A dear friend of mine, who is into every kind of woo out there, posted this link today on Twitter: NYPD Cop Buys Homeless Man Boots. It’s a nice story about a person doing something for someone in need. I like this kind of story; I think good stuff should make the news too.
What my friend said in her tweet was “THAT is the god I worship.” She did not credit this action to the person, the human being, who made a generous gift to a cold stranger. She gave the credit to a god.
This really annoyed me. A person did this. This is how humans should behave, and it’s incredibly frustrating to see good actions credited to a god who had nothing at all to do with it. The belief system of the cop is unclear and not referenced in the link, so we can’t even say that he did this out of some religious belief. Even if he did, it’s still a person who took that action, not their religion or their god.
This kind of language does real damage to nonreligious people like me. Crediting kind actions to gods, instead of the humans who actually did those actions, makes it seem as if nonbelievers cannot also do good deeds. We do, and we do them without crediting those deeds to any religious belief. We do not need to be instructed, bribed, or threatened into generous actions by religion or supernatural beings.
Good for this cop who did something kind for his fellow man. He deserves credit for his actions.