Athiest Oklahoma Tornado Survivor Rebecca Vitsmun Receives Thousands In Donations

by
Owen Poindexter
Rebecca Vitsmun, the tornado survivor who went viral when Wolf Blitzer asked her if she "thanked the lord" after she survived the Oklahoma tornado, and she calmly replied, "actually I'm an athiest," is receiving thousands in donations from an online community called Athiests Unite.

Rebecca Vitsmun, the tornado survivor who went viral when Wolf Blitzer asked her if she "thanked the lord" after she survived the Oklahoma tornado, and she calmly replied, "actually I'm an athiest," is receiving thousands in donations from an online community called Athiests Unite. Through the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, Athiests Unite is calling for donations to Vitsmun to help her and her 19 month-old son get their life back together. They have set a goal of $50,000, and at the time of writing, they are close to $47,000. Athiests Unite explains their campaign as such:

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.

It's important that our community shows that we have your back when you come out publicly as an atheist.

Let's show the world that you don't need to believe in a god to have human compassion nor does all charity fall under the banner of religion.

Let's get this courageous woman and her family back in their own home.

We dont know the exact cost of putting a family back together when you dont even have a toothbrush anymore so we randomly chose 50,000 dollars as a goal. And that's probably low-ball.

As a reward for donations, the site offers various perks, such as Get Out Of Hell Free card, First Choice for Reincarnation, and, for those sending $10,000, The Holy Grail itself. Apparently the good people at Athiests Unite got a hold of it.
 
While it seems a little strange to reward someone so substantially for their athiesm, it's not unlike running a marathon for charity: it gets people to actually do something. There might be more equitable ways to spread that money around, but this is the fastest way to help Vitsmun and her 19 month-old son, and if religious communities want to respond by helping out their own, all the better. The only risk is that this is perceived (or turns into) a dicey situation with weird incentives where the athiest in-club gets saved at the expense of others. Honestly though, the athiest movement is only just starting to really find its feet, and if athiest solidarity is what inspires people to send money to a stranger in need, then so be it.
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