Humanist Charity Raising Funds for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children's Legal Aid

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Gordon Hyde
The nation's largest humanist charity is raising funds to offer legal assistance to the unaccompanied immigrant children flooding over the border.

The Humanist Crisis Response program will donate the funds to two organizations that provide attorneys for minors in immigration hearings -- the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona, and Kids in Need of Defense, which operates in California and Texas.

See also:
-The U.S. Tries to Deport Not Protect Children Fleeing Violence in Central America

The Humanist Crisis Response Program is a joint effort of two humanist organizations, Foundation Beyond Belief, and the American Humanist Association.

"Humanism is the desire to take care of this world, in this life," explains Dale McGowan, executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief. "It's a sort of naturalistic stance that says whether or not a God exists, [that] the most important thing is to take care of this world and this life."

"This campaign is an opportunity for humanists to put into practice our values of justice and human rights," says Roy Speckhardt, the American Humanist Association executive director, "and to ensure that vulnerable children receive the legal representation that they need."

The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project is a non-profit offering free legal services to men, women, and children detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement here in Arizona. Free legal assistance is not offered to people facing immigration removal proceedings. The Florence Project estimates that 86 percent of immigrant detainees are unrepresented.

The decision to focus on this issue came from members of the humanist giving organization, says McGowan. Members began inquiring about providing assistance to these children so the foundation's staff decided to vet organizations that were responding directly to the crisis. Food, clothing, and shelter did not seem to be the key issues, McGowan says, as they were largely provided by government agencies.

"We dug into it and researched the issue; it turned out the issue of legal representation was a much more serious priority," McGowan says. "Over three-quarters of kids entering unaccompanied by an adult are without representation. It's really a terrifying situation."

McGowan sees little controversy in the decision to get involved in this issue. Humanists have had a "pretty unified voice" on this issue, he says. This isn't about simply letting children across the border, he says. "Essentially what they are doing is providing these kids with as fair as possible of a hearing."

"No child should meet a national immigration system alone. KIND and the Florence Project are doing brilliant work to ensure that they are not alone, and the humanist community is proud to support them," McGowan says.

In the first days of the fundraising campaign, the group already has raised several thousand dollars. They have yet to put out their major promotional materials for the drive. In past disaster-relief drives, the group has raised between $20,000 and $30,000, McGowan says.

The Foundation Beyond Belief, McGowan's organization, is a humanist charity with more than 1,600 giving members, most of whom are secular humanists and atheists, he says. The 4 1/2-year-old foundation has a regular giving program and has donated $1.6 million dollars to various charities since its launch. It also has a special disaster-relief arm, formed as a way for non-theistic people to show a community response during disaster events, McGowan says. This legal-assistance campaign will be the foundation's ninth disaster-relief fundraiser, and its fourth focused on a domestic issue. The foundation has preciously raised money for relief after the tornadoes in Oklahoma, Superstorm Sandy, and the Colorado wildfires, McGowan says.

The American Humanist Association--a separate organization, and one of the oldest humanist organizations in the country--recently approached the Foundation Beyond Belief about taking over Humanist Charities, its charitable-giving effort.

"Both organizations felt like combining the two programs into one humanist crisis response would be a positive move that would better grow the efforts of the humanist relief," says Merrill Miller, an American Humanist Association representative. This drive is the first since the two programs merged in June.

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32 comments
dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

It doesn't matter if you believe in god or you don't believe in god. What matters is how you respond to the prayers of others.

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

This is great 2 organizations helping with the costs associated with legal representation I wonder when the Hispanics along with their illegal brethren start reaching down into their own pockets.  Oh I forgot the illegals are to busy demanding rights in Washington. Anyway this is good news

annarkey14
annarkey14

What's it say when Atheists act more like Christians than a whole lot of Christians?

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@annarkey14 Jesus was a liberal - he wanted change in the jewish religion (his religion).  He travelled a lot and learned of the various religious/medical/philosophical approaches which various cultures around the world practiced. 

