After Local Fire, An Atheist Finds Ways to Show her Thanks

Last month, a house burst into flames four doors down from blogger Leia. Thankfully, no one lived in it, but several firefighters had to spend several hours putting it out.

As an ex-Mormon, Leia writes that her first thoughts were all religious in nature but, as an atheist, she decided to do something more than just thank God for keeping everyone safe:

I then decided the next logical step was to thank the firefighters. I had my daughters write them thank you notes and had them draw the firefighters pictures. We then worked together to make them a perler bead magnet for the firehouse fridge. I also decided that treats and a picture (above) were in order as well. Nothing says thank you quite like sweets.

That’s not all she did.

She adds that being non-religious helped her show her gratefulness in a way she probably wouldn’t have had she still been religious. That’s not to say religious people aren’t thankful but, without God, the focus goes in the right direction instead of straight up in the air.

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.

  • Justin Miyundees

    I think this is really healthy.

    This is just a bit off topic, but I see a connection, so please indulge me.

    Yesterday I read an article of the girl who was killed on her very first time driving solo. Apparently she was mid-text when she was struck broadside by a semi-truck and killed. It’s a great tragedy – sad as sad can be. What got me about the story was a teacher’s advice to her students that “God called her back for a reason.”

    This casting fate to the wind notion is what bothers me. This tells kids that it doesn’t matter if you’re careful because god will call you back whenever he sees fit, so you’re a hapless player in his grand scheme.

    The hard truth hurts – this was a death that could have been avoided with some pre-caution. It’s hard to take, but saying we have NO control is failing to grasp the lesson -it’s poor advise especially from a teacher.

    • WallofSleep

      All preordained

      A prisoner in chains

      A victim of venomous fate.

      Kicked in the face,

      You can’t pray for a place

      In heaven’s unearthly estate.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnxkfLe4G74

    • Geoff Boulton

      I hear this sort of ‘it’s god’s will’ type comment all the time here in Poland and it always frustrates me enormously. I wonder if this could be one of the reasons why we have one of the highest road death rates in Europe, four times that of my home UK despite having considerably fewer cars on the roads? Perhaps if people here put as much money into improving the roads and driver training as they pour into the church every year there would be far fewer grieving parents, wives, husbands, etc. Still, I doubt the church would let that happen, they would lose too much PR from the ‘souls’ they’ve saved (not to mention all that income from the funerals)

      • Renshia

        Cutting back on the vodka might do miracles too.

        • Geoff Boulton

          Perhaps surprisingly, drink driving here isn’t any worse than in other countries and the law is very strict. Even cyclists can, and often do, get sent to prison:

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7994857.stm

          Also, the alcohol limit is so low that basically one drink of anything with alcohol in it puts you over the top. The police often do spot checks in the morning to catch those who were drinking the night before and I’ve been to overnight parties where everyone checked themselves with an alcohol tester before venturing out on the roads the next morning.

  • onamission5

    What a very thoughtful way for Leia to show her gratitude, and what positively adorable kids!

  • Guest

    Levels of Tzedakah:

    1. Giving begrudgingly
    2. Giving less that you should, but giving it cheerfully.
    3. Giving after being asked
    4. Giving before being asked
    5. Giving when you do not know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient
    knows your identity
    ► 6. Giving when you know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient doesn’t
    know your identity
    7. Giving when neither party knows the other’s identity
    8. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant

    • baal

      Maimonides was onto something with this list. If the various faiths limited themselves to actual self betterment like this, all these atheoblogs would disappear overnight for want of bad acts to chatter over.

    • anon

      If this needs to be told to you by religion, what sad person you must be.


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