Dear Mr. Harris,
I’ll try to keep this concise. I’d like to say that while we’re in agreement over some of your expressed concerns over handicapping ourselves by identifying with specific secular distinctions/labels during our actual discourse, I’m concerned that this view if applied to existing organizations (e.g: Atheists United, United States Atheists, American Atheists, The Secular Coalition for America, Council for Secular Humanism, American Humanist Association, Freedom From Religion Foundation, The Secular Web etc etc.) has a sequestering effect that would be injurious to any collective imperative to combat irrationality and status quo. Isn’t the idea to galvanize and consolidate what little we have out there to better facilitate a push back in our best attempt to match the well organized efforts of religious groups? Looking at it in practical terms, how else can we have voices on hand for any public dialogue, or correspond with representatives, solicit sponsorship, fund our seminars, educational programs, projects, formal debates, publications and ad campaigns?
While I think we agree, that we’re really disarming ourselves to some degree by accepting marginalization, and you’re certainly right that reason and desire for evidence are bigger than Atheism/Secularism, how else can we expect to gain any traction against the powers that be and start chipping away at the edifice of established fundamental organized religion without recognized unification? I would just think it should occur to you that some type of mobilization is necessary to sustain us, and keep us vital.
Thanks for your time.
(Bay Area Atheists, Agnostics, Brights, Humanists, Freethinkers)