Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2,013 reasons to care

Another year, another apocalypse.

It really is one of the few things the majority of us can agree upon, isn't it? Whether or not the world is going to end sooner or later, with a bang or a whimper, from a comet or a plague, most of us agree that we won't know when that day will be. And until that day arrives, we all agree that we need to help our fellow human beings as much as we can. Which brings me to the answer of this month's question.

"Why do you Atheists never help anyone? All you do is argue!"

Not true. In fact, there are many secular organizations that are heavily atheistic, though not exclusively.

AU (Americans United [for Separation of Church and State]) is a secular group, with many Atheists in it, that is trying to keep church and state separated, so no religion gets an unfair deal and no citizen is forced to worship or believe in any particular religion. Fun fact about this organization: It is actually lead by a minister who believes his religion would be better served by keeping the government out of it.

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) is a great example of a humanist group. It tries to stay out of political and religious grievances and focuses primarily on giving medical care where it is needed. It was started "by a small group of french doctors and journalists who believed that people have the right to medical care regardless of race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that the needs of these people outweigh respect for national borders." ~ Wikipedia

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is a nonpartisan non-profit organization. It was started to defend and preserve the rights of individuals as stated in the Constitution. Going farther beyond AU, ACLU covers everything from Freedom of Speech to Gun Ownership to Women's rights. The ACLU is responsible for combating police misconduct toward Native Americans, defending the rights of Japanese Americans during WWII, and even various communists during the Cold War.

This is just a small sampling of organizations that don't push Atheistic world views, but are furthered a great deal by Atheists. Even those who don't join these groups tend to fight along side them, fighting for the rights of individuals, the well-being of their fellow humans, and even the freedoms of local religions to not be controlled or regulated by government.

So, the next time you see an Atheist who is arguing loudly, and fruitlessly, remind them that there are organizations dedicated to helping humanity overcome their differences and their struggles. You may be surprised at how much they are already doing to help, and how much surprise you will get from them when they realize you're not such a bad person.

Happy New Year, everyone. Here's hoping the new year is always better than the old.