Where Are the Rich, Anonymous Atheist Donors? December 11, 2008

Where Are the Rich, Anonymous Atheist Donors?

The other day, a colleague at work told me to pray for a snow day.

He knows I don’t believe in God — He just figured my atheist prayers would be much more powerful than his own 🙂

No snow day. Epic fail.

Maybe I should give it a shot, though.

Reverend Tom McDaniels from Lifebridge Church in Longview, Texas seems to think his prayers had something to do with his recent windfall.

In 2007, [McDaniels] wrote one million dollars on a bank deposit slip and prayed over it countless times hoping the church would get a million dollar gift to pay for a new building.

So an anonymous donor called him last Tuesday, asking how much he needed. McDaniels told him.

The donor then wrote a check for $1,500,000.

(Is that how life works in the Christian world…? Because if it’s true, then I am *so* gonna convert.)

McDaniels has been thanking the anonymous donor in the media all week.

Wait a minute…

He has done no such thing:

“I was ecstatic about God especially in these economic times helping us the way that he did,” Rev. Tom McDaniels says.

His wife said the timing of the gift, coming amid dire financial news in the American economy, reveals God’s hand.

“The Lord wanted to show his power, in that, he is not limited,” she said. “And he is not joining us in this economy that is going on, on the earth. That’s what I love so much about it coming now. It just makes it so much more powerful, that he would choose this time … and Christmas.”


It’s a nice gesture by the donor, even if it went to another church.

Where are the rich, anonymous atheists? We need them now more than ever to help facilitate the spreading of the idea that human kindness and generosity go much further than unheard prayers and lip service ever will.

With all that in mind, I figure I might as well say this:

The Secular Student Alliance could use $1,000,000 to pay for a new office, bring on new full-time staff members, and help sustain our growing number of active and strong campus groups.

If you’d like to pray for donations, you can always do so at the SSA website. (You may have to type in a credit card number as you pray…)

(Thanks to Spurs Fan for the link!)

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  • Richard Wade

    McDaniels got lucky but praying over a deposit slip is leaving too much to chance. He might have gotten a shipment of deposit slips. Here’s a much more effective way:

    1. Gather one million dollars in cash.
    2. Pray over the cash that the SSA will get one million dollars. Pray long and hard, at least ten minutes or until you get a headache.
    3. Deposit the cash into the SSA bank account.
    4. Your prayer has been answered.

  • Miko

    Anonymous donors are hard to point out, but if you drop that restriction I’m sure we could find quite a few by scrolling through a list of the greatest philanthropists. First off, Warren Buffett comes to mind immediately. If you include agnostic atheists, there’s also Bill Gates. And I’m sure if someone were to do a thorough search, many many more could be found.

    Of course, just because they have lots of money, want to give it to worthy causes, and aren’t religious doesn’t automatically imply that they’d choose to give it to secular groups.

  • Both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett give away ridiculous amounts of money and are atheists. If you can find a way to make a pitch, who knows?

  • What’s depressing is that there are probably no Secular Student groups in my university…simply because I live in the Southeast United States.


    I’m sure we could convince Richard Dawkins to send us a little scratch, if we hock his books for him. I’d gladly do so.

    Oh well. I’d start one up if I knew I could gather a following.

  • vivian

    When I’m a billionaire, I’ll give a few million. I promise.

  • David

    Pray for rain in one hand, spit in the other… see which one gets wet.

  • Oli

    As has been mentioned Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are two of the worlds biggest philanthropists, George Soros is another generous Atheist.

    Not sure what i’d do with billions if i had it, i like the idea of starting a foundation to support atheist activites ala the Dawkins foundation. Its a shame that Richard Dawkins isn’t a billionaire. Imagine what he could do with that kind of financing.

  • I’m a bit surprised that we haven’t heard more about a faith-based economic stimulus package. How dare Bush ask us for money instead of just praying to the god that told him to invade Iraq!

  • What’s depressing is that there are probably no Secular Student groups in my university…simply because I live in the Southeast United States.

    What university are you at? The SSA often ends up with more groups in conservative areas than liberal places. You can look for nearby affiliates at http://www.secularstudents.org/affiliates.

    And, of course, if there isn’t a group, you can always start your own – http://www.secularstudents.org/groupstartingpacket.

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