...My final example concerns a table that, while privately owned, could be big enough for lots of people – if only its owners had a more charitable vision. According to reports in the Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Rescue Mission has decided not to accept the offer of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition to help with distribution of 2,000 Thanksgiving meals to the poor and elderly.
The Mission apparently decided to include a religious message in this year’s meal boxes, and it was unclear if the atheists would go along with that. It seemed irrelevant anyway, as the Mission made it abundantly clear that it didn’t want the non-believers’ help, calling the partnership a bad fit. And that was the end of any communication.
That struck me as a missed opportunity. I’ll bet that there are more than 2,000 poor and elderly people in the area. Wouldn’t it have been more polite, more decent and more “Christian” even, to call the atheists, tell them what neighborhoods the Christians were not covering and give them some advice about how to serve those who might otherwise go hungry? In other words, shouldn’t the Mission have at least helped the atheists set up their own table?
Alas, to those who are fearful of other beliefs, there can be only one table, one place to sit and one seatmate to converse with. Their world begins and ends in the confines of that tiny table.