Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Wife the Activist....(on the Evils of Operation Christmas Child)

Recently I caught wind of a charity that was being supported at my sons school, and thought that I should look into it as I always do.  It is not that I care if a charity is religious or not, there are many religious charities that do great work out there just as there are secular ones.  No, I don't care about the ideologies of the members of the organisations  What I care about is the CHARITY and good that a charity goes. As long as the help and money is going to the people who need it most and it is charity being given freely without deception, then I am (as you should be) happy with giving them my support and my money.

YOU LIED!  I can't eat this, even WITH mayo!

So I looked into it to ensure that the money was going where it was supposed to go. This is an act that I encourage everyone to do when donating money to charity.  Make sure your charity is above board.  Even some of the big ones can be pretty shady. 

Such is the case with Operation Christmas Child.

On the surface it seems nice enough but as soon as you start looking around warning signs start to pop up.  Nothing too alarming, but enough to make you look into it if you are of a skeptical mind.

I googled the organization to see if there had been any complaints filed about how they conduct their business. 

First thing that I learned is that they use this charity in traditionally non-christian countries to evangelize to the poor and needy as a way to trap them into listening and taking their literature.  They admit this freely in their newsletters and in speeches. 

They are just as clear in their fearmongering message. 

You are a liar, you are a cheat, you are worthless......

Unless you are MY buddy!
You all know how I feel about telling children that they are bad people.  Ray Comfort does it regularly to emphasize how badly they need his buddy.

If you do this, you are a predator.

But, I am starting to rant and this is not my rant to make.


This is my wife's rant.

So I will let her do it.  She was a pit bull and within 5 minutes she had dug up TONS of terrible information on the organisation and it's leader Franklin Graham (the son of Billy).

I say "dug" but it was really all right here...with a sign saying "read me"...and a crossing guard directing me to it. )It really was that easy)

She decided that she would write to the Principle....

and the school board....

and the trustees.....

and the Director of Education!

She is awesome.

If no one says "Good Job" with a creepy happy face, she'll never know our appreciation!

ANYWAY, here is her letter.  (Read it for the real scoop on Operation Christmas Child)

Re:  Operation Christmas Child

As a parent of a third grade child at (blanked out) Public School, I am writing this letter to you to voice my concerns about Operation Christmas Child and to explain to you why a public school is not an appropriate venue to host such a program.

In the past, my family has provided support to Operation Christmas Child, however, with surprisingly little research; I felt I had received enough information to make an informed decision and change my mind about this program and it’s parent organization.  I sincerely believe it is very likely that other parents would share in objection to this program if they were aware of its complete agenda as I now am.

At first glance, Operation Christmas Child seems to be a worthwhile exercise for our children; a hands-on activity which teaches them to give to others less fortunate by packing a shoebox of gifts for needy children in the third world.  However, upon closer research, the organization behind Operation Christmas Child, called­ Samaritan’s Purse, (which is headed by evangelical minister Franklin Graham), has a very different goal: proselytizing with the purpose of converting children to fundamentalist Christians.

The shoeboxes, therefore, are not gifts in the true sense of the word.  There are strings attached to these boxes that our children are putting together.

Mr. Graham himself admits the program
“…is not just about reaching children with a shoe box…this project focuses on sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with them through Christian Literature distributed with the shoe boxes.”  
Before receiving these shoebox gifts, children must attend a Christian rally.  Essentially, these underprivileged children are being offered a gift in one hand, and a pamphlet in the other.  It’s simply unethical.

Operation Christmas Child abuses the generosity of our students by using their shoebox gifts as a tool for Christian evangelism. The shoeboxes are distributed (along with proselytizing Christian literature) to children of diverse religious beliefs in other countries of the world in an attempt to convert them to Christianity.

In the November, 2002, Samaritan’s Purse Canada Newsletter, Mr. Graham says:
I believe God has blessed this program because it is about more than Christmas presents. It is about introducing children and their families to God’s greatest gift—His Son, Jesus Christ. As long as evangelism is the focus, God will continue to bless it.” 
The Newsletter also states:
Shoe box gifts are distributed along with The Greatest Gift of All, an illustrated booklet that gives a clear presentation of the true meaning of Christmas—God’s love and salvation in Jesus Christ. The booklet has been printed in 65 languages. Local churches and ministry groups help us deliver the gifts and Gospel booklets… 
The 2002 Operation Christmas Child Special Report also quotes Mr. Graham as saying:
Our outreach to these children and their families may begin with a shoe box gift but our ultimate goal is to open doors to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and to open hearts to receive Him as Lord and Saviour."

