Monday, March 28, 2011

Why Should New Atheists Engage in Interfaith Service?

As an avid reader of Pharyngula, Butterflies & Wheels, and, of course, The Friendly Atheist, I was surprised to see how much negative attention the idea of Interfaith Service generated last week. I’ve heard a lot of interesting reasons why Interfaith Service poses challenges to secular folks, but I wanted to share what I think are the overwhelming benefits of Interfaith Service. But instead of answering the relatively easy question of why Humanists ought to engage in interfaith service, I want to answer a more interesting question: Why should New Atheists engage in Interfaith Service?

1. It accomplishes service. Who cares if we have to hijack someone’s religious delusions to compel them to help us build a park or feed the homeless? The point is, we get a park built and the homeless fed.

2. Doing Interfaith Service lets people know about Atheism. A lot of people who might consider themselves Atheists don’t even know that we exist. This helps raise our profile...