Pastor Greg Laurie of the megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, recently falsely claimed “there’s no such thing” as an “atheist relief organization”:
You look at the great relief organizations in the world today, they’re Christian organizations. Christians are always on the front line wherever people are suffering. It doesn’t matter if they believe or if they don’t believe. It doesn’t matter if they’re Christian or if they’re Muslim or if they’re Buddhists, if there’s a tragedy, if there’s a calamity, Christians give, Christians help, Christians are always doing these things.
When’s the last time you heard of an atheist relief organization? Heathen Purse, there’s no such thing. But there’s Samaritan’s Purse, isn’t there. Non-Believer’s Vision, no, I’ve never heard of them, but I’ve heard of World Vision. They don’t care. There might be some out there, there might be some exception, but by and large, it’s believers out there doing this work. Real spirituality is practical.
Laurie failed to mention the many secular and government aid organizations such as FEMA, the American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.
The Friendly Atheist notes:
There are groups that focus on encouraging atheists to give to charity, like Foundation Beyond Belief. Some groups raise money to help victims of natural disasters, including FBB, Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Efforts (SHARE) which is run by the Center For Inquiry, and Nonbelief Relief which is run by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
There are groups doing volunteer work on the ground. There were multiple groups, especially local ones, that were doing all kinds of relief work after hurricanes and tornadoes. The atheist group on micro-lending website Kiva has loaned out nearly $35 million, which according to one metric, is more than any other group.
Laurie failed to mention that Samaritan’s Purse, founded by Franklin Graham, uses public funds to convert adults and children to Christianity, noted First Post.
Graham was censured in 2001 for proselytizing during a USAID-funded trip to conduct earthquake relief in El Salvador, reported The Nation.