In response to the massive humanitarian crisis that has overwhelmed Lousiana after Hurricane Katrina, leading American atheists have called for a "Day of not praying".
Dr. Winston Dennis, the President of the North American Atheist Society, states that this unusual call is due to the devastation that the country has witnessed recently.
"We've seen images of third-world pain in a first-world country. We have seen mankind at the mercy of nature. This is perhaps the worst natural disaster in our nation's history."
"We therefore call all Americans to not humbly come before their maker, who does not exist, and to not pray for those suffering as a result of this calamity."
Although details are still sketchy, some estimates are that over one million people have been rendered homeless and jobless by the effects of Hurricane Katrina.
Bill Patterson, chairman of the New Orleans Unbelievers Association, is concerned that many of his members may never return to the devastated city.
"The meeting hall where we had our weekly discussions of modern philosophy has been totally destroyed. Atheist Orleanians are going to find it difficult to meet again in the place they call home."
Many atheists within the diaspora have managed to express their lack of religious faith with local unbelievers. Alison Steadman, one of the former members of the New Orleans Unbelievers Association, has been greatly encouraged by the warm reception she has had meeting with fellow Atheists in Monroe.
"I've been overwhelmed with love and support", Steadman said "When I arrived in Monroe I thought I would be staying a few days at most. It has been wonderful to experience the love and lack of faith that we all share as unbelievers."
Nevertheless, other Atheists, such as Ray Cooper, have found it difficult to cope with both their change in circumstances and their reliance upon Secular humanism. Now living in a tent in Leesville, Cooper tried to give his lack of religious faith a boost.
"I went to the local meeting of Agnostics Non-anonymous. They were nice people but I was just confused about everything they were saying. They talked about different philosophies, different authors - being there really made me miss our meeting back south"
When told about the day of not praying, Cooper was enthusiastic.
"On that day, you can count on me to not fall onto my knees. I'll be telling everyone I know to join me in not praying for the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
Nevertheless, political opponents of Atheism have spoken against the day of not praying as being "useless".
Don Henderson, Vice-President of Christians for Uncontrollable Gun Proliferation, was angry at the move.
"These people have got no idea at all what they are not doing". He stated. "They don't realise that they, along with all the Feminists, Gays, Blacks, Jews and people who like Intelligent Dance Music are all to blame for this righteous act of God's vengeance for the depraved vile sins of this modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah."
Other leading religionists poured scorn on the activity.
"They think that by doing nothing they will actually help?" laughed Andrew MacLachlan, Chairman of the evangelical charity Christian Objectivists. "You have to pray to God. God changes the way people behave and feel. Are these guys nuts? I suppose they will deserve their eventual imprisonment in an isolated gulag once Jeb Bush becomes President. Awesome!"
The President has yet to endorse this very ordinary day, which is slated for September 29.
From the Department of Attempted Humour
© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.