Kenyan Atheists Offer Bribe to High-Achieving Student if She Joins Their Group December 23, 2018

Kenyan Atheists Offer Bribe to High-Achieving Student if She Joins Their Group

This publicity stunt by a group of Kenyan atheists is a kind of exploitation that we would never accept if a religious group tried doing the same thing.

The Atheists In Kenya Society is offering 100,000 Kenyan shillings (approximately $983 USD) to the student who scored the highest on her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams… but only if she joins their group.

It’s like telling someone who earned a perfect score on the SATs that you’ll give them a cash reward for hawking their organization. It’s a bribe meant to capitalize on her fame.

Juliet Otieno, who had the highest score among more than 660,000 students who sat for the exams, has until January 15 to collect the reward.

The group’s founder Harrison Mumia explained why they wanted her endorsement:

We would like her to be a role model and brand ambassador for the society. If she agrees to register as a member, we promise to work with her in spearheading meaningful reforms in our educations system, in particular the push for religious education reforms in our curriculum — We would like CRE, IRE and HRE abolished from our education curriculum.

That’s a great goal. But this is absolutely the wrong way to go about getting a smart young woman to join your campaign. They’re just piggybacking on her publicity. She hasn’t said she’s interested in their campaign. She hasn’t said she needs the money. But now, when people search for her name, they’ll find articles about the atheist group instead of her. That’s what’s infuriating about this campaign.

Instead of celebrating her achievement, they’re just trying to use her for their benefit.

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