Discover Bans Christian Crowdfunding Campaigns for Rittenhouse, Kenosha Police Officer

(Unsplash/rupixen.com)

The free Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo.com has been under relentless attack by not only those on the political left, but also major corporations and vendors including Facebook, Discover Card, Stripe and more, since allowing the Kyle Rittenhouse campaign to continue to be hosted on the platform, founders of GiveSendGo said in a news release Thursday. (Editor's Note: Kyle Rittenhouse is the 17-year-old accused in the alleged shooting of protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.)

"I remember a time when America was for freedom of speech and for being tolerant of the ideas of others, whether you agreed with those ideas or not," said Jacob Wells, a veteran of the U.S. Navy and co-founder of GiveSendGo. "Sadly, it seems like many in our society today prefer to trample the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and censor those they disagree with. However, I've got news for them—we will not be bullied into abandoning our values."

Since the Rittenhouse campaign was launched one week ago, nearly $400,000 has already been raised. That is despite GiveSendGo undergoing a barrage of attacks.

Since last week, Facebook has prohibited the ability of Facebook's users to share the link to the Rittenhouse fundraiser on GiveSendGo. Discover Card announced plans to no longer allow their customers to donate on GiveSendGo. Stripe, the payment processor used by GiveSendGo, has also attempted to shut down its ability to collect payments multiple times, according to Wells. Additionally, Amazon Web Services, which hosts GiveSendGo, reached out to GiveSendGo with a warning. Wells also says the company has received an onslaught of DDoS attacks and fraudulent emails, in addition to violent death threats.

"It's troubling to think that any American or American business would be against family and friends trying to raise funds for the legal defense of someone who acted in self-defense," said John Pierce, the attorney representing Kyle Rittenhouse and managing partner of Pierce Bainbridge. "It's even scarier to think that the media, the mob and the state have abandoned the idea of a basic fundamental human right like the presumption of innocence. We will prove Kyle's innocence and we are grateful for organizations like GiveSendGo, which have not wavered despite the immense public pressure."

According to representatives, GiveSendGo allows anyone to use its site, so long as the crowdfunding is legal, even if the founders disagree with the purpose of the campaign.

"We really handle things on a case-by-case basis, but for the most part, we allow campaigns even if we don't agree with them, because we want all people to experience the giving nature of Christians and the grace of Jesus Christ," said Heather Wilson, co-founder of GiveSendGo. "God calls us to give and love our neighbors as ourselves, and we believe that GiveSendGo can and will help lead others to Christ."

In addition to the Rittenhouse campaign, a controversial new campaign for Kenosha police officer Rusten Sheskey was launched Thursday by Kenosha police officers charities. Sheskey was the officer who shot Jacob Blake, after Blake reportedly resisted arrest and reached for a weapon.

GiveSendGo is a free Christian crowdfunding site, conceptually established in 2014 and officially launched in 2016, which allows monetary giving in the form of donations, and also allows the opportunity for people to share prayers with campaign organizers. With more than 10,000 campaigns funded so far, GiveSendGo is traditionally used for fundraising for things like medical bills, mission trips, community support, church fundraisers and more. Like the early Christians in the book of Acts, the team at GiveSendGo believes generosity is inherently Christian and is a clear example as how we are commanded to live. By being generous and helping others as Christ commanded, we believe more people will receive God's word, His grace and come to know eternal salvation through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

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