Charity pisses me off. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m all over the idea of donating money when you can afford it to the betterment of the world, but the way that charity works in practice is disgusting. Millions of dollars are raised by giant organizations that have massive operating costs, and it’s safe to say that the portion of your donation that actually benefits anyone is minimal at best. There are agencies and organizations that I do support, and if I had two nickels to rub together, I’d give them one. Doctors Without Borders is one. I’m also trying to set up some fundraising process for donating money in the Calgary Beer Core’s name to the University of Calgary to help fund grad student internship programs, and every year the Calgary Beer Core raises funds for a variety of things including charities, friends who need a hand, families at Christmas, and all that jazz. But by and large, donation is dangerous and encourages the gluttony of an organization.
But worse than that are the rash of strange things that atheists are donating to. Things like this prick. He decided that he’d try out atheism for a year, got fired from his religious teaching jobs (as well he should), and we’re throwing money at him. Seriously? I “tried out” atheism for quite a few years now, and nobody paid my rent. And they shouldn’t. This isn’t even a case of a religious guy who has left his faith, he’s taking this year off publicly to garner attention. That’s the kind of schtick that religious people do all the time, to draw attention to themselves and get paid. He wins either way. If he is actually an atheist, he’ll be the notorious guy who left the church and tried atheism only to realize it was the right path, and if he goes back, he’s just proof that atheism isn’t enough and everyone needs God. He’s a media whore, and we’re throwing cash at him? Bag of dicks.
Sikivu Hutchinson explains this extremely well in a post on her blog, The Black Skeptics, in an article called Stuff White People Like: Secular Tourists. And for the record, if ANYONE complains about how OMG THIS BLOG IS MEAN 2 WITE PPL, I will punch you square in the dick. Just because things you read are uncomfortable to you doesn’t mean they aren’t true and worth confronting, and Sikivu regularly makes me feel bad because I realize as I read her words just how insidious and ingrained in me my white male privilege is, and then I try to fix it.
But anyway, she talks about ways that the obvious desire of atheists to shake off the “Christians give money to help, atheists just sit around all vulgar and shrill” attitude the world has. But her focus is on actually fixing (or helping with) issues that actually face atheists. Some pastor loses his job and needs bank? Sorry about your luck, bub. My nickel, if ever I have one, is going to go to help make the world a better place, like encouraging equal access to STEM education.
This shit seriously just angrys up my blood. There is so much need in the world, there is so much truly valuable work to be done, and we’re throwing money to leaches like churches, sad pastors giving atheism the ole’ college try, and massive organizations that devour those donations and ask for more instead of building up our communities, encouraging people who actually need it, and helping those in crisis without forcing religion on them. Gah. Fuck. Rar. I need a smoke.