FBB’s Challenge the Gap supports religious groups to achieve common goals


Our current Challenge the Gap beneficiary, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC), is a powerful voice for the separation of church and state. Foundation Beyond Belief’s support for BJC and our Challenge the Gap program are featured in the New York Times article Humanist Foundation Reaches Out to Religious Groups, Testing a Divide.

“One thing that’s always bothered me about group memberships is that they tend to be polarizing,” [FBB Executive Director Dale] McGowan said recently by phone from his home in suburban Atlanta. “When we’re in like-minded groups, there’s a tendency to pull toward the extremes in our group and minimize common ground across the line. Though it’s moderating, that’s something that’s exasperated me in the atheist and humanist community.”

Challenge the Gap puts money behind that analysis. Since 2011, the initiative has given several thousand dollars each fiscal quarter to a different religious group. The recipients have been Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and interfaith, and their primary issues have included hunger, reproductive rights and medical aid in Afghanistan. The only requirement, Mr. McGowan said, is that the organizations not proselytize.

Read the whole article here.