The ‘Friendly Atheist’ Is Not Allowed to Donate Money to Local Park Program

By Kevin Davis

[Originally published at Divided Under God on December 4, 2013]

Hemant Mehta
Hemant Mehta
In a story released on the Chicago Tribune website, popular atheist blogger Hemant Mehta’s recent donation to the Morton Grove Park District has been refused and returned. The donation collected from readers of his Friendly Atheist blog was sent as a replacement for the $2,600 of funding that was pulled back by the American Legion Post 134 in a political move. According to the article, the American Legion donation was rescinded when a park board member refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Park District returned the funds from the atheist blogger, noting the denial was because they did not want to appear sympathetic to any particular religion. Yeah, that seems fishy to me too. My skeptic brain has to pose the question of whether or not the park board opens meetings with prayer or receives funding from any religious groups at all. Is it that they just don’t want to be associated with atheists? Are they afraid of losing funding from other groups as a result or accepting atheist funds?
You can read the full Tribune article here or Mehta’s take on it here.

About Kevin Davis:

Kevin Davis is the Head Writer and Editor at, and the author of Understanding an Atheist: A Practical Guide to Relating to Nonbelievers.

Despite his Catholic upbringing and experience as a “saved” Christian in his early college years, Kevin came out as an atheist in the mid-1990s. A constitutional law enthusiast, he now focuses on examining, explaining, and defending the separation of church and state through his website, Kevin keeps his readers aware of current legislative and judiciary efforts that aim to weaken the wall of separation that is so important to our success as a nation, free from religious influence and oppression.

You can find Kevin on Twitter (@DividedUnderGod), Facebook, and in Chris Johnson's book, A Better Life -- 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God.