Next week the Society of Non-Theists at Purdue University will be having a fun charity event: Send an Atheist to Church. People will have the opportunities to raise money for charity and save our souls at the same time! How neat is that? Here’s all the relevant information, which can also be found on the Facebook event page (please spread the word!):

Thursday 2/18 & Friday 2/19
9:00 am to 4:30 pm
UNION ground floor tables (by Zia Juice & Starbucks)

The main goal of this event is to come up with a creative idea to raise money for a charity that everyone can agree is very important in our community. We also want to show that non-theists are open minded about religious ideas, and that we’re willing to learn more about other people’s faith. The way it works is as follows:

1. Make a cash donation – ALL proceeds go to Food Finders Food Bank of Tippecanoe County.
2. Choose what denomination of religious services you want us atheists to attend.
3. The more money donated in a denomination’s name, the more visits it receives.

Currently participating denominations include:
Baptist (Faith Baptist Church)
Episcopalian (Chapel of the Good Shepard)
Orthodox (Saint Alexis Orthodox Church)
United Methodist (Wesley Foundation)
Judaism (Purdue Hillel)
Buddhists (Purdue Buddhist Society)

If you see certain religions missing from our list and you know a place of worship (in the Lafayette area) that would like to participate, please let us know before Thursday and we will ad them to the list! The more, the merrier! It doesn’t have to be a Christian denomination – “Church” is used just for a catchy title.

Inspired by Hemant Mehta‘s book, I Sold My Soul on eBay

Anyone can donate, regardless if they’re a Purdue student, a member of a participating church, etc. If you can’t physically come to make a donation during the listed times, you can also make a check out to Food Finders Food Bank (be sure to note what denomination it’s going toward!) and mail it to:

The Society of Non-Theists
Stewart Center, Box #566
128 Memorial Mall
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2034

So if you really want me to go visit the Baptist church or something, send a check! Not only will it tickle me pink because it’s going to a good cause, but you’ll get a blog post out of every church service I have to attend.

This is our first year trying out this event, so I hope it goes well. We’ve had a little trouble getting churches to participate – a couple outright said no, but most are unresponsive. Hopefully if this is successful this year and we prove this isn’t some nefarious plan to interrupt their services, more places will trust us next year. I have to say, I’m really excited. I’ve never really been to church, and I’m curious to see what it’s like.

So, go spread the word! Donate! Wish us luck!