Sunday, January 17, 2010

Non Religious Relief for Haiti

The Following is from a post for those of you who wish to help Haiti in a non-relgious way.

ThNon-Believers Giving Aid: a religion-free way to help disaster victims

Washington, DC January 17, 2010

In response to the tragedy in Haiti, several organizations representing 'non-believers' and others have set up a disaster relief fund called 'Non-Believers Giving Aid'. In an appeal for donations, the website of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science states (

Spurred by the horrific suffering in Haiti, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS) has set up a dedicated bank account and PayPal facility to collect donations to non-religious relief organizations. This new account is in the new name of Non-Believers Giving Aid, with all of the money donated being distributed to disaster relief.

Clearly the immediate need is for the suffering people of Haiti, and all the money raised by this current appeal will go that cause, but the new account will remain available for future emergencies too. There are, of course, many ways for you to donate to relief organizations already, but doing it through Non-Believers Giving Aid offers a number of advantages:

100% of your donation will be go to these charities: not even the PayPal fees will be deducted from your donation, since Richard will personally donate a sum to cover the cost of these (Capped at $10,000). This means that more of your money will reach the people in need.

When donating via Non-Believers Giving Aid, you are helping to counter the scandalous myth that only the religious care about their fellow-humans.

It goes without saying that your donations will only be passed on to aid organizations that do not have religious affiliations. In the case of Haiti, the two organizations we have chosen are:

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières)

International Red Cross

You may stipulate using a dropdown menu which of these two organizations you want your donation to go to; otherwise, it will be divided equally between them.

Preachers and televangelists, mullahs and imams, often seem almost to gloat over natural disasters - presenting them as payback for human transgressions, or for 'making a pact with the devil'. Earthquakes and tsunamis are caused not by 'sin' but by tectonic plate movements, and tectonic plates, like everything else in the physical world, are supremely indifferent to human affairs and sadly indifferent to human suffering. Those of us who understand this reality are sometimes accused of being indifferent to that suffering ourselves. Of course the very opposite is the truth: we do not hide behind the notion that earthly suffering will be rewarded in a heavenly paradise, nor do we expect a heavenly reward for our generosity: the understanding that this is the only life any of us have makes the need to alleviate suffering even more urgent. The myth that it is only the religious who truly care is sustained largely by the fact that they tend to donate not as individuals, but through their churches. Non-believers, by contrast, give as individuals: we have no church through which to give collectively, no church to rack up statistics of competitive generosity. Non-Believers Giving Aid is not a church (that's putting it mildly) but it does provide an easy conduit for the non-religious to help those in desperate need, whilst simultaneously giving the lie to the canard that you need God to be good.

Please help us to help the suffering people of Haiti.

The organizations and supporters actively involved in this effort include:

Atheist Alliance International
Atheists United
The British Humanist Association
James Randi Educational Foundation
Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
The Reason Project
The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
The Skeptics Society

Quoting Richard Dawkins, "The merciless power of tectonic plate movement has conjured a disaster of epic proportions and all of us, whether religious or not, must do all in our power to help."

Author, scientist and Founder of the Reason Project Sam Harris said, " It is widely imagined that, in times of crisis, religious people render aid in disproportion to their numbers. Richard Dawkins has now created an opportunity for nonbelievers, who are rightly focused on the welfare of their fellow human beings in this life, to put the lie to this myth."

The President of Atheists United commented "The indiscriminate consequences of earthquakes, floods, fires and such remind us that there is no god to protect us, and that humankind must come together to do what we can to help and protect each other."

Michael Shermer, the Executive Director of the participating Skeptics Society, notes: "It's all well and good to say that we nonbelievers are just as moral as believers (we are, but that's a philosophical point)--actions count more than words and real donations are where the theoretical rubber meets the practical road. This is our time to pony up and show the world our true character.

Jason Torpey, President of Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers stated, "As they have done with the Out Campaign, Non-Believers Giving Aid continues the RDFRS tradition of positive, community-centered atheist coalition building."

A spokeswoman for the Richard Dawkins Foundation noted, "While those of us who do not believe in a god or gods might identify ourselves as 'atheists', 'humanists', 'non-theists', 'skeptics', 'Freethinkers', or other label - the term 'non-believer' has been brought into the public consciousness by President Obama and is easily identifiable. Independent of whether we are non-believers or not, the tragedy of Haiti pulls at everyone's heartstring. All of us are unified in our humanity."

Non-Believers Giving Aid

The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science is a 501(c)(3).

Contact: Liz Cornwell,
Mailing Address: 11605 Meridian Market View, Unit 124 PMB 381, Falcon CO 80831

Photo downloads:

Contacts for participating organizations

Atheist Alliance International
Contact: Stuart Bechman, President email:
Tel: +01-866-HERETIC.

Atheists United
Contact: Bobbie Kirkhart, President email:e-mail
Tel: 323-229-5500.

The British Humanist Association
Contact: Andrew Copson, Chief Executive email:
Tel: 020 7079 3584 or 07534 248596.

James Randi Educational Foundation
Contact: D.J. Grothe, President email:
Tel: 954-467-1112
Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF)
Contact: Jason Torpy, President email:
Tel: 614-329-1776

Contact: PZ Myers,
Tel: 320 589-7116

The Reason Project
Contact: Sam Harris email:

The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science &
Contact: Liz Cornwell, Executive Director email:
Tel: 719.351.6324

The Skeptics Society
Contact: Michael Shermer, Founder email:
Tel: 626/794-3119

For information on the Disaster Relief Agencies:

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières)

International Red Cross

Skeptical DoDo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The truth is that they did make a pact with the devil.

Now the significance you put on that pact I guess has to do with whether you believe the devil is real or not.

But it is one of Haiti's founding myths.

According to Haitian national history, the revolutionary war was launched on the eve of a religious ceremony at a place in the north called Bwa Kayiman (Bois Caiman, in French). At that ceremony on August 14, 1791, an African slave named Boukman sacrificed a pig, and both Kongo and Creole spirits descended to possess the bodies of the participants, encouraging them and fortifying them for the upcoming revolutionary war. Despite deep ambivalence on the part of intellectuals, Catholics, and the moneyed classes, Vodou has always been linked with militarism and the war of independence and, through it, the pride of national sovereignty.

So, yeah if there is a devil, Haiti made a pact with it. Might explain why even though Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the same island, the Dominican Republic has been far more successful.