We Support Dan Ashta's Pledge Protest

Raised: $3,417.00
Goal: $2,600.00

Created by

Hemant Mehta

1210 Friends

Contact Embed

American Legion Commander Joseph Lampert recently told Morton Grove Park District Commissioner Dan Ashta that the Legion wouldn't provide the park district with $2,600 of funding because... more


Updated posted by Hemant Mehta 4 months ago

So.... this happened:


The Morton Grove Public Library has also rejected our donations after accusing commenters on my site of being part of a "hate group."

I'll try to find an alternative donation recipient ASAP. The purpose is still to benefit the Morton Grove community, so I'll try to find a place worthy of your generosity.


Updated posted by Hemant Mehta 4 months ago

Hi everyone. Here's where we're at. In case you hadn't heard, the Park District rejected the money:


Since the money was always intended to benefit the community, I decided to donate the money to the local library. I hear that they will be discussing the donation at a meeting on Thursday, 12/19. If they accept it, great. If not... we'll see.

As always, I'll post updates at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/

Thanks, everyone!


Updated posted by Hemant Mehta 5 months ago

Thanks to everyone for contributing -- We reached our goal in under a week! I'll leave this fundraiser up for a few more days and let you know when/how the money will be given to the Morton Grove Park District.


Created by Hemant Mehta on October 29, 2013

American Legion Commander Joseph Lampert recently told Morton Grove Park District Commissioner Dan Ashta that the Legion wouldn't provide the park district with $2,600 of funding because Ashta refused to stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

In essence, Lampert believes veterans have fought and died for our Constitution... but his group will punish anyone who exercises his First Amendment rights in an "improper" way.

As atheists (and allies) who don't believe there's a connection between standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance and loving our country, we're appalled by this childish display of "true patriotism." Ashta took a respectable stand and the Morton Grove Park District shouldn't be penalized for his actions.

We want to raise $2,600 so the Morton Grove Park District can make up for the budget hole left by the American Legion's uncharitable and petty actions.

Here's the rest of my story with all the details.

Have Questions? Contact the organizer of this campaign now:


Use Facebook to Leave a Comment

Nothing gets posted to your wall. Only your Facebook name & photo are used.

Awfully frustrating. We just want to help, and we're being told, essentially, "F*** off. We don't want your godless money." - Is there a food bank, or homeless shelter that might be able to use the cash?

posted by Earle Howe 4 months ago

We hateful atheists, who give money out of our own pocket to promote our evil free speech agenda. After all, what do we know about giving? We don't even believe in Santa! Lol. In all seriousness though, I had no idea it was this difficult to give stuff away. Hopefully someone in that community won't be too proud to take other people's money, and they'll be able to do some good with it. If not, I'm sure there are plenty of national organizations who aren't afraid to take money from heathens.

posted by Leanne Gray 4 months ago

I think it time to give the money to a secular charity, Morton Grove doesn't want or need the money, don't give it to them. Why not donate to the FFRF?

posted by Evan Kane 4 months ago

I don't think anybody believes that Dan Ashta is being punished. The only real victims here are the community of Morton Grove, who did nothing wrong and are having support taken from them. Having the right to do something and doing the right thing are not the same. American Legion has shown that they are not interested in the latter.

posted by Robert Parker 5 months ago

Raising the funds so fast was amazing! I am so proud of this community!!!!!!!!!!!

posted by Alicia Norman 5 months ago

I support the sitting out of the pledge of allegiance. Too many people are of different faiths to add "under GOD" to a pledge to our multi-cultural nation. Let everyone be free to participate unabashedly in our democracy, from the smallest level on up.

