Spartanburg Soup Kitchen turns away atheist volunteers


A group of Upstate atheists plans to hand out care packages downtown this weekend after the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen wouldn't let them volunteer.

On Saturday, about 10 people are expected to gather across from the soup kitchen and hand out care packages to the homeless. The 300 packages contain socks, gloves, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, soap, rain ponchos, snacks, shaving razors, antiseptic wipes, deodorants, tissues and gum.

"I hope we can provide a package for everyone who needs one," said Eve Brannon, president of Upstate Atheists, a group started in 2011 that includes about 200 members. "Whatever we have left, we will donate to a homeless shelter in the Upstate."

Brannon, 25, said they decided to hand out care packages to the homeless after being told they could not volunteer at the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen.

Written By: Dustin Wyatt
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  1. I was irritated with my two children’s attitudes towards material goods about eight years ago. My wife and I decided that we would have them gather a bunch of their “stuff” (and we did the same). We went down town into Philly (by the art museum and Franklin Institute) and, at around noon on a fall day, had them approach homeless folks with bags full of clothes and such. and ask the PEOPLE if they could use such items.

    On the car ride home, my son (six at the time), said “daddy, I have more stuff, when can we come back?”

    My point is, Catholic mom, atheist dad, six year old child, “when can we do it again?” It doesn’t take anything but a kind heart to help another person. AND, I don’t care if my wife’s heart swelled with “that’s my catholic boy” or, my heart swelled with “hey what a nice kid”.

    What it illustrates (i think) is that good people are good people, of all stripes.

    I would no sooner shit on a do-gooder who was ; fill in the blank with the religion of your choice. Than I would fill in the blank with a non religious of your choice. But, it takes a certain type of ASSHOLE to shit on a do gooder who has no one in their paradigm but the needy one. Enjoy hell, you pieces of dogshit (your version of reality; not mine)

    I am here to help “no you are too green to help.” Kinda makes you into an asshole, no?

  2. The story of “the good Samaritan” pops immediately to mind. Maybe Lou Landrum has never read it.

  3. Yeah, we can’t have those puppy kicking commie atheists making us look bad….geesh! If they’re out here helping the poor and homeless, where does it end?

  4. Soup kitchens need volunteers….caring and able people are queuing up to help and the hypocritical believer turns them away….in a rather hostile way….
    The rude ignorant religious snob who runs the soup kitchen is acting in a very judgemental and immature way and she said in the article “they better not come across the street” – meaning the banned atheist volunteers !!!!
    That sounds like fighting talk…..I’d be the first one to go right across the street and see what ‘the word’ is……and it won’t be god…’ll be Soup….

  5. Maybe later one or more of those who were allowed to help will point out that no atheists helped.

  6. Have to laugh- I spent just over 30 of my adult years in that town. Reading the comments, our team is far better represented there than I ever imagined. I should have bought a kevlar vest and worn my Dawkins “out” pin more often. I can scarcely believe the hometown paper even covered the story.

    To give you an idea of the geography, about 25 minutes south on I-85 is Bob Jones University. About an hour north on the same road will land you at Heritage, founded by Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker. It was not exactly a citadel of free thought.

  7. Goes to show what they’re REALLY dispensing. It’s not about caring about the needs of the destitute,but promoting their nasty religion.So, what’s so marvellous about them?

    I take my hat off to the atheists who help generously, because they hate suffering. They aren’t afraid of hell, they don’t give a damn about dogma.Talk about morals! To do right, without fear or favour, now, that’s my idea of giving!

  8. GreggyStills, unfortunately I don’t think there’s even a ‘might’. I think it’s practically inevitable – I wouldn’t even be surprised if Landrum herself does it and probably won’t even realise she had an ulterior motive all along. It’s one of the saddest cases of brainwashing out there, this woman, who wants to help her community, probably thinks she is a loving, charitable woman and yet has been thoroughly duped in embracing a divisive, hate-filled ideology under the guise it’s the very opposite. So much so that she is willing to reject aid to the people she’s setting out to help in order to promote this ideology first – still under the belief that this is the ‘loving, caring thing to do.’ Religion really is absolute poison!

