Homeless Man Finds Atheists Donate Most

HOMELESS-MAN-TESTS-KINDNESS-RELIGIONSWell it’s an anecdote but amusing. Especially, after religious people touted some research saying the religious donate more to charities, proving how loving they are and how debased democrats are–the study also showed a red state, blue state difference. It helps that churches are charities. The highest-giving state was Utah at just over 10%. Yes, where accountants will visit your home to help with budgeting your 10% tithing to the church–I know I lived there. They visited my house, surprised that a nonmormon was living in West Granger.

Most secularists assume financial generosity is supplied by grants supported by their taxes–we pay taxes for a reason and it’s not just for highways but art galleries, museums, and public works. Remove tax-free status from churches and we’ll see who spends money where.

In the picture, which has since gone viral on Reddit and Imgur, the man, who appears to be homeless or transient, is sitting on a sidewalk and holding a sign that reads, “Which religion cares the most about the homeless?” Arranged in front of him are eight small, plastic bowls and a hat, each labeled with different religions and filled with varying amounts of change. Although we can’t say for sure how much money is shown in the photo, the bowls labeled “atheist” and “agnostic” seem to be the fullest.

According to Reddit user Ventachinkway, who posted the picture Monday to the r/atheism subreddit, the man in the photo claimed the “atheists are winning” when the picture was taken. Ventachinkway also said the man was sitting in downtown Austin, Texas.

I’m a little concerned he called atheism a religion. He should have labelled the bowl secularist.

Austin is such a nice city. It really is an island in Texas where conservative Texans think if Texas weren’t there the US would fall off the edge of the world.

Molly Ivins was from Texas–a fantastic political journalist (she was born in California). I miss her brilliant style, still pertinent today.

Let me start this discussion by pointing out that I am not anti-gun. I’m pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We’d turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don’t ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives. As a civil libertarian, I of course support the Second Amendment. And I believe it means exactly what it says: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Fourteen-year-old boys are not part of a well-regulated militia. Members of wacky religious cults are not part of a well-regulated militia. Permitting unregulated citizens to have guns is destroying the security of this free state. I am intrigued by the arguments of those who claim to follow the judicial doctrine of original intent. How do they know it was the dearest wish of Thomas Jefferson’s heart that teen-age drug dealers should cruise the cities of this nation perforating their fellow citizens with assault rifles? Channelling?

Sorry, couldn’t help thinking about Ivins. Charity and religion:

While this experiment is an amusing one, the question of whether or not to give money to homeless people is a complicated one that transcends religious affiliations.

The question became a national discussion, however, when Officer Larry DePrimo of the New York City Police Department was photographed buying a pair of boots for a barefoot man in New York City last winter. The picture went viral, but reporters later discovered the barefoot man was neither homeless nor particularly gracious about the publicity.

Religious experts were themselves unable to come to a consensus on the homeless question when asked by The Huffington Post’s own Senior Religion Editor Paul Raushenbush. Eric Gregory, a religion professor at Princeton University, noted that the Bible’s parable of the “The Good Samaritan” doesn’t account for a person who is poor but not necessarily deserving of charity.

“The Good Samaritan didn’t stop and ask the man on the side of the road ‘how did this happen,'” Gregory told HuffPost at the time. “He responded to an immediate need.”

Do you see his funky beard, his disdain for authority, his creeper look–look at his hand, he’s probably gay. That’s why atheists donated most. Yeah, I like to quiz the beggars on the streets before giving them money. Are you gonna look for a job, are you gonna buy liquor, are you a professional bum earning a high income, are you really, really depressed or just faking it? Cuz you know how being a beggar is a really popular job with a high income potential. I remember reading a ridiculous article in OUI magazine years (decades) ago about how panhandling was a hot and rising profession leading to huge incomes with no work involved but being on the street a few hours a day and asking for money.

Hell, if liquor makes them feel better, have one on me! Somedays I’d rather have a drink than a sandwich, why should I be a snob! I guess that’s my “immoral” take on it.

As to shoes. If someone gave me jazzy shoes and I could sell them and I could survive without shoes, I’d sell them in a heart beat. If I were an outcast from society, (number of jobs less number of people looking over time minus sociability–J-P/T – S) I am not sure I would feel any inclination or loyalty to return, especially once I were accustomed to it and especially if I were so damned depressed and I couldn’t afford mental services because an idiot president named Reagan decided the government shouldn’t support mental health–he started the three-decade trend away from helping others.

Speaking of channeling, there must have been a mistransmission as conservatives killed accessible mental health in the first place and now bitch at liberals to bring it back, but you gotta pay for it, even when you can’t. Besides it’s about responsibility and free will. Buck up and deal, or die.

I found it refreshing to read that psychotherapy is so popular in Argentina.

Going to a therapist just for a space to work through a certain issue might seem frivolous in some cultures, but it’s normal in Buenos Aires, said Daniela Frankenberg, a bilingual psychologist practicing there.

“In the expat community here, I see more and more people coming to my office who perhaps in their home country would have never done therapy,” Frankenberg said. “Here, feeling that it’s something that people do, (they) give themselves room to do that.”

Psychotherapy is a tool, “not only to cure emotional and psychological illnesses, but also tools to develop oneself as a person, with a greater quality of life,” says psychologist Modesto Alonso.

Here, let’s drink to cheap and available psychotherapy! Cheers!

Jim Newman, bright and well


About Jim Newman

Jim Newman is a philosopher. When I was young I wondered what was the ultimate truth. How should I behave? What makes it all work? I was intensely curious to know what it all means. It was enlightening to realize there is no ultimate truth, but nevertheless sufficient and necessary turth, and that meaning was a meta analysis of living one’s life. In this sense my work has been living large. Living and experiencing life has made me learn many things. Building boats, motors, houses, electronics. Raising animals. Teaching. Writing. Photography. Drawing. Knitting. Sewing. Cooking. Music. Painting. Hiking. Aboriginal living skills. All material aspects of reality that seem irrelevant until you realize they allow you to experience more. My epiphany came when I read Christopher Hitchen’s “Letters to a Young Contrarian” and I felt vindicated in my many meals of sacred cow.
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