the eBay atheist

In case you don't see it on Rachelle's blog, I wanted to write here about a new project that is being conducted by Off the Map, a ministry whose tagline is "Helping Christians Be Normal". They recently hired an atheist off of eBay, and in their own words, here is why:
In early February of 2006 Hemant Mehta, an avowed atheist and leader of a national secular students organization, decided to put his “atheistic attention” up for bid on eBay.

Off The Map entered the bidding and won.

We spent our entire marketing budget for 2006 ($504) to buy his atheistic attention and in the process began getting more attention than we could afford to pay for. Chicago papers, Wall Street Journal, and more to come….

Off The Map has been paying people to “go to church” (and provide feedback) for over 5 years. We encourage pastors and church leaders to pay people as well.

When it comes to getting better reality about how our customers feel about our “products and services” (we call it a service, don’t we? ;) )

Who better to ask than a non believer and an atheist at that?

So, they're taking Hemant on a tour of churches and you can read his thoughts and the dialogue that insues on the eBay Atheist blog. Very interesting stuff. (Jim Henderson is the Director of Off the Map, and I love the questions he asks Hemant in the comments section regarding other people's comments.)