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I Guess They Could Call It The International Non-Cross

Do you want to help suffering Haitians, but find yourself hesitating, because someone might thank God for your good deed? I didn’t think so, but the Richard Dawkins Foundation has decided you’re out there. It just set up Non-Believers Giving Aid, a “religion-free” disaster-relief fund, where donations help counter “the scandalous myth that only the religious care about their fellow humans.” Because, you know, the first question victims ask after a natural disaster is always “what are the theological views of the people who paid for our bandages?”

There are a lot of organizations helping out in Haiti that have no religious message or affiliation, and they aren’t hard to find. There are, for example, the Yéle Foundation, Doctors Without Borders and the International Red Cross. In fact, Non-Believers Giving Aid is channeling its donations to the latter two (with Dawkins himself covering PayPal fees so that $20 sent to Non-Believers is exactly the equivalent of $20 sent to the two groups directly. [UPDATE: Dawkins’ web site now says PayPal is waiving these fees from January 12 until February 11.])

So there’s your choice: Give to the Red Cross, where your donation’s about helping Haiti. Or give to Non-Believers, where your donation’s about you.

The premise here is that on the other side of the aisle, faith-based groups are claiming to help the victims while simply using the suffering as a pretext to extol their beliefs. I haven’t seen much evidence of this (except for Pat Robertson’s infamous blather, which was denounced by believers as well as atheists). But even if it were true, why should secular humanists imitate the worst tactics of their enemies?


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