UPDATE: Jen McCreight at Blag Hag is throwing her hat into the "make a public spectacle of one's self for this cause" ring. If Team Awesome wins this contest, she will attempt to learn how to ride a bicycle, and, in her words, "videotape the whole inevitably hilarious experience." Come on, folks. There is no way you can pass this up.
I am prepared to publicly humiliate myself for atheism.
And so are Matt Dillahunty, Adam Lee, and JT Eberhard.
One-time offer. Take it or leave it.
Here's the deal. There's the blogger contest I've been gassing on about, a competition to see who can raise more money for Camp Quest, the kids' camp for children of atheists, freethinkers, humanists, and other non-supernaturalists. The contest is between Team Awesome on one side -- a bunch of scrappy underdog atheist bloggers, with me, Hemant Mehta of Friendly Atheist, Jen McCreight of Blag Hag, JT Eberhard of WWJTD?, Digital Cuttlefish at The Digital Cuttlefish, Sikivu Hutchinson at Black Skeptics Group, Adam Lee at Daylight Atheism, The Chaplain at An Apostate's Chapel, C.L. Hanson at Letters From a Broad, and Matt Dillahunty at The Atheist Experience -- and on the opposing team, PZ Myers, evil cephalopod overlord at Pharyngula, all by his lonesome on the other side.
You may have noticed that there are more players on Team Awesome than had been originally announced. That's because we are amoral atheists.We took a page from the religious apologists' handbook, moved the goalposts, and frantically rounded up a bunch of other atheist bloggers to battle for our side.
And yet, as of this writing, PZ is... what's that word?... winning. Not by much -- we're closing in, and have narrowed the gap to less than $2,000 -- but we only have a few days to finish the job. If we don't raise more money for Camp Quest by June 1, PZ will officially pwn each and every one of us.
We can't let that happen. Well, okay, we can... but we really, really don't want to.
So a few of us have agreed to make fools of ourselves in public for the cause. If Team Awesome wins, the following bloggers will make the following absurd public gestures:
* Since PZ Myers has offered to shave his beard into a hideous '80s mustache if he wins -- and really, you should donate to our side for that reason alone -- Adam Lee at Daylight Atheism has agreed to grow a beard if Team Awesome wins. Thus preserving Atheist Blogger Beard Homeostasis, and preventing the world as we know it from collapsing into some sort of hideous beardly space-time nexus.
* Matt Dillahunty at The Atheist Experience TV program will do one episode of the show in drag.
* JT Eberhard of WWJTD? will shave his head... and wax his legs.
And what will Greta Christina do? I hear you cry.
* Greta Christina -- she said, with a quiver of dread in her voice -- will do karaoke.
Let me be very clear about this: I have never done karaoke. I have never wanted to do karaoke. I am a karaoke virgin.
But if Team Awesome wins the Camp Quest fundraising challenge, I will pop my karaoke cherry.
And I will get it on video, and post the video to this blog and to my Facebook page.
You can't pass that up, can you?
You have until June 1. Here's the ChipIn widget. Make it so!
Oh, right. The actual cause we're raising money for. You probably want to know a little more about that, don't you?
If you're not familiar with them, Camp Quest is the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States aimed at the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view. The purpose of Camp Quest is to provide children of freethinking parents a residential summer camp dedicated to improving the human condition through rational inquiry, critical and creative thinking, scientific method, self-respect, ethics, competency, democracy, free speech, and the separation of religion and government.
The nontheist community offers many programs for adults, but very few for children. To provide a future for our values we need to provide freethinking families with a place for their kids to find community, develop critical thinking skills, and learn ethics and values. Fortunately, that is what Camp Quest is all about. Well, that, and all of the summer camp fun that you can pack into a week.
Camp Quest builds a community for children and teenagers from atheist, agnostic, humanist and other freethinking families. They provide campers a place to explore their developing worldviews, ask questions, and make friends in an environment supportive of critical thinking and skepticism. Camp Quest is open to campers from all backgrounds. They encourage campers to think for themselves, be comfortable with who they are, and engage respectfully with people who have different views.
And yes, Camp Quest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and donations are tax deductible.
You can help support this awesome cause, strengthen the future of the atheist community... and help stave off the crushing arms of PZ's cephalopod army! Just click on the handy Chipin widget. That number again:
How can you pass this up? Get that jolt of good altruism chemicals in your brain... and get the entertainment value of seeing your favorite atheist bloggers make public spectacles of themselves! It's win-win!