A Few Thoughts About Fundraising

Heina Dadabhoy at Skepchick asks a good question about why so many atheists have been eager to donate to the fundraiser about Ryan Bell, the pastor giving atheism a try, yet not nearly as enthusiastic to donate to the Women’s Leadership Project (WLP), a “feminist humanist mentoring and civic engagement program in South L.A. serving young women of color.”

When I re-posted the link to the WLP project last night, I got responses that attempted to explain why it didn’t garner as much attention and raise as much money as the fundraiser for Ryan J. Bell. There were the “well, what did you expect?/Welcome to reality where page views and click-bait rule” type; these express a sense of capitulation and resignation to the status quo that I do not share. However, most of them were more along the lines of “Oh, I never heard of this so it must not have been promoted enough.

One of my friends is a Christian minister and he jokes that every atheist in America must have at least 3 websites apiece. He is on-point in that we godless types tend to have strong Internet presences. It’s about time that we take a good, hard look at which causes and individuals we choose to follow, talk about, and promote using these platforms.

A few thoughts on all of this:

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A Dangerously Incurious Pope

This is a guest post written by Herb Silverman.

I can’t say I’m surprised that Pope Francis (above) was Time magazine’s Person of the Year. And as an atheist, I’m not particularly disappointed by the decision. While Pope Francis hasn’t changed Church doctrine, he has at least changed its emphasis. I prefer a pope like Francis who focuses more on poverty and economic inequality than on birth control and gay marriage. I would have been more enthusiastic about Time’s choice had the Pope also acknowledged that birth control can help reduce poverty and that loving couples should not be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. In such an anachronistic and powerful institution, I would welcome small but significant reforms to Catholic Church doctrines that affect many outside the institution.

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Bill de Blasio May Be One of the Highest-Ranking ‘Nones’ in America

We already know that Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) refuses to talk about her religious faith publicly, making her the only member of Congress currently labeled as a “None.” She’s not openly atheist — but she’s not openly theistic, either.

Now, it appears that newly-elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is following in her footsteps, as Sarah Pulliam Bailey reports:



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The Money That Was Rejected by the Morton Grove Park District and Public Library Has Finally Been Accepted

For more than two months now, I’ve been trying to give the community of Morton Grove, Illinois over $3,000 that readers raised after a local American Legion post withheld a significant amount of money from the Park District when board Commissioner Dan Ashta wouldn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Park District rejected the donation saying they didn’t want to get “embroiled in a First Amendment dispute” (which was weird, since that was precisely what they were doing by accepting money from the American Legion on the condition that everyone stand for the Pledge).

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How Should We Teach Religion in Public School?

Religion & Politics asked an excellent question — “Should we teach religion in public schools? And if so, how?” — and got responses from a variety of panelists:



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