Of all the crazy, stupid, downright scandalous, and hilarious GoFundMe campaigns we’ve seen over the years, this has to be one of the most genius. Genius for a good cause, at that.
Matt Wilbourn of Fort Gibson, OK told local station KJRH that he attempted to donate $100 to the Murrow Indian Children’s Home, but his donation was rejected when the orphanage found out he was an atheist.
“I filed out the paperwork and I put my wife and I’s name on the paperwork,” he told them. “At the bottom, it asks if there is any person or organization you want to put it in memory of and I put the Muskogee Atheist Community.” Wilbourn and his wife are co-founders of that group.
Wilbourn says he was told that they could not accept his donation as ” it would go against everything they believe in.” Hold up HOLD UP, does money not say ‘in God we trust’ on it? There it is. Everyone believes in money. In fact, fiat money is, at its core, a ‘faith based’ system, whereupon a dollar is only worth a dollar because we collectively believe it does. There’s little of value actually backing said dollar (entries in a database don’t count), so really the only belief that matters here is that $100 is believed to be ‘worth’ what’s printed on the bill. Oops sorry, inner money nerd coming out there…
In a statement Wednesday to KJRH, the Murrow Indian Children’s Home wrote:
The Murrow Indian Children’s Home was founded on Biblical principles over 100 years ago by a Baptist Missionary.
Those Biblical principles include believing and trusting in the Trinity; God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
To accept money for an advertisement which would indicate “In Honor of the Muskogee Atheist Community” in the advertisement, would be contrary to those Biblical principles upon which we at Murrow stand. We are Christians, believing in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
We appreciate the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Matt Wilbourn for their thoughtful donation to the Murrow Children’s Home. This decision is not about money or personal matters. It is solely about our religious beliefs and Honoring God our Father.
Mr. Wilbourn asked that his donation be noted in the ad, “In Honor of the Muskogee Atheist Community”. Murrow cannot Honor the Atheist non-belief in God our father, and Honor God our Father under our Biblical principles. Those two positions are totally opposite of each other. Therefore, we must respectfully decline the donation and the request to Honor the Atheist Community with the donation in an advertisement for a Murrow fundraising event.
Once again, we thank the Wilbourns’ for their generosity to Murrow and we understand their rights to their beliefs. We also hope that in turn the Muskogee Atheist Community and the Wilbourns’ will respect the Biblical principles of the Murrow foundation for over 100 years and understand why our principles are different and that we must Honor our God.
I’m pretty sure God would want y’all to take their dirty heathen money so you can feed and clothe orphans, but what do I know? I’m not God’s official spokesperson. We attempted to reach God for comment, however he did not return our calls.
As of press time, Wilbourn’s GoFundMe campaign has raised over $26,000 from 1,157 people in just two days. He says if the orphanage refuses to accept the funds raised, he will donate instead to Camp Quest, “a place for fun, friends, and freethought for kids ages 8-17.” Among its values, Camp Quest lists integrity, empathy, creativity, critical thinking, and community. You know, pretty much the same things Jesus Christ taught in his time.
Despite the fact that this is an interesting story and though we have no reason to believe Wilbourn is making all of this up, we warn you as always to be careful to whom you donate and always exercise healthy skepticism when it comes to any GoFundMe campaign.