The Atheist “Collection Plate”

The Foundation Beyond Belief is featured in Saturday’s New York Times!

Within the next week or so, Mr. McGowan expects to cut checks for a total of $12,025, the first benefits collected and disbursed by the Foundation Beyond Belief. The foundation has 316 donors who each have committed to contributing $5 to $250 per month — a system of regular giving that is modeled on the Christian tradition of paying weekly tithes.

“I don’t want to just be about negating somebody else,” Mr. McGowan, 47, said in a recent interview at his current home in suburban Atlanta. “And there are a lot of atheists who don’t want to be always fighting the culture wars. We need a positive expression of our values and a sense of community.”

I’m hoping the article spurs other atheists to take notice and begin giving.

Congratulations to Dale McGowan; I hope this is just the start of a lot of positive, mainstream publicity for the organization.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Great article! Except for this:

    a system of regular giving that is modeled on the Christian tradition of paying weekly tithes.

    Riiight. Because monthly payments could ONLY be based on Christianity.
    *facepalm*
    (Or is that actually an official statement of FBB?)

  • Richard P.

    Yup I agree, that statement is just plain stupid. Sounds much to much like Look at us were like them, which is more insult than anything.

    I wonder is there a Canadian affiliate or will there be?

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Organizations like FBB could possibly be game-changers in the big scheme of things. Politically speaking, many of us found that having the secular government involved with “spreading the wealth” was preferable to having evangelizing churches involved in that. For many, this influenced our voting habits. I wonder how this will change down the road as groups like FFB become more influential? Could we eventually see a major political party advocating small government that is not connected at the hip to religion?

  • http://NoGuyintheSky.com No Guy in the Sky

    Christians do not give charity. They give sales pitches. There is a difference. If something is wanted in return for your donation. It is not charity.

  • Tom

    Awesome! I just got my Parenting Beyond Belief in the mail yesterday. I’m 23, single (wink wink), and not a dad but I can’t wait to read it. I do enough re-parenting for myself that it would surly be useful

    @No Guy in the Sky: then charity is impossible by your definition. There is no such thing as selflessness. You always expect a return on an investment

  • JD

    Tom, I think what No Guy meant is that what Christian charities do is use their giving as an opportunity for proselytism, and sometimes don’t give you help if you’re not open to their message. Case in point, in some aid lines in Haiti, anyone showing signs of belief in voodoo were asked to leave the line.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    He should have been more specific in saying “Christian charities,” then, because otherwise it isn’t true. My Christian parents are incredibly liberal and not at all evangelical. They give to charity for the same humanistic reasons I do.

  • JMP

    Here’s one that took notice (or rather finally stopped procrastinating) and jumped on the FBB train today. I really like this idea.

  • muggle

    Christian charities (Mike’s right, individual Christians can be very kind-hearted and open-minded) are seeking to buy your soul and they get very pissed off at you if you don’t hand the nonexistant thing over to them on a silver platter by way of kissing their ass and living how they dictate. If I sound bitter, there’s a reason.

    I’d like to stop procrastinating but I work for the State of NY. Who knows how long before the Governor robs me? Also, I’ve got an application pending for disability. I could be lucky to hang on to my internet access in the not too far future (though I’m sure as hell going to as long as I can as it keeps me sane). I just can’t obligate myself to monthly deductions and have to hang on to what I can.

    I am bummed about it. I wanted to support this group at least minimally.

  • Casimir
    a system of regular giving that is modeled on the Christian tradition of paying weekly tithes.

    Riiight. Because monthly payments could ONLY be based on Christianity.
    *facepalm*
    (Or is that actually an official statement of FBB?)

    According to the article, the organizer was inspired by the weekly offering plate at a church he visited. It probably should’ve been written “a system of regular giving that he modeled on the Christian tradition of paying weekly tithes.”

  • Richard Wade

    Oh I don’t give a crap about some awkward phrasing about tithes. So what? I joined, I gave up front, and I’ll continue through the year. Happy to be able to help. Thanks for keeping this organization in our attention, Hemant.

  • http://www.foundationbeyondbelief.org Terry Stone

    Just in case the conversation has whetted anybody’s appetite to join and give their donations through Foundation, here’s the address:

    http://www.foundationbeyondbelief.org .


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X