And the plot thickens.
The American Cancer Society is now not just evading the issue with bland denials and passive- aggressive little digs at atheists for bringing it up. They’re now apparently taking active steps to cover their tracks.
I just got this email from Todd Stiefel, regarding the story about the American Cancer Society refusing to let the Foundation Beyond Belief participate as a national team in the Relay for Life… and declining a $250,000 matching offer from the Todd Stiefel Foundation to make it happen.
I hate to even have to write this, but the plot is thickening on the ACS front.
A second article was written on this story: http://www.alternet.org/belief/152685/is_atheist_money_too_controversial_for_the_american_cancer_society_/?page=entire
Since then, and this is a bit shocking, the American Cancer Society has begun to cover things up. When Greta Christina was working on the article, I sent her some links to where on the ACS site they listed out their non-profit youth partner national teams. They had links to those teams on the main Relay for Life page and on their college Relay page. Both of those links have been removed since Greta’s article came out. It appears they are trying to hide the fact that they have youth partner national teams with other non-profit groups. The info on their youth teams is still on their site, but you can’t get to it through the site anymore, because the links are disabled. You have to get there by directly typing in the URL. Fortunately, I still had that from the email I sent to Greta: http://relay.acsevents.org/site/PageNavigator/RFL_FY11_NationalYouth.html
I also got a call from one of the charities in their youth partner program. They are pretty upset about what is happening. They also told me that they checked last night, and suddenly their access to their youth partner team webpage had been cut off by ACS. The ACS may try to say that they were already phasing them out, but that would be untrue. They were prominently featured on the new college Relay for Life website that was launched on September 1, 2011. It is only in the last week that they have pulled them off.
The most obvious form of unequal treatment was their denying us of a youth partner national team, like they give to other non-profits, especially student groups. The result of their disabling the links is that now the uninformed will go to their site and find absolutely no evidence that they are working with other non-profits.
So now they’re alienating other non-profit organizations who are participating in this program — just so they can avoid admitting their mistake and letting the Foundation Beyond Belief take part? And they’re changing their website in a way that makes it harder to see the discrepancy?
I’m sorry, but this does not look good. This does not look an organization that made a good-faith decision based on an institutional policy change that was already in the works. This looks like an organization that’s trying to cover its tracks.