One of the biggest cultural challenges facing nonbelievers is overcoming the deeply ingrained belief that being religious means being good, charitable, non-altar-boy-rapey, etc.. Despite all the lengths the religious go to toward proving the stereotype false – btw thanks, guys! – we still haven’t had much luck changing the zeitgeist.
I believe the surest path toward changing the perception of nonbelievers lies not in pointing out the (horrifically obvious) moral flaws in religions, but rather in proactively showing that we’re as good as we say we are. It’s practising what we “preach”, and even if I turn out to be wrong and it really does nothing toward changing the entrenched bigotry against atheists, the good that we will have done will still have been done. Which is something.
I understand, too, that sometimes it can be hard to know exactly where and how to take proactive action to do a little good. There’s so much shit going down in the world, and so many people in need, that one can quickly feel overwhelmed and confused at where to start. Well, I have a suggestion.
On September 30th, Canadian Blood Services / Société canadienne du sang issued an urgent appeal for blood donors. For whatever reason,
extremely low attendance at blood donor clinics has led to a critically low blood inventory. the lowest since 2008. They normally like to have a supply buffer of 5–8 days, but right now they’re down to 3 days’ supply. They are in need of all blood types, but particularly O and A.
A half litre of blood, 5–6 times a year… that’s nothing folks. We can do that. Be the person who starts the tradition, either at home or at work (or both), where the gang picks a DD (who doesn’t donate that trip) then goes out for a big group meal after the clinic (to recover the blood-sugar levels). It’s such a small thing, and it’s so badly needed right now.
So let’s step up, atheists, and put our blood where our mouth is.