American Atheists member starts a fundraiser after Christian destroys LGBTQ books.

When Paul Dorr burned books he had taken from Orange City Public Library on October 19, he never imagined hundreds of books on the same subject would be then donated to the Iowa library. The latter has confirmed that they received in excess of 200 books after Dorr burned four books in a burning trash can. He streamed the whole incident on social media.

Dorr's video was 27 minutes long. The video showed the devout Christian reading a blog post bearing the name "May God and The Homosexuals of OC Pride Please Forgive Us!" directly from his website, intriguingly named Rescue The Perishing. The culmination of the video showed Dorr burning four books: Two Boys Kissing, written by David Levithan, This Day in June, by Gayle E. Pitman, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, by Christine Baldacchino and Families, Families, Families!, by Max Lang and Suzanne Lang. According to Dorr, Rescue The Perishing is described as a "crisis center and pro-life, pro-family movement" website. All interviews have been declined by Dorr.

The response was almost instantaneous. Justin Scott, a member and state director for the American Atheists Iowa chapter, began a Facebook fundraiser as soon as he viewed the video. When asked why, he said it was a "knee-jerk reaction" to the hate he saw on the screen. Scott raised over $1,600 in a few short days. After he crossed the target amount, the library then urged him to do the same for other groups for making large donations. He thus requested the donors to gift money to LGBTQ organizations and to local libraries. He also gave money to OC Pride, the same group specifically targeted by Dorr. The organization witnessed a jump in donations soon after.

American Atheists is a national non-profit. Scott said atheism is not the reason for the fundraiser. He hopes that his actions show atheists have more in common with Christians who clearly oppose Dorr's actions. One of the notable contributors was James Peron, president of Moorfield Storey Institute, a libertarian think-tank. The latter said he has shipped a total of 20 DVDs and LGBTQ books to the library and also collected hundreds of dollars from GoFundMe. Most of his friends contributed. The response is so great that Peron has plans to make one more shipment as of now.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter