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A Christian children's organization responsible for running more than 20 religiously themed after-school programs in the Tacoma, Washington-area will not receive nearly $7,000 from a county council member after the move generated complaints and criticism nationwide.
Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), a non-profit whose website states its mission as "dedicated to seeing every child reached with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ," had been set to receive funds that Pierce County Council Member Jim McCune had set aside as part of a measure meant to fund youth violence protection. The ordinance allows county council members to split the total amount of 1/10th of 1 percent sales tax among themselves and elected officials are given discretion over what organizations they can fund.
CEF State Director Jeff Kiser did not express bitterness in a statement about the decision reversal.
"We respect the decision of the county and pray blessing upon them. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. -Job 1:21b," the statement read, according to King 5.
According to the website, the organization hosts three primary types of children's clubs designed to "take place in neighborhood settings such as homes, backyards, schools and community centers all over the world."
"These fast-paced, one-hour programs are designed to bring the Gospel of Christ to children on their level in their environment,"
While county attorneys did not rule the action illegal, Council member Connie Ladenburg said that she believed the contribution would have violated of separation of Church and State.