Greta Christina has been writing a great series taking apart the argument that atheist groups working on social justice causes is “mission creep”. I suggest reading the whole series:
- Does Social Justice Activism Mean Mission Drift for Atheism and Skepticism?
- Atheist Highway Cleanups, and Some Further Thoughts On “Mission Drift”
- No, It’s Not Mission Drift — But It’s Too Controversial! More on Atheism and Social Justice
- Issue Organizations Versus Community Groups — At Last, A Legitimate Question About Atheism, Social Justice, and “Mission Drift”
- “It’s Hard”: The Crux (Apparently) of the Atheism, Social Justice, and “Mission Drift” Question
If you don’t want to read them all, you should at least take this message away:
I don’t know how much more clearly to say this: IT IS BROKEN. It is badly broken. Many marginalized people already feel very alienated from organized atheism because their/our issues get ignored, dismissed, trivialized, and worse. As I’ve said more than once in these conversations: The status quo is not neutral. Doing nothing is doing something. Doing things the way we’ve always done them is not a neutral act – it is contributing to the problem.
This needs to be understood and emphasized. When you raise objections to including social justice in the activities (and operations) of your group, this is what you need to weigh those objections against. But that’s not what I want to talk about here. I want to talk about this idea that it’s hard to bring social justice activities into an established community group, and I want to talk about it from my perspective as the associate president of one of the largest atheist community groups in the U.S.
This isn’t as hard as you think it is. [Read more…]