Helping A Tornado Survivor, Atheist-Style

There’s a rather amazing story coming out of the Oklahoma tornado-aftermath.

Moore, Oklahoma, resident and mother Rebecca Vitsmun, being interviewed by  CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, responded to a spray of goddy rhetoric:

Blitzer: “Well, you’re blessed, Brian your husband is blessed, Anders is blessed. […] I guess you gotta thank the Lord, huh? Do you thank the Lord, for that split-second decision (to leave her home and get to safety)?”

Vitsmun: “I uh, I am actually an atheist.”

Amid general good feelings at finding a spectacular role model, a bright, cheerful woman standing amid the destruction of her town and her home, Doug Stanhope of Atheists Unite has created an Indiegogo fund-raiser.

What We Need & What You Get

We don’t know the exact cost of putting a family back together when you don’t even have a toothbrush anymore so we randomly chose 50,000 dollars as a goal. And that’s probably low-ball.

The Impact

The impact of getting Rebecca and her family properly housed by the atheist community will do far more good than sitting in bars or chat rooms mocking people of faith. Like religion, free-thinking will be more easily spread through compassion and decency.

Here’s the amazing part:

As of Friday 24th May we have cleared the initial $50,000 target. In truth, we had no idea how generous and giving our community would prove to be. We reached our goal within 17 hours of starting.  An Indiegogo deadline cannot be changed once it has been set. So this campaign will continue until July 22 2013. At that point the financial cogs will turn and the moneys raised will be delivered to Rebecca Vitsmun. There is no reason for us to stop raising funds. The median cost of a home in Moore, OK is $125, 250, and that was back when they had homes. More importantly, the more money we raise the better the example we set.

At the moment I write this, the campaign has raised $80, 232.


Annnd … there’s this from Glenn Beck:  ‘Forces of spiritual darkness’ at CNN plotted Blitzer’s atheist gaffe