Monday, November 4, 2013

Rebecca Vitsmun, actually an atheist

I blogged about this in May, posting that video clip with Rebecca Vitsmun and Wolf Blitzer after the Oklahoma tornado leveled her home. Well, here's 'the rest of the story.' :)

Apparently, no one knew that she was an atheist until she outed herself on national television, in a video clip which went viral. Fun, huh? Anyway, it's a great story.

PS. I have to wonder what the reaction would be if a bunch of people wore matching atheist t-shirts to volunteer after a tragedy like this. I'll bet they'd get a lot of criticism for that, and some people would probably even refuse their help.

In fact, just the other day, a soup kitchen in South Carolina refused to let atheists help, even when they said they'd leave their t-shirts home and tell no one who they were. You know there'd never be such blatant discrimination if it were any other religious minority.

Why is that? Why do Christians hate and fear atheists more than Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or anyone else who disagrees with them? Is it because they know they wouldn't switch to any other religion, but that... they're afraid we're right?


Chimeradave said...

This was an interesting video. It would be interesting just a the story of a tornado survivor. The extent of the damage this storm did was tremendous. But the angle about Atheism was just as interesting. Especially since half the time she just calls it being in the closet so I cant help but think how similar it is to being Gay for some folks in that they feel they need to hide the truth from friends and family. But also interesting is the idea of atheists forming an organization to do good works. That's a great idea. I hope it is a success.

WCG said...

There are atheist (and humanist) charities already, John. But I'm not sure what I think of the idea. Most atheists give to the same charities most Christians do, since most charities are secular (not atheist, but not explicitly religious, either). And I prefer that model, myself.

Besides, as I noted above, there would be a torrent of criticism if atheists wore t-shirts or otherwise identified as atheists at a disaster site. We'd be accused of taking advantage of the disaster, of insulting Christians, of forcing our disbelief on everyone else - you name it.

Christian charities can be explicitly Christian without anyone thinking twice about it. Indeed, if anything, they'd be praised. Atheists would see quite a different reaction. (It's happened. As I say, there are atheist charities.)

In most cases, I'd rather give to secular charities which stay entirely neutral on the subject of religion. If Christians want a competition, let them compete with Muslims. (As you probably know, charity is one of the core tenets of Islam.)

On the other hand, this certainly doesn't mean that I oppose atheist charities. A diversity of ideas and actions is almost always a good thing, and I wouldn't attempt to dictate to anyone else, anyway. Indeed, I wish them well.