Foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor sent a letter on behalf of an area taxpayer to the chief of the Gulfport (Miss.) Police Department urging the department to immediately disassociate it from a “Go Haiti” Baptist ministry project, which it publicly endorsed on its Web site (see at left).
The mission of “Go Haiti” is to raise at least $20,000 to rebuild a Baptist church in Haiti, a country where a vast majority of residents identify as Roman Catholic.
Gaylor noted that while the ministry “is free to choose to fundraise to rebuild a church in the face of this national disaster, a disaster leaving millions of people starving, exposed and homeless, the Gulfport Police Department absolutely is forbidden to raise funds for or otherwise publicize fundraising for this Baptist church project, or for any other Christian ministry to Haiti.”
The Foundation called the department’s public endorsement irresponsible and inappropriate. That afternoon, Police Chief Alan Weatherford phoned the Foundation to report he removed the “Go Haiti” links from the city’s Web site.