We are the only identity that matters (Non-fiction)
Robyn E. Blumner, CEO of the Center for Inquiry, writes click bait– I mean is now concerned about “identitarianism”.
Just when it is essential that we all come together to work hand in hand against Christian nationalism and the rise of religious privilege in the law, humanism faces a schism within its own movement. It’s heartbreaking to watch and even more disheartening to know that the continuing breach seems destined to get worse.
It’s nice of him to finally notice the “deep fractures” within organized atheism that became a public issue with Richard Dawkin’s “Dear Muslima” commentary in 2011. The same Richard Dawkins who worked to get Rebecca Watson blacklisted atheist conventions saying he wouldn’t speak at the same convention she was speaking at. She’s also CEO of the same organization that forced Paul Fidalgo to quit blogging at Freethinking Blogs. And I could go on.
Instead of using her position to try to bridge the gap, she writes an op-ed skipping the “both sides are wrong” argument and pretty much advocates silencing pro-social justice humanists in the name of freedom of justice. ‘expression. Most of the editorial is about attacking straw men. One of two examples she uses is the American Humanist Association’s decision in 2021 to revoke Richard Dawkin’s 1996 Humanist of the Year award.
The man who has done more than anyone else to advance evolutionary biology and public understanding of this science, who has brought atheism to light for millions, and whose opposition virulent Donald Trump and Brexit surely must have boosted her liberal credibility became radioactive over a tweet about transgender issues that the AHA didn’t like.
Transgender issues may be trivial for Robyn and Richard, but it’s a matter of life and death for others. Yet the statement from the AHA clearly stated that there were other issues than the tweet that caused them to revoke the honor:
Unfortunately, Richard Dawkins has, over the past few years, accumulated a history of making statements that use the guise of scientific discourse to demean marginalized groups, an antithetical approach to humanist values. His latest statement implies that the identities of transgender people are fraudulent, while simultaneously attacking black identity as one that can be assumed when appropriate. His subsequent attempts at clarification are insufficient and do not convey either sensitivity or sincerity.
I was a member of CFI, but left when I realized they were going in the wrong direction. Robyn’s editorial only affirms my decision. Especially when she invokes the civil rights movement. Honestly, if this incarnation of the CFI existed during the civil rights era, I imagine they would have sided with secular segregationists and called the movement a religious plot to destroy freedom of association.
To note: All opinions expressed are my own. They do not reflect the views of the organizations I work for or my employer.