Controversy comes with the new Secular Coalition for America Executive Director

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?

“Do women have too many rights?”

How I wish that question was abruptly followed by laughter or “NO.” But alas, it’s not. It’s a title of a talk being given here at the University of Washington on Thursday by anti-choicer Abby Johnson.

Yes, I do choose. I choose the answer “No.” I choose putting a woman’s right to control decisions about her own body before a clump of cells. I choose letting women make their own choices, instead of forcing my personal beliefs on them.

I guess I’ve naively been thinking that I’ve escaped this sort of stuff, but I was wrong. What’s worse is this isn’t a tiny event. That room in Kane Hall is one of the biggest venues on campus. And Abby Johnson is one of the worst anti-choicers out there. She used to work at Planned Parenthood and uses outrageous stories from her time there to explain her stance…outrageously fabricated stories. I guess her superior morals don’t cover the whole “no lying” bit.

If you’re interested, some cranky baby killing feminists will be protesting her talk. I’m not sure if my blood pressure can stand the whole thing. Anything with the trolltastic title “Do women have too many rights?” is destined to be enraging and pointless.

The secret to getting a flood of angry Christian tweets

No, it’s not to spend years blogging about atheism, giving talks about how fucked up religion is, or helping run atheist organizations. It’s to get retweeted by Dan Savage. I know not all of you follow me on twitter, so I thought I’d share the highlights.

Dan retweets someone:

I make a quip, which Dan also retweets:

And then came the flood of angry Christians:

Ironically, she cared enough about my atheism to waste five seconds tweeting at me.

Wait, I’m the one who thinks she’s important? Not the one who thinks they’re the special and highest creation of an all powerful being? Riggghhhttt.

Hooooooo boy, not even touching that one.

But this one was perhaps my favorite:

He never responded. Turns out he couldn’t clarify.