Taken from a website called The Alabama Atheist:
“While some government officials are calling for prayer and trying to focus public attention on the work done by some religious groups, America's diverse community of nonbelievers -- Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists and others -- are joining the effort to support relief operations in New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast.”
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is one such organization, and has called upon the country's Atheists to generously donate to emergency efforts. The organization is using its web site at http://www.atheists.org to list charitable groups that do not include religious preaching and proselytizing in their relief efforts.
The Salvation Army, a worldwide organization that is 2nd only to the United Nations in providing social welfare services and disaster relief, was one of the 1st responders to the Hurricane Katrina Disaster and still continues to provide vital services to new Orleans to this day:
According to the American Atheists, donating to the Salvation Army, an organization well-equipped and very experienced in dealing with natural disasters, is discouraged. It seems that an atheistic worldview is more important than supporting an organization that specializes in getting aid to people in the most efficient and timely manner.
Sure, there are plenty of secular organizations to contribute to, like the Red Cross, and American Atheists recommends them. The atheists/humanists will be quick to remind us that Clara Barton was “Deist-Unitarian”…but she wasn’t an atheist, was she?
When people are in urgent need, all the best groups for dealing with those needs should be supported, regardless of whether or not they are religiously-based. The best are the best, period, and in an emergency, that’s all that matters.
However, this concept doesn’t fit with the mindset of those “compassionate” American Atheists and their militant atheist counterparts.
"We're getting reports of how some religion-based 'aid' groups are trying to fly evangelists into the stricken areas and how U.S. Army Chaplains are carrying Bibles -- not food or water -- to "comfort" people at the New Orleans Superdome," said Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists. "People need material aid, medical care and economic support -- not prayers and preaching."
And what makes Ms. Johnson the expert on people’s “needs”? I’d bet 20 bucks that Ellen Johnson wouldn’t make a peep if some secular-based group flew “grief counselors” into the disaster area to help people settle down and cope with their lives.
Johnson also said that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and President George Bush "should not be violating the Constitution by telling people to pray for the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
"It's unconstitutional for government officials to be promoting religion; and besides, judging from the speed of some relief efforts, officials should be busy working instead of preaching."
Once again, Ellen Johnson pontificates on her interpretation of the Constitution, even though every President has freely expressed his religious views and has even encouraged the public to enjoy their religious privileges granted to them by the Constitution. Do you think American Atheists could be a bit magnanimous and tolerant if people are helped, one way or another? As soon as pigs can fly!
Dave Silverman, Communications Director for American Atheists, compared Hurricane Katrina to January's Asian tsunami which claimed thousands of lives. "It appears that despite all of the outbursts of public religiosity and prayer, 'God' was once again asleep at the wheel."
Thanks for the condescension, Mr. Silverman, I’m sure that was really helpful and elevated the discussion on where to get the best and fastest relief to those disaster victims.
"Only human beings can deal with the calamities of the natural world," said Silverman. "God doesn't seem to be much help when it comes to rushing food, water, or antibiotics when people are suffering."
The Lord God is the inspiration behind the founding of the Salvation Army, one of those organizations American Atheists refuses to support, despite their excellent history of service to humanity for over a century.
Ms. Johnson said that her group is spreading the word to encourage Atheists to contribute money to relief organizations that do not proselytize as part of their rescue efforts.
...Even when those secular-based organizations don’t do as good a job as their religiously-founded counterparts.
That’s real smart.