As you can see, some of Mr. Graham’s comments are truly disturbing given the multi-cultural make-up of the students in our schools. It is not appropriate for our schools to ask our students to help promote one religion over another.  By allowing this program to be hosted by a public school, you are sending a message to parents and our children that the school (and public schools in general) are condoning the actions of Operation Christmas Child and that you support their efforts to convert others.
Further to this, Mr Graham makes his anti-Semitic, anti-Islam, anti-Hindu, and anti-tolerance message very clear in other statements that he has made at Samaritan’s Purse speeches, interviews, and in their newsletters.  Mr. Graham's words and actions toward other world religions reveal a remarkable lack of respect for the dignity of people whose world views differ from his own:
On Islam, Graham says, “…it is a very evil and wicked religion.”
On Hinduism Graham says, “…we traveled to the subcontinent of India, with its hundreds of millions of people locked in the darkness of Hinduism… These people were bound by Satan’s power.”
On a local religion in Indonesia Graham says, A witch doctor ruled that particular village, and I could sense an evil presence.
The Samaritan’s Purse website contains an article entitled;
Shoe Box Gifts Help Dispel Spiritual Darkness in Haiti
this denigrates another local area, it's people and it's religion by claiming it is a false religion and that they are shrouded in "darkness".
The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance say that, statements that categorize other religious groups as evil, degenerate, sub-human and/or hated by God are statements that promote religious intolerance.”
These statements made by Mr. Graham and Samaritan’s Purse promote religious intolerance. Do you think that it would be appropriate for our public schools (or any public facility or institution) to be used as a venue for an anti-Semitic organization? Or an anti-Islamic, or anti-Hindu? The principle is the same.
This is a travesty, and would NOT be tolerated in any other form.  How can we, in all good conscience, support an organization that is just below the surface boiling with intolerant hatred of other religions?  The students that make up your student bodies are of very diverse religious backgrounds and to have them unknowingly participate in an activity which represents such attitudes is unethical and intolerable.

As our public schools are made up of children of many diverse religious beliefs, you would also be sending them the message that you value Christianity over their beliefs. This is absolutely NOT appropriate for any publicly-funded institution, and certainly less appropriate for any public school.

It is not my intention to suggest that there has been any deliberate attempt at the school level to misinform. Rather, I believe that the Samaritan's Purse organization deliberately downplays this issue so that they can further their very real goal of bringing more people from their “evil” religions and over to Christianity by exploiting our desire to do kind things to help others.

For complete documentation of my comments regarding the use of the shoeboxes, and additional quotes from Operation Christmas Child, please refer here          
I urge you to please take a few minutes to review this information as I did.

Thank you for your time.

Yea, Hinduism might be harmless, but it's a gateway religion to more dangerous ones, like anything not Christian! 

For the rest of you, take her advice and stay away from these people if you are actually interested in helping the children.  Remember that children of Muslim, Hindu, and Jewish (among others) parents are participating in this effort only to have the recipients told that a nice "Christian child" sent these boxes.  Are we all unwittingly to participate in this blatant attempt to manipulate our feelings of sorrow and obligation to help our fellow man in this way? 
Before receiving these shoebox gifts, children must attend a Christian rally.  Essentially, these underprivileged children are being offered a gift in one hand, and a pamphlet in the other which you can only take once you attend their church.  It’s simply unethical to use people at their weakest for an effective membership drive.

The Spongebob brings em in the door, but it is the guilt and fear that makes em stay!

(Even the US Air Force has apologized for once condoning this organisation.)

All there is left for ME to say is WOW.

And well done baby!

My wife rocks, you should listen to her.


  1. Thanks, honey! I certainly felt like a Protective Mumma-Bear when I read about this 'kind-hearted' organization and the less-than-kind-hearted ways in which they hand out these boxes to underpriviledged children. I really struggled with writting this letter and being known as a "trouble-making parent" ("Ohhhh HER! Isn't she married to that Baby-eating-Atheist?" ), but I felt I needed to share the things I learned about OCC in hopes that they'd at least look into it (which they are doing; a copy of my letter has been forwarded to the Equity, Diversity & Race Relations department). Thanks for your support <3

  2. As a Christian, I appreciate your comments. I too feel that religions should not denigrate other religions or belief systems, so I am glad you (and your wife) stood up for you principles. Just a note, though, when referring to the head of a school, it's "principal".
    And I will say that I disagree with the notion that all religion should be removed from the school altogether. Rather than removing religion, I think that all the religions represented (and maybe some not represented) by the student population should be discussed. Instead of saying "No Christmas!" why not talk about all the religious and secular celebrations that occur this time of year? Why not have Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid, and Kwanzaa all discussed in the classroom? I think this would not only educate our children about the various beliefs of different peoples and cultures, but it would also promote understanding between all people.

  3. "Principle" was a typo, but thank you for pointing it out. Critique is always welcome.

    As far as removing religion from schools altogether, that is nonsense. If you can't discuss religion (as a secular topic) in school, then you will have no frame of reference for history, for music, for politics, for social interactions, and many other things. Our world is tangled up in religion and you can't study one without knowing the other. What SHOULD be removed from school is religious BELIEF. That is a completely different matter. And that is something that I would support.

  4. Exactly Jay. There is a massive difference between learning about all faiths, and the position of no faith, and the open and active PROMOTION of one faith based belief system over another. When the school endorse this program specifically then they are implicitly endorsing the policies of it's parent organization and aims of the program. Which is clearly Christian proselytization. The school, as a publicly funded institution, simply cannot do this. It's unconstitutional, and for a very good and obvious reason.

  5. Oh and have you received an official written response to the school? I would consider discussing this with the FFRF if I were you.