Atheist Group Denied Opportunity To Volunteer At Spartanburg Sou - WSPA.com

Atheist Group Denied Opportunity To Volunteer At Spartanburg Soup Kitchen

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An atheist group claims that they were turned down as volunteers from the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen because of their beliefs. An atheist group claims that they were turned down as volunteers from the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen because of their beliefs.
Spartanburg, SC -

A group from the Upstate claims they were rejected as volunteers at the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen because of their religious beliefs, or lack thereof.

According to our news coverage partners at the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Upstate Atheists President Eve Brannon stated that they were denied the opportunity to volunteer with the Soup Kitchen because they are atheist. She added that after being denied the opportunity to volunteer with the Soup Kitchen, she was disappointed in the decision because they have worked with other Christian non-profit agencies in the past and would instead hand out care packages to the homeless on Saturday.

"They are the only group that denied us the opportunity to volunteer," Brannon told the Herald-Journal. "We can all work together to achieve something positive regardless of religion or lack thereof," she said. "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."

Soup Kitchen Executive Director Lou Landrum told the Herald-Journal that she would rather resign from her job before she let atheists volunteer and be a "disservice" to this community.

Landrum told 7 On Your Side, the Upstate Atheists were adamant about wearing their group's t-shirts and that the message goes against what the organization stands for in the bi-laws. Landrum says the group would be welcomed any day - as long as they weren't wearing the t-shirts with the atheist message.
 
"All I want to say is that, don't try to hurt this ministry, because they want to be here 1 day, we operate 365 days a year, so any negative publicity will only hurt this ministry," Landrum said of the backlash of the situation. She says she's received angry phone calls and facebook messages.

Brannon says the group was open to not wearing the t-shirts during the volunteering, and that the hateful comments aren't coming from its members.

"I don't agree with the way that people are attacking them on facebook. I don't think it's appropriate," Brannon told 7 On Your Side.

The group, comprised of over 200 members, will hand out the packages on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. or until all of the packages are  gone, the newspaper reports.

To read the entire article from the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, click here.

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