Irreverent atheists crowdsource charitable giving
By Tom Miles
GENEVA (Reuters) - Atheist bloggers have shown their charitable side by swarming to donate money to Doctors Without Borders, in what turned into the humanitarian agency's biggest online fundraiser.
Doctors without Borders (DWB), also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, gets about 4,000 hits on its U.S. website on an average Sunday. Last Sunday that number ballooned to 50,000 as a horde of redditors, subscribers to the social media site reddit.com, thundered across the DWB homepage.
Thousands more clicked through from the atheism sub-reddit, a site normally given over to finding holes in religions and picking fights with creationists, and headed for a dedicated site at firstgiving.com, where they have so far given $180,000.
"It's amazing, what's going on. The amount being raised is amazing, definitely," said Natalie Favre, an MSF spokeswoman in Geneva. "We don't control any of this."
Many donations were tagged with messages such as "Because god won't," "Good without god" or even "Good without Zeus."
"I WAS gonna buy some Taco Bell... but screw it," wrote DJW3NCH, who donated $5.00 via firstgiving.com.
Reddit's atheist page, www.reddit.com/r/atheism, boasts more than 300,000 subscribers while the Christianity page has 20,000.
One atheist reached across the divide to ask what the Christians thought about the donation campaign. A redditor calling himself Duke_Newcombe replied: "What do I think? Praise God. And thank you, r/atheism." Continued...