Praying and the Bible were banned at Red Cross shelter
WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 09 – The Association of Mature American Citizens is calling for a boycott of the Red Cross. AMAC president Dan Weber said the organization’s membership voted overwhelmingly for a boycott, 16,340 to 642, in a poll conducted in the wake of an incident in which a Louisiana police officer was asked to leave a Red Cross shelter for holding a Bible. The incident happened in Lafayette, LA during disastrous flooding that devastated the region in August.
“I was not proselytizing; I was just there to thank volunteers and offer prayers and encouragement,” reserve city marshal Clay Higgins said shortly after he was asked to leave a Red Cross shelter for holding a Bible.
An eyewitness to the incident quoted a Red Cross worker who said praying or reading the Bible was not allowed. Higgins told reporters a supervisor at the shelter “told me the Red Cross is not a religious-based organization and they don’t allow religious interaction with [shelter] residents.”
The Red Cross did not deny that the event occurred, but offered an apology for what had happened.
Weber said that “Red Cross founder Clara Barton must be rolling over in her grave. Bureaucratic, politically correct automatons are not fit to provide comfort and relief during times of catastrophic events.” He suggested that those who wished to help when disaster strikes should consider donating to organizations that believe in religious freedom such as Samaritan’s Purse and the Salvation Army. ”
The Association of Mature American Citizens is a conservative advocacy organization for older Americans. “When we got wind of the Higgins story we posted a poll on our Web site that drew an astounding number of members and visitors to the site – nearly 16,340 of them – who voted for a boycott of the Red Cross,” according to Weber. He said that only 642 respondents opted against a boycott.
The poll, said Weber, was “less about the boycott of an organization with a mandate to help people than it was about how intrusive the current focus on political correctness can be for Americans as they go about their daily lives. Obviously, many of the people who sought temporary shelter at that Red Cross facility were God-fearing citizens. They were going through a particularly difficult time in their lives, and they welcomed the comfort of prayer that Higgins tried to provide.”
Weber blamed incidents like this one on what he called the introduction in recent years of “a progressive lifestyle that has been foisted on a country that prides itself on its history of religious tolerance and the fact that the Constitution gives us the right to pray.”
Many of the AMAC members who voted were incensed by what the Red Cross had done and made sure that the organization knew it. One member sent a scathing message to the Red Cross. He told them: “I expect the Red Cross to recognize the ABSOLUTE RIGHT of all Americans to worship and display religious symbols and to follow their beliefs. You are NOT the arbiter of our beliefs, religious or otherwise. If there are some people that are ‘offended’ by beneficial displays of faith and caring, that is just something they’ll have to live with. Intolerance is something I expect the Red Cross to fight against, not to promote.”
I concur that prayer and various religious practices prayer or individual groups be allowed to carry out their personal beliefs. I doubt the Red Cross will mandate that the Muslim women remove their scarves. Even hospitals allow and recognize the power of faith in healing and life. Certainly a loudperformance might be simmered down or provided a corner. And an unwanted pest or a continuos annoying person imposing himself on others should be diplomatically dealt with. Problem may be one real problem created a rush to a drastic solution.
As a Red Cross member I plan to seek info on this and as someone who has volunteered in shelters I am concerned. I am an Amax member as well. I do not condone the RC rule as expressed in this article. It does look like the progressive pc movement infiltrating itself into this organization as it has in churches and many charities.
My regional shelter had a complication of a large
Group of Muslims needing shelter but they had many specialized requirements that could not be provided by the shelter of. a very large group of people’. In this, a local mosque provided shelter. Their were food needs among some other specific needs as a group. Shelters staff are trained to try to meet necessary emergency needs. Food may be provided by the Salvation Army without special alterations…. It comes as given. Other helpful services come from various companies and stores. Personal kits, clothes, goodies etc may come from all over.
Thus, it is hard for me to see these rules about prayer could be enforced or as it seems here. Blessings to all who are concerned. Recent data has shown that 89 percent of USA citizens are religious regardless of their church membership or attendance.
As a Red Cross disaster volunteer I understand the difficult challenges they face when attempting to meet the sheltering needs of large populations with diverse beliefs. I also believe that it is inappropriate for anyone to comment on the Red Cross actions unless they were there and truly know the facts.
While I am of the Christian faith, I believe that EVERYONE is entitled to their religious freedom and beliefs, including those that choose not to believe. Unfortunately, too many conservative Christians believe that religious freedom only belongs to those that agree with their beliefs. I also find another respondents comments about intolerance to be interesting as, unfortunately , many conservative Christians are exceptionally intolerant of others whose beliefs fail to align with theirs. This isn’t about political correctness, it is about respecting the rights of ALL citizens, not just those you agree with. Christ accepted and loved all, including his enemies, non-believers and sinners. That is Christianity!