Kansas City Atheists Will Battle Local Christians in a Volleyball Game with Proceeds Going to Charity

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition will complete against members of the Abundant Life Baptist Church this weekend in a volleyball match with all proceeds going to a worthy cause:

Six teams of six players will compete, ending with an all-star atheist vs. an all-star Christian playoff!

$5 tickets to watch the tournament can be purchased at the door. All proceeds go directly to Drumm Farm, a Kansas City-based foster and adoptive care resource center.

That’s fantastic :)

So how did this unlikely partnership even begin?

“Ed Croteau of Abundant Life Baptist Church invited members of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition to a skeptics Q&A at the church earlier this year,” said Sarah Hargreaves, president of KCAC. “Those who attended enjoyed fiery but respectful conversation. Since then, members of both our groups have remained in contact primarily via a Facebook group devoted to discussing issues of faith, Christianity and religion in general.”

Croteau said that “while members of the group remain deeply divided on many philosophical and theological issues, people genuinely seem to like each other. The mood of the group goes from very heavy to very light in a matter of minutes sometimes.”

Hargreaves added that the idea of a Christian vs. atheist volleyball tournament “was originally presented as a joke, I think. But it immediately gained traction in the group, so Ed and I started putting plans together and decided to include a fundraiser for a worthy cause. Someone in the group suggested Drumm Farm, and everyone agreed it was a great choice.”

They should’ve raised the stakes: Losing team has to attend the other group’s meetings for a month.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • TiltedHorizon

    An ‘evil’ goat head for atheists, sheep for christians. I actually lol’d. I love this idea. No matter which side wins, the charity reaps the rewards.

    • DavidMHart

      To be fair, the sheep looks pretty evil too. Or should I say baaadass?

      Ba-doum ksh.

    • trj

      Sheep vs goats, yeah, that’s pretty clever. And the graphics is well done too.

    • Raising_Rlyeh

      I thought the sheep looked more angry.

    • jondrake

      A Win Win for the atheists…the KCAC pulls a publicity stunt every couple of months.
      Croteau actually thinks they want “respectful dialog”. Bahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! What a tool!
      I gotta hand it to them, they suckered him on this one!

    • Carstonio

      At first I was disturbed by the goat, because I assumed that the Christian organizers were seriously equating atheism with Satanism. But if the symbol came from the atheists themselves, them it’s a good joke at the expense of people who make that association.

      The tournament I really want to see would be theocratic fundamentalists against secularists. The latter includes religious people like Fred Clark, and any atheist who opposes religion isn’t a secularist. My frustration with groups like American Atheists is that they end up sacrificing secularism in the name of atheism.

  • sam

    Hey, what are those zippers doing on the sheep?

    • The Other Weirdo

      It’s not a zipper, it’s a cross.

      • Sven2547

        I think the joke was missed…

        • The Other Weirdo

          That’s always a possibility.

  • WoodyTanaka

    Other than the fact that they adopted the theist paradigm on the poster (why not have a blindfolded man representing the theists and an unblindfolded man representing the atheists???), this sounds okay.

    • eric

      I like the poster. There’s nothnig wrong with using another ideology’s rhetoric, when its already in common use. It doesn’t signal any loyalty or commitment to the original cause.

      Think of it this way: using the imagery ‘goats vs sheep’ doesn’t mean the speaker buys into Christianity any more than using the phrase “let’s get ready to rumble” means the speaker buys into WWF wrestling.

      • WoodyTanaka

        I disagree. It automatically validates the Christian bigotry that those who are atheists are demonic, wicked or in some other way bad. At the very least, it doesn’t challenge those Christians who might accept that imagery as a matter of course.

        • Drew M.

          Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

        • TCC

          How is this any different than atheists joking about baby eating?

  • Oranje

    Grr! Something cannot be first annual! It’s inaugural!

    (sorry…)

    • Sarah Hargreaves

      Oh, good point. Our bad!

    • usclat

      Absolutely! Fine event though. (But absolutely)!

  • Geoff Boulton

    Well, if the atheists win it presents the theists with some interesting theological questions: Doesn’t prayer work? Does God prefer atheists? Good luck to both teams and the real winners, Drumm farm.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    It would be more competitive if the winner got to choose the charity. Planned Parenthood for the win!

  • Tainda

    I really need to join the Kansas City Atheists. Sounds like a lot of fun! I wouldn’t be able to handle their meetings for a month if we lost though haha

  • Art_Vandelay

    Who willingly calls themselves sheep?

    That’s my job to call you sheep.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Christians.

      • tinker

        Yep some take great pride in being sheeple. There leaders refer to the ‘flock’ and the sheeple blindly follow faithfully.

    • Sven2547

      Biblical imagery, Jesus-as-shepherd, etc etc. It greatly predates George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which helped popularized “sheep” as a metaphor for humans who are oblivious to exploitation.

  • NoRhythm

    “sheep are stupid, and have to be driven. But goats are intelligent, and need to be led”
    ~Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

    • Daniel

      Beat me to it.

  • Rain

    This is hilarious because atheists think volleyballs “remain at rest or at a constant velocity with respect to an inertial reference frame unless acted upon by a force”, but the Baptists think volleyballs fly because of “Jesus magic”.

  • Rachel Warner

    Nice to see both groups willing to have an open dialogue without the butt-hurt.

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    Very cool. It’s nice to see stuff like this. Sounds like a bit of good natured ribbing and fun will be had.

  • rhodent

    I propose that next year the atheists challenge the Christians to a baby-eating contest. :)

  • Caprinions

    I love those team mascot icons! I might do something different with the red A in terms of orientation, but that is good tongue-in-cheek!

  • martinrc

    Should comment on some of the comment sections in the news articles about this, people trashing the KCAC saying they won’t really give it to charity, and yadda yadda yadda.

  • Uncle Tom

    Croteau is an idiot. The atheists are laughing behind his back.

    This isn’t about frigging charity, it about publicity for the atheists!

    Win Win for them, and the Christians are too stupid to see it.

  • Kim Ferrari

    This is really, really cool. Not just the tournament, but that they “hang out”, and have intelligent discussions, and still respect one another and enjoy the company. This is a “win” for either team!

  • Shicklgruber

    The atheists won! The church is disbanding!
    Apparently, their leadership split over this.


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