Crowdfunding Hate in the Name of Christ - 2021-04-05

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F340.png Crowdfunding Hate in the Name of Christ April 5, 2021, Talia Lavin, The Nation

There are only a few crowdfunding sites that specifically target Christians, and GiveSendGo is the top platform that surfaces when one Googles "Christian crowdfunding." Others aimed at the same audience, like WayGiver and InHisSteps, are smaller and intended more for ministries and churches than for individuals. By comparison, GiveSendGo's vision is expansive. A map on its home page shows the locations of its fundraisers around the world, pinpointing the sites with cartoonish gouts of fire and encouraging you to "Add Your Flame."7 Current Issue View our current issue

At the same time, GiveSendGo offers a safe haven for far-right figures who have long struggled to find a stable place to raise money. GoFundMe, Patreon, Kickstarter, and other sites sporadically bar individual far-right figures. Tech companies purged many fascist-friendly fundraising efforts after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. In response, far-right groups set up alternative crowdfunding platforms, creating sites like Hatreon and GoyFundMe. ("Goy" is a Hebrew word for "gentile" that has been adopted as a frequent self-descriptor among the more rabidly anti-Semitic factions of the far right.) The sites were shoddy and short-lived, quickly banned by payment processors and credit card providers. But on GiveSendGo, hate groups can prosper amid fundraising campaigns for homeless nuns, a church that provides tube socks for the unhoused, or infants with spinal cord injuries. Any backlash by payment companies risks raising the ire of a grievance-drunk right-wing media ecosystem primed to detect the traces of anti-Christian prejudice.8

Speaking with Wilson and Wells, it becomes clear that an authentic theological impulse animates their actions—the desire to, as they put it, "share love and hope with each campaign owner and giver." That theology is closely tied to the principles of the evangelical Christian right, although Wilson and Wells eschew the label "evangelical," preferring to call themselves "Jesus followers." On the subject of Jesus, they wax eloquent, discussing his embrace of "sinners and drunkards" and their desire to emulate him. They do not believe they should pass judgment on those who come to the site to make appeals. This policy has one immutable exception: GiveSendGo does not allow fundraisers for abortions. "That would be an intentional act for harm," Wells explained.9

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Talia | last = Lavin | title = Crowdfunding Hate in the Name of Christ | url = https://www.thenation.com/article/society/givesendgo-crowdfunding-extremism/ | work = The Nation | date = April 5, 2021 | accessdate = February 8, 2022 }}