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I’m spending a lot of time and effort vetting firms to create the website for Foundation Beyond Belief. All in all an aggravating and slow process. Yesterday I filled out a long and detailed form about the Foundation and the site we need for a web design firm in my old home state of Minnesota.

Today I received this reply:

Hi Dale,

I appreciate the time you took to fill out our website questionnaire. Unfortunately, I don’t think we are a good fit for developing your website as we are committed Christians. I think it would be difficult for us to give our all to a website promoting values and beliefs with which we don’t agree.

Thanks again for your time. I hope you understand my reasons for declining your request.

M___

I usually let this kind of thing roll off my back, but this one got under my skin in a way that nothing has for years. For one thing, I doubt they’d have offered the same reason to a Jewish or Muslim foundation. (On second thought, who knows.) I was also struck by the fact that our values are suspect even when we’re involved in an overtly charitable initiative.

I replied:

Hi M___,

Thanks so much for your reply. I must agree, we would be a very poor fit — but not because you are committed Christians.

Our foundation is dedicated primarily to the encouragement of charitable giving among the nonreligious but will be supporting both religious and secular charities. I would only want to work with someone who shares those values of generosity and openness, who sees the importance of reaching across lines of difference. Thanks for letting me know that you don’t agree with such values.

My current website was created by two committed Christians, one of whom is a past administrator for the Campus Crusade for Christ. They noted our differences but recognized that we share the same core values of mutual respect and a desire to make the world a better place.

Here’s to more Christians like them.

Dale

(If you are a professional web designer who would like to be considered for this job — regardless of your worldview — drop me a note with a link to your online portfolio. My contact info is in the sidebar.)

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.