Atheists Giving Aid Raises Money for Victims of West, Texas Explosion

We don’t get to choose when tragedy strikes but it’s up to us to help out the victims even when there are more every day. God’s not going to fix anything.

Last night, just days after the Boston bombings, there was an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas:

Already, the Atheists Giving Aid team — having already raised more than $27,000 for Boston victims — are raising money for the victims of the plant explosion:

… a town will try to rebuild, heal the wounds (physical and mental), and help those that are now stuck with finding a place to live and covering medical bills that they might now have insurance for. Put yourself in their shoes… what would you do?

We aren’t preachy in what we do. We don’t send “atheist literature” with the help. Other than the checks saying “We Are Atheism”, there is NO message attached. We help to help. That’s it.

If you’d like to chip in, here’s 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.

  • guest

    I’m betting the money raised by atheists is turned down given this is Texas, a Christian theocracy. They don’t want our dirty money that has been touched by Satan!

    • SeekerLancer

      Don’t jump to conclusions. We don’t want them building strawmen so we shouldn’t build any ourselves.

      If Christians said something like this about atheists, you’d be pissed off.

    • Gus Snarp

      Wow, hateful stereotype much? I’ll take your bet. I’ll donate $100 to the next Atheists Giving Aid fundraiser, or Camp Quest, or Foundation Beyond Belief if the money raised for Waco is refused. Let’s say at least 75% of the money has to be refused. Hemant can serve as the judge, I’ll pay if he runs a post saying the money has been refused. You can make the donation to any of the above of $100 if they take the money.

    • Pickle

      One of my friends from high school lost her house to the explosion last night. She and her son made it out with a few cuts and bruises but they lost everything they owned. She is Christian and lives in a small Texas town but she is nothing like the stereotype you presented. She remained my friend as others left when I came out as an atheist. Sure, there are a lot of asshole rednecks here in Texas but there are even more good, decent, caring people. I know, I’ve lived here my entire life.
      These are real people who lost a lot in one fell swoop, some even lost friends and family. They are not stereotypes, they are not a chance for you to argue whose beliefs are better or to prove your own morality. These are real people who need help.

    • Atheists In Action Again

      Atheists In Action!

      Never let a tragedy go to waste when you can make some internet points off it!

      • RobMcCune

        This is just a case of christian projection, and reveals how you think. Or it would if you actually put thought into what you post rather than using copy and paste.

      • SeekerLancer

        Which is different from what religious groups do how?

        Are you saying we SHOULDN’T give any money or support?

    • RobMcCune

      Or they’ll be grateful, like if they were your fellow human beings or something.

    • Houndentenor

      I realize that’s the perception, but not everyone here is a fundamentalist Christian. Yes, that’s kind of the majority or at least the plurality and some areas it’s more so than others, but it’s not everyone.

    • Carmelita Spats

      Turn down money? Meh, their churches LAUNDER drug money. It’s really no big deal, not a “shocker”, but I get your hyperbole. HUMOR feeds on hyperbole. Texas would be a Christian theocracy but for civilizing factors beyond the voters’ control. This is a state that reelects creepy, pasty, Governor Hair. Governor Hair signs legislation in Evangelical churches, calls for prayer when there’s drought, eviscerates funds for women’s health (mammograms, birth control, pap smears) and pushes for a bigoted “defense of marriage” which mirrors those adorable anti-miscegenation statutes of yesteryear. This is a state where accessing abortion means that you MUST wait 48 hours, receive state MANDATED “counseling”, and LISTEN to a pre-recorded message from the state legislature about how abortion is a) evil, b) will make your vagina explode and c) is bad for the skin. Our nanny
      state also wants women to be wand-raped with a sonogram before an
      abortion even if this procedure is NOT medically necessary. Who the hell
      keeps reelecting these incorrigible nutjobs? Nice Christian folks.

      http://luisedaza.blogspot.com/2011/05/mexico-traves-de-iglesias-evangelicas.html

  • http://twitter.com/Angelia_Phillip Angelia Phillips

    With all the lives that have been shattered this week I encourage everyone to go give blood.. One unit can save up to THREE lives. 30 minutes of your time can save someone from grieving and having their life shattered.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      But remember that blood has a shelf life so don’t donate if they are not in need.

  • SeekerLancer

    When I heard the news of an explosion in Texas this morning I was concerned for my girlfriend’s grandparents who live near the Dow Chemical plants. This has been a really tragic week. I wish I had more to give. To everyone else out there, thank you for doing what you can.

  • Houndentenor

    West has a large Czech (or descended from Czech settlers in the 19th century) population. A lot of travelers know to stop at the bakery there for kolaches on any road trip. There are really nice people there. This is horrible and they need help. Please (some of you, and you know who you are) refrain from reinforcing the religious stereotypes of atheists as hateful, uncaring mean-spirited people. I know that’s not true, so flip comments online aren’t impressing anyone and they’ll likely be quoted somewhere to make us all look bad.

  • Pob

    It’s a noble gesture that people are giving money, but is this really the most rational use of funds? I’m guessing America has some kind of disaster relief given out by the federal government, plus there’s likely to be insurance payouts. Think how much more good the money could do if it was given to anti-malarial charities in Africa, or something like that. Maybe Atheists Giving Aid need to start Give Well, or Giving what we can (they’re blogs that review how effective charities are).

    I’m not saying people in Texas haven’t suffered. Clearly they have and I hope they recover quickly. It’s just that others worldwide are suffering more. reading

    • SeekerLancer

      Well, it’s not really right to say we shouldn’t help victims of a tragedy because there are less fortunate victims of other tragedies. There will always be someone somewhere who is worse off and in need of help. It’s not like this is the only charity supported by secular groups or anything. Let people make their own judgement calls and donate where they see fit.

      However, the theist troll post in this comment section is not entirely wrong in saying that these kind of donations are for “brownie points” or to put it more politely, good PR. The “nones” have been accused of being silent during tragedies before and this is one way of trying to rectify that in the eyes of the media. If we want people to start paying attention to us we have to start making noise that isn’t viewed as negative by the majority of the general public.

      Maybe that’s a selfish reason but it’s not the only reason. We’re humans and when our neighbors are hurting, we lend a hand if we can.

  • barbara wallace

    all texas needs is god and guns. you don’t see the rest of the country running to our aid. what goes round comes around.


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