The tenents of the Jewish faith were simply common sense ideas which stood the test of time and were folded into it to update the jewish religion (that's what Christians are - a sect of Judiasm that believes Jesus was the messiah - other sects don't). 


fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@annarkey14


What's it say when conservatives give overwhelmingly more to charity than their whiny, hypocritical, self-indulgent liberal cousins?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@annarkey14 

It says that your definition of "Christian" needs to be revised.   I am atheist (not "an Atheist", it isn't a religion, it's a description), and I contribute quite a bit to charities. I don't consider that I'm acting "Christian".  I'm acting like a decent human being, which Christianity also happens to espouse.


fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@ExpertShot @annarkey14


What a fucking mutt!  "Jesus was a liberal" Jazus!


"Obviously, the political climate in which Jesus lived was vastly different from our own. To apply modern labels such as "conservative" or "liberal" to a person who lived on earth 2000 years ago is spurious to say the least. In fact, there were numerous political parties and factions in Jesus' day, yet there is no evidence that He ever joined any of them."


Liberals just  love to make shit up since they cannot find any facts to support their hysteria.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ExpertShot "he wanted change in the jewish religion"


Nope, he clearly stated that ALL the OLD TESTAMENT LAWS -- the only scriptures at the time -- should be followed.


Jesus never declared himself to be the messiah, in fact he denied it.


It wasn't until many years after his death that PAUL rewrote the scriptures, declared Jesus the messiah and created a new sect / cult. It should be called Paulism.

annarkey14
annarkey14

@fishingblues,(Neener Neener)

OOOOHHH............NEENER NEENER ............Your creative juices seem a bit constipated today.

annarkey14
annarkey14

@valleynative,

Wow, and who made you King of the Atheists which, by the way, I am one. Atheism isn't a religion but, many do consider it a belief system in which we believe that religion is nothing more than a widely accepted fairy tale.

And if I want to capitalize it, by god, I will.


My his noodle anoint thee.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@fishingblues @ExpertShot @annarkey14 

The biggest "change" was the policy of the jewish religion to NOT endorse any messianic leader as "the Messiah".  There were hundreds of these people calling themselves (or paying others to call them) Messiah who would remove the Romans from oppressing the Jews.  Jesus managed to get enough jews to call him the Messiah that the Jewish leadership could not suppress his followers sufficiently to avoid a Roman backlash against them.

http://www.right-wing-pseudo-christians.com/jesus-liberal-conservative.htm


fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@annarkey14 


My level rises with the quality of the competition.  You do not require much.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@thadboyd @fishingblues @annarkey14 

There have been several studies, all concluding that conservatives donate more than liberals.  Some compared "red states" to "blue states".  Some compared by political party.

Google will find several.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@annarkey14


Touchy, touchy


Loopy, loony liberals are soooooo sensitive.


"My his noodle anoint thee."  Gosh is that libonics? 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@annarkey14 

I should have clarified that "to me" it's just a description.  Unlike "Pastafarian", of course.


annarkey14
annarkey14

@fishingblues (Neener Neener)

You're just proving a theory of mine.....the more simple minded the organism, the easier it is to yank their chain.

 Been yanking yours for four days with four little cut and pasted words......words which you supplied in the first place.

DOH!

thadboyd
thadboyd

@valleynative @thadboyd @fishingblues @annarkey14 Ah, the old "go do my research for me" school of argument.


Not my first day on the Internet, kiddo; you'll have to do better than that.


The fact that you couldn't provide one single link supporting your argument says all it needs to.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@valleynative @thadboyd @fishingblues @annarkey14 

Guess what I found with an internet search.

It's a lie that conservatives donate more to charity.  You can't count donations to churchs because ". . . a local fundamentalist church may spend the bulk of its resources degrading and attacking other faiths, insulting gay people and leading crusades to strip people of their civil liberties. They may never feed the hungry, clothe the naked, or comfort the afflicted. Yet in IRS terms they are a charity no matter how uncharitable they may be. The report states that the IRS "does not provide data about the specific charities people supported." In other words, there is no data about who is feeding the poor, . . . "  ALso:


http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomwatson/2012/06/01/giving-differently-liberals-and-conservatives-have-radically-different-views-of-charity/

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@annarkey14 @fishingblues


I believe you are confused as to exactly what you are yanking.  


By the way, it requires intelligence to theorize.  I think what you had was gas.  

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay 


Seriously, is this all you have left?  You fucking AIDS infested  moron.  


Try to come up with something original or don't bother.  Fuck, you're getting as bad as those loopy liberals you hang with.  Fucking twat! 

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