Metro State Atheists Get Press for Food Drive

The Metro State Atheists in Colorado recently held a Food for Freethought drive in which people gave them non-perishable foods (to be donated) in exchange for banned books.

The Denver Post‘s Electa Draper wrote an excellent article about the event:

It’s not enough that a national survey released Tuesday found atheists were the highest-scoring group on basic religious knowledge — now members of Metro State Atheists are being regular goody-two-shoes.

The group began a three-day campus food drive Tuesday dubbed “Food for Freethought.”

Other atheist groups have held “fiction for fiction” drives, in which they collect Bibles and hand over novels in exchange. But that struck Guttormson, 24, as disrespectful.

“I’d much rather try to change our image by giving food to the homeless,” Guttormson said.

Guttormson said he gets hate mail every time his group does a public event.

“We’re feeding the hungry,” he tells his critics. “What more can we do besides converting that can make you stop hating me?”

(Joel just doesn’t get it. He’s feeding the hungry with atheist-tainted food. Everyone knows homeless people don’t want that.)

The Metro State group is doing a wonderful service here and I hope it’s replicated in other places :)

  • http://intwaste.blogspot.com Dale

    If people eat food from Atheists they might become them. What is worse, he is taking food from regular good people and giving them corrupting books filled with… potentially… intelligent thought provoking words! What happens if people actually read those books?

  • http://vancouvermoose.livejournal.com/ VancouverMoose

    “It’s not enough that … bla bla bla”

    Those damn atheists! When will they admit that enough it enough?!

  • Heidi

    Those people would hate world peace if it came from atheists. Which, obviously it would have to do.

  • Robert

    As a Christian I applaud the group for feeding the hungry. That is right out of our play book.

    But to think that world peace will come from Atheists is not based upon review of history.

  • Rabid

    Robert said:
    But to think that world peace will come from Atheists is not based upon review of history.

    Wait, let me guess the implied continuance… Hitler, Stalin, Mao… AasfdartsdftyafdABORTABORTABORT

    Le Sigh.

    Obvious troll or usual ignorance?

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

    I vote Obvious Troll.

  • BEX

    usual ignorance.

  • Larry

    If we had just counted Robert’s score on the knowledge of religion test, the christians would have won, don’t you think? Oh, not supposed to use ‘think’ and ‘christian’ in the same sentence. My bad.

  • muggle

    Good article! I lived in Denver for a bit too and people equate Atheists with Satanists — at least they used to. How cool. Maybe at least a few will change their minds about that!

  • http://blaghag.blogspot.com/ Jennifurret

    Just wanted to pop in here to say we did a food drive too, separate from Fiction for Fiction ;) We were one of the largest food drive contributors on campus!

  • http://www.youtube.com/aajoeyjo Joe Zamecki

    The Metro State Atheists rocks! That’s a great idea. My hat’s off to them.

  • Robert

    Typical responses. Right Stalin wasn’t an atheist, neither was Mao nor Pol Pot. I was commenting on the statement that an atheist would have to be the person that brought world peace. Atheists in the past have been the cause of some of the world’s worst atrocities and very few if any are known for promoting world peace.

    By the way I’m not arguing here that these were done in the name of Atheism ( I know we will never agree on that), but they were done by professed atheists.

  • p.s.

    Robert, you can make the same argument for *any* religion. Even the buddhists have their bad guys.

    I was commenting on the statement that an atheist would have to be the person that brought world peace.

    I dont think anyone said that atheists are the only people capable of bringing peace. If you’re saying that atheists aren’t interested/capable of doing so, you are seriously misinformed.

  • Robert

    I was responding to Heidi’s comment that world peace would obviously have to come from an atheist. I am not saying that atheists aren’t interested in world peace. I was responding to the implied comment that religious people would not be able to bring about world peace and it would have to come from an atheist.

  • http://www.myspace.com/gtatfb Dan

    :D i took part in this! that’s so cool to see our small group get some recognition!

  • p.s.

    Ah, I missed that. I disagree with heidi, but I understand her sentiment. When people start to discredit your good deeds simply because you don’t believe the same as they do, it gets frustrating. Right now, the majority of religious leaders seem more interested in spreading their message than peace. Just look at the nonsense the pope has been spewing recently.
    Of course I’m not saying that can’t change, and I’m not saying there aren’t people who don’t let their religious sensibilities get in the way of their humanity. I’m just saying that right now, the religious assholes are the most vocal. Hard to get peace from a situation like that.

  • Terra

    My husband went and donated at Food for Freethought. He brought home the “Mommy, Mama and Me” board book for our son, a couple of Ingersoll and a Sam Harris book. I was happy that we got some great books and gave to a good cause. We will be donating every time this event happens- it is a great idea and a great cause. Thanks Joel for organizing it!

  • Indigo

    Reading the comments on that article is like a voluntary headache. I especially like the guy who said “Sounds like something a church would do.”
    So when atheists are accused of being immoral and without guidance because we lack religion, some of us do something nice and say, “Look, we’re not actually evil.” And the response we get is…”See! You’ve got a religion too!”

  • Rabid

    Robert, the problem with what you implied is that there is no logical link between being an athiest and committing atrocities.
    You can commit an act in the name of God, but it doesn’t work the other way around.
    If an athiest was to commit an evil act, the root of that act is not his or her lack of belief in a God.

    The belief in a deity or deities comes pre-programmed with it’s own belief, law and dogma, a lack of belief does not. An atheist, without the crutch of a deity, has no-one to pass the buck to when it comes to bad ideas. If I, as an athiest, go out and murder someone, It would be because I have OTHER reasons to do so (personal gain, being a psychopathic nutcase etc), not because there is any athiest dogma that sets down in stone that I need to go murder someone.

