I don’t know if atheists actually did that, but it definitely makes it harder for us to explain that we can be good without god when shit like that happens.
You all raised money for a similar incident last year, so I thought it would be a nice gesture if we could do that again and, with the help of the church’s pastor, find a good local (secular) charity to give the money to. Let’s show that although we disagree with each other theologically, atheists respect their right to worship as they wish, without having to fear vandalism or violence.
Ultimately, you all raised over $4,000 for the cause-to-be-named-later:
A couple of weeks ago, I tried getting in contact with the church’s pastor (via email, his cell, and through his church) so we could talk about where the money should go… but he never returned my messages.
It was frustrating, to say the least.
Anyway, I promised you all the money would go to a good local cause and I wanted to follow through on that.
I spoke to some friends in the area and they offered a few suggestions, but the one that stood out to me the most was Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, a nonprofit group based in Columbia, SC:
STSM provides crisis intervention, advocacy, and support services to female and male child, adolescent, and adult survivors of sexual assault and abuse in Richland, Lexington, Newberry, and Sumter counties and education about sexual trauma issues.
How can you not support a group like that?
I spoke to a staffer a couple of weeks ago, felt good about the organization, and sent them the check shortly after that. Yesterday, I received a confirmation letter that they received the money and I wanted to share that with you all (click image to enlarge):
If you donated to the cause, thank you. I hope you find STSM an organization worthy of your contribution. If you’d like to support them on your own, you can do that here.