Letter to CFI Board of Directors June 5, 2013Posted by ubi dubium in Events, Rants, Responses.
Tags: CFI, feminism, Greta Christina, Ron Lindsay, Women in Secularism
(I’ve finally written to the CFI Board regarding Ron Lindsay’s behavior at WIS2, and thought I should also post the text of my letter here:)
To: The CFI Board of Directors
Re: Ron Lindsay, and his unwelcoming speech
I know that you have received many letters regarding Ron Lindsay’s conduct at the Women in Secularism 2 conference, so I will keep this brief.
In his role as CEO of CFI, Ron’s responsibility to the organization was to open the conference with welcoming remarks focusing on support for the mission of CFI, perhaps summing up the previous conference or introducing and welcoming the speakers for the current conference, and generally getting the weekend off to a positive and enthusiastic start. Instead, Ron delivered an “unwelcoming” sermon that focused on the personal opinions of Ron Lindsay. None of his actions that weekend did anything to boost my opinion of CFI, or encourage me to be a financial supporter, or become more active with the organization.
The attendees at the conference included not only currently influential secular activists and CFI donors, but also future secular activists and potential CFI donors as well, and Ron managed to alienate almost everyone in the room, both with his speech, and with his defenses of it over the rest of the weekend. Ron’s behavior was unprofessional, and reflected badly on the conference organizers as well as reflecting badly on CFI in general.
I give great credit to Melody Hensley, Lauren Becker, and all the CFI staff and volunteers who made the rest of the conference such a success. The presentations and panel discussions at each WIS have been a focus and inspiration for further discussions, understanding and action, and these important conferences need to continue. I will look forward to seeing the Board’s response to the actions of Mr. Lindsay, and hope that CFI will continue to be able to bring “science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values” to an increasingly diverse audience.