Other Nuanced Approaches
June 17, 2013
I thought it might be prudent for my position to link to posts essentially taking the same position I am, especially since I agree greatly with both of them.
The first is Greta Christina’s post about the CFI statement. The most important part is this – “I will continue to support local CFI groups, as they are largely independent of the national organization.” It is important to understand that local CFI organizations are more like franchises than chapter houses of the national (US) CFI organization. Just like how CFI Canada is a separate entity.
Keep supporting the good work by your local CFI organizations, especially those that put on conventions that challenge the narrative that the national response is catering to.
The second is from Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon. She wonderfully tears into CFI and Lindsay’s actions and responses, again, and explains why the national organization is alienating the progressive (and growing elements) of the atheist movement. She also notes, though, “To be clear, their staff is still the same great group of people they always were, and I hope people don’t take this out on them.”
It is important to keep our responses nuanced for this reason. Without CFI’s various cons and get togethers throughout the nation, there would not be a strong speaking circuit for up and coming speakers to cut their teeth on. This will lead to a lack of diversity at “big name” cons since there’s just fewer cons to go to. Big Names will concentrate at the other cons and new, up and coming voices will find it difficult, if not impossible, to break into the business of being an atheist activist and speaker.
Please, please, keep the atheist convention space alive and support a diverse, complex, and ever growing speaker’s circuit. We need everyone’s voices. Even, occasionally, the voices of those who are wrong. At least so we have someone to talk about on the internet.