posted by Karen Ulvang 5 months ago

John, Thanks for your comment! The best response to free speech is always more speech, so I appreciate you joining the conversion. In that spirit, here's my $0.02: You're absolutely right in your remarks - no one's rights have been violated here. Everyone has the right to express their opinions, and to give or not give money as they see fit. However, a critical part of freedom of speech is that there is no right not to be criticized; freedom of speech does not mean speech without consequences. If you're going to speak, you have to accept the social consequences of what you say. That's what this really boils down to: the American Legion didn't like what Dan said, and decided to criticize him and withhold their money - good for them. We, on the other hand, don't like what the American Legion said and did, and are simultaneously criticizing them and trying to show our support for Dan. That's more free speech all around, which is good for democracy - and good for everyone. You mentioned that we aren't looking at the American Legion's point of view. I can't speak for anyone else, but I certainly do understand what they're saying. I just don't agree. I would never threaten to sue them for what they've done, but what I will do is spend my money and voice my support as I see fit. And I think that standing up for a minority position, and articulating why so well, is something worth supporting. I also think that the American Legion is acting a bit like a child: it comes across as throwing a tantrum because you don't get your way. No one gets to control another person, and complaining and punishing a community because you don't get to have a say in another man's actions feels incredibly childish to me.

posted by Julien Lynge 5 months ago

Dan Ashta absolutely has the right to not stand during the Pledge of Allegiance. The American Legion states this. The American Legion absolutely has the right to NOT donate money to the Morton Grove Park District. Dan Ashta understands this. So, everyone is right. The American Legion isn't "punishing" Dan, like the article states. They are exercising THEIR right to freedom of expression, too. Oh, things are never looked at from both points of view if you are biased.

posted by John Sutter 5 months ago

John not sure I understand your question. There are no doctrinal sources for atheism. Atheism deals with one claim only. That is rather or not do we believe in a god. If you are an Atheist it simply means you do not support any of the God claims that mankind has invented even the ones which man claims were passed down by God/s/esses themselves. It is any American's right to not stand for or say anything that do not want to stand or say. Just like if we replaced the word God in the pledge with any other deity if you choose to sit it out we would also defend your right to sit it out.

posted by Chris Doux 5 months ago

Show me the atheist book of beliefs where standing for the pledge is prohibited. I't just God they don't believe in, is that the case?

posted by John Wilson 5 months ago

It's a shame that the Legion won't donate to the park district because the commissioner expressed a personal view. Soldiers fight to defend the Constitution, and Mr. Ashta has every right under the Constitution to not stand.

posted by Ryan Vandewiel 5 months ago

I will give one dollar if he shaves those miserable side-burns.

posted by Jon Zoubek 5 months ago

I am confused by Stewart's comment how is this group and Morton Grove childish? If you mean a community coming together and showing support because they do not want the tyrannical views of the American Legion to prosper well then so be it thanks for helping me to decide on making a donation. Imagine how incredibly foolish the American Legion will feel when the headline reads, "Secular Community Rallies Behind Small Town."

posted by Chris Doux 5 months ago

Morton grove and this group are a bunch of childish idiots. I will not give your group a dime and will boycott your city.

posted by Stewart Montross 5 months ago

1 - 14 of 14 Comments

Recent Donations (168)

$3,417 raised by 168 people in 5 months.


Douglas Willard

4 months ago



Jerrilynn Moore

5 months ago



Jade Payne

5 months ago


I love parks departments & I'm very happy to donate what I can to the residents who enjoy parks & community as much as I do. Also, it is awesome that we can all stand up to bullies like the organization that revoked its annual donation. Happy to help (:




5 months ago



Mark Peltier

5 months ago


I better go to Heaven for this donation, lol. ~ Atheist & Proud.



Ruth Anastacia Adamcik

5 months ago



Susan Steinkraus

5 months ago


Congratulations on reaching your fundraising goal! Please accept this donation as a show of support.



Chrystal Doucette

5 months ago


I know it's not much, but I hope it helps. I am glad to see the show of support in ensuring the community continues to receive its funding.




5 months ago



Seth Bergshoeff

5 months ago


1-10 of 168 donations


Bring your fundraising ideas to life with an online donation website from GoFundMe!

© 2010-2014 GoFundMe