It’s hard to do charity as atheists for two reasons.
Firstly? We simply lack the organisation to be an effective charity doing “community”, we have little to no hierarchy and the organisation of charity is “hard work”.
Secondly? We recognise the problem of missionaries and do not wish to do anything similar.
Now there is a third reason.
Our money is no good. Oh it’s still money, mere contact with my skin does not devalue currency (yet! But I am working on it) but Hemant Mehta’s saga continues. See, the story is quite daft and emblematic of the bigotry being faced for secularists irrespective of their faith.
You can be an atheist secularist or you can be a Christian secularist. Secularism just means no religion in the public life. That religion stays at home or at the Church. When a local politician refused to stand for something he didn’t believe was right, a local veteran group stopped their yearly donations because what mattered was not the charity but the politician’s stance on public displays of faith.
So Hemant “the Friendly Atheist” Mehta decided to fundraise and match the donation. No one took the money. Two different people turned it down under a variety of excuses. But the Park District and the Local Library said no to atheist money.
The Park District cited avoiding a “First Amendment Issue” as for not accepting the money. The Local Library however didn’t mince their bias. One trustee called Hemant’s blog a hate group.
It’s not quite over, the money may be rejected from the third place Hemant has identtified for donation. A food bank charity, who’s spokesman has said that while he appreciates donations, future donations may be affected and they need to consider those.
So with that we must talk about what hate is.
See a hate group is any group that’s biased and bigoted. I think these people confuse a desire to live in a secular society with spoiling their Christian Fun. To which I have a very apt analogy.
Remember the scene from Apocalypse Now? Where they are waterskiing behind the PT Boat? Well they don’t realise the effect they are having on other people. No one’s there to stop them from behaving like that. Their boat’s wake is harming people by rocking their much smaller boats. That is the problem.
Christian Fun seems to be creating a Christian World rather than a world where everyone can live in.
To that we cannot have Christian Monuments on Public Soil lest people seriously try and enforce those rules on all. And there ARE people who DO try to enforce those rules. It’s not like we haven’t seen anti-Gay laws or anti-Contraception/Abortion laws.
No, I am afraid hate is to refuse an act of charity and suffer or cause others to suffer solely because we don’t believe the same things as you do. I am afraid hate is to refuse to fund a donation solely because of the donor’s lack of faith in a god or their belief that we should not tolerate attempts to turn secular society into a theocratic one.
I am afraid the real hate is not Hemant Mehta but the people who discriminated against him.