February 8, 2013

An Open Letter to the American Humanist Association

To Whom it may concern:

I posted a comment on the AHA's Facebook site, critical of the AHA's stance on the VAWA, and comments made by the AHA's Executive Director, Roy Speckhardt.

These comments were of a critical nature but did not amount to anything even resembling offensive speech or hate speech.

However, my comments were removed and I was banned from further commenting on the page; the only conclusion I can make is that I have been censored for criticizing these comments from Mr. Speckhardt.

If secular humanism is about reason, then silencing those who disagree with you is equivalent to the tactics of oppressive religion.  It is the tactic of religious authority to silence "heresy".  

Freedom of expression is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States for a reason.  When you take it upon yourself to be the arbiter of what speech and what opinions are allowed or not, and when you actively silence those who disagree, you have made yourself the very reason why freedom of speech has been guaranteed in America.  You are essentially behaving in the same manner as the intolerant and oppressive religious absolutists that humanism once stood against.   It is, in a word, bigotry.

Did you know that many Men's Rights advocates are also Women's Rights advocates?  Did you know that many of them are also Humanists (with the capitol H and everything)?   And yet you associate them with religious fundamentalists and...Rush Limbaugh.  This is as intellectually dishonest as it is slanderous.   And it is nothing more than a disingenuous attempt to silence and marginalize those who do dare to speak against a very specific ideology.  

As a Humanist and a strong supporter of Women's Rights, Gay Rights, Men's Rights, Gender Equality, and consequently Human Rights myself, I am understandably offended by these recent events.

I am notifying you that I protest this, that you have alienated a former ally today.  And I am also informing you that I am not alone.  

Included below is the text of my banned comments.

"The disingenuity and intellectual dishonesty with which this article was written are extremely disappointing.
The fact that Roy Speckhardt even bothered to associate the MRM with conservative fundamentalists or worse, the implication that they seek to rationalize being able to perpetrate domestic violence, is the worse sort of false equivalency that I have ever seen.
A logical fallacy of this magnitude has no place in an organization that is purportedly about rationalism and empiricism.
Mr. Speckhardt, I believe in human rights. I believe that all people--whether they possess a penis or a vagina, should be safe from domestic abuse. The VAWA does not take this into account, and its language even denies the existence of male victims of domestic abuse. This is why MRM groups oppose it.
The fact that the AHA has not only supported this, but taken action to silence and expel anyone who dares to speak out against it is the most un-humanist thing that they could possibly do: Silencing someone for disagreeing with your own ideological views. It is absolutely disgusting.
If this is the way the AHA is going to conduct itself, then it is not a humanist organization, but just another ideological political advocacy group.
I am a rational empiricist and a secular humanist, and until now I have supported the actions of the AHA, but in light of these activities, and the silencing of debate, I hereby condemn the AHA and withdraw all further support for the organization under its current leadership."

1 comment:

  1. Note to any wondering; I removed my name because of the advice of others who pointed out the likelihood that the information would be used to harass and intimidate me.

    Seeing that this has happened to others, I have decided to follow that advice and I have since removed my real name from this letter.