School forced to cancel annual Christmas toy drive after threatened with lawsuit

Christmas_ChildSecular progressives say there is no “War on Christmas,” but the report of a charter school in South Carolina being bullied into cancelling its Christmas toy drive suggests otherwise.

East Point Academy said their annual Operation Christmas Child project was halted when the American Humanist Association claimed it “violated the U.S. Constitution and accused [the school] of bribing children to convert to Christianity,” Fox News’ Todd Starnes reported.

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According to the organization’s website, the American Humanist Association seeks to “bring about a progressive society where being good without a god is an accepted way to live life.” Fox News host Bill O’Reilly identified the group as one of  “three primary culprits seeking to diminish Christmas” — the other two being the ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

“We received a letter saying we had to cease and desist immediately or they would take legal action against us,” Principal Renee Mathews told Starnes.

According to the report, the letter read:

“This letter serves as notice to policymaking school officials of the East Point Academy’s unconstitutional conduct and as a demand that the school terminate all promotion, sponsorship, endorsement or affiliation with Operation Christmas Child immediately.”

Mathews said their school had no choice but to cancel the toy drive, due to a “very small budget.”

“We felt that we could not risk using our school funding for classrooms and teachers to fight a court case,” he said.

The toy drive is associated with Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief and evangelism organization, but Mathews said the project was voluntary, non-religious, and not tied to any graded assignments, according to Starnes.

However, the letter sent to Mathews stated: “The boxes of toys are essentially a bribe, expressly used to pressure desperately poor children living in developing countries to convert to Christianity, and are delivered with prayers, sermons, evangelical tracts and pressure to convert.”

“So, thanks to a bunch of godless, heartless “humanist” bullies, dozens of poor children will wake up on Christmas morning without a single toy,” Starnes aptly concluded.

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Tom Tillison

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