5.21.2011

Atheists throw 'Rapture party' to raise charitable funds

I was tickled to hear about the Seattle atheist’s May 21 “Rapture party” [“Atheists counter prediction with ‘Rapture party, ’” NWTuesday, May 17]. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the group whose mission is in part to “encourage the public to look for credible evidence rather than superstition, dogma and the supernatural. ” But this isn’t just an event to poke fun at religious extremism, it is also a charitable fundraiser.

This is much more productive than picketing and foisting one group’s ideology onto another. This is a good reminder that “godless heathens” may indeed have souls, or at least great compassion. If the Rapture comes, the funds generated at the party will go toward “Rapture relief. ” If no one is raptured, the funds will be donated to Camp Quest, a summer camp that instructs children in critical thinking and fosters an interest in science.

This fundraiser should serve as a reminder that the kind of aggressive evangelism displayed by groups like Family Radio and Westboro Baptist Church (which really just seems like hate groups with tax-exempt statuses) are not productive. People of all creeds can find commonality under the banners of charity and volunteerism. Let’s help each other solve the problems of the here and now; the hereafter can wait.

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