This piece was originally published on AlterNet. My follow-up to this piece is scheduled to be published early this week.
I’ll say this clearly, right up front: The American Cancer Society did not explicitly reject a massive donation offer from a non-theistic organization on the basis of them being a non-theistic organization.
That was not the stated reason given for rejecting a matching offer of $250,000 from the Foundation Beyond Belief and the Todd Stiefel Foundation to sponsor a national team in the upcoming “Relay for Life.” (An offer that, as a matching offer, was likely to bring in a total of half a million dollars for the American Cancer Society.) Nobody at the ACS has ever said, in words, “We don’t want our organization to be associated with atheists. It’s too controversial. We don’t want atheist money.” And when asked if this was the case, they have denied it.
It’s just difficult to reach any other conclusion.
Because the officially stated reasons for rejecting this offer have ranged from slippery at best to non-existent at worst. In the place of clear explanations, there has been an ongoing series of evasions, imprecisions, conflicting answers, moved goalposts, apathy, and even hostility. [Read more…]