Monday, September 19, 2005

The Religious have no Monopoly on Charity

Today I was reading the letters to the editor in the Courier Journal, and felt a strong compulsion to reply to one of them which was entitled "Where's the ACLU?". The author only specifically mentions the ACLU as apparently doing nothing to help Katrina victims, in contrast to all the help given by various religious organizations (that the ACLU supposedly opposes). I don't know specifically what the ACLU has done in this situation, but I take issue with the idea that only the religious are interested in relief efforts. Here is the letter that I wrote and sent in:

In the Monday edition of the paper, A. J. Edwards mentioned a few religious
organizations that have been helping with the Katrina relief efforts. This is a
good thing! But the point of his letter was that Secular and Atheist
organizations (represented by the ACLU in Edward’s letter) are not interested in
helping. What do godless atheists have to do with charity work anyway?

The Universist Movement: Hands on Humanity ( is
organizing help for Katrina victims in the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center.
See their website for more information.

American Atheists ( has a list of
secular organizations contributing to relief efforts. They also have ad space on
their main page for their members who are in the affected areas and wish to
help, such as an atheist business owner in Houston who is offering work to
people displaced by Katrina.

The Council for Secular Humanism and the Center
for Inquiry ( is
working to collect donations for AmeriCares (

I expect that there are many secularists out there, including myself, who have
contributed to the relief efforts without trumpeting the fact that we are not
religious and our motives have nothing to do with any gods. The religious do not
have a monopoly on charity.

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