…not to give a penny to religious charities.  With their obnoxious bell-ringing red cauldrons, begging for quarters outside of Walmart, screaming “think of the children!” nonsense, it’s hard to avoid the religious groups that want your money desperately during the holiday season.  The problem is, no matter what their sales pitch might be, a portion of any money you give to them is going to be used in an attempt to convert unsuspecting and vulnerable people to their religion.  We, as rational, critical, skeptical people certainly do not want that, we don’t want the religious to spread their irrational beliefs, their hate-filled message and their discriminatory faith publically.  Therefore, I’m going to start with some of the major religious charities you’ll likely encounter this holiday season, explain why you should never give them money, during the holidays or at any other time, then give you a list of charities you can support with a clear conscience, knowing they will use your money for the purpose it’s intended for.

Boy Scouts:  We all know the Boy Scouts and traditionally, the Boy Scouts have offered Christmas trees for sale, often offering free delivery to your home.  The prices are high, at least comparing what I see from Boy Scout troops online to what I see locally, and they claim that purchase prices fund monthly campouts and Boy Scout Summer Camp, etc.  For many troops it is the only large-scale fundraiser they operate all year.  Do not give these people your money.  The Boy Scouts, as everyone ought to know by now, is an adamantly anti-gay, anti-atheist, pro-religious group.  They openly discriminate against gay and atheist scouts and they get away with it by claiming to be a private organization.  However, they are given absurd breaks by the U.S. government, they get access to national parks that other groups do not get, they get free or ridiculously low cost rents on public property that others are either restricted from or charged high costs for.  These people do not need, nor should they have your money until they stop being a nationally-supported hate-group.  Some of their biggest traditional contributors, from Intel to UPS, have dropped donating to the Boy Scouts because of their anti-gay stance. Besides, the cost on Boy Scout trees is absurd.  I saw one troop in New York advertising a 5-6″ fir for $65.  I can go get a bigger, 6-7″ tree at the local Lowes for $34.99.  Yeah, I’ve got to take it home (about 3 blocks) but free delivery isn’t worth $30.  There are other groups that atheists can give to which are all-inclusive, the Boy Scouts simply doesn’t deserve any support.

Salvation Army:  The Salvation Army isn’t just a charity, they act very similar to a Christian cult, something most people just don’t know.  Those who get involved in the cult at the highest levels are required to allow cult leadership to make their life decisions for them, most notably, they are not permitted to marry outside of the organization.  Certainly, they can simply walk away from the Salvation Army and no longer be involved, something I heartily suggest everyone do, but it’s absurd that any organization think they can control what it’s members do and who they can spend their lives with.  Beyond that, of course, the Salvation Army hates gays and atheists, pro-gay-rights advocates have recommended for some time that people not put any money in the red buckets.  But what about the poor people that they do purport to help?  I don’t think they actually help anyone.  In order to get a meal from this non-profit group, the homeless are required to listen to a sermon and encouraged to convert.  To get a bed for the night, people are forced to say they accept Jesus.  Like so many religious charities, the Salvation Army really exists to prey on the most vulnerable members of society, who come to rely on the organization for survival and are constantly pelted with fire-and-brimstone religious messages and demands to convert.  That’s not charity, that’s bait-and-switch.  Never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, ever give these people your money.

If you don’t want to give to religious charities, you have a massive array of places you can donate your money, where absolutely none of it will go to proselytizing or converting innocent children.

American Red Cross:  We’ll start with the biggest and most well known, many people think the Red Cross is a religious organization, based on it’s symbol, but it’s wholly secular.  Ir provides disaster relief for areas hard hit by natural disasters, it provides services to America’s military, it maintains one of the largest blood banks around and is involved in disaster preparedness.  While you can give them money, you can also give them an arm and donate life-saving blood.

Boys & Girl’s Club of America:  If you really want your kids to have something to do in a non-discriminatory setting, there are many choices.  The Boy’s & Girl’s Club has a strict non-discrimination policy: “The organization does not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on any legally recognized basis including, but not limited to, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, veteran status, physical or mental disability, and/or age…. Regarding youth membership, local Boys and Girls Clubs do not discriminate against members or applicants for membership on any basis. Every club maintains an inclusive membership policy. All youth are welcome.”  A donation helps children who have nowhere to go find a better life off the streets.

Doctors Without Borders: This is an international non-profit organization which provides medical aid to those most in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation.  It currently does work in more than 70 countries worldwide, with more than 22,000 doctors, nurses and other qualified care personnel active around the world on any given day.  Doctors Without Borders operates in all climates, on front lines in combat zones, in the most infected and infested areas where many charities fear to go.  They are also working hard to develop vaccines and treatments for diseases that simply are not cost-effective for major pharmaceutical companies to pursue.  If you want your donation to go directly to the people who most need it worldwide, you can’t go wrong donating here!

Goodwill Industries:  Unlike the scummy Salvation Army, Goodwill is wholly secular and don’t try to convert the needy.  They operate more than 150 centers across the United States where, not only do they sell pre-owned products, but they teach people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges how to fix products and perform tasks which will make them better equipped to become self-sufficient.  It’s a very worthy cause and they need your donations to continue their good work.

Toys for Tots:  Started by a Marine Major in 1947, this secular charity provides toys to children who otherwise might not receive any.  This is the only really Christmas-related charity on my list but it certainly is a worthy one.  Since 1995, Toys for Tots has been designated as an official mission for the U.S. Marine Corps.  They are always taking donations of toys or money to make that needy little boy or girl happy on Christmas morning.

United Nations Children’s Fund:  UNICEF is one of the largest emergency and disaster relief organizations around, they are on the front lines when disaster happens, helping families and focusing on children without any religious undertones.  They are certainly worthy of your donation.

These and many other wholly secular charities are out there, just waiting for your valuable donations to help them in their noble causes.  They’re not taking your money and giving it to parasitic churches, they’re not pushing irrational religious platitudes on innocent children and they’re not pushing hate-filled social causes on the people.  They are open to all, regardless of race, creed, gender, orientation or religion, they truly are the best of us and they certainly deserve your attention and your charitable contribution a lot more than the moron religious charities that are forcing primitive and laughable beliefs on the innocent and most vulnerable.

Please give generously and make a difference.

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