Atheist Volunteers coming soon, will you help break the stereotype?

Sapient
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Atheist Volunteers coming soon, will you help break the stereotype?

I'm proud to announce (early) that the Rational Response Squad will be heading up a project to help break an incorrect stereotype that atheists aren't charitable or giving. We constantly hear the ridiculous claim that not only are atheists less charitable but they're less moral, even though we have scientific stats on our side to prove quite the contrary. Since theists don't want to embrace the science, maybe they'll get the message clearer if they can actually see us at work, doing good as atheists, not just as people (which has been our preferred method of charity in the past). Our own "Tomcat" will work as Manager of the entire project. This'll be his baby, and he'll be the main man to address concerns, and our face in the media when the time comes. A big kudos and thanks to Tomcat for his strong interest and dedication to this project.

As a result of our success (thanks so much to all the donors) we have secured:
www.atheistvolunteers.org for 10 years and www.atheistvolunteers.com for 5 years

This is a longterm project for us, look forward to us to break the mold, and engage in a variety of charitable causes. And we'll want your involvement! The various chapters of the Rational Response Squad that have been popping up (more details on how to start one soon) will be getting involved in these projects. If you're a fan of this idea or have ideas to help show the world how giving and caring we really are, please strike up conversation in this thread.

Here are some things we're thinking about:

  • We have shirts for our activities in public like "Atheist Volunteer" and "I do good things, and I don't believe in a God" AV STORE IS UP: http://www.cafepress.com/respondrational/2535158
  • Donation drives to assist in helping victims of natural disasters (a theist must believe these atrocities are committed by a God).
  • Engaging in environmental cleanups
  • Hands on assistance for natural disasters.
  • Clothing drives and toy drives for the needy
  • Assistance at homeless shelters
  • As we grow in size and find the right people, we want to go to impoverished nations to assist (hands on).
  • All of our charity work will be tracked, records kept, pictures taken and available permanently for viewing.

Good ideas that have come from this thread:

What ideas do you have?

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


D-cubed
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MustangGT wrote: Sweet,

MustangGT wrote:
Sweet, D-cubed. You should write a little something about why you own a hybrid and how you justify it considering your atheism.

And regarding the Europe charity thing, yes I am aware of it. I actually have copies of the studies themselves, as well as detailed studies of atheism rates in Europe and America. I just gotta put it all together in essay form for RRS's project...

It's because I'm a treehugger. When I bought it gas was around $1.50 a gallon and I expected it to go up to $3 and higher. Sure enough it did. I just wish they had electric cars for sale but that might increase my $12 a month electric bill. It's nice to pay a month's worth of utilities with one day's worth of work. It's probably what helps keep me in Kansas.

The charitable rates in America alone aren't terribly clear. In the more religious Southern states there is more charitable giving, but there is also fewer taxpayer supported programs. In the more liberal, therfore godless areas there is less charity but more taxpayer programs. Also included in the figures is that church donations are considered charitable spending. I'm sure a lot of religious people donating to Mother Theresa thought their money was helping out the poor but it was merely lining the pockets of the Catholic church, as are donations to Pat Robertson or TBN.

The studies probably just look at the amount of donations to non-profits from which region without looking at whether or not the non-profits do charitable work. I wouldn't classify a charity as a group that uses funds to find converts, or a non-profit political organization, neither would I consider my union a charity. Also, do the studies measure the total amount of giving or the percentage of income.

There was one flawed study that measured giving from rural North Dakota and urban San Francisco (the areas may be different but similar). The study concluded that the ND gave more than the more affluent SF for the charity it was raising for. It may have been Salvation Army. It was a flawed study because the SA discriminates against gays so the gay friendly SF would be less likely to donate. If the study measured if people donated to PFLAG the results may be different.


formicalinoleum
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Hi!  I'm brand new here. 

Hi!  I'm brand new here.  Someone posted about the Blasphemy Challenge on another board I read and I stumbled across this.

 I thought I would share an idea I had a while ago and will probably never actualize, because it seems like it would fit well with this.  My idea was for an online database/resource for non-religious people who wanted to donate time or money to charities.  They would be able to search for charities by geographical location and issue/work done.  The important thing is that it would provide information on whether the charities are affiliated with a religion or not, whether they require conversion or some kind of religious participation in order to receive services, whether they have any discriminatory policies for employees (such as requiring a specific religion or excluding homosexuals).  These issues have come up in this thread already, which is what made me think that this idea might be relevant.  If you like it, it's yours.


voivoed
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D-cubed wrote: One of our

D-cubed wrote:

One of our members helped out with Habitat For Humanity. It's a Christian group that has essentially no religion in it.

