resign than allow a non-believer to volunteer with her Christian group.

Which is funny since I thought it was a Soup Kitchen. So it’s not a soup kitchen but a Christian Group? Ah! I know what it is. It’s a rice conversion. You lure the poor and the homeless in with soup and you foist Jesus onto them. Makes you feel good doesn’t it? Doing the lord’s work?

Which isn’t Charity. Charity is doing something for humans. The Soup comes first. The Soup is the only thing really that counts here.

“This is a ministry to serve God. We stand on the principles of God. Do they think that our guests are so ignorant that they don’t know what an atheist is?” she said. “Why are they targeting us? They don’t give any money. I wouldn’t want their money.”

You heard it from the horse’s mouth. It’s not a Soup Kitchen it’s a place to flog  Jesus to the weakest and most desperate people in our society.

“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,”

Or what? You will pray at us? Read line and verse?

Charity exists for the sake of humans, not for the sake of mythological creatures.


  1. says

    This why I’ve long resented, to be honest, the claim made by religious apologists that certain things (like charity) are inherently the job of the Church, and should not be done via secular social programs. Because doing things that way would mean that many people wouldn’t have a source of help without religious ties attached, with is unfair—not just to the people who want to work at the charities, but even more importantly, to those who need the assistance.

  2. Al Dente says

    Many Christians and Muslims provide charity to so they can tell their god “see what a good person I am?” I prefer the Jewish concept of charity, where the idea isn’t to benefit the donor but to give relief to the needy.

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