The American Cancer Society may have turned down a potential half-million dollar donation because it came from a non-theistic organization.
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 it 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. In the place of clear explanations, there has been an ongoing series of evasions, imprecisions, conflicting answers, moved goalposts, apathy, and even hostility.
Thus begins my latest piece for AlterNet, Is Atheist Money Too Controversial for the American Cancer Society? To find out more, read the rest of the piece.
Oh, and a quick heads-up about the AlterNet gig to new readers of this blog: I write regularly for the online political magazine AlterNet, usually every two weeks. I typically link to the pieces when they’re first published, and then reprint them about a week later here in my own blog. Also, AlterNet is an excellent magazine, but the comment threads are often, shall we say, challenging. Just so you know. Enjoy!