getting off your ass.



I’m not sure if you have heard this or not, but it turns out prayer doesn’t accomplish anything at all.


Atheism has an image problem, stemming from the fact that nobody uses the phrase “well, he’s a good atheist.”

There’s a completely undeserved monopoly on claiming goodness just because of irrational faith. People use the phrase “good christian” without giving it a second thought, as if there was any correlation between the two adjectives for a human. You claim to worship a sky tyrant, and you’re automagically a good person. You humbly suggest that perhaps we use a little data to form our decisions about reality, and you’re instantly a moral degenerate.

You can change this in a lot of ways. See the Richard Dawkins “Out” campaign for one, with the idea that atheists as a group need to humanize ourselves, and let our friends and family realize that they know and love an atheist.

Just being out as an atheist is a good start. However, activism as an atheist can take a lot of forms. One of the first things I tell people that ask about my group here in Kansas City, is the philanthropy work they can take part in.

There are some charities that won’t work with atheists, and that just sucks to be them. (Let that sink in. A “charity” that doesn’t want you to volunteer because of religion. Tell me more about how it’s a force for good in the world?) There’s lots of other options that would love to have you show up and help out, and you can improve the image of atheists at the same time.

Harvesters has warehouses, and food donations that need to be sorted:

The Kansas City Rescue Mission needed meals delivered to the homebound on Thanksgiving. Atheists were there. (Largest group represented, more atheists than church group members!)


And your local community blood center would love an atheist blood drive.

The community blood center sets out different snacks when it’s an atheist blood drive:


Just a few things to keep in mind. Realize that many of the charities in your area will have a religious affiliation. If they serve people regardless of faith, they will likely love to have your help.

If they’re the sort of “charity” that only will feed the homeless if those homeless also attend mandatory church services, you might want to re-consider where you donate your time.

There’s also a good chance you might be the first band of merry heathens to ask about volunteering. Let them know you’re atheists, and ask if it’s alright to wear shirts/buttons that say as much. But also remember you’re there to actually help, not to proselytize. (Something we wish everyone would remember….)


Special thanks to Amanda Brown of We Are Atheism, who organizes our philanthropy here in Kansas City! Have you submit a video to WAA yet?


You can find me on twitter, @DrDavidBurger

I recruit in Kansas City,

About doctorburger
  • Icy Cantu

    Toot! Toot!

    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

    • Rory

      So your point is what: that atheists should keep quiet about the good things they do because a book of ravings by Bronze Age goatherders says so, or that religious people fail to live up to their own standards of humility?

      • Icy Cantu

        O taste and see that the LORD is good;
        How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
        O fear the LORD, you His saints;
        For to those who fear Him there is no want.
        The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
        But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.
        Come, you children, listen to me;
        I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
        Who is the man who desires life
        And loves length of days that he may see good?
        Keep your tongue from evil
        And your lips from speaking deceit.
        Depart from evil and do good;
        Seek peace and pursue it.

        • IslandBrewer

          Oh yeah? Well 1 Samuel 18:27

          “Wherefore David rose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men, and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave Michal his daughter to wife.”

          TOOT Freakin’ TOOT!

          • doctorburger

            We david’s know how to throw a party.

    • Jenn

      Sorry, I’m not very well versed in your book but isn’t there something in there about not passing judgement? Toot! Toot! sounds a little judgemental to me.

      • Randomfactor

        Just too many legumes in his diet.