Comedian Doug Stanhope Crowdfunds $125K for Atheist Oklahoma Tornado Survivor (Video)

Just to piss off “her Okie-Christian neighbors,” the comic explained in a new video celebrating the success of the “Atheists Unite” Indiegogo campaign

When Wolf Blitzer asked Rebecca Vitsmun on CNN last May if she thanked “the Lord” that she and her family survived the tornado that had just ripped through Moore, Okla., she informed him that she is “actually an atheist.”

Then comedian Doug Stanhope answered her prayers.

With the help of 4,475 other non-believers, Stanhope launched the “Athiests Unite” Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign shortly after seeing the proud atheist living in the grief-stricken area of the Bible Belt, and ended up raising $125,760 within two months to help Vitsmun's family rebuild their home that was completely destroyed in the storm.

Also read: Ricky Gervais Provokes Twitter Flap Over Sending Prayers to Oklahoma

“Saying ‘I'm an atheist’ in Oklahoma is like screaming ‘Jihad’ at airport security. That took some nuts,” Stanhope explains in a new video (above) addressing his successful fundraiser. ”

While many crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo rely on “perks” in exchange for a donation, Stanhope's got absolutely nothing in return other than proving — as Stanhope wrote in his pitch — “you don't need to believe in a god to have human compassion.”

Still, Stanhope took advantage of the perk system to poke more fun at Christianity, promising a “Get Out of Hell Free Card” to anyone donating $50, a “lucky break” to those donating $100, a “Phone Call from God” for $125, a “Guardian Angel,” and even “The Holy Grail” to someone willing to pony up $10,000.

Nobody claimed the Holy Grail, but one person was willing to part with $2,500 in exchange for “First Choice for Reincarnation,” because  ”all those eagle & dolphin spots go fast.”

Stanhope says he did not launch the charitable campaign because he felt sympathy for Vitsmun, but did so “simply to be a prick to her Okie-Christian neighbors.”

For the record, Vitsmun was much more tolerant toward her neighbors’ faith, and told Blitzer at the time of the interview, “I don't blame anybody for thanking the Lord.”

  • David Perkins

    Seriously, I love The Wrap site for just about everything it covers — delivering high-quality content from gifted writers, and delightful insight and information about the biz you follow closely. But, is this the type of story to which you want to devote space? Yes, I understand it's a very slow news period at this time of year. But, are you purposefully trying to ruffle feathers because there's nothing else to do? Or is this an example of what we can look forward to in the future? I already read Politico and watch MSNBC. I'm kinda hoping to find something else at The Wrap.

  • John Williams

    Genius.