The Murrow Indian Children’s Home site claims their mission is to “provide a safe nurturing environment, spiritual foundation, and cultural experiences to Native American Children in crisis.” But they refused a much-needed donation from an Atheist group on the grounds that “it would go against everything they believe in.” Even after Matt Wilbourn went the extra mile by setting up a GoFundMe page and raising $19,000 for these children the home, run by Baptists, still wouldn’t accept the money.
You’d think that if this organization truly cared about the well-being of these children they would accept donations regardless of who/where they came from, but apparently that’s not the case, because they continue to refuse his donations despite the fact that the money would greatly benefit the children living at the home. Their refusal has outraged many and the comments on their Facebook page reflect that.
One of the first things I thought of when I found out this children’s home was run by Baptists was all the times I’ve heard Christians say “I work to save others because of His commandment.” I couldn’t help but think that maybe they refused the money because as an atheist Matt wasn’t commanded by god to give anything, he did it out of the goodness of his godless heart.
The next thing that caught my attention was that this religious organization was running a home specifically for Native American children, which in my opinion should never happen, especially when you consider the long and dark history between Christianity and America’s indigenous people. Christians have had a sick desire to cleanse Native Americans of their unique spiritual beliefs, languages, and culture since they arrived. Deeming the indigenous people savages that need to be “saved.” So missionaries began to travel across the country setting up churches, and in the late 19th and 20th centuries boarding schools and homes for “orphans,” just like the Murrow Indian Children’s Home.
The man responsible for the Murrow Home, J.S. Murrow, was baptized in 1854 at the age of 19 and ordained by the First Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia in 1857. From what I’ve read it seems that Rev. Murrow wasn’t much different from any other missionary of that time, except for the fact that his obsession with “saving” the natives from themselves also extended to kids. He may have had good intentions but it doesn’t change the fact that he set out with the goal of destroying a peoples spirituality and culture so he could replace it with his own, but I’m sure he never thought about it like that, Christian missionaries never do.
According to Murrow Homes site Rev. Murrow was finally able to build his academy for orphaned America Indian Children in 1887 and it’s been operating for over 100 years.
The site also makes it very clear that the wicked practice of child indoctrination has been kept alive all this time. Even their job announcement has strong emphasis on the importance of Christianity. I’m even skeptical now as to whether or not all of these children are genuinely from abusive or neglectful households.
The ACLU writes in a 2014 article that in South Dakota Indian children’s are 11 times more likely to be removed from their families and placed in foster care than non-Indian children.
A Family For Every Child states that between 2009-2011 in Oregon Native American children made up 2.8% of all children in Oregon and 6.9% of all children in Oregon foster care. Only 41.7% of Native American children in Multnomah County (Oregon) are reunified with family when exiting foster care, compared to a higher percentage of white children.
In 1978 Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in an effort to prevent Native families being torn apart by state and/or local officials without a valid reason, despite this, many Native youth are still placed in non-native homes and in many places the number of Native children in foster care is disproportionately high when you take into account the total Native population of that city or state. Stealing Native children and placing them in boarding schools and orphanages/foster care is not by any means a new thing and I highly recommend reading up on it.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Murrow Home, and/or the any of the other topics discussed, you can check out:
https://historyforthechristianfaith.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/father-murrow-guardian-of-american-indians/ (has additional history but with a very biased spin)
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/12/22/stealing-our-american-indian-children (several good articles on this site)