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Atheists, assemble!

Gazette staff June 4th, 2013

After her house was destroyed in the May 20 tornado, Rebecca Vitsmun bravely ditched the rules of Bible Belt conversation when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked her in a live interview if she “thanked the Lord” for having survived. Vitsmun hesitated before answering that she’s actually an atheist. That declaration prompted atheists everywhere to raise money for her, showing that Christian charity can be just plain charity.

Credit: Brad Gregg

Stand-up comic Doug Stanhope started an Indiegogo campaign called Atheists Unite for Vitsmun and hoped to raise $50,000 in rebuilding funds over a 60-day period. The campaign goal was met in less than 24 hours. A week later, $107,566 had been raised. “Let’s show the world that you don’t need to believe in a god to have human compassion, nor does all charity fall under the banner of religion,” Stanhope wrote on Indiegogo.

Stanhope isn’t the only heathen raising money for the Moore resident.

The American Humanist Association has gifted her $10,000; and when you donate $25 to FreeOK, a relief fund established by the Oklahoma Free Thought Convention, you receive a T-shirt that proudly declares, “I’m actually an atheist.” Contribution perks for Stanhope’s Atheists Unite campaign include a free Bible, which will be waiting for you at the next hotel you visit, and a phone call from God for $125. For a $1,000 “Take It With You!” donation, you can have your worldly treasures shipped to heaven ahead of you. Indeed, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

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06.04.2013 at 10:51 Reply

Even though they gave to the lady, it was all in spite. Many Christians wanted to help all the victims, that's the love of Christ. The atheists, just helped the atheist. Christian charity isn't about showing off or making a statement, but simpling expressing the love of Christ and paying forward the love that he showed us when he died on the cross. I'm a christian and proud. Act in Love, not in spite. Love is not weakness, but meekness. 


06.05.2013 at 09:24

It is due to the meekness of atheists that you haven't heard more of what they have been doing for the communities of Moore, Shawnee, Bethel Acres, Little Axe and El Reno. Sure, this story made the news due to Wolf Blitzer's inappropriate question, but don't be fooled into thinking that's the sole contribution of atheists. That's not the assumption of a loving Christian!


06.05.2013 at 11:57

I'm an atheist and proud.  My husband and I were unaffected by the storm (in that our home is still standing and our possessions untouched), but we were walking the neighborhoods that were destroyed, pitching in where we can, for people we don't even know.  I'm sure the majority of them were Christian.  Think before you make base accusations, please.  Not everyone performs small acts with great love because Christ told them to.


06.05.2013 at 01:57

Many atheist organizations, including Atheists Giving Aid, Foundation Beyond Belief, FreeOK, OpOK Relief, Fellowship of Freethought Dallas and Coweta County Atheists have been giving money without getting the media coverage of Atheists Unite.  They've been giving aid not only to those who are rejected from religious charities (such as the Salvation Army), but everyone else, including the religious.

And, of course, there are the many, uncounted atheists who give to national and international charities such as the Red Cross, Heifer International and Doctors Without Borders during disasters and year-round.  These charities focus on helping the injured and poor without any effort to proselytise.

We are human beings, and proud.


06.05.2013 at 02:01

Here's a bit of a short list of atheist and secular organizations who have donated to the entire relief effort, again written in response to a Christian bent on trying to discredit efforts from not Christians. Your argument is invalid.  http://reddirtreport.com/Story.aspx/25760


06.05.2013 at 06:46

I apologize to anyone, any human being that I offended. My comments were solely based off the infromation given from this article. 


06.06.2013 at 08:11

Thank you for your apology, fbmanager11, but you must understand that the world exists beyond a single article.  Likewise, things like Love, thought, charity and humanity exist outside of Christianity.


06.14.2013 at 02:58

Crack the Bible to Matthew 7:3 cause you aren't exactly towing the company line right now.


06.05.2013 at 09:21 Reply

Atheists DO NOT act in spite.  We have been out there helping people and church groups remove debris from the hit areas.  We just don't feel the need to pound our chest and say look at us.  Some of us have been volunteering at the food bank, making sure the chirstian groups have food to feed the masses.  We do these things simply because is it right thing to do, it is just that simple.


06.05.2013 at 03:09 Reply

It was wrong for a Christian to make an assumption about anothers heart or motive in thier act of giving but is it not also wrong to assume that all Christians want to "pound their chests and say look at us" or that they want to force anyone into a religous conversation while they are out helping other. There are many Christians and other religous groups who are helping out with out saying a word. Most do not want any kind of recognition but to simply help and to show those in need a little bit of love and support during a horrible time.  Assuming goes on both ways and in neither case is it right. I am a Christian and I have never assumed that only Christians give or help. Now my reasons for giving may not reflect yours but that is why our country is great. I can hold my beliefs and you can hold yours but we can still come together with out fear to help each other. Some of us forget that small but very important fact but it doesn't make it any less real or true. Now the article does come off like it is saying that the atheists are saying hey let's all beat our chest and yell look at me I'm an atheist giving. When really there is no need for finger pointing on either side all who can and want to help will to the best of their abilites. Everyone should get over themselves and maybe just sit down and have an adult conversation instead of throwing rocks.