• Muskogee children's home refuses donations from atheist group

    By: Greg Brown

    Updated:

    MUSKOGEE, Okla. - Quick facts:

    • Murrow Children's Home in Muskogee will not accept a donation from Matt Wilbourn.
    • They said they won't accept the donation because it is honor of the local atheist community.
    • The home was founded by a missionary.

     

    A local children's home is refusing donations from a man over his atheist beliefs.

    Officials from the Murrow Children's Home in Muskogee say they will not accept a donation from Matt Wilbourn.

    They said Willbourn donated money for an advertisement that would have been "in honor of the Muskogee atheist community." Willbourn reportedly raised more than $4,000.

    Officials from the home said they are not able to honor the "atheist non-belief."

    Murrow released a statement declining the donation, saying, "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."

    Officials from Murrow Indian Children's Home say their mission is to "provide a safe, nurturing environment, spiritual foundation and cultural experience to Native American Children in crisis."

    The Murrow Indian Children's Home released a full statement Wednesday:

    "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."

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