Despite Focusing on Community Service, Some Organizations Still Refuse to Work with This Atheist Group

The Upstate Atheists, a group in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is getting some much-deserved attention from a local newspaper.

What makes this group unique is that it’s almost exclusively focused on giving back to its community:

“I want to help the community, but all the places to do that are religious places. … There’s no outlet to do that in a secular fashion,” [member Tim] Swanson said.

The group is sponsoring two children for Christmas, said president Eve Brannon, and it has volunteered with other Upstate organizations.

Brannon said the group tries to do one project a month.

That’s heartwarming. That’s living proof that atheists are good without a god. That’s the kind of group I wish we had more of across the country.

And yet, says reporter Katie Jones, the fact that they’re atheists makes them kryptonite to other groups:

Upon learning the group is atheist, some organizations don’t want the help.

“I’ll call and make sure before I schedule anything that’s it’s not going to be a problem,” [Brannon] said. “A lot of people can be put off by having us help, which may sound weird, but it’s true.”

Because, as evangelists love to tell us, Jesus only worked with other Christians. Or something like that.

If you’re in the area, please consider joining the group and helping out with their future projects. Even if others in the area buy into the atheist stereotypes rather than reality, don’t let that stop you from making the Spartanburg community a better place.

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.