Put your blood where your mouth is, atheists

by | October 3, 2014
Logo for Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services

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.

8 thoughts on “Put your blood where your mouth is, atheists

  1. Harrison Gross

    I would if they wanted my blood, but because I’ve fooled around with another guy, apparently it’s not good.

    1. Sara Lin

      Same for this atheist, but with one more degree of separation: I have sex with a man who has had sex with another man. We’re in a monogamous relationship right now, but unless we stay abstinent for a year, my blood is no good.
      Better to have folks die than have my dirty blood to save them…So I’m told.

  2. Trish

    This AB+ donor will sit back in their chairs AFTER they do away with the discriminatory policies that allow hetero whores to donate every few months while preventing gay men and women in monogamous relationships from donating. I will GLADLY give them my donations…but I won’t answer their call when they’re excluding a sizeable portion of the population, and crying that they ‘don’t have enough donors’.

  3. Morgan

    Not all of us can donate blood for a myriad of reasons – I can’t because of a medication I’m on – but there are many, many other things we can do for the good of the community. I personally volunteer with two charitable organizations and make no secret of the fact that I’m a non-theist.

  4. Indi Post author

    There seems to be a lot of misinformation about CBS’s policies regarding “MSM”, or “males who have had sex with males”.

    First of all, it has nothing to do with being gay and nothing *AT ALL* to do with lesbians – it is strictly limited to “MSM”, and you can have sex with other men and still be straight, you know. The policy is not based on random bigotry, but rather on the fact that around half of the HIV positive *people* (not just half of men, half of *everyone*) in Canada are “MSM”. It’s a decision based on statistics, not homophobia.

    Second, the statute of limitations is five years, which, yes, is a lot, but it’s hardly a life sentence – a lot of men who experimented in college but have only had female partners since will be fine (as mentioned, the statute of limitations for a woman who’s been with a man who hasn’t cleared the statute of limitations is only a year). Perhaps five years is too long (and perhaps it needs more intelligent wording to take into account monogamous gay couples), but there almost certainly has to be *some* statute of limitations – when you’re playing with people’s lives, you have to be conservative.

    Third, not that this should be particularly surprising, but they won’t accept blood from “hetero whores” either.

    As noted, some of us are unable to donate for various reasons. I can’t because i’ve had malaria, among other things (basically, anyone who lived in the Caribbean or South America for any length of time is effectively excluded). As with vaccination, those of us who can’t contribute rely on those who can, so those who can but *won’t* – especially those who won’t for stupid reasons – fuck things up for everyone.

    I trust those of you who able to donate but refuse because of “reasons” will also stand by your principles and refuse the transfusions too.

    1. Joe

      > I trust those of you who able to donate but refuse because of “reasons” will also stand by your principles and refuse the transfusions too.

      We’ll said. Nothing like boycotting higher brain function in the name of moral superiority.

  5. Stephen Brennan

    Good question, Joe. As far as I know I am an eligible donor. Off to find a CBS bank.


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