The Freedom From Religion Foundation has made a $10,000 donation under a new project, its Nonbelief Relief Fund, to help earthquake-ravaged Nepal. FFRF is evenly splitting the donation between the United Nations World Food Program and Doctors Without Borders, both of which rate well as secular charities.
The tragic death toll from Saturday's 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks has already climbed to 5,200. Eight million people are impacted.
FFRF is launching Nonbelief Relief so that its members and other nonreligious donors have the opportunity to give under a secular umbrella. As the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has long pointed out, nonbelievers are as (or more) generous as the religious, but have lacked infrastructure to give as a group under the secular name.
"'The hands that help are better far than lips that pray,'" said FFRF Co-President Dan Barker, quoting Robert G. Ingersoll.
"There are many established secular charities that respectfully serve people in need regardless of religion, whose purposes are to help — no religious questions asked, no bibles thumped or other hidden-agenda proselytizing," noted FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. Nepal is 80% Hindu and 20% Buddhist — all the more reason to avoid any hint of proselytizing by U.S.-based charities, she added.
While FFRF chose the UN World Food Program and Doctors Without Borders for its donation, FFRF reserves the right, as the Nepalese disaster and needs unfold, to designate donations for Nonbelief Relief for another or additional secular relief charities helping the Nepalese.
Generous nontheists who'd like their donation to be made under such a secular umbrella may select "NonBelief Relief" under FFRF's donation dropdown. Your donation, fully deductible for income-tax purposes, will be forwarded as promptly as possible to a secular charity meeting real needs in the real world.
One of our Iowa FFRF members, Justin Scott, has asked the City Council in Manchester, Iowa, to adopt a provision similar to the historic ordinance making "nonreligion" as well as "religion" a protected class in Madison, Wis., just passed in April.
Justin was asked to come down to City Hall at 5 p.m. today (Monday, April 27) to address the city council about this provision, which would add nonbelievers to the city's civil rights provisions.
If Manchester adopted a provision making nonreligion a protected class, it would become only the second city to do so. Please help make history by making a quick phone call or sending an email today!
If you live in the area, please show up today at 5 p.m., 208 E Main St., Manchester, IA 52057. If you don't live in the area or can't make the meeting, please contact the Manchester City Council by email or phone today before 5 p.m.
Feel free to cut and paste any of the statement below into an email. If you live in Manchester, please be sure to mention that you're a resident.
As an Iowa nonbeliever/atheist/agnostic, I ask you to please lend your support to a provision to make nonreligion a protected class in Manchester. At least one in five Iowans is nonreligious. Yet discrimination against atheists is widespread, affecting employment, public schools, and treatment in places of public accommodation. Atheists are among the most stigmatized groups in the country. Manchester could become the second city in the nation to specifically offer atheists and other nonbelievers legal protection against this discrimination. Please sponsor and vote for this historic, important provision.