I for one welcome our new Lesbian Overlords

Did you know that there is a “Lesbian Apocalypse” coming? No? I didn’t either, but apparently there is one. From Wipedia:

Catherine “Cathy” Brennan is an attorney in the state of Maryland and a prominent supporter of “trans-critical” radical feminism. Her main accomplishment in this regard is coauthoring a letter to the United Nations, insisting that trans people’s gender identity should not be legally recognized and protected. She is also a frequent columnist for Baltimore OUTloud’s LGBTQ blog section, which she uses to warn of the coming “lesbian annihilation” at the hands of “the queers” and trans people and stridently argue against legislation protecting gender identity.

I received a note from Secular Women linking to a petition to the Southern Poverty Law Center asking for the SPLC to treat Brennan’s organization as a hate group. Having never heard of trans-critical radical feminism, I worried at first that this was one of those awful breakdowns among allies (in this case, feminists) over how some issue or another is being handled, which had escalated to the extreme outcome of labeling a group with different views but within the same movement as a hate group. This didn’t seem like something Secular Women would do. So, I followed the links and read up on it a bit, and apparently this is a thing. Here’s the letter I got from Secular Women:

Southern Poverty Law Center:
Monitor “Gender Identity Watch”
as a Hate Group

As a feminist organization, Secular Woman promotes gender equality. We stand against and combat sexism, hate, intolerance, and misogyny.

Transgender women are women.

Cisgender women are women.

We do not, in any way, view the existence of transgender women, genderqueer individuals or transgender men as a threat to the safety of women, female identity, or the goals of feminism.

As intersectional feminists we acknowledge the privilege that cisgender people experience. We aim to dismantle the axis of oppression that this represents.
Unfortunately, not all who claim the label “feminist” agree with us. They do not represent us and we reject their actions and views as unethical and devoid of reason.
We stand in opposition.

Members of our community have been targeted by trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs). Personal information such as former names, current legal names, and photographs have been compiled and displayed on the website “Name the Problem”. Several of the entries are self-attributed to “Pegasus” (“PegasusBug” is a pseudonym of Cathy Brennan, the head of Gender Identity Watch). This information was presented alongside reports describing rapists and batterers of women.

Countless others, including members of transgender advocacy groups have reported similar treatment, as well as other alarming behavior, such as Cathy Brennan contacting employers, schools and medical doctors of transgender women, girls and young men.

This is unacceptable.

It is anathema to our vision of a future in which women have the opportunities and resources they need to participate openly and confidently in every aspect of society.
Cathy Brennan’s tactics, as described, are reprehensible, reckless, and irresponsible as they have the potential to embolden violence and harassment of those she targets and to result in job loss and other discrimination informed by the open knowledge of the target’s transgender status.

Refusal to afford transgender women inclusion, safety, and civil rights is a form of misogyny that is antithetical to feminism.

We invite fellow feminists and secularists, as well as others concerned, to proactively affirm the inclusion of all women as women. Condemn the toxic ideologies used to rationalize hate, fear, and discrimination based on gender.

Stand with us in petitioning the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to track the activities of Cathy Brennan’s Gender Identity Watch as a hate group in accordance with SPLC’s stated mission.

Signed in Solidarity,

Secular Woman
Stop Abuse Online
Skepchick

Trinity Aodh, Melody Hensley, M. A. Melby, Veronica K. Berglyd Olsen, Kim Rippere, Mary Ellen Sikes, Dana Lane Taylor

Please sign the petition here!

Click through to follow the documenting links. Sign the petition.

Atheism and Volunteerism (and the thoughtful secular life)

Atheists Talk TV has a nice interview with Erick Jayne (James Zimmerman does the interview) regarding volunteerism and atheism:

One thing often lost in the various calculations about volunteerism has to do with what people do when they lead a thoughtful secular life. Various helping organizations are run by private non profits, often religious, and contributing to those efforts counts as volunteerism (if you do stuff) or charitable giving (if you give stuff). Fine. But in a world more oriented towards secularism, we would do more via the secular civic organizations at the local, state, national, and international level. When we pay taxes and as activists insist that some of that goes to “foreign aid” that, in theory, is like charitable giving but via a different rout that counts less than when a Mormon gives 10% of his or her income to the Mormon Church which then, in turn, uses that money for various things.

