Non-answer from CFI Board June 17, 2013Posted by ubi dubium in Events, Rants, Responses.
Tags: atheism, CFI, feminism, Ron Lindsay, Women in Secularism
The CFI Board has issued a statement:
The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.
The Center for Inquiry, including its CEO, is dedicated to advancing the status of women and promoting women’s issues, and this was the motivation for its sponsorship of the two Women in Secularism conferences. The CFI Board wishes to express its unhappiness with the controversy surrounding the recent Women in Secularism Conference 2.
CFI believes in respectful debate and dialogue. We appreciate the many insights and varied opinions communicated to us. Going forward, we will endeavor to work with all elements of the secular movement to enhance our common values and strengthen our solidarity as we struggle together for full equality and respect for women around the world.
That’s the entire statement? That’s IT????
“…unhappiness with the controversy”. They “…appreciate the insights and varied opinions…”. “Going forward we will endeavor to…”
No specifics. Nothing about how they will take action to avoid this happening in the future. Nothing about how Ron blindsided the CFI staff, and insulted and condescended to a roomful of dedicated secular activists, not to mention spending the rest of the weekend belittling invited conference speakers? Nothing about how maybe they could institute some guidelines for this sort of thing, or make sure that any speech to be given by someone representing CFI at a CFI-sponsored conference that has more substance to it than “howdy” will be available for review by the conference organizers first? Notice how the word “apology” was not included there, either.
They’ve shown us where the board stands on this issue, which is that they don’t stand anywhere. Maybe something happened internally, but that does nothing to cool the anger of those of us who were sitting in the audience for Ron’s sermon. I’ve been considering working on developing an education project with our local chapter, and while I know that the local staff would make me feel welcome, and that my efforts matter, my confidence that the national organization would be able to effectively address gender-related issues has just dropped another notch. I’ll have to think seriously about this before agreeing to work with CFI on any upcoming activities. If I were a position to make any donations, they would be earmarked for WIS3 only.
If nothing else, this whole thing shows how desperately the WIS conferences are needed. I’d hate for them to have to be held by a different sponsoring organization, but I wonder if that’s what needs to happen. I’ll be watching for the reaction of the other attendees, this should be interesting.