The Secular Coalition for America, a lobbying group for secular causes that I generally support, has appointed a new Executive Director: Edwina Rogers, a Republican strategist and lobbyist.
Let that sink in for a moment.
I reeled a bit when I heard that, but you know, I mostly trust those people at the SCA, and I thought, well, maybe it’s a smart move…to appoint someone who could actually get a toe in the door of the offices of our most intransigent foes. Maybe it’s a good idea to bring in someone from the other side who’d be willing to work with us on advancing the cause in a government dominated by conservatism. I also thought that I should treat this as a practical, political decision, one that I find intellectually uncomfortable, but would get results going in the right direction.
And I talked on the phone with someone at the SCA who sorta gently nudged me in the direction of giving Rogers a chance. I was drifting on currents that felt obliging if I would just go along.
And then I read Hemant Mehta’s interview with Edwina Rogers, and rebellion suddenly seemed a heck of a lot more attractive.
I’m sorry, Hemant, you’re a good guy, but apparently you’re taking interviewing lessons from the Jon Stewart School of Broadcasting. Right from the first answer, I wanted to scream, “STOP RIGHT THERE! That is not an acceptable or even believable response!” He asked why we should trust someone who’s been working for the party opposed to secularism (a good question), and here’s the answer that set off great clanging alarm bells.
I think it’s a misconception that the majority of Republicans are lined up against the secular movement. As someone who has been an insider within the Republican Party, I’m certain it’s not the consensus of the majority of Republicans to have an [overt] influence of religion on our laws. Having said that, no one agrees with everyone they work with on every single issue. In these roles I never worked on anything having to do with issues of religion — I worked primarily on economic issues.
Wait, wait, wait. I think the number one value for atheists is truth and honesty — are we seriously supposed to believe that answer? Are we supposed to trust the competence of someone so deluded they can say with a straight face that a majority of Republicans want religion out of government?
She’s also said something similar to the right-wing press:
“The majority of Republicans just haven’t thought about” secularism, said Rogers. “They were probably a little like me, a little laissez-faire, that they didn’t see it as a problem because the country is pretty secular.… There are still areas that need improvement, of course.”
Holy shit…we now have a lobbyist for secularism who thinks the country is already pretty secular, and just has a few areas that need improvement. Does she think this job is some kind of sinecure? She hasn’t thought much about it, and she thinks all her Republican buddies are similarly casual about religion?
This is where I’m really getting worried. She doesn’t see a problem.
I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen… I know it won’t be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.
I want to say this about my state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years either.
gay liberation “makes a mockery of other legitimate civil rights that people have worked at for years.”
Lott was also an opponent of secularism.
I have consistently advocated strong legislative action in support of the rights of students who wish to participate in voluntary prayer in their schools.
That sounds mild…except that there has never been any effort to squelch the right of students to voluntarily pray on their own.
It[America]’s in jeopardy because of taxes; it’s in jeopardy because of regulation; it’s in jeopardy because of a legal system that’s run amok. And I think it’s time for us to just hand it over to God and say, “God, You’re going to have to fix this.”
I think it’s time for us to use our wisdom and our influence and really put it in God’s hands. That’s what I’m going to do, and I hope you’ll join me.
Why would someone who claims to be a “strong secularist and a firm believer in the separation of religion and government” give one penny to that clown? You’d think that if she were sincere in that long term interest, she would have been working to promote the more moderate conservatives…but no, she’s standing right there with the worst of the Rethuglicans.
That’s a lot to answer for. How do you throw a thousand dollars at the guy who makes this video:
…and then tell us you believe that most Republicans are secularists at heart who don’t even think much about religion?
Also, it doesn’t salvage her reputation to announce that she didn’t work on religious issues under Bush — just economics and health issues. Economics. And health. Under George W. Bush. Yeah, that fills me with confidence.
SCA, your executive director has a serious credibility problem. If she can’t even be forthright and honest in a friendly interview with a sympathetic interviewer, what is she going to do in the shark tank of the atheist movement?
See also Daniel and Stephanie and Greg and Jen. No one is enthusiastic. Everyone is wary. The only thing keeping us from blowing up and flinging fireballs right now is that we like and respect the SCA. Do they realize that their reputation is on the line, and is the only thing keeping us from angry rebellion? They better not blow this.