One of the problems that then emerges within the secular community is this: A certain percentage of atheists are also Libertarians, who don’t believe that civic institutions, ranging from the city that might make room for a community garden or a food shelf to the UN’s relief units, should be large, or even exist. I suspect that many of those individuals do not spent excessive amounts of time volunteering or giving money to non profits (prove me wrong if you like). They are therefore pulling back from most forms of helping each other that are used by much of the rest of society, including work and donations via church, non-religious non-profits, and civic institutions. That is not good.

I suspect, but can not prove, that all else being equal, the average person leading a thoughtful secular life tips more at the coffee shop than the average Libertarian atheist or the average religious person who pays a tithe. This is underscored (though in a purely self confirming non-data based way, I quickly add) by the occasional high profile event such as the pastor who stiffed the server with the nasty note on the check about how she gives money to god, why should she give it to some slob that brought her dinner. Again, I could be wrong about all this. This may be just me assuming that nice people are nicer than non-nice people, and being thoughtfully secular and humanistic is nicer. Nicest even.

Free Alber Saber!

Alber Saber is an Egyptian pro-democracy blogger who ran a Facebook page for atheists. When a neighbor discovered Saber’s connection to the page, word spread and on 13 September 2012, an angry mob formed at Saber’s house. The police arrived, and instead of dispersing the mob and arresting those threatening to burn the house down, they arrested Saber and accused him of the crime of insulting Islam.

There are already reports that Saber was attacked with a razor blade while in jail, after guards told his fellow Muslim inmates why he was imprisoned. His family fears for his life.

Across Egypt, radical Muslims are reacting with violence to anti-Islamic and pro-secular ideas. Now more than ever, it is crucial for the government of Egypt to make it clear that they support the free, peaceful expression of all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack thereof). By continuing to detain, abuse, and potentially prosecute Alber Saber, Egypt sends a message to the rest of the world: debate and discussion are dead, and ignorance and intolerance reign.

President Mohamed Morsi promised to be the president of all Egyptians. We want him to prove it. As concerned citizens who value free and open expression, we demand that Egyptian authorities release Alber Saber at once and provide fully for his safety and the safety of all Egyptians who are currently targeted by religious extremists.

Hug an atheist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My name is Sylvia, I’m a Belgian filmmaker living in England and I’m an atheist. I’m often gobsmacked at how atheism is generally perceived in the US. When I read stories like Jessica Ahlquist’s or Damon Fowler’s I just sit here in disbelief and find myself outraged.

Unlike my US friends, I can openly talk about it without the fear of persecution or the fear of losing my job, my friends or my family. It’s a cause I find myself passionate about so I’ve been wondering for a while what can I do. I’m a filmmaker. With that in mind, I would dearly love to make a film about atheism in the USA…

Thank you, Sylvia. Everyone, click here and learn all about this project and help make it happen!

Here’s a widget:


Pussy Riot Is On Trial

The Russian Feminist Punk Rock group Pussy Riot, or at least part of it, is on trial and faces several years in prison for acting up. Debbie Goddard has the story in detail.

You may be asking yourself why I’m writing about this. As an activist and organizer, I try to pay attention to other groups’ campaigns and activism efforts, whether populist or fringe, especially when led by young people. I’ll share a few of the reasons this situation is particularly interesting to me….

Read The Rest

Want to tell London and the US that we are not Romney?

Americans who are embarrassed about Mitt Romney’s ham-handed, ignorant, and jingoistic babbling about the London Olympics have a chance to tell the UK that it is not the case that we all feel that way. Daily Kos Campaigns has a letter you can sign.

An open letter to the people of the United Kingdom:

We are writing to express our concern over Mitt Romney’s recent comments, and to let you know that he does not represent how most Americans view your great country.

First, we do not believe, as Mitt Romney implied in 2007, that you have become a second-tier nation. Rather, we are impressed at how the United Kingdom has consistently been able to punch above its weight on the world stage.

Additionally, we do not share the opinion which Romney expressed in his 2010 book, No Apologies, that “England [sic] is just a small island,” and that “with few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy.” Please continue sending us your many wonderful products, especially the upcoming third season of Downton Abbey.

We look forward not only to the London Olympics, but also to many years of continuing the special relationship between our two nations. Rest assured we will do our level best to prevent Mitt Romney from becoming our next president.

Cheers!

Click Here to sign.

Boycott Reddit? (Again)

A while ago I asked Should we just stop using reddit? (For those of you following the Freethought Bullies discussion, I’ll note that one of my frustrations with Freethoughtblogs, which I overall think is a great blog network, is that so many bloggers there uncritically involve themselves in Reddit to the point that they are by default defending the widespread and offensive misogyny there.)

Lots of people showed up on that post to hate me for hating the hate at Reddit. Whatever.

More recently, Jim Hines, the author, has written this post: Why I Cancelled my Reddit Q&A [trigger warning].

What Hines notes in his post is even worse than what I had encountered. It is a very good argument for leaving Reddit off your social networking list of things to do.

Unless, of course, Reddit does the right thing.

Is the Mother Ship finally hitting the Target?

Target, which we in Minnesota refer to as The Mother Ship (as in “We’re out of everything. Time to visit the Mother Ship”), has a mixed record with respect to Gay Rights. A few years back, Target made a major indirect donation to Tom Emmer’s gubernatorial campagin; Emmer is very anti Gay. You may remember that event because it is when Lady Gaga killed an album deal with the company as a way of showing her support for Gay Rights. Also, there is the more recent controversy over Frank Ocean’s album, although the reasons for Target dropping that album from its line are not entirely clear.

Well, cooler heads have prevailed at least to some extent, with Target now selling same-sex greeting cards and, most recently, using a same-sex theme in its advertising for a wedding registry.

When I first moved to Minnesota, Targets were not everywhere in the US, but they were everywhere here. There were so many Targets that you could not use them as landmarks when giving directions. If you said “Go north and turn right at the Target” you might was well say “Go north and turn right at any major intersection you see” because there is a Target at every major intersection. In those days, people who used a Target credit card knew that a significant percent (was it 5%?) of their purchase went into a fund to support education, and more than that, credit hard holders could specify which school district received the funding. Now, however, the percentage is much lower, but at least they still do it.

One of the things that Target uses to differentiate itself from its main competitors, such as Walmart, is style. I’m told that Target keeps its aisles wide and open while Walmart fills its open space with stuff on sale. This provides Walmart with more income (because the amount of stuff you put out for sale is a factor in how much you sell) but it keeps Target customers subtly more happy about going to Target. In this and other ways, the two companies have different approaches to brand loyalty. Only slightly more subtle difference is the cultural and political aspect of brand loyalty. When I would visit relatives in the Ozarks, everyone would be all about Walmart, everyone had their Sam Walton story, and Walmart was without a doubt The Mother Ship in that region, whence Walmart comes. In Minnesota, the contrast is starker. Walmart is conservative, Republican, and Dixie-South, while Target is liberal, DFLish, and local. The thing about cramming the aisles vs. not seems to fit well with this contrast somehow. Free Market vs. Good Service, or something.

It is for this reason that Minnesotans really did become upset when Emmer received support from Target. Lots of Minnesotans supported Emmer, are against Gay Rights, and are otherwise misguided in their politics and social policy. But Progressives, DFLers, Liberals, pro-Gay Rights people were the Target customers, and we were shocked, chagrined, and upset when that happened.

So we applied pressure and it seems to be paying off.

I’ve known a handful of people who worked at Target, as executives. They are all at least liberal, some downright progressive and overtly pro-Gay Rights. People who graduate from the local colleges with certain degrees, and especially from MBA programs, know that the process of applying at Target for a management (or similar) job involves an evaluation of one’s ability to “fit the culture.” That culture mainly has to do with the overall management strategy at Target and is more about the nature of teams, approaches to organization, and attitudes about customer service, all of which I’ve heard a very different from other large corporations in the area. I’ve also gotten the sense, however, that it is also somewhat political. Target is more liberal inside and out, than other major retailers. But, they are also a business and I’m not entirely sure that the Management embraces a liberal political attitude when making decisions, or at least not consistently.

And that is somewhat appropriate since Target is not a political non-profit. It is a retail corporation. But still, it is also The Mother Ship, but not everybody’s Mother Ship. It is my Mother Ship and I want it to behave.

Of the last five times I needed to buy clothing, I went to JC Penny’s instead of Target because of recent politically shaded decisions by the two corporations. I’d never been to a JC Penny’s to buy my clothing before. I’m not the only person around here to did that.

When it comes to the politics of retail businesses, voting day is every day.

Hat Tip to Skeptically Money for pointing me to this story.

Minnesota: Show Support for the US Bank Protesters

From the Court Support facebook page:

Four of the seven people arrested in front of US Bank plaza last fall are going to court next week, for challenging the banks practices of foreclosing on people and forcing them into homelessness. We recently learned that the prosecutor has added three new charges to each of us! We need people to pack the court room and show their support, and to say that standing up to the banks isn’t criminal, taking people’s homes IS!

A small % of people believe in bigfoot and UFO’s. Michele Bachmann.

Michele Bachmann

[I] don’t know what causes people to either create beliefs about something that is not true, or to accept incredible beliefs of this sort. I do know that I’ve had such beliefs. When I was 12. At the time that I was 12 and a couple of years before that, I believed that theories like “Worlds in Collision” were interesting and possibly valid. I had mixed feelings about Ancient Astronauts. For at time I felt that Edgar Cayce explained everything. But then, I turned 13 and literally grew out of it. Well, there were other influences. And for some of those beliefs it took another year to completely go away. I’m pretty sure my old-world style Catholic upbringing prepared me to believe things that I now see as incredibly unlikely. If one grows up knowing that demonic possession, poltergeists, assumption, and coming back from the dead are well known phenomena, then an as yet undiscovered hominid living in the forest, or alternative theories of how the solar system evolved are not so hard to accept. But one grows out of these things. (more…)

Emacs Mail Amusements

Apropos this, cribbed from the GNU Emacs manual by (originally) Richard Stallman:

35.6 Mail Amusements
====================

`M-x spook’ adds a line of randomly chosen keywords to an outgoing mail
message. The keywords are chosen from a list of words that suggest you
are discussing something subversive.

The idea behind this feature is the suspicion that the NSA(1) and
other intelligence agencies snoop on all electronic mail messages that
contain keywords suggesting they might find them interesting. (The
agencies say that they don’t, but that’s what they _would_ say.) The
idea is that if lots of people add suspicious words to their messages,
the agencies will get so busy with spurious input that they will have
to give up reading it all. Whether or not this is true, it at least
amuses some people.

You can use the `fortune’ program to put a “fortune cookie” message
into outgoing mail. To do this, add `fortune-to-signature’ to
`mail-setup-hook’:

(add-hook ‘mail-setup-hook ‘fortune-to-signature)

You will probably need to set the variable `fortune-file’ before using
this.

———- Footnotes ———-

(1) The US National Security Agency.

___________
Please send FSF & GNU inquiries to gnu@gnu.org. There are also other ways to contact the FSF.
Please send broken links and other corrections (or suggestions) to webmasters@gnu.org.

Copyright © 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Updated: $Date: 2007/06/10 18:26:22 $ $Author: cyd $

More Greek Nazi Related Action

My Greek-linked contacts tell me that he Golden Dawn (read: Nazi) WordPress website has been taken down, WordPress having been informed by the broader international community (THIS MEANS YOU!!!) about the violation of terms of service. Good for WordPress!

Now, according to the same sources, Golden Dawn has a new blog hosted by Google on Blogger. Time for a new petition!

It is here.

We call on Google to follow the example of WordPress and stop providing a free platform for Golden Dawn’s hate speech and intimidation of journalists by suspending the official Golden Dawn blogs hosted on their platform.

Click through and read the details, and you’ll see that it makes sense and you’ll want to sign it, I’m sure.

The Nazis have been Repressed!

Do you remember the campaign to get WordPress to shut down the Nazi hate site in Greece?

Apparently, it worked. Commenters both here and at sb.com have told us that the Nazi site has been taken down.

Congratulations to us!

There have been complaints that we are repressing free speech. This is not true for several reasons.

First, we are not violating the “Right to free speech” because there is no universal law or regulation that compels a private company based in the US (or wherever) to provide a platform to a political party in another country.

Second, the reason this campaign was valid to being with is that the Nazis have violated WordPress’s terms of service. Really, all that had to happen is that WordPress would be notified of this, they look into it, see it is obviously true, and shut down the site.

Putting a finer point on that: Demanding that WordPress keep the Nazi site up is a violation of “rights” … telling a company that their reasonable terms of service can’t be applied, suddenly and arbitrarily, to a particular group. Of Nazis.

Third, They are Nazis. One could subscribe to the American Ideal that every American should agree to die on the battlefield protecting the rights of the most nefarious groups such as the KKK and Nazis and various white supremacists and so on. But, once again, this is in Greece, this is international pressure being applied, the idea that every American should die protecting the rights of Nazis is absurd. Yes, I know, once you throw the Nazi’s under the bus, you will eventually be throwing the Girl Scouts under the bus. But that is an absurd argument. We might not know to draw the line in a particular place, but we can tell on occasion that some one or some group is well beyond that line. Nazis are beyond that line.

There are other reasons. Feel free to add them in the contents.

Take Action against the Greek Nazi Party

You may have heard that in these troubled times in Greece, the Greek Nazi “Golden Dawn” party made an alarming gain in the Parliament, taking about 7% of the seats. Here they are being all Nazi-ish:

Nazis.  I hate these guys.

The leader of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos, and his Nazi supporters, grabbing a bottle of water.


It isn’t just that they won a few seats in Parliament. This is part of a larger shift towards extremism on the right side of the spectrum, happening in Greece and other countries as well, and it is accompanied by some extreme rhetoric that reminds us of the 1930s.

“The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland ... We are coming ... Veni, Vidi, Vici ... Greece is only the beginning ... "


In case you were wondering if these guys are “real” Nazis, don’t worry, they really do seem to be, even with respect to some of the finer details of Nazism, such as intolerance of Jews.

This photograph is alleged to be Golden Dawn members attacking Jews in 2002, but it may be Golden Dawn and anarchists fighting. In any event, Gold Dawn members are believe to have carried out acts of violence against immigrants.

Here is what you can do. Some time in the next month or two, there will be new elections in Greece. The elections that happened a few days ago produced a result (no strong majority or obvious coalition) that likely will result in this happening. Golden Dawn, the Nazis, have a web site they use as a critical component of their campaign. It is hosted on WordPress.

Shall we sign a petition?

Change.org has one for you:

The Official blog of the Greek Nazi ‘Golden Dawn’ political party which recently won an unprecedented 7% in the parliamentary elections is hosted on the WordPress.com platform at http://xryshaygh.wordpress.com/.

In addition to espousing hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric, denial of the Holocaust, and Nazi salutes, Golden Dawn has a history of direct involvement in organized crime and intimidation with many of their.top ranking members having been indicted and convicted of violent crimes against immigrants and political opponents.

On April 17 behind the cover of anonymity which they always use on their official blog on WordPress.com, they published an article that made thinly veiled threats of violence against Greek reporter Xenia Kounalaki, the editor of the foreign news desk of Kathimerini, Greece’s leading broadsheet.

Source: http://www.euractiv.com/elections/neo-nazi-greek-party-threatens-journalist-news-512538

The WordPress.com Terms of Service state that all content submitted ‘does not contain threats or incite violence towards individuals or entities’.

Source: http://en.wordpress.com/tos/

We call on Automattic Inc. to stop providing a free platform for Golden Dawn to anonymously threaten and intimidate reporters, immigrants, and political opponents by shutting down their WordPress.com account.

Click here to visit and sign the petition.

Limbaugh Advertisers Continue to Flee; Starbucks Boycott Backfires

I consider these two things to be related, and good:

Rush Limbaugh Advertiser Exodus Continues With Kohler Pulling Content

Rush Limbaugh’s advertising woes continue, as kitchen and bath fixtures company Kohler is the latest company to pull its content from the radio program.

On Monday, Kohler responded to pressure from customers who wanted to know if the company advertised on Limbaugh’s program. Kohler tweeted that the company does not support Limbaugh’s comments and pulled its advertisements from his show.

and

Starbucks Boycott Over Marriage Equality Spurs Tenfold Backlash

The National Organization for Marriage’s decision to boycott Starbucks for the company’s support of the freedom to marry has turned out to be a dismal failure. In the five days since NOM launched its “Dump Starbucks” petition, it has only gotten 19,000 signatures, compared to the nearly 250,000 individuals who have signed SumOfUs’s retaliatory “Thank You, Starbucks” card. In fact, SumOfUs has gotten over 8,000 new signers since 8:30 this morning.

Bwahahahaha

Your Support of Bill C-279 is Urgently Needed Now

“We don’t have a ‘Bill of Rights’ in Canada. We don’t need one.”

A colleague from Canada told me that once. I was pretty sure she was more or less wrong, but I was working in a lab of mainly Canadians at the time and I know that as an Ugly American I had no chance if I disagreed, so I kept my mouth shut. It turns out that only months before that declaration, Canada had passed the Constitution Act, and before that they had the “Canadian Bill of Rights” and subsequently some other stuff has happened along these lines, but just as in the United States, unless you are really quite specific, these sorts of protections don’t extend to everyone, and especially to people who are in certain groups or categories that many seem comfortable viewing as unworthy for some reason or another.

Well, at the moment, transgender Canadians are not protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the prevailing constitutional law. However …

Next month, in April, an extremely pivotal bill is going to be up for debate in the Canadian parliament. It’s Bill C-279, which will add gender identity and gender expression to the list of statuses protected under the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms.

Currently, transgender Canadians have no such protections, and may be discriminated against on the basis of their gender by employers, businesses, shelters, institutions (public or private) and individuals without any legal consequence. … This is not okay.

Natalie Reed has all the details here. It appears that Bill C-279 has not received much media attention, and the current political climate in Canada is such that it is at risk of not passing.

So read Natalie’s post and get on this, please. If you know of a petition or something, tell us in the comments!

Free Thought Blogger Meetup: A Conversation about Activist Blogging

Atheist Talk Radio on Sunday was a conversation with (in order of appearance in the photo) Phil Ferguson (Skeptic Money), Moi (X Blog), Jen McCreight (Blag Hag) – that’s Biodork – and Stephanie Zvan (Almost Diamonds). We talked about blogging and stuff.

Minnesota Atheist Talk Radio ... Phil Ferguson, Greg Laden, Jen McCreight, Biodork and Stephanie Zvan

You can download the podcast here.

Later that day, Jen gave her talk on “God’s Lady Problem.” Biodork has a few brief comments on the talk, it will be written up for the Minnesota Atheists newsletter, and I may make a few comments later. It was a great talk, well received, and it was great to meet Jennifer as well as Phil who just happened to be in town checking out schools with his offspring.

More news on the Pledge of Allegience

First of all, don’t forget to Demand that the Pledge of Allegiance Not Be Recited in Your Local School.

Ed Brayton has a write-up of the latest news on the Massachusetts lawsuit regarding daily recitation of The Pledge. The key question here is what kinds of pressures exist for students who decide to sit out the Pledge (and this applies to any sort of “not really required” activity).

A question for you about humanism, atheism, skepticism, and politics

This issue, for various reasons, is on my mind lately, and a current news story focuses the question. The Center for Inquiry has issued a statement urging the “Obama Administration Not To Retreat Any Further on HHS Regulation.” This pertains to the recent dustup over reproductive health services (in particular birth control).

From the CFI:

On Friday, Feb. 10, the Obama Administration announced that it would continue to require health insurance providers and organizations providing health care plans to cover preventive health services, such as birth control, without charging a co-payment. However, it indicated that it would allow religiously affiliated employers not to offer contraceptive coverage directly—although their insurers would still have to offer such coverage.

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is pleased that the Obama Administration has continued to hold firm to the principle that employees must have access to contraceptive services as part of any employer-sponsored health plan and has decided to keep in place the substance of guidelines that require health insurance providers and organizations providing health care plans to cover preventive health services without charging a co-payment. …

With regards to Advocasy, the CFI makes this statement about itself: “The Center for Inquiry advocates for science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values…” and does so via a number of programs, and the mission of the CFI is stated as “…to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

Here are my questoins: Is something like funding of birth control a political issue? Is it the proper role of an organization like CFI to engage in political issues, and if so, is there some subset of issues they should leave alone vs. focus on? What about other organizations with a somewhat different mission, such as JREF?

In short, do Secular Humanism, Skepticism, other Secular movements or groups, or Atheism have a Political Agenda? Are these movements politically agnostic? Are the goals and philsophies of these organizaitons incompatible with certain political orientations?

Why do I ask? Because in a few weeks I’m going to be engaged in a debate about this topic and I’d like to know what you think about it.

Please Join One Million Strong for Women

Click here to put your name on the line to support Dems in the Senate in their efforts to battle the right wing fundie yahoos:

Time and again, our opponents have come after women — women’s rights, women’s health, women’s economic security.

They tried to defund Planned Parenthood through the budget process. They tried to restrict women’s health care through Medicare and Medicaid. This time, they tried to get Komen to cut off support for Planned Parenthood.

Enough is enough. We may have won this latest round, but our opponents aren’t going away. They’re launching endless attacks against women every single day, and we need to rise to the challenge.

We’ve got to build a grassroots force that’s ready to take them on whenever and wherever they attack women’s rights and women’s health.

And we’ll do it by coming together. Join us.

One million strong for women — add your name, your voice, and your support now.

Click –> HERE