An Alternative to the National Day of Prayer — MAYDAY, MAYDAY, SOS!
POCOPSON, Pa. — The call for food and shelter assistance is louder than ever as a result of the COVID health crisis. The nontheist community has heard the emergency call for help loud and clear. Five national nontheist nonprofit groups have come together to raise funds for homeless shelters and food banks in Wisconsin, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, and California during a special event taking place on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 4:00 PM PDT/7:00 PM EDT. The fundraising event Mayday for Humanity coincides with the celebration of the 2021 National Day of Reason.
The National Day of Reason was created in 2003 as an alternative to the government-endorsed observance of the National Day of Prayer. The nontheist community has taken the National Day of Reason one step further in 2021 by hosting a free online entertainment extravaganza featuring celebrities, comedians, musicians, poets, and an auction.
Donations will be accepted during the 3-hour Mayday for Humanity program with the funds benefitting pre-selected homeless shelters and food distribution centers.
Margaret Downey, the event coordinator and president of the Freethought Society, said, “The Freethought Society is proud to be a co-sponsor of an event that celebrates the National Day of Reason in sharp contrast to the National Day of Prayer. During the Mayday for Humanity event, the nontheist community will take action and raise funds for citizens in need because prayers simply don’t work to solve human problems. We look forward to answering the Mayday for Humanity emergency call to help end homelessness and hunger by providing funding to benefit Safe Harbor of Chester County, Pennsylvania, a nonprofit organization that has served people in need for 25 years.”
Gayle Jordon, representing Recovering from Religion stated, “Recovering from Religion is a proud co-sponsor of the National Day of Reason. As we work with folks who are struggling with doubts about their religious faith, very often they wonder how they can continue to be a helper in their community if they detach from their church, mosque, or synagogue. Engaging in the National Day of Reason to counter the National Day of Prayer not only raises the visibility of what should be our national effort, but it also allows them to participate in a community event to help end homelessness and hunger.”
Another co-sponsoring group is the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation Annie Laurie Gaylor said, “The Freedom From Religion Foundation adheres to freethinker Robert G. Ingersoll’s adage that ‘hands that help are better far than lips that pray.’ On a date that unconstitutionally enjoins the president to urge all citizens to gather together to pray, FFRF instead urges individuals to take meaningful action to help alleviate the suffering and difficulties caused by the pandemic. Our response to the ‘Mayday for Humanity’ request will be to donate toward and encourage gifts to secular food banks around the nation. FFRF, a national association of freethinkers based in Madison, Wisconsin, will be contributing to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.”
Celebrity endorsers of the National Day of Reason Mayday for Humanity are John Davidson, Penn & Teller, John de Lancie, Julia Sweeney, John Fugelsang, and Jon Huertas. For more information about the 10 secular entertainers and co-hosts Ian Harris and Leighann Lord, please visit the following Facebook event page:
Registration link: bit.ly/Join4Humanity
Sponsors of the 2021 National Day of Reason Mayday for Humanity are:
The Freethought Society
Contact Person: Margaret Downey
The Freedom From Religion Foundation
Contact Person: Annie Laurie Gaylor
Recovering From Religion
Contact Person: Gayle Jordan
Secular Student Alliance
Contact Person: Kevin Bolling
Secular Coalition for America
Contact Person: Debbie Allen
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.