War on Atheists and New Alliances

Amused, dismayed, but not surprised about South Carolina atheists being turned away from volunteering at a soup kitchen.

Eve Brannon:

I told them we wouldn’t wear our T-shirts. We wouldn’t tell anyone who we are with. We just want to help out. And they told us that we were not allowed.

Executive director Lou Landrum:

This is a ministry to serve God. We stand on the principles of God. Do they think that our guests are so ignorant that they don’t know what an atheist is? Why are they targeting us? They don’t give any money. I wouldn’t want their money.

Dagnabbit if it’s not a tough thing to be shown up in generosity. Or shown up that sometimes service for the poor can be more an exercise in service to oneself. Do deeds count when the needy are used as a ticket to heaven?

If this is a war, Herb Silverman of the Secular Coalition for America thinks atheists are winning it:

Since we are evolving into a country where deeds are more important than creeds, I think atheists will one day be part of a respected mainstream in America, along with progressive religious allies. If that happens, I will be glad to see the Secular Coalition and its nontheistic partners go out of business and call it “mission accomplished.”

I have no problem aligning with atheists in the sense of putting on our respective pairs of work gloves, rolling up our sleeves, and doing our small part to make the world a better place. One task at a time. One friendship at a time.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to War on Atheists and New Alliances

  1. John McGrath says:

    Part of the evolution of the USA is from religious creeds to ideological political creeds, with Catholic “leaders” carrying the water for laissez-faire capitalism and corporate rule. In ideologies all misdeeds are forgiven or ignored, so the evolution to deeds is not necessarily to good deeds. The accusation that the left favors socialism (government ownership of the means of production) is not true. But it is true that the right favors corporate rule, the left favors varying degrees of Social Democracy, strongly regulated but private and very profitable corporations plus a strong government safety net. Ideology certainly trumps good deeds in the public sphere.

    • Todd says:

      Good observations John. My sense is that “corporate rule” is only part of the equation. Many people long for a neo-aristocracy, a class to tell them what to do and such. There is a nervousness about democracy, participation, inclusion, and all that comes with it. Hence the substitution of celebrities as people to follow as models for living. So much in sports, entertainment, politics, and such is perfectly aligned with the influence of modern tech like Facebook and Twitter. And some elements of the Catholic blogosphere.

      I think it’s good to have a hero or two. But not a master, corporate, celebrity, or what-not.

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