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As I’ve written before, I get a huge quantity of junk mail from charities begging for money, some of which are religious. (Poor targeting.)

Lately, I’ve gotten several of these come-ons in a row, and most of them are either ironic, galling or both. Here’s an example, a solicitation from a group called the Catholic Medical Mission Board. Take a look at what they have the chutzpah to ask:

Dear friend,

I wish I could send you a box of greeting cards or some personalized address labels, but quite honestly, I can’t afford them.

Faced with people dying because they can’t get basic medicine or medical care, I’m going to spend all the money I can raise to save lives.

That is the purpose of the Catholic Medical Mission Board: to support a worldwide network of health centers that couldn’t exist without us and to provide essential medical care and supplies in times of need.

No bureaucracy, no wasted money, no gimmicks. Simply providing health care to people who have nowhere else to turn.

Our need has never been more urgent – every year, 10,000,000 children in the developing world die before their fifth birthday. No child should suffer like that. No parent should lose a child so young.

What makes these tragedies even more painful is that these innocent children are being killed by easily preventable diseases – pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, measles and malaria.

I could give you a dozen reasons why you should help. But it’s not a question of reasons. As Jesus said, “For whoever does the will of my heavenly father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Every $1 you send provides about $10 worth of medical care. A gift of $20, $25 or more would help so much. But any gift will bring blessed relief.

Imagine holding a young boy or girl in your arms and knowing that the child will die because there is no medicine.

Without access to even the most basic health care, that is the pain and anguish mothers and fathers in the developing world suffer through every day.

Growing up, you probably feared diseases like polio and tuberculosis. For the poorest families in the world, a simple case of diarrhea or a minor respiratory infection brings that same dread. These ailments – so easily cured with basic medicine you probably have in your home – threaten to bring suffering and even death.

Can people of any faith stand by and allow such a human tragedy to unfold? Of course not.

Especially since these five killers – pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition, measles and malaria – are all very easily treated. We supply our hospitals, missions and clinics across the globe with the medicines and medical care needed to cure preventable diseases. And we provide health care training to teach God’s poorest children how to treat these illnesses in the future and build healthier, more hopeful lives.

Please send your gift today. I won’t waste your money. I will use it to save young, innocent lives from being needlessly lost to easily preventable diseases that plague our brothers and sisters.

May the Lord bless you for your kindness,
Bruce Wilkinson
President & CEO

P.S. Our Lord often proclaimed His presence among us by healing the sick. You can follow in His footsteps by helping us do the same. Please send your gift today.

Remember, this letter bemoaning the poverty and suffering of children is coming from a group that’s part of the Catholic church – the religion still fighting with all its might to cut off women’s access to contraception, the religion which still teaches that couples should have as many children as they’re biologically capable of bearing, without regard for their ability to care for them. Of course children live in poverty and die from preventable disease when nations follow this policy! The CMMB letter is proof of the badness of the church’s own policies.

If you want children to have “healthier, more hopeful lives”, the number one step is to make sure that every woman has the ability to control how many she has. But where those measures have been proposed, the church has fought tenaciously against them. The number one example is the Phillippines’ landmark Reproductive Health Bill, which the church managed to stall for years. And when it finally passed, they went straight to the courts to ask that it be struck down. In America, too, the church has filed a blizzard of lawsuits against the Obamacare contraception mandate, doing their utmost to keep affordable contraception out of women’s reach.

Of course, I do give to charities that fight diseases of poverty. But it would be irrational and absurd to donate to a religious charity working to solve a problem that its parent organization is working to create. If the CMMB is so concerned about early childhood illness and death, what they should be doing above all else is lobbying the Vatican to change its terrible, destructive rules.

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...