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Say it ain’t so, Joe

Gazette staff July 3rd, 2013

You would think after 44 years as a hotshot journalist that Joe Klein, the author of the political novel Primary Colors and current Time magazine contributor, would know to do his research.

Credit: Brad Gregg

In a June 20 Time story about veterans and public service, Klein mused while mentioning cleanup after the Moore tornado that it’s “funny how you don’t see organized groups of secular humanists giving out hot meals,” insinuating that only the religious kind organize to help out their fellow man.

But you faithful readers of Chicken- Fried News — and anyone who takes the time to use an Internet search engine or pay attention to the news — know that’s not the case.

One such example: Moore tornado survivor Rebecca Vitsmun, who gained international attention and support — some in the form of more than $122,000 raised by Atheists Unite — after publicly declaring herself an atheist in a CNN interview.

“The real story here is how much secular humanists are doing,” said Rev. Paul Raushenbush, senior religion editor of The Huffington Post, in an interview on the website.

Secular tornado relief aid has come from groups such as Foundation Beyond Belief, Atheists Giving Aid, FreeOK, Oklahoma Atheists and Norman Naturalism Group, according to Hemant Mehta at the Friendly Atheist blog.

And that doesn’t include the countless fundraisers, cleanup efforts, concerts, blood drives and much more, most of which haven’t been aligned with any religious organization.

Raushenbush dismissed Klein’s statement as “a throwaway line” that was “both insulting and lazy.”

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