If you do a Google search for “atheist service organization,” the first link you will see is for the service page of the website for Boulder Atheists. It’s no wonder, either: it was founded as a service organization. They seek to help the public adopt a more positive attitude towards atheists by performing services to the community of Boulder, Colorado, as well as contributing to national and international projects of compassion.
For example, they encourage their members to give back to society by participating in blood drives in the local area. They also suggest that members make physical donations to a local homeless shelter. The group has also adopted a section of road in Boulder that it cleans once every three months.
Some international organizations that Boulder Atheists supports include Doctors Without Borders, the International Red Cross, and Nonbelievers Giving Aid.
The website for Boulder Atheists is simple and concise – which I think are good things – as well as professional looking. They have managed to create a site that is very attractive on a low budget.
This group deserves praise and support.
Atheists Helping the Homeless is another organization that supports the Nonbelievers Giving Aid project. They operate out of Austin, Texas, and their purpose is to help others simply because they want to, rather than because they want to preach to or convert anyone. In fact, they don’t preach anything to any of the people that they provide assistance to.
The activities of this group are another demonstration that compassion is an innate part of human nature that everyone shares, no matter their background. I hope that other groups of nonbelievers follow in their footsteps and bring this simple concept to their community.
I became aware of the International Humanist and Ethical Union when I saw that it was a supporting organization of the Nonbelievers Giving Aid project, which is led by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. It is an umbrella organization for groups that support its mission “to build and represent the global Humanist movement that defends human rights and promotes Humanist values world-wide.”
Some of the activities that this group conducts are organizing international humanist conferences, leading public relations campaigns, engaging in dialogue with international bodies such as UNESCO, and providing support for budding humanist groups in developing countries.
One thing that I like about this organization is its apparent diligence in monitoring world events that are relevant to humanist goals and ideas. For example, the IHEU has made its members aware of the fact that the UN’s Committee on the Rights of the Child has recently focused on child witch hunts in Nigeria.
I encourage everyone that reads this post to take a look at the home site for the International Humanist and Ethical Union to see what they are all about.
Here is another example of nonbelievers promoting service and charity. The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has begun selling at tshirt with the logo for a project called Nonbelievers Giving Aid on it. All of the proceeds from the sale of these tshirts go to organizations that serve people affected by natural disasters. The project also takes direct donations.
It appears the project was originally conceived following the recent major earthquake in Haiti, and it now continues. They need to expand and modify their main page for the project if they have indeed expanded to include people affected by natural disasters in general, but it is a laudable cause.
I’m impressed with the number and clout of the organizations that have signed onto the project. They include:
Atheist Alliance International, Atheists Helping the Homeless, Atheists United, The British Humanist Association, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, Freedom From Religion Foundation, The International Humanist and Ethical Union, James Randi Educational Foundation, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, New Humanist Magazine, Pharyngula, Rationalist Association, Rationalist International, Reasonable New York, The Reason Project, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Secular Student Alliance, Skeptics in the Pub, The Skeptic Magazine, The Skeptics Society and Unreasonable Faith.
This project adds more evidence to the fact that people without religion are not cynical, selfish people. They have the capacity for compassion, and they are indeed able to come together and organize towards common goals.
This is fantastic. The Secular Organizations for Sobriety is an organization that sponsors a recovery plan for drug addicts and alcoholics that is completely absent of religious language.
According to the organization’s website, “SOS is an alternative recovery method for those alcoholics or drug addicts who are uncomfortable with the spiritual content of widely available 12-Step programs. SOS takes a reasonable, secular approach to recovery and maintains that sobriety is a separate issue from religion or spirituality. SOS credits the individual for achieving and maintaining his or her own sobriety, without reliance on any “Higher Power.” SOS respects recovery in any form regardless of the path by which it is achieved. It is not opposed to or in competition with any other recovery programs.
SOS supports healthy skepticism and encourages the use of the scientific method to understand alcoholism.”
SOS is another worthwhile project sponsored by the Center for Inquiry.
Here’s another organization with community grassroots ties that is doing good work. It’s called Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and “Americans United (AU) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation as the only way to ensure religious freedom for all Americans. ”
Take a look at their website. It is attractive and easy to navigate, although they could beef up the content a bit. Kudos to them for plugging online articles from various news sources about church and state separation.
You can look for local chapters on the site, although the entries I have clicked on so far tend to have little more than an email address link for an unknown unspecified person.
The missions of the organization resonates with me, so I do hope that they are very active on a local level and encourage their members to add content to their national web site.
I also found the Facebook page for the organization. Take a look.
The Atlanta Freethought Society hosted Brother Sam Singleton on April 11, according to its website. He spoke on “Too Big for God: A Boy’s Triumph Over Fear.”
The United States Atheists met to celebrate the 201st birthday of Charles Darwin on February 9. According to their website, they are still meeting every Tuesday at 7:30pm.
The Minnesota Atheists celebrated the Day of Reason for the fifth year in a row in the Rotunda of the State Capitol on April 21.