  9. “They can set up across the street from the Soup Kitchen. They can have the devil there with them, but they better not come across the street,”…

    Or what?! What is he going to do?! You know, I really hope someone from Upstate Atheist crosses that street.

    Man! I’m so mad at this unchristian christian! This is prejudice in the purest form. I guess we should protest in peace. Well, he offended me. And I’m tired of being gratuitously offended. If he ever so much as touched me … I garantee he would also cross the street (probably flying, that is…)

  10. UA website: we will be handing these out (care packages) on the sidewalk outside the Soup Kitchen

    Cringe – I think that is pushing it. Go to the other sites, (please!), as you indicated and good luck!

    Stone Soup, of the Heinz 57 variety.

  11. I can’t help wondering if maybe some potential recipient would actually refuse to accept a package from atheists just because they are atheists. Comments?

  12. In reply to #14 by 78rpm:

    I can’t help wondering if maybe some potential recipient would actually refuse to accept a package from atheists just because they are atheists.

    Yep, hungry bellies are not discriminatory.

  13. In reply to #14 by 78rpm:

    I can’t help wondering if maybe some potential recipient would actually refuse to accept a package from atheists just because they are atheists. Comments?

    From Wikipedia – Rice Christian is a term used, usually pejoratively, to describe someone who has formally declared himself/herself a Christian for material benefits (rice in China or Japan) rather than for religious reasons.

    So… probably plenty of Soup Christians there.

    ‘Down and out in Paris and London’ (1933) has a scene where Orwell is in company with tramps (‘hobo’ might be the US equivalent) who have just been treated to evangelising food. Their comments bear repeating…

    ” ‘I thought them &!@)0( prayers was never goin’ to end.’

    ‘You ‘ad your bun,’ said another; ‘you got to pay for it.’

    ‘Pray for it, you mean. Ah, you don’t get much for nothing. They can’t even give you a twopenny cup of tea without you go down on your &!@)0( knees for it.’

    There were murmurs of agreement. Evidently the tramps were not grateful for their tea.”

    Orwell adds, “in fairness we ought to have been grateful – still, we were not.”

  14. Hunger knows no religion…..have we forgotten that all living beings need to eat….We shouldn’t be apologising because we need to eat…….even wild animals can feed themselves daily for free….. but if unfortunate or homeless humans try to eat for free……its called stealing…..
    So they have to grovel for a bowl of god soup ??? Do they have to sell their soul to the church to get it ???
    If I were truly hungry…. I wouldn’t care who gave me decent food, but I wouldn’t become a believer for any amount of food……

  15. In the words of Bill Hicks: “You’re Christians? Oh, well then, forgive me.”

    Providing food and care to the needy is obviously of secondary importance to pushing dogma, that’s the American Christian (TM) way

  16. My maternal grandfather, who was brought up in a workhouse and spent many years on the “parish” , used to use the expression “soup for prayers”.

    He said he never found the soup very palatable..

  17. Thank you for providing that contact, Wanstronian (Comment 15). I sent them this message: * In refusing to allow atheists to provide charity alongside you, you have made it clear that your main purpose in your project is to try to look good and to preach, not to actually help poor people. You are indeed hypocrites. That savior you talk about all the time would be ashamed of you.*

  18. How absurd! A bunch of superstitionists looking down their noses at non-superstitionists. Atheists are deficient simply because they are not superstitious. The superstitionists are somehow better because they believe in some ancient barbaric bull shit. Isn’t there something wrong with this picture?

    Stone-age brains at work.

  19. from article: Do they (atheists) think that our guests are so ignorant that they don’t know what an atheist is? Why are they targeting us? They don’t give any money. I wouldn’t want their money.”

    Before joining this site I didn’t pay much attention to the stuff some religious people say. But now? I can’t get enough of it.
    It’s really funny!

  20. If you go to their site, you can leave messages on their Facebook page. There are some good comments on there, and no apology from the bigot in question.
    In reply to #23 by 78rpm:*

    And now I see that my email (above) has bounced.

  21. I wonder if there are any closet atheists already volunteering there and what Ms. Holier-than-thou would say to that?

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