Monday, May 7, 2012

New SCA Exec. Doesn't Get It

Edwina Rogers - Soon to be ex-SCA Executive Director
Greta Christina interviewed the newly appointed Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, Edwina Rogers, and asks some great questions that Edwina has trouble answering convincingly. 

She seems to essentially deny that Republican politicians and voters place high priority on social issues that are of primary importance to atheists, humanists, and secularists, namely gay rights, women's rights, and separation of church and state.

It is really a cringe-worthy interview, for anyone that would otherwise support SCA as Rogers comes off as an outsider who doesn't understand the issue SCA's supporters care about, doesn't believe Republicans actively work to undermine them, and/or is ignorant of the demographic research and the policies that Republicans have just very recently tried to implement that are prime examples of her ignorance.

Early in the interview she tries to argue that Republicans don't have a party line against gay-rights.

"[Opposition to gay-rights] is not a party position; its an individual position of particular members, and it really varies by the member." (12:45)

2008 Republican Platform [pdf]:
  • To protect our servicemen and women and ensure that America’s Armed Forces remain the best in the world, we affirm the timelessness of those values, the benefits of traditional military culture, and the incompatibility of homosexuality with military service (p12).
  • ...we call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman...In the absence of a national amendment, we support the right of the people of the various states to affirm traditional marriage through state initiatives. (p60)
  • We also urge Congress to use its Article III, Section 2 power to prevent activist federal judges from imposing upon the rest of the nation the judicial activism in Massachusetts and
  • Republicans have been at the forefront of protecting traditional marriage laws, both in the states and in Congress (p60)
Clearly, opposition to gay-rights is a party position, thinly veiled as "traditional marriage".

Then she goes on to say that Republican voters don't have a problem with gay-rights.  Which makes you wonder why the people they elect are so eager to curtail gay-rights. 

On the other hand public reception to gay-rights in general has progressed quite incredibly, even over the past eight years.  So it's not inconceivable that the general GOP electorate is moderating its position.  Even so, Rogers comes off as cavalier about the topic by failing to admit that her party is most culpable for the demagoguery of gays.

Next Greta turns to the abortion issue, with similar results:

  • "I don't recall seeing a party line position that says that you have to be pro-life." (8:25)
  • "I plainly remember seeing data that showed that people who considered themselves Republican were 70% pro-choice, so that can't be a party position." (8:43)
  • "I have not seen the statistics, lately, on the opinion of registered Republicans with regard to gay rights and with regard to pro-life vs. pro-choice.  But I am not aware of it being a blanket party position." (9:10) 
That's a lot of ignorance of a) your own party's positions and policies; and b) a primary issue for supporters of SCA.  Here are some quotes from the 2008 GOP Platform:
  • We assert the rights of families in all international programs and will not fund organizations involved in abortion (p14).
  • We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception (p52).
Mmmmk?  State-sponsored rape; repeal of equal pay law; de-funding planned parenthood.  And its happening all across the country with varying degrees of success.  The only way you can rationalize this is if you're ignorant or so deep into the Republican pathos that it doesn't even matter.

Either way, Rogers is a hack and should not be trusted to represent the interests of SCA supporters.


I'll leave you with some other jems that came up in the interview that I'm too lazy to rebut right now:

"...people who vote as Republicans, and the vast majority were pro-choice vs. pro-life" (10:10)

"I would think that, also the vast majority [of Republican voters] probably - I hate to guess - but I would think it would be a very high number would think that there should be separation between religion and government" (10:20)

"I have not seen, to the degree that I'm hearing from people state, that there is some type of interest to co-mingle religion and government.  This is basically my personal experience." (19:20)

"I do not think [Republicans that oppose church/state separation are] the majority." (20:10)

"I don't think the Republican party is working side-by-side with the religious right." (21:45)

"I'm only embarrassed that I haven't contributed money to every governor, every Republican governor." (24:40)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Troll Says 'Vote for Marriage by Restricting Marriage'

Vote for marriage by restricting marriage!
George Orwell would be so proud of Billy Graham's newspeak:
 I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8.
Cool! Marriage.  Who's going to vote against marriage?  Since we heteros already have the ability to marry, I'm sure he's advocating for gay marriage equality.

Oh wait, I must have missed the first part of that quote:
At 93, I never thought we would have to debate the definition of marriage. The Bible is clear — God’s definition of marriage is between a man and a woman. I want to urge my fellow North Carolinians to vote FOR the marriage amendment on Tuesday, May 8.
So let me see if I have this straight (no pun intended).  If you want to restrict marriage, you're for marriage.  But if you're for letting more people be married, you're against marriage.

Interestingly, for someone apparently so concerned with maintaining marriage, there is no mention of finding solutions to prevent divorce.
Welcome to the mind of a bigoted wingnut, where all the circles are labeled as squares.