Greta Christina has a follow-up to her article about the American Cancer Society. If you recall, they refused to recognize an atheist National Team even though it could have raised upwards of $500,000 courtesy of Foundation Beyond Belief and philanthropist Todd Stiefel.
I know some of you are tired of hearing about the story, but there’s a reason we’re still talking about it. There is mounting evidence that the ACS not only rejected the atheist team — but they lied to us about why they did it.
And we can prove it.
… the facts strongly suggest a coverup. An online trail clearly shows non-profit organizations with national teams in the Relay for Life, and shows the ACS actively soliciting non-commercial organizations to participate in the program — right up until the original AlterNet article about the FBB controversy appeared. At which point, the national teams of these non-profits abruptly had their status changed to “Youth Affiliates.” And the online trail clearly shows that several non-profits are still participating as Youth Affiliates with national teams in the Relay for Life — a form of participation that is still being denied to the Foundation Beyond Belief, with no explanation from the ACS…
What’s more, the American Cancer Society’s attempts at damage control have included contradictions, distortions, deceptions, and flat-out misinformation: about the Foundation Beyond Belief, about Todd Stiefel (the atheist philanthropist whose family offered the $250,000 matching offer in the first place), even about AlterNet.
I don’t even know if there’s anything the ACS can do at this point to make things right. They’re had multiple opportunities to clear up their mistakes and apologize… and instead of doing that, they’ve only made things worse.
Could we still raise money for them? Sure.
Would they accept it? Yes.
Would they acknowledge that it was an atheist group that raised the funds? Nope.
And that’s the problem.
As Greta writes, atheists “want, in some cases, to give away a quarter of a million dollars to help fight a terrible disease. But they are not willing to do so as second-class citizens.”