    So you will forgive us for being overly bored of the common and entirely fallacious argument that person X commited attrocity Y because they were an atheist — it doesn’t work like that.

    Where it DOES work however is when people have a definable, religious pretext for commiting a wrong act. Anti-semitism, ethnic cleansing, the troubles in Ireland, pro-lifers murdering doctors (HAHAHAHA), the Catholic church’s cover up of child abuse or sowing of misinformation regarding condoms in AIDs ridden Africa… take your pick. Seriously.

    As Steven Weinberg said, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil. But for good people to do evil — that takes religion.”

    I believe Heidi’s general point, even if it was stated in a manner that could be construed as religious persons being incapable of striving for world peace, is the following:
    In order to have true world peace, there needs to be, among other things, a general respect for the freedoms of others to practice their particular life choices and that 9.9 out of 10 religions just do not mesh with given their flagrant anti-group X stances.

    To be fair though, I will TOTALLY agree with your statement if you allow me to change one word…

    But to think that world peace will come from Humans is not based upon review of history.

  • Robert

    Rabid,

    I disagree that a belief that there is no God cannot lead to someone committing heinous acts. I also disagree that if someone in the name of stamping out religion or killing people because they believe in God, is not promoting or acting based upon a belief that God doesn’t exist.

    I know we will disagree, but I believe that the lack of a belief in God is a believe itself, a belief in the negative if you will and that this belief has led some to commit heinous acts. Stalin wanted to wipe out religion in Russia and you can’t say that he didn’t do that in part because he was promoting his atheist views.

  • Rabid

    Robert,

    I disagree that a belief that there is no God cannot lead to someone committing heinous acts. I also disagree that if someone in the name of stamping out religion or killing people because they believe in God, is not promoting or acting based upon a belief that God doesn’t exist.

    Look. I will put this as simply as possible.
    The belief that there is no God is just that and only that. It is in no way mutually inclusive that you must accept any religion critical ideology or indeed any other ideology at all. On the other hand A belief in any SPECIFIC God of the myriad denominations of Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc etc by their very nature are inextricably linked to an entire back catalogue of other beliefs that go part and parcel with that religion.
    Do you see the difference? If you don’t, I cannot help you.

    I know we will disagree, but I believe that the lack of a belief in God is a believe itself, a belief in the negative if you will and that this belief has led some to commit heinous acts.

    No, we will not disagree. Lack of belief in a God is indeed a belief there is no God, but simply switching the wording around does not and will not put it on the same level as an established religion. It still does not link any other belief to the belief there is no God.

    Stalin wanted to wipe out religion in Russia and you can’t say that he didn’t do that in part because he was promoting his atheist views.

    And yet you can, because the issue is not that simple.
    At the end of the day, being an atheist is far removed from being a power-hungry totalitarianist head of state hell bent on solidifying for yourself the Godhead of your own cult of personality… who happens to be an athiest.

  • Robert

    Rabid, i don’t disagree with most of what you have said. But I think that it is too simple to say that a belief that God doesn’t exist cannot lead to behavior based upon that belief. For example, if someone is an atheist and beliefs that the world should be free of the dangers of religion, and because of that he burns down churches, would you not say that his atheism motivated that act?

  • Rabid

    For example, if someone is an atheist and beliefs that the world should be free of the dangers of religion, and because of that he burns down churches, would you not say that his atheism motivated that act?

    No, I would say incredible stupidity motivated that act, if not outright insanity.
    But then it would have to actually happen first, eh?.

    In this hypothetical situation I can make a logical link between “I don’t believe in God” and “Religion is potentially dangerous and we’d be better off without it”. I understand the connection. It makes sense to me. I pretty much feel that way myself.
    However… Where exactly do you make the logical jump from “We’d be better off without Religion” to “Kill the Christians! Burn the churches!”. That doesn’t make sense to a sane person in this day and age. Education and debate makes sense, violence does not unless you actually have a reason to prefer it, like, say, a holy book and command from on high. Or a delusional mind. Or both.

  • Robert

    Rabid, then the same could be said for those people claiming to be Christian acting out in violence. They are demented and not following the tenets of their religion. Yet, people blame the acts of those misguided people on the religion itself. Seems like a double standard.

  • Gabriel

    Robert,

    The Christians who commit violence site passages from the bible to justify their acts of terrorism. They are following the tenets of their religion. Often they claim they were inspired by the religous teachings of preachers or pastors. Hardly a double standard.

  • Jay

    heehee . . . You all – ALL of you – make me giggle. Christians make such a bad name for themselves, and some using “religion” as a way to control people (I think someone mentioned Hitler and Stalin – who I think were acting in what they believed to be the wishes of God). Athiests are just people who’ve had it with all the slander and holier-than-thou attitudes of these people who call themselves “Christian” but act out in a way contriary to what their Jesus tells them to. Both sides have their points, and both sides have every right to their feelings and beliefs, but there’s no reason to name call and mudsling. Just do what’s right and leave it at that. Stop with all the “our group did this good act, and yours didn’t. . .” crap. Those who believe in God, I’m telling you – if you wish to do His will, don’t brag about it. It’s for His glory, not yours. And for those of you Athiests, I apologize for these people who give God a bad rap. But remember – what is done and said by man is not necessarily a reflection of the God they serve. We’re all fouled up – ALL OF US. We’re human. Christians; ACT like Christ followers!! Athiests; don’t see men as a reflection or representation of God when they fall short – you fall short, too. There are no perfect humans.


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