I hate “the atheist movement.” If this is what it is, I hate it and want nothing to do with it. If it’s going to act like a mirror image of the fucking Vatican, I want nothing to do with it.
I completely agree, and would go further to say that, as it stands, it’s professionally damaging to me to be associated with Movement Atheists, as represented by Dawkins, Harris, Shermer and their supporters.
It’s paradoxical, because when I first discovered ‘the movement’, the science and reason elements embedded within lit a fire in me. I had already been involved in science outreach throughout my academic pursuits, but listening to DJ Grothe interview the denizens of the Reality Based Community on POI made me aware of how much more I wanted to invest myself in science education and science literacy.
The intervening years have been wonderful in that regard, and I’ve tapped into many local, national, and international science outreach opportunities, particularly focusing on outreach to women and underrepresented minorities in science. Therein lies the obvious problem: By publicly associating with the movement most closely identified with Dawkins, Harris, Shermer and their allies, I risk alienating the generation of young women and minorities that I’m trying to bring into the realm of professional science and reason.
It’s not worth it. Those ‘leading lights’ offer nothing to compensate for the exclusion of multitudes of diverse and valuable people.