What I can't STAND is all the tax free donations to mega churches in the name of "God".
Yeah, who knows, he might blow it all in a gambling match with the other supernatural deities.
Seriously, how much of that money is being spent for helping PEOPLE, not improving the sound systems of those mega churches or assisting the preacher with his car payment for his Lexus?
I'm kind of allergic at the idea of charity in the goal of promoting a group.
Though I agree that there can't be bad charity..
There are already a lot of charities that aren't linked to a religion... so in essence they're "atheist"...
However if a group starts promoting the fact that they're atheist while doing charity, won't it risk being seen as trying to "corrupt" people by first being nice, and then trying to "convert" them?
(that's how I see some religious charities :/ )
I like to be charitable all year. I make monthly donations to a few carefully selected secular charities and give elsewhere as the need/opportunity arises. When the colder weather arrives I usually send off a box or two of knitted goods (hats and scarves mostly) to shelters.
The Foundation Beyond Belief (there's a link in the right column) is a group that channels money to various non-religious charities. It wouldn't be as visible as handing out things in your local neighborhood but you'll know your money is going to good (and non-religious) causes.
Belong to an organization that provides food baskets for the poor, elderly and shut ins. We, the members, pay for the food, put the baskets (hams, potatoes, and other staples) together, and then use out own vehicles to deliver them. Afterwards, we get together at a local watering hole and discuss the humorous, and touching moments.
And, throughout the year (not dependent on a "holiday" season) we raise and provide money to an organization that specializes in providing therapy, treatment, and prosthetic devices to disabled children. The members include Xtians, and out and out atheists like myself. No Jesus or magic spirits are involved. We simply do it because we should.
My sister sent me a great quote from Stephen Colbert that seems suitable for this occasion:
"If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it."
It seems that many Christian conservatives are so caught up in being the morality police that they overlook the definition of being 'christlike' in their daily behavior with others...and this little piece of scripture seems fitting too: "When you give to the needy do not announce it with trumpets, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing" (Matthew 6.2)
(Well, I have some problems with the lack-of-hand-knowledge part of the statement....but the sentiment about not 'tooting your own horn' too much seems fitting when it comes to charity).