Holy War Breaks Out Between eBay and an Atheist Over Quirky ‘Church’ Post — and Now One Party Is Apologizing

A holy war recently broke out between eBay and a South Carolina atheist who claims an ad she posted was repeatedly removed from the popular consumer website.

Eve Brannon, president of Upstate Atheists, a secular charity group, posted a quirky offer on New Year’s Eve titled “Take an Atheist Leader to Church.”

Inviting church leaders to very literally bid on her time, Brannon attempted to auction off her attendance at a church service and pledged to donate the monies earned to a charity devoted to helping the homeless.

“Your bid is for me and my 4-year-old daughter. She must be able to stay with me at all times. We will attend any church on a Sunday morning,” the ad read, in part. “We will listen to the sermon and I agree to be acknowledged as a guest. I will speak to members of the congregation if you wish and what led me to the path I chose.”

Brannon went on in the ad to say that she’s perfectly comfortable answering questions for the highest bidder’s congregation — and that she will be “respectful to all members of the church.”

The message was initially placed under eBay’s “Everything Else > Weird Stuff > Slightly Unusual” section, The Huffington Post reported.

Despite following the website’s parameters for posting, Brannon told TheBlaze that the ad was repeatedly removed.

“I received an email stating that I broke a policy. I had to change the ad to take out that the money was going to charity,” she explained. “I revised the ad and removed the part that spoke about where the funds would be going. I got another email saying it was breaking the policy.”

Again, it was removed. And this time, Brannon said something interesting happened.

“Instead of showing the typical ‘item has been removed’ page, the link I was using to share the ad was being redirected to very specific search results for a Christian Rock CD,” she explained.

Attempting to get to the bottom of why the removals kept happening, she spoke with an eBay employee who told her to move the ad to the “Services” category and, after she made some tweaks, he reportedly told her it looked good.

Problem solved — or so she thought. Again, the ad was removed.

A screenshot of the ad that was placed on eBay (Image source: WHNS-TV)

“All that they’ve said is that it’s an accident, but it happened three times so it’s not very believable,” Brannon said. “We were raising money to provide heat and water to a homeless community.”

In an email statement to TheBlaze, eBay said that the removal was accidental and apologized.

“eBay has outlined clear polices for our sellers and works vigilantly to ensure responsible use of our marketplace. In situations when unusual or high-profile listings come to our attention, we review them to ensure they comply with policies and work with sellers to list them appropriately,” the statement read. “When a listing is erroneously removed in this process, we work just as hard to make amends and restore the listing in a timely manner.”

It continued, “In this case, the listing was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience and have offered assistance to the seller to relist.”

The atheist leader doesn’t plan to post the ad again, though, noting that the preachers and people of faith who were bidding are frustrated with the repeated removals. So, she’s looking for an alternative venue to host a fundraiser.

Brannon and her group made headlines last October when the atheists were turned away from volunteering at a Christian soup kitchen in South Carolina.

Featured image via Shutterstock.

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