San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor recently said that atheists were “broken people” who caused poverty. These harmful and absurd comments have created some backlash for the mayor, but perhaps my favorite response is from the Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB), a secular humanist charity and its San Antonio service team, South Texas Atheists for Reason (STAR).
“Some people have a misconception that good works have to be tied to religion. But that’s obviously false,” said Vicki Gettman, executive director of STAR. “We’re hoping Mayor Taylor will come out and see the great work her atheist constituents are doing to contribute to the community.”
STAR is one of 125 groups nationally that participate in the Beyond Belief Network, the volunteer arm of FBB. Other FBB projects include a charitable giving program that has doled out more than $2M in grants to organizations working on poverty, health, education, human rights and the natural world. The nonprofit also participates in international service through its Humanist Service Corps, and responds to disasters via the Humanist Disaster Recovery program.
“At Foundation Beyond Belief, we support charitable efforts in the humanist community,” said Noelle George, executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief. “We’ve seen thousands of examples of atheists and other nonbelievers who, without a belief in any creator, are tackling issues like systemic poverty and education. Moving forward, we hope Mayor Taylor will view FBB and our Texas groups as community partners rather than disparaging us.”
Fast Facts about Foundation Beyond Belief:
FBB has given more than $2M to charity since 2010
FBB’s network includes more 125 local service teams—including 6 groups in Texas
FBB’s teams have donated 4400 volunteer hours so far in 2017—and this doesn’t include the many atheists who volunteer for charity as individuals, or secular societies that are not part of the Beyond Belief Network
Teams in Texas have donated almost 2500 volunteer hours in 2017 alone—and have thousands more hours planned
Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB) was founded in 2009 in Georgia, USA by Dale McGowan. FBB unites the humanist community in charitable and volunteer efforts, and advocates for compassionate action throughout the world. It’s up to us to make this world a better place. Foundation Beyond Belief is humanity at work.
I look forward to seeing if Mayor Taylor responds to FBB and STAR.
H/T: Serah Blain of Foundation Beyond Belief.