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Kiva Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious


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Loan-A-Thon Dates:
January 1+2 (New Years)
April 1+2 (April Fools)
July 1+2 (near Muhammad Yunus' birthday and many national sovereignty celebrations)
October 31+November 1 (Halloween)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our first goal and our mission

Wow. 25 members already and $1,100 in loans. Great job teammates.

As captain, I am setting our first goal to loan $50,000 by the end of 2008. So we have 4 months to raise those funds. Certainly to reach that goal we will need more than 25 members. Member growth rate is doing great so far. Tell your friends. Soon we'll be on the first page of the Community area on Kiva, that will give us more exposure.

Why is it important for Atheists to loan as a team?
By loaning as a team we provide tangible evidence that Atheists are making a difference in the world through altruistic acts. Many in our world hold the false belief that atheists do not give to charity and do not have a strong sense of helping others.

Kiva is a great opportunity (since the stats are public) to show that Atheists are making a difference. And who knows maybe we will be the number 1 team one day.

As, The Crater Lake Hermit, points out in the comments, when religious people donate to a religious organization the use of the funds is not openly disclosed. In many countries, including Canada and the USA, churchs (and the like) do not have to pay property taxes or income taxes and are not required to file a tax return. This means there is not any requirements (or overview) on the uses of funds given to a church. So if there is a pastor or minister in your area driving a Mercedes or BMW, now you know how they get away with it. I'm surprised religious people don't demand more scrutiny over the funds they donate for charitable endeavors. Maybe it's because questioning is a sin (whatever that means) in the christian church.

4 comments:

andrew holden said...

"when religious people donate to a religious organization the use of the funds is not openly disclosed"

This is just untrue! Churches here have annual public meetings where their accounts are fully disclosed.

I don't know any ministers driving mercs or beamers (though I wouldn't deny that there probably are some). In the UK most ministers get paid a very modest sum, drive older and/or modest cars, don't own their own house and get a very modest pension on retirement.

So this 'one human family' stuff you claim to believe in obviously doesn't include the religious.

Have a nice day - and thanks for the good you do, but making unsubstantiated generalisations about religious people doen't help your cause one bit!

Tropical Pete said...

Thank you andrew for noting that in the UK there is tighter regulation of Churches as provided by the
The Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2005.

I also found another link that states that Churches in the UK have to pay Property Tax (aka Council Tax). That's good news!

http://cfscotland.org.uk/publications/pub4.pdf

The situation however is very different in Canada and USA. Have you ever seen the documentary Marjoe? It's very telling...

I went through the Funding information on the Church of England. Turns out they take in £1000 million and only give £40 million to actual charitable causes. So they help humanity to the tune of 4 cents for every dollar.

It's not that I believe in one human family it's that it is a fact. Approximately 50,000 years ago the population of homo sapiens was approximately 5000 people living in east Africa. From there we spread all over the world. Every human today has a common male ancestor who lived approximately 175,000 years ago (according to 23andme.com) and a common female ancestor who lived approximately 175,000 years ago (according to 23andme.com).

Also, you will note on my lender page that I have loaned money to religious people and through Kiva Partners that are religiously centered micro finance institutions.

andrew holden said...

"I went through the Funding information on the Church of England. Turns out they take in £1000 million and only give £40 million to actual charitable causes. So they help humanity to the tune of 4 cents for every dollar."

Pete, the CofE uses its money to pay its workers modest salaries - clergy who devote their lives to helping parishioners (and in the UK that means everyone in their parish NOT JUST the religious) - and fulfilling its pension responsibilities to retired clergy. Are you somehow suggesting this is illegitimate?

The rest of the money largely goes to maintaining and running historic buildings such as large cathedrals and ancient parish churches which are held in trust for and used by the whole nation.

So far more than the 4% given AWAY to charity is actually used for legitimate causes to benefit humanity both inside and outside the churches.

I imagine that the concept of churches existing to help people both inside and outside their membership is not just one found in the UK.

I notice that we are at least co-operating by giving loans to people irrespective of religious affiliation. That's something good we can do together!

Karen ~ said...

Hi, I am new to this group (thus the commenting on one of the first posts) and I am planning on joining the Kiva group - I am so in line with the premise of the group.

BUT.

In a former life (maybe 15 years ago) I worked at a church and was very involved in church activities, including financial oversight, and I have to say, I do not agree with the sentiment being expressed here that if a minister drives a nice car there is a problem. Many churches pay their ministers a decent salary -- it can be equated with the executive director of any non-profit organization; many ministers are careful with their money and if they choose to save for a dream car, who are we to judge, and finally many ministers have spouses with jobs making plenty of money to buy nice cars.

So don't automatically assume that a nice car is the sign of mismanaged donations. (not that I am claiming there is no such thing!!)