Secular Relief Funds/Natural Disasters

Secular Relief Funds

Helping- Not Praying for- Japan

By David G. McAfee


In the wake of every large-scale natural disaster, the religious community is forced to acknowledge a well-documented flaw in the theory of a merciful and loving God; the crisis in Japan is no different. In fact, according to the Old Testament (and Hebrew Scriptures) it is God who is ultimately responsible for all natural disasters (aka “acts of God”): Nahum 1:3-6: “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirwind and in the storm, and the clouds are dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.”

While theists might thank their God for “sparing the lives” of the survivors and pray for a speedy recovery to the injured, these acts are ultimately meaningless. After experiencing such a devastating disaster, these people need food, water, and medical assistance. It is extremely detrimental to their recovery that those people who might be otherwise able and motivated to help them, are under the impression that their PRAYERS are satisfactory. Remember the old adage, “two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.”

In conclusion, if you are willing and able to spare your time, energy, or money to help victims of the earthquake in Japan, please consult this list of secular charities that are doing great work in that area. If you aren’t able, please feel free to share the links[1] below with your friends:

Humanist Charities, which has been in contact with American Humanist Association members and other freethought groups in Japan, has established a Japan Earthquake Fund here.

 The Center for Inquiry’s SHARE program (Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort) has set up this site for people to donate directly to Doctors Without Borders, a secular organization providing vital medical care. 

 SCA Advisory Board member Richard Dawkins is asking people to donate at Non-Believers Giving Aid, where 100 percent of contributions will be forwarded to the (also secular) International Red Cross.

 Foundation Beyond Belief has set up a relief fund for Japan here.



Acts of God

Acts of God



5 responses to “Secular Relief Funds/Natural Disasters

  1. Belal Alkadimi

    Thank god for Atheists……

  2. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, is an excellent first-response and aftercare organization. With all charities, I would urge anyone considering a donation to consult Charity Navigator, an independent company that rates charities, informing the public how much of the money they raise gets to the intended recipients and discloses financials and salaries. They do not rate religious organizations such as the Salvation Army. They do warn of impending or current litigation and criminal charges. Be aware and make sure your charity dollars go where and to whom you want.

  3. Meredith McMinn

    Great idea, David. Thanks. Here’s the link for DRI, Direct Relief International, a Santa Barbara-based international, non-religious, NGO that has been providing emergency response and disaster relief for more than 50 years. They have the highest rating for efficient use of funds for disaster relief from multiple rating organizations and they’re on the spot where they’re needed with what is needed.

  4. Awesome post! I wrote something pretty similar in mine “Does God love Japan” at The book cover came out really nice, by the way.

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