My brother-in-law got a house through them and they are very religious, at least around here. There was this big ceremony when they delivered the houses, complete with lots of prayer and praising the lord and the pastor making everybody extend their hands toward the houses to bless them and cover them with some kind of energy. Everybody but me and my wife, of course.

But going back to the thread theme, I would absolutely love to help.

I've been looking around for secular charities and so far found none. Even the ones that proclaim to avoid demonstrations of religion, like the Lions, do prayers and thanks to god in their meetings.


Hamish
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Support from the UK

Hi

I just wanted to give my support to this great initiative. I started the O Project (the O is what you get when you take god out of good) in the UK (www.oproject.co.uk) which seeks to dispel the misconception that atheists are somehow amoral by encouraging people to volunteer and not be shy about it. Although I haven't taken it as far as you guys. I will certainly add a link to what you are doing as it's great to find others working along similar lines.

My local humanist group is also raising money for local and international charities which as well as being good in itself will also, we hope, generate positive stories in the local media.

I do think it is important in the name of fairness that a huge amount of religious charity is unconditional, longstanding and supports wider society - often churches are the only organisations working in the most deprived area when everyone else has left. It would be a shame to make the same mistakes as some religious people and start characterising religious charity as not as good as our charity.


darth_josh
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danteontario
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Forgive me for reviving this

Forgive me for reviving this thread - I just kinda stumbled in here from AtheistVolunteers.org and wanted to add something. All of these are great ideas, and I will definitely give blood on May 3.

I converted to an atheist worldview in the last year. I can honestly say that the conversion directly influenced my desire to volunteer. I appreciate life - I know we only get one, so why not try to make things a little better? The problem, evident in most of the previous posts in this thread, is the absolute stranglehold theists have over charitable organizations. It's hard to find a "clean" one. However, after a good deal of searching, I found the opportunity to volunteer as a literacy tutor.

Tutoring seems custom-made for atheist volunteers:

  • Nearly every decent-sized community in the US has a literacy organization, and most are not faith-based
  • You can help people who have clearly asked for assistance and are eager to help themselves
  • Literacy is a key to unlocking reason
  • Atheists tend to be skilled in reading, math and science - math tutors are in demand for GED students
  • You can give time as opposed to money; as little as 3 hours a week

I have to admit that I don't exactly wear an atheist hat when I tutor - I'm still pretty closeted. The only negative I've found so far is that while they stay out of the actual learning process, churches tend to offer the most space for group tutoring sessions, especially in smaller communities. However, giving alongside churches and giving TO churches are very different things. I kind of enjoy the irony, to be honest.

Just another idea on a list of good ideas - thanks.

d


Susan
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Welcome

Welcome danteontario.

HHmmmm.  Another Canadian joining us?  Terrific! 


darth_josh
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danteontario wrote: Forgive

danteontario wrote:
Forgive me for reviving this thread - I just kinda stumbled in here from AtheistVolunteers.org and wanted to add something. All of these are great ideas, and I will definitely give blood on May 3.

I converted to an atheist worldview in the last year. I can honestly say that the conversion directly influenced my desire to volunteer. I appreciate life - I know we only get one, so why not try to make things a little better? The problem, evident in most of the previous posts in this thread, is the absolute stranglehold theists have over charitable organizations. It's hard to find a "clean" one. However, after a good deal of searching, I found the opportunity to volunteer as a literacy tutor.

Tutoring seems custom-made for atheist volunteers:
  • Nearly every decent-sized community in the US has a literacy organization, and most are not faith-based
  • You can help people who have clearly asked for assistance and are eager to help themselves
  • Literacy is a key to unlocking reason
  • Atheists tend to be skilled in reading, math and science - math tutors are in demand for GED students
  • You can give time as opposed to money; as little as 3 hours a week


I have to admit that I don't exactly wear an atheist hat when I tutor - I'm still pretty closeted. The only negative I've found so far is that while they stay out of the actual learning process, churches tend to offer the most space for group tutoring sessions, especially in smaller communities. However, giving alongside churches and giving TO churches are very different things. I kind of enjoy the irony, to be honest.

Just another idea on a list of good ideas - thanks.

d

 

Quickest way to find phone numbers for your local Project LEARN is to google 'Project LEARN along with you city and state. It is normally administered by the state career development centers at least in my experiences. 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


danteontario
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Thanks, susan.   Sorry -

Thanks, susan.

 

Sorry - not Canadian - though some days I wish I was.

Actually, it's a pen name courtesy of the Ron Mexico Name Generator.