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Humanist application to Global Giving Foundation is rejected - it ‘discriminates’ against religion ?

Posted: Wed, August 10, 2016 | By: Humanism



Brighter Brains Institute - a California non-profit that creates and supports humanist orphanages, clinics and schools in Uganda - recently applied to join Global Giving Foundation.

“GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community that connects nonprofit, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world. We make it possible for local organizations to access the funding, tools, training, and support they need to become more effective and make our world a better place. “

Brighter Brains Institute’s application was rejected, because Global Giving decided it “discriminated” against religious people.

The email exchange between BBI’s director (Hank Pellissier) and Global Giving’s representative (Chase Williams) is below.

First, the rejection:

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Hi Hank,

Thank you for submitting Brighter Brains Institute’s application to join the GlobalGiving community. My name is Chase Williams, and after carefully reviewing the application, we have unfortunately not approved Brighter Brains Institute’s application.

The reason for this decision is because Brighter Brains Institute’s programs fail to satisfy GlobalGiving’s nondiscrimination policy (http://www.globalgiving.org/non-discrimination-policy/). In our review of your application and research into the work that your organization does, we cannot verify that adherence to the humanist principles advocated by the organization is not a prerequisite for receiving services.

For example:

1. In your program materials, one document explains that BBI’s objective is spreading humanism in Africa through the provision of services that adhere to the Ten Humanist Principles.

2. In an online interview with the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies (http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/Pellissier20160725), you explain:

“At our humanist schools, we forbid religious influence.”

“Being an atheist missionary just means I am proselytizing the abandonment of religion in Africa. I am actively working to convince people to leave their foolish and damaging creeds. I was raised Catholic and told many stories of priests hiking into jungles to convert tribes. I am repairing their mistakes. I am hiking in and telling them to abandon the false religions. I mean that literally, in some cases.”

In sum, because GlobalGiving cannot verify that religious beneficiaries at orphanages and schools built and run by your organization are actively made to adhere to humanist principles to receive services, we are unable to approve Brighter Brains Institute’s application at this time.

I’m sorry for any inconvenience this process may have caused. Thank you for your interest in the GlobalGiving. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns about this decision at cwilliams@globalgiving.org.

All the best,

Chase Williams & the GlobalGiving Team

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The reply from Brighter Brains Institute’s director is below:

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Hi Chase

I find your group’s rejection of our work in Uganda to be short-sighted, hypocritical, self-destructive, and obtuse.

The reason we don’t allow priests and ministers to interfere with our work is because they have horrendous ideas that are damaging to the lives of Ugandans.

We don’t support Christianity in Uganda because they have advocated the Kill the Gays ideology, plus many creeds don’t allow condoms and that perpetuates the AIDS epidemic and unwanted pregnancies that lead to dangerous abortions, fistula complications, and other tragedies.

Also, the Christian churches in Uganda regularly accuse people of being witches and “illuminati”, and they accuse children of being possessed by demons, and those people are subsequently persecuted by their communities.

Our own school administrators and students have recently been targeted by the accusations above—

Your ignorant dismissal of our proposal is furthering these problems. You have unwittingly decided to ally yourself with a wide range of human rights violators, instead of doing the right thing, and supporting us.

Please reconsider. If you truly are interested in helping the people of Uganda and Africa, you will align yourself with secularists like us, not the medieval religionists that we are up against.

Hank Pellissier

director, Brighter Brains Institute





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