Back on March 11th, Hemant Mehta, over at his Friendly Atheist blog, had a guest post by Kristine Kruszelnicki that attempted to give some secular arguments against abortion. Naturally Mehta received some heat for the post. However his need to ‘debate’ abortion didn’t include allowing a rebuttal from the group Secular Woman. I agree with Secular Woman that abortion shouldn’t be debated like some kind of flavor of ice cream.
Being an atheist, I have spent a lot of time debating religious people about all sorts of things such as my freedom to be an atheist to the US motto (In God We Trust) being printed on our money. The theist is on the wrong side of the debate all the time but they seem to believe my equality and freedom is subject to debate. No one would rationally support that kind of injustice. Imagine my shock when a fellow atheist, trying to support debating the equality of women, used a line of argument we atheists dismiss out of hand when fundamentalist Christians use it against Evolution.
This all stems from the unending internal Internet arguments over sexism in secular groups that I’ve written about before in this blog. The fighting has devolved into unproductive name calling and whining one sees on the middle school playground. I try to avoid reading blog posts specifically about the conflict because those posts just seem to be attempts by the authors to feel superior to a straw man and no one really listens to what is being said. The signal to noise ratio is very low.
On Tuesday, leaders of most of the secular groups in the United States issued an open letter addressing the ongoing internal firestorm over social justice, sexism, and diversity in the freethought community taking place mainly in online forums and comment sections. I applaud the leaders wanting to take on this serious issue in the community and while it doesn’t go far enough in addressing the real issue in the dispute, I hope the letter does open the door to further progress.
Normally I frown on creating new freethought groups because we tend to see new ones pop-up for no real reason but Secular Woman is a group our community needs to have. It will serve a group of non-religious people that tend to be under served or marginalize even within the freethought movement. I like their mission and value statements and the fact that even as a man I can join if I want to support their goals.