After Sean Faircloth left the Secular Coalition for America to take a position with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, the SCA had to search for a new executive director. Their choice was Edwina Rogers, a Republican strategist who had previously worked with George W. Bush and Trent Lott.
That shuffling sound you hear is thousands of atheists squirming uncomfortably in their seats.
I admit, I’m skeptical. It’s an understatement to say that Republicans don’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to secular issues. In most cases they’re the direct cause of much of our religiously motivated problems. It makes me nervous putting one in charge of a lobbying group meant to represent a number of secular organizations, including one that I’m a board member of (the Secular Student Alliance).
But I’m going to give Edwina Rogers the chance to prove herself before I lay down any judgment. From this interview with Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist, Edwina states that she’s a non-theist who’s fully committed to the values of the SCA, and that her previous work with Republicans was mostly on economic issues. She also emphasizes that this gives us a chance to reach across the aisle and utilize allies that we have previously written off. She insists that there are Republicans out there who agree with secular values.
Again, I’m skeptical. Even if there are secret secular Republicans, they have to answer to a very religious base. But Edwina seems to have exactly the qualifications that the ED of the SCA should have, so I’m going to give her the chance to try… Unlike some commenters who are already talking about automatically pulling their support from all SCA member organizations. I’m going to refrain from a boycott until, you know, she actually does something wrong.
So what do you think about SCA’s decision? A shrewd political move? Something that will be effective in gaining more support for the SCA? A train wreck waiting to happen? Is this going to affect your support for member organizations?