Why You Don't Need God to be Good: the Rise of Atheist Charities

The growth of charitable outlets designed for atheists, freethinkers, and secular humanists not only rallies nonbelievers and increases their public profile, it can also provide a venue they feel more comfortable donating to. The SHARE website explains its motivation thus: “skeptics and humanists are frustrated that so many charitable organizations, especially those that help people afflicted by natural or human disasters, have efforts coordinated by religious organizations. These organizations sometimes proselytize to the people in need of their services. This is entirely unacceptable.”

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Sometimes proselytize?  From my experience as a member of religious organizations, the goal was to always proselytize.

My favorite story about charities that proselytize came in the immediate wake of the Haitian earthquake 2 years ago when two ministries who were sending vitally-needed food and medical supplies made room on their air-lift pallet for 600 "Proclaimers" - a pricey solar-powered audio bible that could preach to illiterate Haitians in their own language. You can find the story here: http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-los-angeles/scientologists-and-a....

I believe they were also calling for $80,000+ in donations so they could ship another 3,000 "Proclaimers" to the stricken earthquake victims.

Thanks for the link.  That is just sick.

Indeed! Twisted priorities.

We see this a great deal from Christian groups. In contrast, as a rule Jews don't proselytize to non-Jews. I've run into Chabad Lubavitchers, a Chassidic Orthodox Jewish group that aggressively tries to bring other Jews to their version of "Torah and commandments", and an encounter with one of their "street evangelists" might go something like this:


Lubavitcher to a man passing by: "Good morning! Are you Jewish?"

"Um, no."

"Have a nice day."


"Good morning! Are you Jewish?"


"Have you laid tefillin today?"

"Um, no..."

"Do you have a few minutes; would you like to?"   [If yes, the Lubavitcher offers a set of tefillin and helps the person through the ritual.]

That conversation might go a bit differently with me.

"Good morning! Are you Jewish?


"Have you laid tefillin today?"

"Mister, I haven't laid anybody in months. I've been suffering through a dry spell longer than Texas!"


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