I found a website recently called “conservapedia,” which calls itself “The Trustworthy Encyclopedia,” and then proposes some of the most ridiculous nonsense I have ever heard about atheists and their lack of charity, plus numerous other pieces of garbage. They had some nasty things to say about just about anyone who is not a Christian religious zealot, and according to their front page, Justin Bieber is against abortion for rape victims and both he and some footballer called Tim Tebow are both only here on earth after their mothers refused abortions.
I honestly thought I had come across all the religious hate sites, but this one takes the biscuit. Their front page is something to behold. I refuse to link to their page, but they seem to be young earth creationists with a vengeance. Some wonderful “Bon Mots,” such as “The stench of evolutionism,”and “Richard Dawkins a Skunk” sit alongside headlines like these:
Secular France suffers another humiliation. Moody’s Investor Service strips France of triple-A credit rating.
America heads over the fiscal cliff. Again.
The fact that these two are sitting right above each other tell me these people will never listen to reason. Anyway, I found this site while I was looking for some information about the Dalai Lama (they seem upset at how hard Buddhists are to convert) and was shocked at the vitriol. One of the more entertaining things I found was the fact that “Twinkies are the latest casualty of the Democrat mindset.”
But – one thing stood out, which was an article they had on there about – well, for want of a better way of putting it – how much more generous religious people are than atheists when it comes to charitable giving. It is s pretty poor quality article, with very little actual facts, and the main purpose seems to be to denigrate atheists. This is a typical quote:
The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.
Leaving aside the fact that – as far as I can tell – most Christian charity work is a sort of by-product of Evangelical “spreading the word,” and many American Christians refuse to give to charities such as Planned Parenthood, this seems a little skewed. In any case, I though it would be a good idea to try and set the record straight by looking at some positive aspects of humanism/atheism/godlessness, by creating a list of atheist and secular charities who do work with no ulterior motives. So – without further ado, and these are in no particular order. Nor do you need to sign up as a practicing atheist to reap the benefits.
Atheist, Secular or Freethinking Charities List
We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
Planned Parenthood USA
Planned Parenthood International
We are a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of women, men, and young people worldwide.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières
MSF’s work is based on the humanitarian principles of medical ethics and impartiality. The organization is committed to bringing quality medical care to people in crisis regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. MSF operates independently of any political, military, or religious agendas.
DonorsChoose.org engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.
Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
(n.b – perhaps a little vested interest if you consider spreading reason a vested interest)
The mission of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science is to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and suffering.
Foundation Beyond Belief
(n.b. another vested interest if you consider demonstrating humanist generosity a vested interest)
Foundation Beyond Belief is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation created to focus, encourage and demonstrate humanist generosity and compassion. We select and feature five charitable organizations per quarter, one in each of the following cause areas:
- Poverty and Health
- Human Rights
- The Natural World
- Challenge the Gap (charities based in other worldviews)
Kansas City Atheist Coalition
The Kansas City Atheist Coalition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization. Our mission is to advance atheism through activism, philanthropy, education and the cultivation of a positive secular community.
The American Red Cross
The humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross connects us to people and communities across the nation and around the world. The common bonds of humanity and compassion unite us together, not just in the face of emergencies and disasters, but in helping our neighbors every day.
Direct Relief International
Direct Relief was established in 1948 and is nonsectarian, nongovernmental, and apolitical. All the programs are provided in a non-discriminatory manner, without regard to political affiliation, religious belief, or ethnic identity.
The American Humanist Association
Humanist Charities, an adjunct of the American Humanist Association, specializes in benevolent aid and action to further the health and welfare of humankind. Its purpose includes applying uniquely humanist approaches to those in need and directing the generosity of American humanists to worthy disaster relief and development projects around the world.
Partners in Health
When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill.
UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.
American Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU is our nation’s guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
British Humanist Association
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity.
Oxfam is an international confederation of 17 organizations networked together in more than 90 countries, as part of a global movement for change, to build a future free from the injustice of poverty.
Now, I am certain there are more atheist charities around and if I missed any, please add a comment with a link. But – I think this reasonably dispels the notion that there are little or no atheists giving time and money to charitable works. One could even say that (I am not going to) atheists are more generous because they are not obliged to do so. I have deliberately left out any charities with potential to be classed as “anti-religion,” - with the exception of Planned Parenthood.I guess some of these could more be called secular rather than openly atheist, but they are all non-religious.
It is a little disturbing to see attacks on atheists for lack of giving, and a few articles recently have been in the news to help dispel this notion even further.
Atheist Charities in the news recently: