Atheists uniting to help the Oklahoma victims.

Moore, Oklahoma got mangled by tornadoes last night.  Interestingly, nobody is saying it’s because Oklahoma is too friendly to gay people.

The same god who conceived of natural disasters and who watched the devastating storm with indifference is being equally inert when it comes to answering prayers of the victims.  However, human beings are answering as many prayers as their perspicacity and efforts allow – not because they were prayed to or bribed with affection, but because suffering moves good people in a way it clearly doesn’t move any gods.

While it’s clearly not omnipotence at work, the labor of humankind has the happy effect of being better than nothing (and being the best we have available by a long shot).  If you’d like to join in and throw some money at relief efforts that you know will go entirely toward relief and not, in any part, to comforting survivors with fantasies expressed as reality, then you have options.  We Are Atheism is going to head down there personally:

How can we guarantee this will go directly to people that need assistance? Well, for the first time since we started this charity, we plan to hand deliver aid to people in that town once the rescue workers leave and people try to rebuild their lives. We have local contacts that will assist us in finding those in need. We will physically spend up to a week there (if need be) to help give money and help to those that need it but haven’t gotten it.

Foundation Beyond Belief is also raising money for relief efforts.  As I always say: this blog has a few thousand regular readers.  Even if you all donate $1, that’s a few thousand dollars.  That makes a difference.  Don’t think you can’t help just because you’re one person (with one dollar).

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Jasper

    “Interestingly, nobody is saying it’s because Oklahoma is too friendly to gay people.”

    I was kind of waiting for that response… because it’s odd that God would choose one specific type of punishment for a specific region of the map over and over… instead of punishing those who are actually supposedly evil.

    But yeah, I found myself pressuring people on Facebook to actually do something instead of sharing and liking pictures saying “You’re in our thoughts and prayers”.

    It occurred to me that “being in our thoughts” is even more pointless and useless… at least with prayer you’re supposedly asking some entity who can do something about it (After having slept through the initial incident) to help… but apparently sitting around and … thinking … about the disaster is equivalently helpful.

    • Feminerd

      Well, to be fair, it is equally (un)helpful. These people are being unwittingly honest about the power of prayer!

  • invivoMark

    “Ha, take that, Minnesota!”

    • Loqi

      He sure showed us, sending that tornado to the area known as “Tornado Alley.” Next up: hitting Florida with a hurricane during hurricane season.

  • Glodson

    Last night, we got a care-package together for a few people. Nothing special, just some items to make their lives a little easier.

    We do this out of simple compassion. We want to help. We want to make things a little easier for those suffering and in pain. It all comes from us, and just us. Not us as atheists, but us as humanity. It is only fiction that allows some to credit another entity for the acts of kindness done by us.

  • griffox

    In an effort to be sensitive, I have kept my thoughts on this matter to myself. But since you brought it up, I have to vent. I do not understand the logic of praising a god who 1. created a world with tornados and other natural disasters. 2. Allows such disasters to happen to “his” people. 3. Allows the children of “his” people to be killed. 4. Performs random “miracles” of allowing one person or family pet to survive while callously allowing others to die. 5. Ignores the prayers of millions who are pleading for lives to be spared. 6. Refuses to answer those prayers because the people don’t have enough faith or it doesn’t mesh with his sadistic plan. Also, what is the point of praying AFTER a disaster has happened? “Dear God, please help the people who have been affected.” You know what would help? If there hadn’t been a disaster affecting those people.

    This is one of those instances where it is clear to me that there is no supreme being in the sky. We, as humans, have evolved in spite of our hostile planet. We have put our heads together and learned how to best protect ourselves from the weather on our planet. We have created technologies for tracking storms and early warning systems to help people get to safety. Sometimes, none of those things are enough to avoid the destructive forces of nature. When that happens, we crawl out from under the rubble, dust ourselves off and start helping others.

    We, humans, have established emergency management systems for efficiently handling mass casualties. We, humans, have developed ways to treat life-threatening injuries and even bring people back from the brink of death. We, humans, give our time and money to strangers so that they can get back on their feet.

    Where in this equation does a god fit in? All that we’ve done on earth, we have done ourselves, yet, God gets the credit.

  • griffox

    Internet points? Attack Christians? Add sympathy just to make it look good? First, I may have attacked theology, but I didn’t attack Christians. Second, as hard as it may be for you to believe, I am a human being and despite the fact that I’m an atheist, I do have the ability to feel sincere compassion, sympathy and love for other people. Furthermore, I posted my comment on an Atheist blog; not to gain some mythological “internet points,” but to vent my thoughts which I usually keep to myself so that I don’t offend Christians. I didn’t run and post this to my facebook page or to a Christian blog.

    Since you didn’t actually respond to the points made in my initial comment, I can only assume that you are either a troll or you don’t care to reflect on the substance of my comment. You would rather attack me as a person, call my morality into question, Then call me a bastard. I know it helps you vilify all Atheists when you can assume that I’m just a heartless bastard, so go right on ahead. I will continue to have meaningful discussions, using logic and reason and refraining from name calling.