Debbie Goddard has a most excellent post on Skepchick (she should write more!), declaring that the atheist movement should care about poverty.
Unless we address the classism and broaden the elitist culture of the atheist movement, the underprivileged students in the Philadelphia public school classrooms that I’m familiar with and in the South Los Angeles classrooms that Sikivu Hutchinson works in will continue to be marginalized and will never have access to the “enlightened” educational opportunities that the movement too often takes for granted.
Some would say it’s not the movement’s responsibility to address poverty and public education. I disagree. This is a movement; we want the world to be a better place than it is now. We want to reduce suffering and foster a just society. If we agree there’s no cosmic justice system and there’s no reward for suffering after we die, we need to effect change here, now, in this life, in this world, for as many people as we can reach. Education is key for change to occur.
You won’t be surprised to learn that I agree completely, and that education is an excellent priority for atheist communities to pursue. She cites the Black Skeptics article I mentioned earlier today, in which they are looking for donations for their First in the Family Humanist Scholarship. It’s a worthy cause, and I donated…you should too, if you can.
Every effort to improve human knowledge is a contribution to atheism, so anything you can do will help; teach a child, donate books to your local library, volunteer at your elementary school. It’s our cunning godless scheme to make the world a better place.