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Atheists Claim 'Victory' After Demanding Texas School Stop Helping Franklin Graham's 'Operation Christmas Child'

11-15-2021
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(Image credit: AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Atheist activists with the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) are celebrating “victory” for purportedly stopping a Texas school from participating in Operation Christmas Child, an annual charity created by Christian relief agency Samaritan’s Purse.

As Faithwire previously reported, the FFRF, an organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, published a statement on October 21, noting that a “concerned district community member” reached out to complain that North Short Elementary School, a public school in the Galena Park Independent School District, recently took part in an Operation Christmas Child fundraiser.

Operation Christmas Child is an effort that encourages people to pack shoeboxes each year that include toys, gifts, school supplies, personal care items, and the gospel message for children around the globe.

The FFRF responded to the grievance by sending a letter to the district cautioning against future participation in the initiative — a warning that was reportedly quite effective.

“FFRF’s letter worked well as a constitutional alert,” the organization said in a statement. “The state/church watchdog has been assured, in a communication from the school system, that the district had been unaware of the school’s participation in the evangelical fundraising and that this will no longer take place.”

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF, “applauded” the district for purportedly halting participation in Operation Christmas Child.

“Our tipoff had the desired effect,” she said. “We applaud the school district for being so responsive.”

The FFRF said the district should work with charities that aren’t sectarian in nature and that are “secular.”


The atheist activists also took aim at the Rev. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, noting their disagreement with Graham on LGBTQ issues and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read more about other instances in which the FFRF has taken aim at Operation Christmas Child here.

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