Penn State Atheists Will Get ‘Stoned’ for Charity

Leviticus 24:14, a command from God to Moses, says this: “Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him.”

The Atheist/Agnostic Association at Penn State University is holding a nifty fundraiser next week in “honor” of that verse. But, since stones hurt, they’re using water balloons:

The Atheist/Agnostic Association is hosting a “Stone an Atheist” fundraiser, which consists of three days throwing water balloons at Penn State’s own resident atheists and non-believers. (Only because throwing actual rocks is against school policy)

As a tongue-in-cheek phrasing, the group plans to charge $1 for two balloons, or 75 cents for one, and have anyone willing to pay throw balloons at the AAA group. At the end of the semester the group donates money from fundraising to Village Reach, a non-profit organization that helps provide medical care in third world countries.

The Pastafarians at USC hold a ‘Stone-a-Heathen’ fundraiser in 2010

It’s a memorable way to raise awareness that there are rotten verses in the Bible while generating donations for a great cause. Incidentally, the UGAtheists in Georgia and the Pastafarians in South Carolina have done similar events in the past.

(via Left Hemispheres — Thanks to Nick for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=775209902 Stephanie Thayer

    Hey, at least we don’t take ourselves too seriously. I love this. 

  • Sarah

    I know this is meant to be a fun way to raise awareness, but I can’t help but feel a little bit nervous that some creep will take the invitation literally…

    • CoboWowbo

      That creep would be charged with felony assault. 

  • Marc

    A nontheist group at the college where I teach did the very same thing recently and donated the money to charity to raise awareness of real stoning going on worldwide.

  • http://twitter.com/ReasJack Jack Jesberger

    Man, I got stoned in college and it didn’t really help anybody that much.

    This is definitely progress.

  • Ibis3

    This really makes me uncomfortable. There are people (mostly women) being stoned for real and this seems to make light of it. Would it be okay to have a “lynch the anti-racists” fundraiser?

    • Heinrich Kruger

      I was about to make yet another lame joke about getting stoned, but having read your comment it suddenly doesn’t seem at all funny anymore. I think it depends very much on how the event is run. If done right, it could actually be used to raise awareness and become a powerful protest against stoning. That would require significant awareness and sensitivity from the organisers though.

    • Heinrich Kruger

       I just noticed that Digital Cuttlefish had a post about this a couple of days ago which raised the same concern: http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/2012/09/12/stoning-atheists-at-penn-state/

      To clarify my earlier comment: I do think it is possible to use an event such as this to raise awareness and to protest against stoning. However, I fear that you are right that it is much more likely to just make light of a serious issue.

  • A3Kr0n

    If you’re getting stoned it’s better to use a water bong, rather than a water balloon.

    • Steve K.

       Ugh, gross. Bong water smells the *worst.*

      • BeyondChronic

        You’re not supposed to drink it or sniff it…

  • Alex

    Oh, water balloons. Never mind. I was thinking something else.

  • Kelley Freeman

    Just fyi: Pastafarians at USC have now changed their name to Secular Student Alliance at USC, aka SSAUSC (pronounced as sauce). We’re doing our Stone-A-Heathen event in the spring! :D


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