Hug-An-Atheist

Atheists of Maine is going to be running a Hug-An-Atheist booth in Hallowell, Maine tonight for charity. If anyone is interested, swing on by Easy Street Lounge on Water Street. All the proceeds go to the Kennebec Valley Humane Society.

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Thought of the day

I never hear more respectful, civil conversations about contentious issues than when I host a meeting for Atheists of Maine.

Camp Sunshine polar dip

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I’ve been participating in a fundraiser for Camp Sunshine, a sort of retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses. I did this as part of my group Atheists of Maine; we raised more than any other group, coming in at $2,169 (though donations are still being accepted). To commemorate the experience, all the participants did a polar dip in Portland (no, not the hipster, faux Portland in Oregon) this past weekend. My GPS brought me to the wrong place, so I unfortunately missed the main event by literally minutes. Of course, that wasn’t going to stop me from following-through on my promise to do something stupid:

AoM Polar Dip

Take a stroll on over to the AoM Facebook page to see a few more pictures.

Atheists of Maine fundraiser for Camp Sunshine

I’ve mentioned from time to time the fundraiser I’ve been doing on behalf of Atheists of Maine, a group I help run. Well, it looks like we’ve exceeded our goal by quite a bit – $600 – and we’re easily number 1 amongst the other teams doing the polar dip in Portland this Saturday. I hope we see a few more dollars roll in before the fundraiser closes on March 31st.

But speaking of late March, AoM will be doing a Hug-An-Atheist booth at Easy Street Lounge in Hallowell on March 30th. It’s no coincidence that this will be the night before Easter; we’re hoping that maybe we can rustle up a little more activity this way so that we’ll have all the more funds raised to donate to a local animal shelter. If you’re in the area, come on down.

Atheists of New England

Given the success we’ve been experiencing with Atheists of Maine, including with some of our fundraising efforts, I have created the group Atheists of New England. My hope is to develop this into something serious, but the first step is getting people involved, so please like the page.

The only ‘problem’? New England composes 6 of the 8 least religious states. That’s a problem I welcome.

Camp Sunshine donations (again)

Once again, this is a scheduled post because I’m out of the country, so I want to make sure I can be as active as possible about the fundraising I’m doing for a place here in Maine called Camp Sunshine. They’re there for children with life-threatening illnesses, so what they do is pretty amazing. Along with Atheists of Maine, I’m hoping we can raise a few thousand dollars by the time this is all said and done in February. (Incidentally, this whole thing culminates in a February polar dip off the coast of Maine.)

So if you can donate, please go here. Every dollar counts.

Know your charities

If you’re going to give to a charity this holiday season (or any other time), make sure you pick the right one. There are a lot of scams out there, of course, but there are also a lot of charities that are just, well, shitty:

The Salvation Army recently released a statement:

“Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.”

I would recommend giving to Red Cross or, heck, Atheists of Maine’s fundraiser for Camp Sunshine. There’s no need to support a charity that is out to promote a bunch of garbage. Whatever good the Salvation Army may do, there are hundreds of charities out there that do just as well – and without the bigotry.

That Christian love

From AoM:

We’re having our third Atheists of Maine meeting this Saturday in the Auburn Public Library from 11am-1pm and it looks like we’re going to have a decent turnout. Bolstering us at least a little will be the presence of a few of our members’ kids (who, sometimes, are also active members themselves). One person, however, wanted to be sure it would be fine if he brought his 14 year old son. Of course, we’re always delighted to give anyone and everyone an honest introduction into what atheism is (something Christians seem to routinely fail miserably at doing), so we let him know that. Unfortunately, one of this person’s distant in-laws saw that he had posted on our page and…well, see for yourselves:

AoM

And, lo, the Lord did say, “He who hath doubted me is not only a fool, but too is he retarded.” And, hail, Jesus did that thing kids do with their hands against their chests to indicate retardation. Later, some bears attacked a bald guy for some reason, but the Lord doth digress.

~KJV, somewhere in the back

Camp Sunshine

One of the things we’re doing with Atheists of Maine is a fundraiser and subsequent polar dip for Camp Sunshine. Hemant Mehta of Friendly Atheist wrote about us:

The Atheists of Maine are trying to raise money for a truly worthy cause: Camp Sunshine, “a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.”

Right now, the atheists are the top fundraising group for the cause, but there’s a long way to go for the camp to raise the $30,000 it needs. So if you have the ability to help out, please donate to group members Ryan Dalessandro or Michael Hawkins.

There are other group members, but I think it’s clear that anyone who wants to donate should donate to my page specifically. Why? Because this is my blog, that’s why.

We’re ultimately hoping to find a church group to compete with us for position of top donor, so if any Maine-based group is interested, let us know.

Atheists of Maine Thanksgiving charity work

I recently mentioned my radio interview about the charity work my group Atheists of Maine did up in Brewer this past weekend. We had a decent turnout and we did some decent work, but I think I was most struck by how much having a group like this meant to some of the people there. What we did packing Thanksgiving baskets made a small difference, I’m sure, but I think our mere organization and existence may have had a bigger impact than anything.