I've been donating to the Catholic Church for aid in areas that have been hit with natural disasters for years, mainly because of their extremely low overhead meaning that more of what I donate actually reaches who I am donating to. I'm not satisfied with this solution, but it seemed the most pragmatic choice.
It doesn't have to be, though. People start aid organizations all the time. Maybe, just maybe, it would be a good idea to set up an atheist or secular aid organization. I was thinking something like the IAAO, or International Atheist Aid Organization. We could deal mainly in disaster reliefâ€"things like Katrina, the earthquakes in Asia, the fires in California, or the Tsunami in South East Asia a few years back.
It's disappointing for someone who wants to donate for disaster relief to have to be forced to donate towards something they don't support. I don't like the idea of my money going to an organization that pushes their religious texts and teachings on those who they are helping. It's indoctrination and it stands in stark contrast to my own morals.
So could this work? I'm going to call my accountant on Monday and set up a business lunch for this week so I can bounce ideas off him, but I'm hoping some of the Happy Atheists here could have ideas about what could be done.
How effective would an international atheist aid organization be in comparison with a secular aid organization like for example MÃ©decins sans frontiers? Unlike MÃ©decins sans frontiers, an atheist international aid organization would not be welcome in many countries of the world. Even in the western world there are still many people who sincerely mistrust atheists and would therefore refuse any help from them. Maybe they'd expect help to be like: "Hallo I'm nurse Anti-Christ. I'm here to take away your pain and Jesus"
. Anyway I would not donate any money to an international atheist aid organization, just because they are an atheist organization. They'll have to prove me to that they are the most effective aid organization in the field and that my donated money ends up at the right place and is not wasted on huge overhead costs.
I'd have to agree with Tom, secular as opposed to "atheist." If the fundie based organizations have the habit of pushing their belief systems along with aid then it might be expected that an "atheist" organization would do the same in exchange for the aid.
Some people still haven't fully cultivated their Google Reflex.
Here are some secular and atheist charities:
The Fred Hollows Foundation (http://www.hollows.org/), founded by his wife as a strictly atheist charity.
The Council For Secular Humanism (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=6790)
More resources: http://www.the-brights.net/action/brigh ... rities.htm (http://www.the-brights.net/action/brightsonly/secularist_charities.htm)
Hell, why not the American Cancer Society or Planned Parenthood?
Hollows, CLH, ACS, and PP.... well, none of them do disaster relief. When I wanted to help people who were victimized by Katrina, donating to Planned Parenthood was probably not the best way to help out.
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