The Problem with Charity

This article originally appeared on vice.com

 

This May, I was in my usual spot on the couch in Bisbee, Arizona, drinking plastic jug vodka and watching CNN jam microphones into the faces of distraught victims of the Oklahoma tornadoes. They all thanked the Jesus for sparing them, for taking their homes and belongings instead of their lives, and for killing their neighbors instead of them.

There was a video that had just gone viral of Wolf Blitzer repeatedly asking a meek and polite young lady if she thanked the Lord for her good fortune in not being killed. She stammered and then said, cute as a button, "Actually, I'm an atheist." As always, Wolf looked like a big smacked dick.

As I was watching, a crawler at the bottom of screen told me how to send money to the Red Cross via text message. I thought how funny it would be to have a fundraiser for just that one chick—fuck all her Okie-Christian neighbors. They're with God. We're atheists. We don't have Christ. We gotta take care of each other.

CNN is very fickle in how long they give a fuck about any given tragedy, so I jumped on the computer, figured out how to use a fundraising site—not an easy task for a guy who still uses Hotmail—and by morning had "Atheists Unite" on IndieGogo.com. A few tweets and Facebook posts later from myself and thousands of other ordinary, caring people—plus some big shots like the Richard Dawkins FoundationPenn Jillette, and Ricky Gervais—and the virtual cash register started chiming away.

$50,000 dollars in the first day, almost $126,000 by the time it was done. Enough for her to move the fuck out of Jesus country—where she says she'll never return—like Tom Joad with a trust fund.

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